It’s nearly impossible for modern brands to survive without an online presence. Yet small business owners often find digital marketing tools prohibitively complicated, with technical jargon preventing them from adopting the right programs to market their brands effectively.
These are some of the key areas where digital marketing tools can be useful, including specific products worth using or knowing about:
There are resources for every aspect of managing a small business. Tools like SweetProcess and Slack simplify information-sharing between colleagues, while Cyfe’s desktop dashboard tracks sales data and evaluates marketing campaigns. You can learn from thought leaders by listening to numerous video talks on TED, or host your own video conferences via Zoom or Skype. Dropbox is great for cloud-hosting documents, and WeTransfer can deliver marketing materials whose size would defeat email inboxes.
Email marketing remains a hugely successful method of attracting new custom, with plenty of digital marketing tools available. MailChimp is ideal for managing email campaigns and accepting unsubscribe requests. Meanwhile, blogs are a great way to pepper a web page with popular keywords and long-tail search terms, without endlessly rewriting key pages. It’s also possible to identify topical blog subjects using Google Trends and BuzzSumo. Don’t forget to request customer reviews using YotPo’s automated enquiries, inviting feedback via SurveyMonkey.
Customers want to communicate through social media channels nowadays. Having a Facebook or Twitter account is essential for receiving enquiries or complaints, but social media can also be used to freely publicise new products/services. LinkedIn is a great place for starting debates, positioning yourself as a knowledgeable industry insider. Use distribution tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule social media updates for distribution throughout the week. Don’t forget to monitor Reddit and Quora for trending topics and common questions respectively, as well as keeping a close eye on Twitter activity.
Analytics and SEO
If you’ve got social media accounts, digital marketing tools can optimise account activity. Facebook Audience Insights and Followerwonk for Twitter identify trends, industry influencers or topics of interest. However, SEO goes far beyond social media. Tools for tracking rankings and building links include SEMrush and Moz Pro. Use Open Site Explorer to see which websites link to competitor platforms (but not yours), while Screaming Frog identifies broken links and absent metadata. Siteliner will reveal duplicate content and calculate page loading times – a key metric in SEO rankings nowadays.
Cyberspace contains a surprising amount of free content, just waiting to be adopted. Add images to blogs and emails with royalty-free photos from Pixabay or Picography, sourcing musical video accompaniments at YouTube’s Audio Library and Bensound. It’s possible to create stunning infographics using Canva and Easel.ly; alternatively, add visual flair with PowToon’s bespoke animations. Finally, guest blogs present another free way to generate marketing materials. Some people will gladly produce an article for your company’s blog page, in exchange for a link or reciprocal publicity.