Take charge of your business' growth by mastering one or more of the leading digital marketing tools and learn to make better strategic decisions to save money and grow profits.
Picking up a new marketing tool comes with a learning curve, I'll admit. Often it might seem easier to simply outsource digital marketing campaigns to an agency. Sometimes this is the right choice. Often it's not.
Mastering digital marketing using the top tools allows you to cut out expensive 3rd party marketing agencies and puts you in control of growth at a fraction of the cost.
Invest time learning how to use one or more of the leading marketing tools sooner rather than later. This will make your marketing more adaptable and nimble. Go after growth in the areas you want, from SEO to content to PPC, social and more, without having to rely on a 3rd party marketing firm.
Keep your marketing campaigns and overall strategy streamlined, efficient and able to quickly pivot and adapt to new marketing opportunities as they arise.
1. SEO & Competitor Analysis (SEMRush)
SEMRush offers free usage & paid plans from $99 per month.
SEMrush serves over 6 million users and provides competitive insights into 810 million domains and over 20 billion search keywords.
Discover who dominates your niche market and how they do it. Learn and apply your competitors' secrets to quickly capture and grow rankings in Google.
Analyze one of your competitors right now.
It's a vital tool in your armory if you intend to compete for organic search traffic from Google because it can shed light on:
- what competitors are doing to get new backlinks
- who's giving them backlinks
- how well they are performing in the search results
- what it takes to get page one Google rankings for your target SEO keywords
In particular, SEMRush has a powerful set of reports and metrics that can help to ensure you understand how well your content competes with the competition, and what they do (or don't do) to capture first page rankings in Google SERPs.
SEMRush does something that Google Analytics and Search Console can't in that it provides analytical data & insights on competing websites.
A great option if you value having a single, unified resource to do all your SEO & competitor analytics in one place.
2. Email Marketing (AWeber)
AWeber offers a 30 day free trial with paid plans from $19 per month.
AWeber facilitates over 100 000 small business email campaigns.
AWeber is an incredibly popular email marketing platform because of it's slick, easy-to-use interface and wide range of integrations with 3rd party apps (such as your online store, blog, Facebook page, etc) that make growing a super valuable list relatively painless.
Emailing seems to have taken a bit of a backseat as of late - what with sexier ways to promote with mobile and social undergoing huge growth. But email isn't dead - it's just that there are other options to look at in addition to it.
And, there's a good reason why email marketing with AWeber is more popular than ever... it works!
Make sure you grow your list for an effective and sustainable sales channel in the years to come.
3. Inbound Marketing (HubSpot)
HubSpot offers free usage with paid plans from $400 per month.
64,500 customers in over 100 countries grow their businesses with HubSpot.
HubSpot offers a full suite of tools and services that integrate to make inbound marketing faster, cheaper and more effective.
Inbound marketing doesn't push advertising onto customers. Instead it draws in customers by providing engaging content using a number of techniques, from social media marketing to SEO and branding.
HubSpot's offerings are divided into 3 sections:
- Marketing: Grow traffic, convert more visitors, and run complete inbound marketing campaigns at scale.
- Sales: Deeper insights into prospects, automate the tasks you hate, and close more deals faster.
- Service: Connect with customers, exceed expectations, and turn them into promoters that grow your business.
Their free plans offer fantastic tools and functionality to get your inbound marketing strategy up and running, and generating revenue. With over 7+ million monthly readers, you're joining a huge community of businesses benefiting from the inbound marketing methodology.
4. Marketing Graphics (Canva)
Canva is free to use with a paid plan (and 30 day free trial) for $9.95 per month.
Canva helps more than 4 million people create and share visuals online.
As the Internet's premiere visual creation tool, Canva is used by companies such as Amazon, Netflix, Disney, LinkedIn and many more.
Canva's popularity is due to the fact that there is virtually no learning curve to use it. Home based bloggers can create exactly the same quality branding and marketing visuals as large sophisticated marketing teams with huge budgets.
It has also evolved from a graphics design tool into an integrated marketing and branding tool. Whether you are a photographer wanting to edit pics and share them directly to Instagram, a small business designing business cards and flyers, or a blogger creating infographics for content promotions, creating, publishing, printing and promoting is a snap.
5. Influencer Marketing (NinjaOutreach)
NinjaOutreach offers a 7 day free trial with paid plans from $49 per month.
NinjaOutreach provides access to over 78 million social media & blogger influencers.
NinjaOutreach is the influencer marketing platform trusted by companies like Disney, Amazon and Walmart.
The concept of using recognized personalities to promote stuff isn't particularly new. Celebrities, for example, have been endorsing products for as long as there have been celebrities. But influencer marketing is slightly different. It's not paying a star big bucks to advertise something, it's building a relationship with someone who has the trust of people you want to reach.
You need to be efficient at everything from generating business leads to link building and be able to quickly identify influencers with access to your audience and benefit from accurate databases of contact information to make outreach a breeze.
5. Social Media Marketing (SocialPilot)
SocialPilot offers a 14 day free trial with paid plans from $25 per month.
115,000+ businesses trust SocialPilot to manage social media, schedule social media posts, improve engagement & analyze results.
Social media has quickly become part of the fabric of online business. Whether you are blogging or selling, the traffic and customers driving your profits can be grown using one or more of the major social networks. To run a social media campaign for business requires tools that help you understand the audience and create better engagement with them.
As you probably know, even the mighty Google has tightly integrated social signals into its results. As a result, businesses need to start building social influence in order to remain competitive online over the medium to long term.
SocialPilot helps you to save time and effort by managing all your social media profiles from one convenient location. Plenty of tools and support help you get the most from social.
6. Conversion Optimization (Leadpages)
Leadpages offers a 14 day free trial with paid plans from $25 per month.
More than 40 000 small businesses optimize conversions using Leadpages.
Leadpages helps small businesses connect with an audience, collect leads, and close sales using fast, easy to construct landing pages, pop-ups, alert bars, and more.
This is an extremely useful tool for performing market research (in addition to improving conversions). A low barrier-to-entry in terms of time, effort and cost make it perfect for taking new products, services, ideas & campaigns to market and seeing if they are viable (i.e. MVP - Minimum Viable Product - research).
Quickly work out who your audience is, what they want and what type of landing pages convert the best. All with one convenient tool that offers a suite of conversion rich features in addition to the standard graphical Web builder design interface.
7. Online PR (HARO)
HARO is free to use as both a reporter and a source.
HARO connects brands with over 35 000 journalists via more than 50 000 journalist queries each year.
Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a platform for journalists and other publishers to get expert commentary and insights from industry experts (i.e. you and me).
It's a fantastic way to build backlinks and referrals from high quality blogs and media publishers, as well as establish and grow relationships with influencers in your niche. I would go so far to say that answering queries sent out by journalists should form part of all small business marketing mixes.
8. Content & Writing (Grammarly)
Grammarly is free to use with paid premium plans from $11 per month.
Over 20 million people use Grammarly to improve their writing
Grammarly is an online writing assistant that helps you compose clear, mistake-free writing that makes the right impression.
You might be forgiven for thinking this is another WORD spellcheck type thing. It's not. Things have gotten a little more sophisticated. Grammarly can now check the tone of your message before you hit send so that you can be reassured that the reader will react the way you expect based on your intended tone.
9. Live Chat (LiveChat)
LiveChat has a 14 day free trial with paid plans starting from $16 per month.
LiveChat supports over 27 million live chats in over 150 countries every month.
LiveChat and their chatbot are one of the few places where AI actually has a tangible impact for small businesses. Engage with customers faster and more effectively, in a way that drives conversions for a fraction of the cost of operating an entire support team.
Find the perfect balance between AI automation and the human touch when it comes to serving customers better. Integrate live chats into over 170+ tools throughout your business to ensure you never miss an important support query or lead.
The perfect way to radically improve the user experience (UX) on your website with minimal effort and cost.
10. Video (TubeBuddy)
TubeBuddy offers a free version with limited features and paid plans starting at $9 per month.
TubeBuddy is a browser extension and mobile app used by over 3 million YouTube creators and brands.
Tubebuddy provides suite of tools designed to help you quickly publish high quality videos to YouTube and have them focused on maximum growth and exposure.
Like an SEO tool for YouTube, Tubebuddy allows you to perform keyword research to find high-performing, searchable video topics and craft the perfect titles and tags. They also have tools and templates to drastically lower the amount of time it takes to publish a new video. Finally, once your new video is published they're there to help ensure it has the best chance of ranking well to get plenty of views and subscribers.
Perfect for any blog or business looking to make use of YouTube as a marketing channel.
11. More Top Marketing Tools
There are plenty of other digital marketing tools and services worth exploring. Here's a more comprehensive list to get you started.
- Google Analytics: Google Analytics lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track your video and social networking sites and applications.
- Google Ads: Online ads on Google can help you reach the right customers and grow your business.
- Google Search Console: Search Console tools and reports help you measure your site's Search traffic and performance, fix issues, and make your site shine in Google Search results.
- PageSpeed Insights: Use PageSpeed suggestions to make your web site faster.
I'll keep it updated as and when I come across more that I like. Feel free to drop me a line and let me know which tools you use and what success you've had with 'em.