5 software marketing tools that every small business needs
Marketing is more important than ever. In a highly connected, global economy, there are various opportunities for small businesses to thrive. In order to reach all your potential customers, you need a comprehensive marketing strategy, supported with practical software solutions.
And there are a lot of different options.
So before we dive in with software recommendations, let’s start with the basics. To market a small business effectively, you need to:
- manage your social media
- send compelling emails
- keep track of your customers
- build your authority with a blog
- develop your design skills
Now let’s take a look at which tools to try and why you need them.
Social media is a key part of marketing for small businesses. It’s accessible, it’s cheap, and it reaches your customers where they already are. But you don’t want to waste time on posts that go nowhere or pay for ineffective ads.
You’ll need a tool like Hootsuite to schedule posts, manage ads, and track the return on investment.
One of the most useful features of Hootsuite is social media monitoring.As a small business owner, you haven’t got time to follow the latest trends on every social network. But you can search and follow conversations online, based on business keywords or your location.Check Out Hootsuite
Sure, social media is popular and a fun way to raise brand awareness online. But in terms of lead generation and cold hard sales, email marketing is unbeatable.
Use a tool like MailChimp to manage your strategy. You can use ready-made design templates to fill out your weekly newsletter or sales blast. And it’s free for lists under 2000 people!
If glossy design is important to you, then you could consider another tool such as Campaign Monitor. But for most small businesses, MailChimp will do just fine.
Just like your social media software, you need to focus on the data. MailChimp gives you tools to A/B test your marketing: for example, to find out which one of two email headers works better. Build on this feedback to get more people reading your messages each week.Check Out Mailchimp
3. CRM tools
Once you start to collect sales leads from email signup forms and social media, you need a way to keep track of potential customers. There is a vast range of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools out there.
Click around and think about which features are most important for your business and carefully consider your budget. Most of them now include customer service, social media tools, and accounting capabilities.
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When it comes to marketing a small business online, SEO is everything. Put simply: People need to be able to find you online.
And the key to good search engine optimization is good data. Tools like Moz are designed to help you understand how people find you online and what they’re typing into search engines.
If you’re really serious about your SEO strategy, then it’s worth springing for the Pro version. But make sure you take time to get acquainted with the basic tools first!Check Out Moz
Finally, you need to think about design. You’ll need a dedicated graphic designer to create your logo, branded social media templates, and email templates. But for ongoing social media graphics, free stock photos, infographics, and even presentations, it’s worth signing up for an easy-access tool like Canva.
Your team—for free—can collaborate on designs, export in various file types and sizes, and access a library of ready-made graphics and text styles.Check Out Canva