As a small business owner, it can be easy to be quickly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of online marketing tools out there, especially if you don’t consider yourself to be tech savvy. Some of them incur monthly costs, so you need to make sure you’ll be getting value for money and not causing extra work for yourself.
I’ve scoured the web for some of the top tools worth familiarising yourself with. We use many of these in-house at Business Blueprint to make our marketing as efficient and ‘smart’ as possible.
Take a look:
What it’s for: Researching popular online content
Are you wondering what topics are resonating with your audience? Enter BuzzSumo.
This online marketing tool allows you to enter a keyword or two and see what content on the web has had the most shares over the past day, week or month. For example, if you type in ‘interior design’, you’ll see that ‘8 Awesome Interior Designs That Look Awesome in any Home’ had close to 2,000 facebook shares.
You can use BuzzSumo for inspiration for content marketing or as a quick way to keep an eye on what the competition are posting online.
What it’s for: Email alerts when your business is mentioned on social media
Get daily or weekly notifications whenever someone mentions your business on social media, allowing you to keep track of your online reputation.
Mention is very simple to set up and saves you from having to log in to all your different accounts to see what is being said about you online.
What it’s for: Creating graphics for print and social marketing
Canva is a cross between a graphic design studio, Photoshop and an image subscription service. It gives you templates and a simple click and drag functionality to create flyers, presentations, blog graphics, business cards and more.
Choose from thousands of fonts and a huge number of free stock images. The images that cost money are only $1 – well within budget!
What it’s for: Quickly visualising your target audience
One of the fundamentals of marketing is defining your user personas. This recently launched tool offers a lean framework for quickly creating the profiles of your key users. Person lets you choose a basic avatar and add behaviours and demographic information. You can then plug in the user’s needs and goals and share, export to PDF or print out, ready to take to your next brainstorming session.
This app seems very simple and it is. But it is very helpful in reminding you of the elements of your user personas that you need to add and also for storing them in one location and sharing them quickly with your colleagues.
What it’s for: Creating quick surveys for your customers
Can you believe that there are over 90 million surveys created with Survey Monkey every month?
Join the crowd and create free, customisable surveys to send to your clients. Included in your results are data analysis, bias elimination and sample selections. Survey Monkey is free for smaller surveys and then costs go up depending on how many of your customers you are reaching out to.
What it’s for: Creating and tracking email campaigns (and more)
This is mother ship of online marketing tools. Reviews describes Ontraport as being worth ‘double, or triple the investment’ and a ‘great tool for enabling business growth’. This all-in-one business and marketing platform lets you schedule and send emails to specific groups with personalisation and A/B testing. You can create rules, see who is clicking and also use Ontraport as your one-stop CRM. Email templates are fully responsive to look good on mobile and you can even use it to send SMS to clients.
If you’re shying away from using online marketing tools because you have found them overwhelming, confusing and frustrating in the past – take heart.
Nowadays the most popular tools are the ones that are the easiest to use. All these apps are submitted to strenuous user testing so that they are as simple as possible for even the least tech savvy people out there. Plus, many of the companies make a point of having customer service on hand to help you if you get stuck.
Most tools offer obligation free trials – so you have nothing to lose … and a lot to gain!
What online marketing tools do you use? Tell us below in the comments section.