Every small business owner knows there are some days where it feels like they are running just to keep up, particularly when it comes to marketing a business.
The sheer volume of content, projects, campaigns and events is far more than a single person can handle, as I’ve previously explored but there are some nifty technologies that are more than worth their weight in gold when it comes to managing a firm’s marketing.
So, settle back and learn more about the 11 business tools I can’t live without.
If you want useful, granular insights into who is visiting your website and how to engage with them, few do it better Google’s free tool. Among the data you can pore over is:
- Your site’s daily/weekly/monthly (or any other time period) visitor numbers
- The visitors’ origins – whether they’re from organic search, ads, social, direct or other sites
- The keywords used to find your site in Google searches
- Your users’ demographics and interests
- User dwelltime on your site
This powerful information can be combined with data from Google’s Search Console, which is also free, enabling you to optimise content and boost your traffic and engagement.
Email marketing is an essential pillar of any business, regardless of how small (we’re all looking to grow, right?) and Mailchimp is the most user-friendly way to get your brand and message into potential customers’ inboxes. It’s also expanded to offer more tools, some of which cost extra, including:
- Segmentation and personalisation
- Landing page and form builders
- Audience and predictive insights
Free until you reach 2,000 subscribers, it allows you to capture email lists, manage and schedule emails, automatically send them out and analyse your engagement.
Every small business has to have a social media presence, but who has the time to actually run the company, carry out the work AND post quality content to relevant platforms? Thankfully, Hootsuite has you covered.
Its user-friendly central management platform enables you to post social media content in advance, leaving you free to focus on the day-to-day running of your company.
If you find you need to post a lot of content ahead of time, Agorapulse could be the better option, as it allows businesses to schedule up to 40 posts, compared to Hootsuite’s five.
Drag and drop was one of the greatest technical developments of the 20th century. Believe it or not, it’s all you need to come up with fantastic visuals for your website thanks to Canva. You can use your own images or choose from its gallery, or create eye-catching graphs to break down complex data.
As well as being amazingly user-friendly, it also has an array of free templates for everything from infographics and marketing posters, to business cards, eBooks and social media. If you want to flex your graphic designer muscles, this is the place to be.
There are plenty of project management software options out there but for small businesses that want to keep it simple, Trello is the pick of the bunch. The clear visuals and uncluttered structure of boards, lists and cards means it’s very user friendly.
It has a perfectly reasonable free version, but if you want to take advantage of its popular Power Ups, that integrate with Trello apps including Calendar, Card Repeater and Custom Fields, as well as third-party tools such as Google Drive or Jira, then you’ll need a subscription version.
One of the most important aspects of content marketing is researching what’s trending on social media. As I mentioned earlier, many small business owners or their overworked marketing departments don’t have the time to dig through the data. That’s where BuzzSumo comes in.
It not only highlights viral social media content, it allows you to analyse why they are trending so you can tailor your content to maximise what should be a ready-made, captive audience. As if that wasn’t enough to shout about, it also offers:
- Keyword research
- Topic-based social media feeds
- Content analysis
- Influencer searches
- Brand monitoring tools
Assuming you launch a multi-channel business marketing campaign and can keep all those plates spinning, how can you tell whether it’s actually generating results? Step up HubSpot, software that collates all your marketing in one place, allowing you to optimise the results and enhance your traffic and ROI.
It also offers free templates for landing pages, as well as features including live chat and user action events. HubSpot’s basic version is free and if you’re thinking of upgrading be warned: the full version comes with a hefty price tag.
Another key pillar of any small business is lead generation, but staying on top of sales and following up on prospects can be a challenge, to say the least. OnePageCRM has to be one of the niftiest customer relationship management tools available.
As well as automating the sales process, it can manage contacts, generate leads and streamline tasks to maximise opportunities, and is compatible with iOS and Android. Impressively, you can also connect your favourite business apps to OnePageCRM’s software. Although it’s a subscription service, it does offer a free trial.
A picture paints a thousand words, so they say but not everyone has the budget for big-name photo banks such as Getty Images. Luckily, Unsplash and Shutterstock are two of the best resources for royalty-free images.
Unsplash grants users the irrevocable, worldwide copyright licence to download, alter and distribute photos for free that have been uploaded by photographers who want to showcase their work to the widest audience.
Shutterstock has a vast library of royalty-free images and video. It offers a one-month free trial based on a 10 images-per-month annual subscription, costing from around £21.
So there you have it, the 11 business tools I can’t live without. If you’re wondering how to use any of them in your marketing strategy to their best advantage, drop me a line at www.agnesmarketing.co.uk/contact