Small businesses often struggle to find tools they can afford, that still meet their needs. This article describes three of the best digital marketing tools for small businesses to use. These tools help automate your marketing processes, and make the most of your precious resources like time, energy, and money. Without further ado, here are three of the best digital marketing tools for small businesses.
Social Media Content Planner & Posting Tools
Social media is by far one of the best tools for small businesses because it is free and can be extremely powerful. However, to be successful in social media, it’s necessary to invest a lot of time and energy into creating relevant and useful content. Not to mention gaining your followers. Don’t fear! There are tools that can help take some stress out of planning your content and posting it to your social media accounts.
These tools allow you to create your content, save it, view it, and schedule it. The scheduling feature allows you to create posts weeks in advance, which ultimately saves you time in your everyday operations. A few of these tools include Canva and Loomly. Each of these has pros and cons, so it’s important to evaluate your options to decide what is most fitting for your business.
Canva is the least expensive of the two options I mentioned. It also has the most capabilities for creating and viewing your content. Within the Canva platform, you can create your design from scratch or you can browse already created designs you can customize. Canva also has a nifty feature where you can easily resize your content to fit different social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
In addition, Canva has the content planning tool, which is great for digital marketing. Once you have created your design, you can schedule the post using the content calendar tool. Then, you can go through and look at each post you have scheduled or re-arrange your posts via the drag-and-drop feature to fit your business needs.
One problem with Canva is that it doesn’t post to Instagram, so for that platform you’d have to post manually. This is a common issue, though that many content calendars have. Another thing to consider is that the capabilities of Canva are very basic. This could be a good thing if you are very new to graphic design or content creation. However, if you are more advanced, you may find that this tool doesn’t give you as much flexibility as you’d like. Lastly, you must create a copy of your design in order to schedule it to multiple platforms. That being said, this tool is a fantastic option for small businesses who need the right tools to get their social media marketing going.
Loomly is a slightly more expensive option. In addition, this tool’s sole purpose is content scheduling/planning. You cannot create your designs in Loomly so you would need to subscribe to another tool in order to create your designs such as Canva, Adobe Illustrator, or something similar. Although you cannot create your design in Loomly, it is still a great tool.
You can create one scheduled post and then (without making a copy) slightly change it for each different platform. It is a much simpler process to schedule your posts with Loomly than it is with Canva. You can also view your content afterwards and re-arrange it. Keep in mind that Loomly does not have the same drag-and-drop feature as Canva, so changing your scheduled will be a little different.
Like Canva, Loomly does not post to Instagram. Again, this is a very common problem among social content platforms- especially affordable ones. In addition, as I previously mentioned, you cannot create your designs in Loomly. Again, this is still a great platform and depending on your business needs, it might still be a great option.
Keyword Planner Tools
Keyword planning tools are invaluable resources for determining which keywords you want to focus on for your business. There are some free tools and some paid tools discussed here, and they each serve a purpose and work in their own way. Explore the options to determine what is best for your business.
Google Keyword Planner
In Google Ads there is a tool called the “keyword planner”. You can find this tool by opening your free Google Ads account, clicking “tools”, and choosing “keyword planner”. This free tool allows you to enter a keyword, a set of keywords, or a URL. Then Google will generate keywords suggestions based on your entry. Google can also generate keywords based on keywords that businesses like yours have used. For example, if you are a digital marketing company, then Google will suggest words that other digital marketing companies have used.
Keep in mind that you will still want to go through each keyword and make sure that it makes sense for your business; just because Google suggests the keyword doesn’t mean it will be a perfect fit your target audience, or your business goals. One of the biggest downfalls of Google is that it doesn’t consider the many factors your individual business has; although this is a problem among all keyword planning tools because at the end of they day they are just algorithms.
SEM Rush is another tool that allows you to compare your keywords with the keywords of your competitors by adding their URL to the search. However, SEM Rush is quite expensive and is a better fit for larger agencies or companies that can afford to pay upwards of $100 per month for it. The reason it is so expensive is that it includes tons of other tools like website crawling to check for issues and other SEO tools.
CRM’s aren’t just for big business. Every business needs to keep track of their prospects and customers. Thankfully, there is a free option called HubSpot.
Now, HubSpot is a “freemium” based program meaning that you can purchase additional features, but the free version still has a lot of capability- especially for small businesses. Some features that the free version of HubSpot includes are:
If you haven’t got something like this already, I highly recommend checking it out.
To conclude, you can use any tools you like, but I highly recommend using at least one marketing tool from each of these categories because they will make your life easier as a small business owner!