Marketing is an essential piece of every business. From getting the word out on social media to driving online sales, it’s what makes businesses successful.
The digital world is in a constant state of flux, and so are the best marketing strategies. So how can small businesses keep up?
The internet has made it possible for companies to grow their customer base and reach new heights. Many of the traditional marketing methods are now obsolete, but digital marketing is where it’s at.
Digital marketing is not just about social media or blogging anymore. Instead, it’s about understanding the many aspects that go into marketing, such as SEO, conversion rates, and email campaigns.
Growing your business can be hard, but it’s essential if you want to succeed. With the right digital marketing tools, you can reach more people and grow your customer base. So, the right tools should enable you to establish a strong online presence and increase your visibility on the web.
However, marketing can be an expensive endeavor if you don’t use the marketing tools specifically made for small businesses. There are many free and low-cost marketing strategies that small businesses can use to get their brand out there for little to no cost.
Here are the essential digital marketing tools that every small business owner should know about.
Places to go and people to meet
To start marketing your business, you first need to figure out what your goals are.
What do you want people to think of when they hear your business name? Do you want them to think of the best customer service possible? The latest and greatest products on offer? Whatever it is, it’s important that you know what you want your brand to be.
Once you know what kind of business and brand image you’d like to project, the next step is figuring out where the people who would be interested in hearing about that business or feeling that brand exists.
This could be through social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, or even Reddit if your customer base includes a lot of young adults.
The next step for this would be finding those platforms and starting conversations with active users on those sites! There are many different free marketing tools out there that can help make this process easier, such as Hootsuite and CoSchedule.
Tools for Social Media Marketing
The internet has become the central hub of communication and marketing for most businesses. And nearly all marketers agree that using social media marketing is an effective way to increase brand awareness and drive sales.
Social media marketing is often free, and there are many tools available to help businesses successfully market themselves on social media. From scheduling posts to sharing video advertisements, these tools can help you succeed in the social space!
Tools for Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most popular digital marketing tools for small businesses. It’s relatively easy to set up, and it’s one of the cheapest digital marketing methods out there.
MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing services, but there are many other free or low-cost alternatives available. Some offer advanced features like A/B testing and campaign management, while others are simple and straightforward.
Email marketing is a great way to reach your customers with personalized messages about new products, sales, or promotions that they might be interested in hearing about!
For example, MailChimp is the most popular email service provider for small businesses that offers newsletter templates and analytics reports.
Tools for Blogging
Bloggers are at the forefront of digital marketing. As a blogger, you’re not just creating content for your blog. You’re also helping to grow your business through content creation.
Blogging is an essential part of how digital marketers reach potential customers. It gives them the opportunity to showcase their expertise in their industry, demonstrate knowledge, and provide helpful tips for others looking to grow their businesses.
For entrepreneurs who are new to blogging, there are plenty of tools that can help you get started!
For example, these are some of the best blogging tools for small businesses:
- WordPress: A free platform with a variety of templates and features for personal blogs
- Medium: A free blogging platform with a more professional feel
- Wix: An easy-to-use website builder that includes a blog feature
- Hootsuite: A social media management tool that includes blogging
- Feedly: A free RSS feed reader that makes it easy to monitor what’s going on in your industry
Tools for Video Marketing
Videos are one of the most effective ways to get your message across right now. In fact, videos on Facebook have been shown to increase engagement by up to 53%.
Luckily, it’s not expensive or time-consuming for a small business to create a video. There are many free video creation apps that allow you to create a professional, high-quality video in minutes.
For example, a web design company in NYC would best advertise by showing their designs in a video. Having a tool to make high-quality videos out of short excerpts or just photos is convenient – there’s no need to call a professional filmmaker to do it.
Powtoon is a great option. It lets you easily add your logo and text anywhere in the video and can be used on both desktop and mobile devices with no software download required!
Another good app is Animoto. With this app, you can choose from hundreds of free animated templates or upload an image from your computer to turn it into a beautiful slideshow with music.
Animoto also allows you to add sliders so your viewers can scroll through images quickly.
Tools for Marketing on Location
If you’re a local business, one of the easiest ways to market your services is through word of mouth. The best way to do this is by drawing people in by providing them with the best experience possible.
When they enjoy their time at your establishment, they will talk about it and spread the word!
Oftentimes, people don’t know what’s happening in their city. They’re looking for something new and different to experience and exploring your establishment may be just what they’re looking for!
One way to attract customers to your location is by using mobile marketing tools that target those who are geographically close and interested in your services. These tools include:
- Google My Business: This free service allows you to create a page for your business on Google Search and Google Maps, which makes you visible on mobile searches
- Facebook Places: Facebook Places lets you update information about upcoming events or offer promotions to those near you
- Mobile Coupons: Mobile coupons make it easy to provide discounts or other rewards directly to customers who are nearby
- SMS Text Messaging: Using text messaging, businesses can send out updates about new products or events
- Social Media: Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, businesses can advertise on those platforms and by setting up a shared location attract those who live or work nearby
Maps to find where you are
Small business owners might not realize the need for a map, but this is a powerful marketing tool. It’s a great way to show a customer or potential customer that you are an established company with a physical location.
Maps can be used to create a sense of place and help you establish your brand identity.
For instance, if your business specializes in pizza, you can show people where you are located on the map. You could also post links to directions from various locations so customers can get there hassle-free.
Tools for Content Creation
Content is king. It’s the lifeblood of any successful marketing campaign. The best content engages your audience, gets clicks, and wins customers.
Thankfully, there are free tools that will help you create stellar content for your business. The following are some of the best options:
- SEO Writing Assistant
- Marketing Grader
- HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator
Text editors are an essential tool when it comes to marketing. The text editor is where all your content is created, written, and formatted in a visually appealing way.
For example, if you’re creating an ad for social media or even just drafting up a blog post, the text editor will be your best friend. They not only allow you to write content in a variety of formats, but they make it easy to format your content with different fonts, colors, and more.
These online text editors are some of the most popular ones out there:
One of the most important parts of any marketing strategy is being able to create high-quality, engaging images.
There are a wide variety of image editors that you can use for free or inexpensively in order to create your own graphics. Some popular free options include:
- Pixlr Editor – a browser-based editor with lots of great features, including stickers and filters
- Paint.net – a fully-featured digital painting program with support for layers and plugins
- Inkscape – a free vector graphics editor that comes bundled with Inkscape’s other drawing programs.
- GIMP – an open-source image editing program that’s often compared favorably to Photoshop. It’s available on both Windows and Mac OS X, as well as Linux/Unix variants like Ubuntu.
In a few short years, digital marketing has become a vital part of the marketing plans of all businesses – from global giants to start-ups and everything in between.
Digital marketing tools are the backbone of any successful marketing campaign. The right tools can help you take your campaign to the next level and get results that you may not otherwise achieve.
To help you get started on your own digital marketing strategy, we have created a list of the top digital marketing tools every small business owner needs!
About Our Guest Poster
Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for DigitalStrategyOne.