Brand definition, signage, products and services, pricing, email campaigns, blogs, advertising, research, analytics, and social media make up the shortlist of marketing activities of any size business. While sales generate the actual money that sustains business, marketing is its lifeblood.
Marketing is the definitive effort to push your brand across a host of platforms to generate interest and customers. The fact that customers are spread across the digital and physical marketplace, makes this task all the more daunting. With such a broad landscape to cover, it can be difficult for small businesses to know what to do.
The good news is that the same technology-rich environment that makes this job so big also provides digital tools to make it easier. This post will highlight some of the top tools that can help you shape, create and share your brand’s message far and wide
DIGITAL MARKETING TOOLS
A Website should be a priority for any business. 81% of potential customers will search a business online before ever contacting. Your website is your calling card and often the only chance you have to make an impression. Check out these tools for creating and managing a website that defines your brand and attracts business.
WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP. But in non-geek speak, it’s probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today.
Bluehost was rated #1 web hosting service out of 32 companies in a recent survey conducted by Hosting Facts. Top reasons were the consistent uptime and 24 hour phone support.
Divi is one of the most popular WordPress themes available. A website builder framework, the Divi theme allows its users to build countless websites using a single, multipurpose application.
Hotjar is a powerful tool that reveals the online behavior and voice of your users. By combining both Analysis and Feedback tools, Hotjar gives you the ‘big picture’ of how to improve your site’s user experience and performance/conversion rates.
Fiverr is a great platform for businesses to farm out different services they need to remote workers all over the world.
Personalized and consistent messaging will turn new customers into brand loyalists and make brand loyalists, influencers for your company.
Hubspot offers a full stack of software for marketing, sales, and customer service, with a completely free CRM at its core. Hubspot has gone well beyond just the mechanics of a platform and methodology. They have built a community of thousands of marketing, sales and business experts that learn, share and grow together.
Typeform is my go-to for any survey or form I need to send my audience and customers. They make it easy to create polished and beautiful communications.
GetResponse is a tiered email marketing platform based on the number of subscribers. Very affordable for small business and offers an array of templates to keep you consistently top of your customers’ mind – in their inbox and on social media, too.
Clover is an innovative Point-of-Sale system with a variety of hardware and software options. Along with various customer experience apps and integrated loyalty program.
CONTENT IS how your brand can engage an audience, build loyalty, and gain customers. Content is how you reach people, and how you grab their attention. Without your targets’ attention, you’ll never have their dollars.
Evernote is an app designed for note taking, organizing, task management, and archiving. I personally LOVE Evernote! Because it is cloud-based, notebooks for home and business can be accessed easily anywhere. It also has a handy snippet tool for capturing online research with exact reference link. A must for any solopreneur that also has a life.
Zest is an innovative AI-driven content tool that steers alignment of your content to your audience’s interest. Based on subject preferences and personal search, Zest provides you a carefully curated set of content.
KeySearch is a powerful, all-in-one SEO and keyword research tool. It shows you search volume and allows you to do competiton analysis. It also has rank tracking for your keywords so you can see how they are currently ranking and how that changes over time.
Grammarly makes any writer look better. There is nothing worse than beautiful content mixed with brilliance and glaring grammatical errors. Don’t publish, post or send unless Grammarly sees it first.
The value of a social media presence for a growing business cannot be overstated. It connects your business to customers on a perceived personal level and humanizes your brand. Most important is that advertising costs on social media platforms are 7.9% lower per lead. Sweet!!
Hootsuite was named Best and Brightest in Forbes Private Cloud Companies list. They are a leader in social media management that also includes “mention” tracking to help brands be responsive to any negative social commentary.
Buffer is a simple web application that allows you to schedule social media posts across a variety of popular social networks. A stripped down version of other social media management tools like HootSuite, focused mainly on post scheduling.
Bundled business marketing solutions are a great way to get end-to-end brand definition and promotion through companies that specialize in the latest marketing trends and leverage cutting-edge systems.
Carolina Business Center
Carolina Business Center is fully focused on the small business market. They understand the careful balance of competing like a big business with small business resources. They offer custom service bundles that addresses every customer touchpoint.
Vcita offers a small business bundle that includes a robust CRM system, marketing and billing- payments management. Based in Seattle and Tele Aviv, vCita boasts 18 million customer engagements worldwide.
Marketing isn’t simply an important part of business success – it is the business. Everything else in the business depends upon marketing. Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and several media and entertainment companies, puts it as succinctly as possible: “No sales. No company.”
Hubspot reports that there are 5300 marketing apps and digital tools, so this is a tiny sampling based on rankings and reviews. For a downloadable infographic of the list with links, click here.