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14 Digital Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

14 Digital Marketing Tools For Small Businesses

What are digital marketing tools?

Digital marketing tools are resources that use online or offline components like software, applications, and platforms to develop strategies for promoting products and services.

Companies and individuals can take advantage of these and build strategies to reach their objective audiences using marketing tools to attract customers.

Main categories of digital marketing tools are email marketing, websites and landing page creators, content creation (articles, podcasts, and videos) , analytical and search engine, social media. optimization tools, paid ads, interactive marketing tools, design tools (banners, images, infographics), ecommerce platforms (for online stores)

If you have a web-based business, an online store, a physical store or service business looking to grow sales through online presence you will need some digital marketing tools to plan and manage your strategy.

Here we’ve compiled the more important and best brand digital marketing tools for small business, so let’s take a look:

1-Google Analytics

Almost all your digital marketing efforts will be tracked by Google Analytics (GA). This is a platform that processes your website traffic to deliver powerful insights and statistics about how your website is performing.

GA is the market leader in analytics, and can integrate non-Google traffic source data, such as Yahoo, Bing, and Facebook.

GA tracks everything about traffic origin (organic, paid search, referral, social media), geos (that is where you got your traffic from including countries and cities) and user data (gender, age, and interests).

For this to work, you must insert some lines of code into your site. When a visitor comes to your page the code records this action, along with data such as gender, geo, and interests. Once the user exits your site the script sends this information to Google Analytics servers for processing.

The quantity of info that GA gathers may be overwhelming, but to understand  consumer behavior it is a must to understand Google Analytics. And don’t worry, there are lots of tutorial out there.

Google Analytics Pricing: Free.

 

2-Buzzsumo

Within this platform is simple to find what content perform best and what content doesn’t engage your audience. This makes creating content a simple task because there is no need to go after complicated metrics to find your next topic.

Buzzsumo has four key features:

Discovery: to explore high performing content to get more like and shares.

Research: Analyze data points to sharpen your marketing strategies.

Influencers: Identify influential people to power up your brand or marketing campaign.

Monitoring: Track comments and trends so you can respond quickly and capture opportunities

All these modules give detailed and simple to read info about competitors, backlinks, geos, and keywords that help to build your content strategy.

Buzzsumo Pricing: Starting at $99/month.

 

3-Hotjar

hotjar marketing

Hotjar is an excellent solution to understand user’s behavior on your website. Unlike other analytical tools that show lots of numerical data, this resource provides a graphical map (heatmaps) to understand what areas of the website have been visited and where the visitors have clicked on.

Another feature of this software is recording. You can playback user sessions to see how the visitor scrolled the page, how much time he spent and where he clicked on.

You can even collect visitor’s feedback about your site with friendly and non-intrusive po ups and short surveys.

So, if visitors are coming to your website but you are not getting clicks, Hotjar is a must-have. Setting it up is an automated process through Google Tag Manager which takes only a minute.

Hotjar Pricing: Free plan up to 2,000 pageviews/day, then $39/month up to 10,000 visits/day.

 

 

4-Google Search Console

google search console

Google Search Console is a service to check, maintain and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google search results.

With this tool you can monitor if your site is indexed, fix spam, check your mobile site performance and  know your referring domains (who is linking to your page)

Search Console is the starting point of any digital marketing strategy, because will help to fine tune your site according to Google´s rules. And that is the first step to appear in search results and get visitors to your site.

Google doesn’t crawl your site every day, and if you have just added some new content you can send them a request via Search Console so your updated content is ready to be seen on search results.

This platform keeps track of how many impressions your pages have in a certain time frame (how many times were shown) according to search results, and how many clicks you got.

Google Search Console Pricing: Free.

 

5-Outgrow

outgrow marketing

Outgrow is an interactive marketing tool that focuses on customer engagement through quizzes, giveaways, polls, forms, surveys and chatbots.

There’s plenty of evidence about how interactive marketing helps to increase customer engagement. Building these types of assets improves user’s experience and boosts relationship  adding real value to the customer.

This software takes marketing to the next level, providing SEO and analytic data for full customer insights. All the platform works with a visual drag-and-drop editor and there is no need of technical knowledge to build any type of content.

When your survey or quiz is ready, you can publish it on your website simply embedding it or also get a link to make an email marketing campaign.

Outgrow Pricing: From $14/month with limited functions, then paid plans up to $95/month.

 

6-Crowdfire

crowdfire

Crowdfire is a social media management tool to discover and schedule content, acting as a hub to manage all your social accounts from one place.

You can determine your topics of interest and this app delivers relevant articles and images, so you do not have to search for them, saving a lot of time. This curated content can be set from blogs, articles, YouTube, Twitch, Vimeo, Shopify and Etsy shops.

With Crowdfire it’s easy to schedule and publish content on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.  All posts are tailored for each social network with preview before posting. A powerful feature is that it can recommend best time to publish content ( based on trending topics rank for example)

In higher plans you get analytics with competitor analysis and key metrics data.

Crowdfire Pricing: Free plan with basic capabilities and plans starting at $7.48 /month.

 

7-Google Ads

google ads marketing

Google Ads is the major online advertising platform for paid ads worldwide. Here the advertisers bid to display ads of their products and services. Depending on this bid the announcement ranks in the search page to be displayed.

Google Ads performance is outstanding; you can segment your audience by country, age, gender, interests and also  by type of device (mobile, PC or tablet).

Based on your product or service offer, you must choose keywords that will fire the ad depending on what the customer searches. Then if the viewer clicks on the ad, he/she will be redirected to the page you set on your website and Google then charges your account.

Results coming from paid ads are almost immediate, and only 24 hours after setting up your campaign the visits to your website will begin to increase. Of course, this traffic will depend on your budget, the quality of the chosen keywords and the overall campaign setting but is for sure the quickest way to get visitors to your website.

Google Ads Pricing: Depending on your budget.

 

8-Microsoft Advertising

microsoft ads

Microsoft Advertising is an ad platform (like Google Ads) but with a narrower audience. This means that 66 million of US customers use Bing on an exclusive basis.

Also, Bing power searches and results from Alexa, Cortana, Yahoo, AOL, ClassifiedAds.com and DuckDuckGo with this resulting in a 20% US market share.

That said, Microsoft Ads functionality is like Google Ads and in some cases CPC (cost per click) may be lower.

Many people use both search engines, and in markets that require a longer research to purchase like travel, real estate and automotive Microsoft is a strong player. Since its audience is somehow a little older, in the healthcare industry takes 50% of all paid clicks.

Microsoft Advertising Pricing: Depending on your budget.

 

 

9-Ahrefs:

ahrefs

If you need to check keywords for SEO positioning, plan your content strategy and look at your competitor’s situation, Ahrefs is the right tool.

With more than 5 billion pages crawled, Ahrefs provides a clear and understandable view of the keyword panorama. This includes competitor analysis and site audits, so you can take the necessary actions to grow your online ranks.

Ahrefs includes Google, Bing, Amazon, YouTube keyword tools, SERP checker and content explorer. All this information is provided in detailed reports about keywords ranking, backlinks and search results.

Beginning with this tool is not easy, although their website has plenty of tutorials and training, and if you are new to SEO and website positioning don’t expect to have a soft learning curve. With some practice you will be learning the ropes and starting to have a clear spot of your actual situation.

Ahrefs Pricing: $7 for a 7-day trial and then $99/month.

 

10-Google keyword planner

google keyword planner

Google’s Keyword Planner is a proprietary tool to find the keywords you need to start ranking for. It is included in Google Ads platform and can be used to find keywords volume and competition.

Keyword planner helps to find relevant keywords for your business and shows an estimate of keyword’s search volume. It’s easy to make a project projects (which later may turn into paid campaigns) setting up keywords and budgets.

Although this tool is easy to use, you must have a Google Ads account (free) with a credit card set as a payment method.

Contrary to what you may think, Google Keyword Planner won’t give you all the detailed data they have. But is a good and free starting point for your SEO an PPC (paid campaigns) projects.

Google Keyword Planner Pricing: Free.

 

11-Grammarly

grammarly

Grammarly is a must if your business requires content creation on a regular basis.

This tool will track your writing and suggest better grammatical and spelling forms to make your text clearer and easy to read. This is done checking your writing against more than 200 grammar rules using AI.

You can use Grammarly from the app or with a browser extension to check for readability score, spell checking, grammar checking, writing style, punctuation, and plagiarism.

This program allows to set goals before writing; Intent (Inform, describe, convince, tell a story), audience (general, knowledgeable, expert) style (formal, informal), emotion (mid, strong),

If you are not a professional writer Grammarly will improve your writing and your articles will look polished and clear. You will find some incongruencies from time to time when the suggestion tool works, but nothing that you cannot live with.

Grammarly Pricing: Free for basic functionality, then starting at $11/month.

 

12-Snappa

snappa marketing

Snappa is an online tool for building professional-looking graphics. These include logos, banners, infographics, social media ads and covers, social media posts, eBook’s covers, and custom templates.

 

Snappa has a drag-and-drop editor and building a catching-eye looking design is easy. The learning curve is smooth, and you’ll be making good designs in a few minutes.

To begin you must select a pre-sized design depending on the type of image (Twitter header, Facebook post, blog post image, LinkedIn ad, etc.) Then you choose a premade template which is fully customizable with typos, photos, backgrounds, and patterns.

There are 3,000,000+ high resolution royalty-free images and 100,000+ graphics to choose from. This saves a lot of time because you don’t have to dig here and there looking for free images.

But if you don’t find what you are looking for inside their library, there is the possibility to upload graphics, photos and even fonts.

Snappa Pricing: Free up to 3 downloads per month, then $10/month for unlimited downloads.

 

13-GetResponse

get response marketing

GetResponse is a top platform for email marketing, landing page creation and digital marketing automation.

This software also includes webinar marketing, email autoresponder, social media marketing, CRM, lead generation and e-commerce features

GetResponse is a simple but powerful suite to build an email list, with the possibility to create detailed segment lists with tags and labels to manage your leads. Their email creation tool has hundreds of built in templates that you can customize to your liking.

You can set up automated email flows according to clicking links, previous opened emails, and website pages visited. This is interesting since users receive messages according to their behavior and not in a bulk fashion.

This platform also includes a drag-and-drop landing page builder with built-in templates. You can get their own subdomain hosting for free or use your own domain.

GetResponse Pricing: Starting at $10.50/month for the basic plan.

 

14-Shopify

shopify

If you need to sell online with an e-commerce website, Shopify provides a powerful platform to maintain large amounts of products, categories, and everything you need in a full-featured online store.

This software manages unlimited products, coupons, discounts and gift cards, payments, shipping, social selling (Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Messenger, Buy Buttons) Shopify has  almost everything to build and grow a professional ecommerce website.

To run this platform, you don’t need technical background, and the whole interface is easy to navigate. Hosting is also included in every plan and this cuts off the need of any external app or service to run your online store. Unless other similar software, their customer service is available 24/7

Shopify Pricing: Starting at $29/month.

Conclusion

These online marketing tools will help a lot to plan and work your marketing strategy. Most of them have free trials available, and it’s a good idea to try and work with them to see which is the best choice for your business.

 

 

 

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4 Graphic Tools for Social Media

4 Graphic Tools for Social Media

In this post we will discuss 4 graphic tools for social media

If you are into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or any social network  pulling ahead to build and keep a fluid  relationship with your audience, to stand out from an overpopulated feed may be difficult.

But a good banner is a good starting point to catch your followers’ eye, and in this post we will talk about 4 graphics tools for social media that can help for a good graphic design and do not require any kind of previous design knowledge.

With this software you do not depend on a freelancer or external person because - once you get the feel - you will spend only 5 minutes building a wonderful image.

Of course, these are not intended to replace a professional designer, but they are handy for daily posts and graphics.

All are also suitable for other formats too (eBooks covers, blog posts, twitch banners, etc.) and some provide infographic templates as well.

Snappa:

Snappa focuses on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitch, YouTube and Soundcloud, blog images, eBook covers, custom templates, and infographics.

All templates available in this graphic tool are pre-made with the right resolution, and this is a big time saving advantage because once the template is selected, you know that it will be saved with the correct sizing and there is no further need for any post processing.

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Using Snappa is easy and you will be creating a fancy image after a few minutes, but in case you need there are tutorial videos to help.

This app works well with background images and text overlays and is way simpler than Adobe family of products.

The software is intuitive, and things are where you look for them. It offers a cloud-based platform including 3,000,000+ hi res royalty free photos and 100,000+ graphics to choose from, but you can upload your own images and make your custom template starting from scratch.

There is a huge number of fonts to choose, but in case you do not find the right one or your branding uses a special one, you can upload your own.

Available shapes are somehow limited and do not allow for coloring.

The interface uses a drag-and-drop menu and here what you see is what you get. The learning curve is really smooth and once you are ready with your design it can be saved and/or downloaded.

Snappa allows posting directly on Facebook and Twitter, useful for those posting a lot on a regular basis.

Snappa Pricing:

Snappa offers up to three downloads free per month with no watermark and the whole set of images and templates are available (this is an interesting difference from other similar apps), then you must spend $10 per month for unlimited graphics.

 

Canva:

Canva is perhaps the most used design platform for custom graphics.

With this software you can create social media design, banners, posters, presentations, book covers, business cards, resumes and more.

Templates are organized in lots of categories: marketing, education, Facebook posts, Facebook  presentations, and many more.

A key point of Canva is that the free plan has lots of options, and this satisfies the needs of many casual users.

Canva has 8,000+ templates, 100+ design and thousands of free photos. As with many other apps, once you register there is a left sided dashboard where to choose images, forms, texts and more in a drop and drag style.

Once you choose a template, insert your texts and graphics in a simple manner. As many other apps in this segment, you can upload your own images to work with.

But as some templates and shapes are not free, you must navigate to the one you choose and check its availability for free members, and this is not straightforward at all.

Templates are pre-formatted to the right resolution, but for an unknown reason this data is not available on the screen. And keep in mind that without a paid subscription you cannot resize your design, so better check it twice before starting although in most cases a posterior external image processing can do the trick.

Some features are not for beginners, although this graphic tool offers several tutorials for a better understanding for paid and free members. This is somehow compensated by the huge number of graphical items, and almost endless possibilities.

There are plenty of integrations available and you can post right on your social media platform from Canva.

Canva offers a bunch of premium features that make this app unique.

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You can turn designs into GIFs and videos, upload your own fonts, resizing, a brand kit (where all of your designs, logos and fonts are available for easy access) and the ability to save designs in PNG format.

This software is in a permanent evolution and is continuously adding more and more features, but the amount of options may turn it clunky sometimes.

Canva Pricing:

Canva has a free plan, and the paid plan starts at $9.95/mo. billed yearly.

 

 

Adobe Creative Cloud Express:

Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Formerly Adobe Spark) makes it easy to create social media graphics, videos and single-page websites. Since it comes with web and mobile version makes a difference from other similar software.

Adobe shows a fresh approach here with a beginners friendly product that offers a smooth learning curve that stands out from what we are used to know from this company; top level products like InDesign and Photoshop aimed at professional users and with tons of high-end features.

adobe-spark-pic

This product has three main sections:

Adobe Creative Post:

This allows to create beautiful designs for social media, blog post images, banners, brochures and more.

There are hundreds of high-quality free photos to choose and you can upload your own.

Adobe Creative Video:

A tool to create videos for Facebook Ads, promo videos, sales videos and more. Pick up a provided template or start from scratch with your own, add a voice over and text.

Since Adobe provides its own hosting, you can share videos directly from the app ( or download in case you need them)

A downside of videos is the resolution limited to 720 px, and on some screens and devices this may not be the best option. Also, video length is limited to 30 seconds, although this may suffice for most needs.

Adobe Creative Page:

This graphic tool allows to create a single page site with beautiful design, with a mix of photos, videos, and animations. Web pages are responsive, which means they do not lose functionality when viewed on mobile devices.

There are thousands of photos to choose, and Spark also integrates with Google Photos, Dropbox, and Adobe Creative Cloud.

Hosting is free and included into this product, but please note that you cannot use your own domain and only get a link to share your page with an Adobe proprietary domain url.

Although you can embed this webpage in another website, this functionality is quite limited and not intended to replace a full website builder.

Adobe Creative Pricing:

Adobe offers three plans, free and two paid options. In the free plan there is a fixed Adobe watermark added to your content, which may be removed when you upgrade to a paid plan and paid plans start at $9.79/mo.

Stencil:

This is a web-based tool intended to create social media and graphic images for absolute beginners with a focus on speed and simplicity. This easy and intuitive tool also offers a chrome browser extension for better integration.

stencil-pic

Here you can find 1,000,000+ images and 1,000,000+ icons and illustrations royalty free. This is a valuable feature since you need not look for photos, images or icons outside the platform which is a time-consuming task and even frustrating sometimes.

Stencil also includes over 600 templates and thousands of Google fonts, although you can upload your own.

This tool works on a drag-and-drop basis like many others in this segment and provides a clear interface because is not intended to be a full featured design suite but a social media quick and efficient image creator.

A unique recently added feature is “Quotes” where you can search 100,000+ quotes to add some emotional touch to your social media.

Stencil Pricing:

Stencil offers a free plan and two paid plans. To begin with, the free plan allows the user to save up to 10 images per month and is limited in photos and icons availability but is a good starting point to test this software.

In the free plan a lock icon appears on the right down corner when you chose an unavailable icon in the free plan, this is annoying if you have just finished your design and are prompted to upgrade or delete it.

The Pro plan is $9/mo. and top plan is $12/mo.

Conclusion:

If you need an online tool for designing all kinds of graphics these listed here are the most popular, all of them have plenty of options, but keep in mind that there are many others apps out there.

After testing all of them, we choose Snappa for its simplicity and fast loading times. But all of these are good, go ahead and try for yourself.

 






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