With 87% of shoppers starting their product search online, it’s now essential for any business to up its digital marketing game. However, small business owners have to juggle many tasks to keep the business running—and marketing can fall by the wayside. That’s where tools come in.
Marketing tools help small business owners automate tasks, stay organized and measure progress. You can use tools for everything—from scheduling social media posts to collecting customer data. Hundreds of free or low-cost marketing tools are available to help you reach your target audience without breaking the bank. To stay ahead of the curve, check out this list of 20 marketing tools for small businesses in 2023.
Top Small Business Management Software
Digital marketing begins with task planning and organization. Business management software is an ideal solution as they often offer a suite of tools to help with everything from accounting and invoicing to CRM and project management.
Trello is a project management tool that you can use for everything from content marketing campaigns to product launches. It’s perfect for small businesses as it’s free to use and customize. The tool is all about improving productivity by visualizing your workflows, tasks, and projects.
Key benefits include:
- Simple three-tier system: boards, lists, cards
- Keep track of deadlines and progress
- Gives an overview of who is working on what
Trello has several built-in templates for business marketing tasks - as shown in the image below.
Slack is a messaging app that has become increasingly popular in recent years as it transforms communication between co-workers and teams. It helps to improve communication and collaboration within a sort of ecosystem. The app can be used on desktop or mobile and is free to use. Within Slack, you can organize channels to keep communications in designated spaces. For example, a channel for non-work topics, topic-based channels, and team-based channels.
Key benefits include:
- Real-time messaging
- Desktop and mobile app versions
- Integrates with other tools and apps
- Searchable history
Top Customer Relationship Management Software
Customer relationship management (CRM) software help you to manage all your customer data, interactions, and deals in one place. You can close business deals, automate repetitive tasks, and cultivate relationships with old and new customers. Top solutions we recommend.
Hubspot is a powerful CRM platform that offers a free version for small businesses with up to 1,000 contacts. The free version includes features such as contact management, live chat, and email marketing. With more than 1160+ integrations such as Google Ads, WordPress, and Gmail, Hubspot makes it easy to grow your business and for the entire company to work together.
- A complete view of your customers
- Automatic tasks and workflows
- In-depth reporting
- Integrations with popular apps and tools
Pipedrive is a sales CRM platform that helps small businesses map out each stage of the sales process. It’s simple to use and offers features such as a visual deal pipeline, email integration, activity tracking, and customizable reports. Their cheapest plan costs $14.90 per user per month if you choose the annual plan.
- A visual deal pipeline for an overview of the sales process
- Email integration
- Activity tracking
- Customizable reports to see what’s generating results
Email Marketing Software for Small Businesses
Given that email marketing has the highest ROI for small businesses choosing the right email marketing software for your needs is essential. Email marketing is a great way to nurture leads, build relationships, and increase sales.
MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing tools with a forever free plan that includes up to 500 contacts, and 2,500 sends per month. It’s easy to use with customizable templates, a drag-and-drop editor, and integrations with ecommerce platforms such as Shopify.
- Generous plan for new small businesses
- AI-assisted content suggestions
- Customer journey builders
- Detailed email marketing metrics
Sender is an email marketing tool that helps businesses keep in touch with customers. It offers a free plan with up to 2,500 subscribers and 15,000 emails per month. In addition, Sender boasts a drag-and-drop editor, customizable templates, and integrations with ecommerce platforms such as WooCommerce.
- Library of pro-designed email marketing templates
- Product Wizard to quickly add products to emails
- Responsive emails
Constant Contact is a complete digital marketing suite that offers email and text marketing. Your business can create stunning and effective emails with a drag-and-drop email editor and hundreds of pre-designed templates. Send and track emails - all in one place. If you’re looking to test the product before making a commitment, you can take advantage of their 60-day free trial with no required credit card.
- Automatic, targeted emails
- Subject line testing
Social Media Tools
According to a study by Bain, customers who engage with a business on social media spend up to 40% more money with them in the long run. Social media tools can be your saving grace when marketing your small business on a tight budget. These tools can help you save time, automate your posts, and track your social media marketing results.
Buffer is an intuitive social media management tool that helps small businesses save time and grow their audience organically on social media giants such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. The free plan includes one user, up to 3 channels, and ten posts per channel. In addition, buffer offers features such as multi-channel campaigns, posting schedule set-up, and integrations at a low monthly price.
- Scheduling posts in advance
- Analytics to track performance and results
- Suggested hashtags and machine learning insights
BuzzSumo is a content marketing platform that lets you see what content is performing well on social media. With content insights, your business can craft high-performing content and generate practical ideas. The platform even allows you to source influencers to help take your brand or campaign to the next level. The free plan includes one user and up to 10 searches a month.
- Data points for marketing strategy improvement
- Robust social search engine
- Competitor analysis
Digital Marketing Tools for Advertising
61% of marketers say their biggest challenges are generating traffic and leads. Digital marketing tools for small businesses tackle the issue by helping you to:
- Track your website traffic
- Understand your customer’s behavior
- Measure your marketing campaigns' effectiveness.
Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool that gives insights into how people find and use your website. Understanding your website traffic and activity will help you make informed decisions about your marketing campaigns.
There’s no more guessing with this tool - you can see which pages are being visited, how long they’re viewed, and spot trends to measure your actual return on investment (ROI). Make tracking your campaigns' return on ad spend (ROAS) a breeze with Semrush’s Google Analytics AdCost Import app.
- Advanced Segments for your market
- Track online traffic
- Custom data reports
Semrush App Center
From SEO to SMM, PPC, and PR, Semrush App Center has tools to help you grow your online visibility and reach your target audience. One of the most popular tools for ecommerce owners is the Keyword Manager for Amazon Tool, which allows you to research, analyze, and optimize your keywords for better ranking on Amazon. The Listing Quality Check tool is also helpful in improving your product listings.
- Free and paid apps for every type of advertising requirement
- Keyword research and analysis support
- Apps for everything from market research to campaign planning
SEO Tools for Small Businesses
SEO is all about tackling the right keywords and improving your website's ranking in search engine results pages.
To give you an idea of its importance, Advanced Web Ranking found that 71.33% of searches, on average, resulted in an organic click on page one of Google. Pages two and three get only 5.59% of the clicks. Solely on the first page, the first five results account for 67.60% of all the clicks. The results from 6 to 10 only got 3.73% clicks.
These SEO tools can help you with keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, and more.
Semrush is an online content marketing, visibility management and SaaS platform. It has over 55 tools that crawl your websites' links, images, CSS, script, and apps to collect data. It then organizes this information in different types of reports so you can see which areas of your website need improvement.
- Gathers onsite data so SEOs can make informed decisions
- Find broken links, audit redirects
- Analyze titles and meta data
- Identify duplicate content
Ever wanted to know absolutely everything about your website? Mouseflow is a behavior analytics tool that provides heatmaps and recordings of visitor clicks, taps, and scrolling behavior. This information helps you understand what visitors are doing on your website so you can make changes to improve the user experience. Mouseflow has both a free and paid version. The free plan includes up to 500 recording a month for one website.
- Analyze visitor behavior with visual insights
- Provides performance/conversion rates at a low price
- Insights into user experience with feedback
Content Marketing Tools
Content is still king when it comes to marketing. These tools can help you create, optimize, and promote your content like blogs, articles, and video marketing.
Google Docs is a free document editor that you can use to create, edit, and share documents online. Google Docs has many features that are similar to Microsoft Word, but it also has some unique features such as collaborative editing and real-time commenting.
- Pairs with Google Chrome extensions
- Accessible from any device
Airstory is a writing software that helps you easily organize and write your content. Using Kanban boards, users can organize notes, research, and data onto cards. Airstory has templates for different types of content, such as blog posts, ebooks, and landing pages. You can also collaborate with others on your team to get feedback on your work.
- Drag-and-drop document builder
- Keep a library of your research and notes
- Publish onto multiple platforms
WordPress is a popular content management system that helps you easily create and manage your website's content. Fun fact? WordPress powers over 43.2% of all websites on the internet. WordPress is free to use, but you need to pay for hosting and a domain name. There are many plugins and themes available for WordPress to help you customize your website and make it look professional.
- 100% customizable website design
- Built-in blogging platform
- Customizable with plugins and themes
Want to make sure your content is error-free? Grammarly is an AI-powered writing assistant that can help you with grammar, spelling, punctuation, and even plagiarism and readability. Simply install the Grammarly extension on your web browser and start writing or use the app to edit your documents. The extension will highlight any errors in your writing and provide suggestions for corrections.
- 400 types of checks and features
- Catches errors that you might miss
- Offers suggestions for improving your writing
Not a graphic designer but need visuals for your content? Canva is a user-friendly graphic design tool that’s great for creating visuals for social media, blogs, and more. With Canva, you can create designs from scratch or choose from pre-made templates. The drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to add text, photos, and other elements to your designs. You can also collaborate with others on your team to create joint designs.
- User-friendly interface - no skills necessary
- Pre-made templates
- Professional look-and-feel
Adobe Photoshop is an industry-standard program for creating visuals, such as graphics, photos, and infographics. With Photoshop, you can edit photos, create graphics from scratch, or design layouts for social media posts, blog headers, and more. While Photoshop can be used for complex designs, it also has options for users just starting with graphic design.
- Versatile file types
- Photoshop courses
- Full creative control
Business marketing tools are vital for any business to reach and engage its target market, whether large or small. Marketing tools small businesses use are no different from those that big conglomerate companies use – they just need to be used differently. Whether you want to automate your marketing tasks, measure your progress or stay organized, there is a tool for you. By using a combination of marketing platforms for small businesses, you can create a well-rounded strategy to help your business achieve its goals.
While the most popular tools change yearly, the essentials remain the same. Small businesses should build a strong foundation with these basics before expanding their toolkit.
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Marketing tools require strategies to give the best results. Our top 5 digital marketing strategies will help you accelerate your small business success.