The 6 Must-Have Digital Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

The 6 Must-Have Digital Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

Small businesses owners usually have a lot to do, especially as they are trying to get their businesses off the ground. To get noticed by potential customers and carve out some market share, small businesses have to get themselves known, and this is done through marketing. Because of how involved marketing is, marketing teams rely on specific tools to achieve their goals. There is no shortage of marketing tools and, below, we are going to look at the best tools small businesses should be using in the digital realm.

Email Marketing and Automation Tools

Email marketing has consistently shown to have the highest ROI among all marketing tools. 

Marketers can see a 30-40x return on every dollar spent on digital marketing if done right. 

Email marketing tools give businesses the tools they need to create highly-engaging email campaigns, segmentation tools for better customer targeting analytics and insights to gauge performance, testing before emails are sent out and automation tools to send different types of emails depending on customer actions. 

For example, automated emails can be sent when a customer abandons a cart or does not visit an online store for some time.

These types of “trigger” emails are a great way for business owners to keep customers engaged and keep them coming back for more.

But the best email marketing tools aren’t just about sending emails — they also help you track the performance of your campaigns and improve your customer journeys.

Tracking important metrics like email open and click-through rates (CTRs) lets marketers know what kind of content is working.

When calculating the CTR, businesses are effectively gauging the level of engagement with a particular piece of content. This gives them the ability to tweak their strategies, improve customer engagement and ultimately increase revenue.

As mentioned above, list segmentation is another powerful tool in the email marketing toolkit that allows businesses to improve customer engagement and increase revenues.

With list segmentation, businesses can divide lists into different segments based on things like demographics, interests, buying behaviour, and more.

By doing so, they can better target the right audiences with the right messages.

For example, if your business is selling home decor products online you might use a segmentation strategy that targets women between the ages of 30 and 45 who live in areas that are considered “urban”.

You can then send them emails that talk about your latest home decor trends, tips for home staging, or show how to style a specific room.

A/B testing is another great way to boost the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

It involves sending two or more versions of an email or other marketing message to a group of people, and then measuring which version performs better. 

This allows companies to identify which version generates the most opens and clicks and gives them valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t.

With all of these features, email marketing tools provide businesses with the means to automate and streamline a whole host of their marketing processes.

Social Media Marketing Tools

Social media has evolved to become one of the most important marketing channels for businesses today. Businesses that ignore social media are bound to see little success in their digital marketing campaigns. While social media can be invaluable in helping create connections and build customer and business relationships, it can also be used to find out what customers want as well as sell directly to them.

The main challenge with social media marketing is that there is so much to do and so many social media channels to focus on that some aspects of your marketing strategy can start to be overlooked. To avoid this, as well as the burnout that comes with trying to do everything yourself, you should use social media marketing tools.

There are different tools that do different things and give you different levels of control. For example, there are lots of scheduling tools that let you send updates and posts at the perfect time. Some also have analytics and insights so you can see what posts are performing well and which are not. These tools also give you workflows that make scheduling, meeting deadlines and coming up with content concepts easier.

There are also listening tools that help you understand your target audience better. These tools are great for laser-targeted, long-term campaigns as they allow you to target specific customer personas, leading to better campaign outcomes.

Image Design Software

Many digital campaigns that include some aspects of content marketing will often focus on creating textual content. While textual content can be great for SEO and discoverability, it does little to grab attention by itself. This is why all contextual content should be accompanied by attention-grabbing graphics. Crisp, clear, attention-grabbing images can make a huge difference and having the right image design tools can help make the process of creating these graphics easier.

Here, you can always go with the tried-and-tested Photoshop or choose online tools to create the graphics. Many of these online graphics tools have templates to help you get started, with the templates being the correct size for different platforms such as websites and social media sites. You can also use these tools to create accompanying graphics such as fliers, infographics and e-book covers for your marketing materials.

A Well-designed Website

While many might not consider a website a digital marketing tool, it should be an integral part of your marketing strategy. Your business’s website is the primary channel that people use to learn about your business and your webshop is the primary way people can make online purchases through your store. All inbound marketing strategies, from search engines, apps, and guest articles to social media, should be geared towards pointing potential customers and audiences to your website or webshop.

An optimised, well-designed website can speak volumes about your brand and hinder or facilitate online purchases. This is why it is so important to put enough thought into your website and webshop design. Your webshop design is not all about sleek designs and effects as it should also be about providing a superior user experience and a seamless shopping experience that leads to the final checkout process. It should facilitate the last step in your marketing journey and that is turning potential customers into paying customers.

Because of how important your webshop is, a lot of thought has to be put into its design. Fortunately, many resources like this guide to webshop design are available to help you out. It outlines how your webshop should be designed as well as everything it needs to be successful. The linked webshop design guide was put together by Apviz, a company that provides 3D product configuration software to help you showcase your products better for increased sales. Their 3D configurator can be used on all product pages to create stunning 3D product images and unlimited product configurations.

SEO Tools

SEO is another accompaniment to digital marketing as it can be a great indicator of how some strategies, such as content marketing, are working. Companies are always looking for ways to increase their search presence and they want to know that their strategies are working. For small businesses, there are lots of SEO tools to help you discover content gaps, marketing opportunities, search opportunities, and to help optimise your SEO.

The first tools to focus on are all-around brainstorming tools. These include tools like Ahrefs that help you see the top-ranking keywords for your URLs as well as those of your competitors, see how much traffic your competitor is receiving or even identify top-performing content and existing content gaps you can take advantage of.

Another type of SEO tool is tools that let you discover keyword opportunities. Keyword research is important when creating content for your website, other websites or social media. These keyword discovery tools are great when writing new content or when you would like to refresh old content.

Landing Page and Lead Capture Tools

Research shows that our collective attention spans are shrinking and this is a challenge for businesses that want to turn visitors into customers. To ensure traffic does not go to waste, businesses should use landing pages and lead capture tools. Landing pages are essentially larger lead capture tools with a lot more detail than other tools businesses can use. Lead pages are great for collecting leads and converting visitors.

Visitor bounce rates are devastating for businesses as visitors can leave without benefiting a business in any way. To prevent this, businesses can use popups and exit-intent strategies on their websites to collect leads. One thing that businesses have to be careful about when using popups and exit-intent messages is to use tools that are not too disruptive and annoying. Businesses should ensure lead capture tools do not pull a visitor’s focus from doing the intended action on the page they are on. This would defeat the purpose of using these tools in the first place.

With how complicated digital marketing has become, businesses cannot do everything by hand. Businesses should rely on different tools to help them create better content, capture visitor attention or even send out relevant and timely emails.