15 Great Marketing Tools for Small Businesses
Small businesses are a vital part of the economy.
As a small business owner, you are involved in all business processes. Especially in your business’s starting phase, you are needed everywhere. This can easily result in sleepless nights thinking about everything that needs to be done. And as your business growth depends on you, you will also need to think about how to reach customers and create awareness around your brand. It’s not the easiest task, especially if you don’t have marketing training or experience, but it’s essential in order for your business to grow.
Thankfully, there are many marketing tools out there that can help you out. In this article, we’ll cover our top marketing tools for small businesses.
What is marketing?
We won’t bore you with long definitions, but it’s important to understand what marketing is before we jump into talking about marketing tools. Put simply, marketing is a set of activities a business pursues in order to promote its product or service. This includes many different techniques and channels. When we talk about marketing, we are talking about paid advertisement, content creation, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media, e-mail, and influencer marketing.
There are different marketing tools for small businesses that can help with each of the above components. Finding the best way to promote your product or service happens through in-depth market research. More specifically, this includes analysis of data such as consumer behavior so that you can understand your target audience and their needs, pain points, and goals. Marketing is a process that involves constant research and analysis.
This is important, because otherwise, you would just assume things about your customers. Don’t worry, we will share some marketing tools that help you with analysis too.
Why is marketing important?
Marketing should be a core element of your business plan. It’s that important. Before talking about great marketing tools for small businesses, let’s have a look at why every business needs to consider marketing in their strategy.
In short, marketing is important because it creates awareness, increases sales, engages the customer and ultimately helps you to grow your business.
There are billions of small businesses all over the world, and the number keeps growing. This means increased competition. Alongside small businesses, there are bigger companies that are also looking to gain more customers. How can you make people aware of your business amongst so many others with similar products or services?
Just having the best product or service is not enough anymore. You have to show people that you exist and furthermore attract them to come and buy from you. How do you do that? By creating awareness around your business in the digital space. The digital space offers a huge opportunity and advantage over traditional advertising: it is cheaper and more effective. It’s important to be online because it’s the first place people go to search for something they intend to buy.
In fact, research conducted by Google shows that 63% of purchases begin online. By having an online presence, you are actively working towards meeting your customer, whether you have a stationary business or an online business. There are many great, free marketing tools for small businesses that help you develop an online presence and create customer awareness. Informing your customers online is key, not only for awareness, but also in order to establish credibility around your business. Having a website with important information about your business, product, and services makes you more authentic and transparent.
Setting up your online presence
If you are aware of the importance of digital marketing for your business, you’re on the right path. If you already have an online presence, skip to the next section for great marketing tools for small businesses. If you haven’t built an online presence yet, please create one. The first step is making a website. As we mentioned before, you need a website where potential customers can access information.
The second important step is to choose your social media platforms and create your profiles. Social media can quickly become very time-consuming. This is why you should pick the platforms your potential customers use most. This links back to the importance of research and analysis while creating a marketing strategy.
Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world and it is necessary if you want to place paid advertisements on social media. Creating your Business Page on Facebook is a good start.
Marketing tools for small businesses
As we said before, many different techniques can be used in marketing. You should consider which techniques you will use based on the resources you have, your product or service, your niche, and the market. If you want to understand the fundamentals of a marketing strategy better, have a look at the article we wrote, as we won’t be going in-depth into it in this article.
A marketing tool can be everything from a specific technique, like surveys, to digital channels, like social media, to specific software that helps you simplify certain processes in marketing.
As a small business owner, you already have so many responsibilities. You also probably work with limited resources, like time, money, and employees. Therefore it’s important to use marketing tools that will be great allies in making your business grow.
We will be introducing some marketing tools for small businesses which we find helpful. They belong to different categories and although all of them will be useful for you, start out by choosing just a few that best match your strategy.
Marketing tools can be divided into the following categories:
1. Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are both amazing tools to work with. They give you important insight about digital performance. Google Analytics gives you data on the users who access your website. Google Search Console helps you improve your website to make it rank better in the google search results. Both tools are free and you can easily connect them with your website.
Moosend is a program for e-mail marketing that can help you with mailing lists, newsletters, and e-mail campaigns. They have newsletter templates you can use for different purposes. Moosend has a free plan with which you can send unlimited emails to a list of up to 1000 subscribers. You also get different support options with the free plan. In the long run, you will probably need to get a subscription since the list is limited to 1000 contacts, but as a marketing tool for small businesses starting out, the free plan is enough. There are some other alternatives that allow a bigger list, but limit the number of email campaigns you can send.
Other similar email marketing tools are:
If you don’t know Canva by now, you should. It’s widely popular for creating graphics for social media and other platforms. You have a number of templates to choose from depending on the platform and occasion. The good thing about Canva is that the templates are already in the right dimensions for each type of post, so you don’t risk creating a graphic out of the allowed dimensions. This makes it a great free marketing tool for small businesses. It also has a variety of stock images.
Other similar tools are:
Nanos is a great marketing tool for small businesses with a B2C focus. It allows you to create and run digital advertising campaigns across multiple channels from one single place while optimizing the campaign daily. With an increasing number of competitors, it is not easy to achieve the necessary awareness online to sell your product or service. This is why you have to integrate digital advertising into your marketing campaign at some point.
Unfortunately, running a campaign with Facebook Ads or Google Ads requires some technical understanding and skills in order to optimize your campaign, since optimization is key to its success. But, placing an ad with Nanos is fairly easy and has so many benefits. It is the ideal marketing tool if you want to grow your business but don’t have the knowledge or resources to create an effective campaign with Facebook or Google.
Nanos is the best Facebook Ads alternative for your business since it works with AI to optimize your ad in real-time. As it is an advertising tool, it does not have a free plan. It is a pay-as-you-go digital advertising tool, which means you can choose the amount you invest in your campaign.
5. Survey Monkey
Developing a good marketing strategy requires in depth understanding of the market, your niche, and your customers. But how can you get this information? Often, creating a simple survey is an effective way to get information about your customers, their needs, and their interests. It’s also a good way to receive feedback and testimonials from them. This makes Survey Monkey a good marketing tool for small businesses.
6. Talkwalker Alerts
How do you stay updated on important topics without having to search the world wide web? Have a tool do it for you. Talkwalker functions the same way as Google Alerts. You can create a notification for certain topics/keywords and determine how often you want to be notified about them. It’s nothing more and nothing less than a web monitoring tool. It’s an amazing marketing tool for small businesses, as it saves you time and keeps you informed about the things relevant to your business.
Other similar tools are:
- Google Alerts
If managing a small business is overwhelming, managing the marketing of a small business feels even more daunting. Luckily, a tool exists to make social media marketing easier to swallow. Feedly is a service that filters out the information you don’t want to see and prioritizes information you do want to see on social sites. As mentioned before, not spreading your energy too thin on too large of an audience is important. This tool will help to avoid that by assisting you in interacting with more specific content and accounts.
Feedly offers a free plan that allows you to follow up to 100 sources and organize them into 3 feeds. If you want more, pricing starts at just $6.00 per month.
Hootsuite is a social media scheduling tool. It is definitely not the only scheduling tool out there, but this one offers a free version that will help you manage your content for social media. With the free plan, you can schedule up to 30 days of content on 3 social media platforms.
If you want access to analytics and other data, you will have to pay for a subscription. But if you are just starting out and planning to focus on your social media marketing, it is a helpful marketing tool.
Other similar social media scheduling tools are:
Trello is a tool for organizing projects and tasks. If you work in a team and need to keep the workflow coordinated, Trello is a great option for you. It is a digital board where you can place sticky notes and indicate what is being worked on by whom and what is already finished. It’s a free marketing tool that is especially helpful when you have a project with many smaller steps to keep track of.
It can also be a great way to organize your content if you work with content creation. Let your team know what the upcoming topics are and who needs to do the text, the images, the proofreading, and more.
Other similar tools are:
You will need to create content for your website, newsletters, social media, e-mails, and more to support whichever strategy you created based on your marketing mix. For this reason, it is extremely important to make sure your content is written correctly. A company text ridden with mistakes looks sloppy and negatively affects your credibility. Make sure you always have someone proofread your articles, no matter how well you write. If you don’t have someone else to look over it, make sure to use Grammarly. It has a free version and you can even use it as a desktop app.
Ubersuggest is a marketing tool for those working with content and SEO. It helps you to find relevant keywords to optimize your website and create new content. It also allows you to have a look at your competitors and what keywords they use, as well as the most common questions asked around a certain keyword. It also has an option called “Content Ideas” that will help you find your next great topic.
With the free version, you can do 3 searches a day.
Other similar tools are:
KeywordTool a similar tool to Ubersuggest, but has an integrated extension for your browser. With it, you can see how certain keywords perform and what related searches people are doing while you’re searching on Google. You get a lot of information with the free version, making this tool an important marketing tool for small businesses, or in fact for anyone working with content and SEO.
Slack is an instant messaging tool that lets you centralize all communication with your team, organize information by topic, and connect a variety of external applications. It is a great marketing tool, especially when you are working remotely.
Mention is a sort of catch-all for social media management. This tool allows you to monitor activity within your social pages and across the worldwide web. It also serves as a post scheduling tool. Mention offers a limited free plan with which you can connect 3 social media accounts. If you have more than 3 accounts, you’ll need to switch to one of the paid plans, starting from $29/month.
FollowerWonk is an extremely helpful tool for analytics. It allows you to dive into details about your audience and their tastes on social media. You can see commonalities between your followers, which style of post garners the most interaction, and make changes based on that information right within the site. FollowerWonk is free to use, with some limitations to the tools available, but you can pay more to see more data. You can pay as little as $23 per month, or go ahead and spend $79 per month for the work.
Ready to make your business prosper? Launch your first campaign with Nanos!