If you are a small business owner you must be aware of what entails running your enterprise. Marketing and promotions, managing finances, setting targets, dealing with clients and a million other things are part of daily routine.
In short, it’s hell lot of work and never enough time right.
To ease some of your workload I am sharing my list of favourite digital marketing tools to promote your business.
Most of these are freemium apps absolutely perfect for small business owners. If you have or are just starting your business you can try out the free versions first and then upgrade to paid plans later.
(Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase via my link, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.)
11 Useful Marketing Tools for Small Business
Apps for Social media scheduling and automation
Social media scheduling is a task in itself. It can get really overwhelming if you haven’t planned before.
As small business owners we all understand how important social media is for our marketing and promotional efforts.
You have keep some time aside for meaningful social media engagement which is only possible if you have planned your promotional content ahead.
If you move from day to day trust me it will be really tiring each day. Thankfully these lovely apps below help you in scheduling and automation of your social media content.
Planoly: This is a freemium app. I struggled with Instagram a lot and hence started using Planoly to schedule my posts, where I could visually manage my IG grid.
It is an amazing Instagram scheduler with the free account you can post upto 30 stories and posts a month. It has a clever drag and drop feature, making it easy for you to plan your grid. Click here to see my Instagram feed.
Digital Marketing for Instagram is so important for any small business owner after all a billion users are active on Insta right now.
I really free Planoly gives you value for money. You can sign up for free and schedule 30 posts each month without spending a dime.
Huge save on that marketing budget!
The paid plans start from $9 per month or $7/month billed annually.
Tailwind: Tailwind is exclusively for scheduling Pinterest pins. Pinterest is not a social media platform but visual search engine and it is has a huge potential in driving traffic to your website.
Tailwind is a freemium app. With the free account you can schedule upto 100 pins, while the premium one lets you schedule unlimited pins.
It also provides with optimum time slots to post your pins when Pinterest users are most active.
It’s a good idea to consider investing in Tailwind because I honestly believe Pinterest can be such a game-changer for your business if you schedule properly.
I promise you if you pin consistently using this scheduler you will notice a spike in your traffic within weeks.
Plus on the paid plan you will be able to schedule your Insta posts also. Tailwind has an amazing feature where it provides you with hastags suggestions, graded on the parameters of their competitiveness. So you can easily avoid hastags that are too competitive.
There are both annual and monthly plans, starting from and from $15 per month and $9.99/ per month billed annually.
Buffer: There is a reason why Buffer is still one of the most preferred app for digital marketing.
It is user friendly and you can link three social media account in the free plan and schedule upto 10 posts a day.
It is perfect digital marketing tool for small businesses as you can plan almost a month’s content when you consider the fact that it allows schedule 10 posts a day across three social media platforms. I mostly prefer to use Buffer for my Facebook Page and Twitter updates
The paid plans start from $15 a month.
IFTTT: IFTTT stands for IF This Then That it is an automation app and really cool one at that. I am new to this app but so far loving the experience.
IFTTT allows you to inter-connect all your apps so that whenever you post something on one platform it’s available on the other one as well. It saves you so much time with automation.
Like suppose you post something on Insta but want that same post to appear on your Twitter as well, so you simply connect Insta and your Twitter accounts and all your posts will be available on Twitter as soon as you post in Insta! That simple.
You sign-up for free and create as many workflows or ‘applet’ as IFTTT says. There is a bit of a learning-curve but you can master this in a few minutes.
Apps for Analytics and Monitoring
As small business owners it is important to track your brand performance as well as any potential competitors. These are some important tools to help you achieve that.
Ubersuggest: Ubersuggest by blogger and digital entrepreneur Neil Patel is an amazing digital marketing app for small business owners.
It is a free SEO tool and a great alternative to paid apps like AHREF, SEMRush, Buzzsumo etc.
You can use it for keyword research, see how your posts are performing, use it to track your organic audience; it also shows you the CPC worth of your keywords.
It also gives you so much information about your competitor’s content. Just type in the URL of any website you wish to check, Ubersuggest will show which content is performing well by its search volume.
I really think this app provides an excellent insight if you are not ready to invest in premium apps as yet.
Buzzsumo: Buzzsumo is a freemium app. Just like Ubersuggest it helps you to track the performance of your content and those of your competitors by how much it has been shared by social media.
You can also use this app for generating post ideas. Type in your keywords in the search bar and it will show you most shared content on the topic.
The free version shows up to 10-11 URLs, which is certainly not bad for a free version.
Google Analytics: This is a must for any business and an absolute no-brainer. What I love most about Google Analytics is it is so exhaustive.
You have your audience behavior, where are you getting most traffic from, the devices your audience uses, real-time audience etc.
So these little details are crucial when targeting consumers, This tool is free but may be a little intimidating for beginners, but you will get a hang of it within no time.
Besides Google Analytics, Google Search Console is also a really powerful tool to monitor your web traffic.
Google Alerts is a free tool for online monitoring of your brand. You can activate unlimited alerts for your business, especially when you want to monitor any media coverage for your business. Set up alerts in your name, your business name, or any keywords related to your business.
Email Marketing For Small Business
Email marketing is absolutely necessary for small business owners. It is more personal since you are speaking directly to your readers and consumers. It is a great tool for networking and building relationships with prospective leads and your existing clients.
Mailchimp: For your marketing efforts I recommend Mailchimp. It is user-friendly. You can set up targeted campaigns for your audience comprising freebies and sales funnels.
It is easy to set-up and automate, so you can set up welcome mail whenever a new subscriber joins your list.
You can also design beautiful emails using templates from Mailchimp library.
It’s free for a subscriber list of less than 2000.
Some may argue there are great alternatives to Mailchimp like ConvertKit and Active Campaign but if you are just new to email marketing and don’t want to invest in paid tools as yet, you will find MailChimp perfect for sending regular updates to your consumers.
App for Graphic Designing
“An image is worth a thousand words,” Images are powerful and they have the potential in elevating your brand awareness.
People identify your business with the images you use, eg your brand logo.
Thankfully these days you don’t need expensive software like Photoshop to design your content.
Canva: I absolutely love Canva. It is a freemium graphic designing app with an extremely easy to use interface.
You can create logo designs, flyers, invitations, social media content, A4 presentations and so much more with this app.
It is ideal for those who have no clue about graphic designing and yet don’t want to invest in a professional photographer and graphic designer.
It allows you to design quickly, without much difficulty and create eye-catching, beautiful designs.
The paid plans of the app, billed at 12.95 a month, gives you access to Canva’s huge library resources of pictures, graphics and fonts.
Apps for Client Meeting
Here are some smart apps you can use to schedule meeting with clients and collect information on prospects.
Acuity Scheduling: This is a calendar app which helps you to book appointment with your clients on the basis of your availability.
You can block times in your calendar when you will be availability and block off any times you are not available.
This is helpful for your clients as well they can easily choose a date and time from your available slots.
Zoom: Zoom is good for setting up remote meetings and ideal for small businesses. You can use it both for making video calls and webinars.
You can connect upto 100 participants and schedule a 40-minute call in the free plan.
So it is an excellent option if you want to set-up one-to-one meeting with your clients.
Typeform: Typeform make data collection so easy. You can create surveys for clients to get them to know better.
You can create surveys as part of your email-marketing efforts or to gain feedback, improve your services.
It is easy to use, looks really pretty and professional. There are both free and paid versions of this app. But for small business owners the free version is enough to get started.
Hope you liked this post! Which digital marketing tools and apps you love using for your business? Do share. It’d be great to know your list as well.