Implementing a successful digital marketing strategy for your small & medium business is a critical component for sustained growth. Nowadays, digital marketing covers everything from search engine optimization to paid advertising, so brand marketers need advanced tools for rendering them. Fortunately, there are many impressive online marketing tools which can be used to create more effective solutions.
For promoting a small and medium business, it is especially important to find the right tools that can help marketers manage a wide range of marketing activities. SMB marketers face marketing related challenges like lack of budget, increasing visibility, generating quality leads, keeping up with changing customer expectations, increasing ROI, enhancing customer lifetime value and more.
Despite the challenges, the outlook for digital marketing tools available is vast and continues to grow in 2022. These tools help SMB marketers get the most out of money and time invested. They automate repetitive tasks, collect data to analyze and optimize campaigns, and help organize and plan marketing activities and much more. With the right tools, small businesses can level the competition, compete with the big businesses, and drive revenue growth.
To assist you find the best online marketing tool for your business' requirements, here is a list of ten best digital marketing tools for small & medium businesses:
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool offered by Google that allows businesses to track and analyze customer data. It is the most popular, easy to use, powerful and highly customizable tool.
The tool is best paired with other Google tools like Google Search Console. Data points that Google Analytics makes available to businesses include the number of site visitors for a specified time period; traffic sources, keywords that people are using in Google to find the website; demographics and interests of web users; how long each user spends on your site and which pages they visit and much more.
Providing all such information for free makes it interesting for SMB marketers working at shoestring budget. It supplies vital knowledge that helps the businesses in optimizing websites and marketing campaigns. They are capable of keeping their SEO efforts low cost.
Undoubtedly, Google Analytics happens to be the best web analytics tool out there for SMBs. This is a must-have tool in every SMB marketer’s toolkit. However, the quality of insights derived depends upon the skills of the tool users.
Small businesses can realize their true online potential with SEO. However, many SMB owners struggle with it. SEO can be difficult for small business owners as it requires investment of considerable time and effort. Manpower deficient businesses have so many other things to do. That being said, there are a number of SEO tools that come to the rescue of the SMBs.
Ahrefs is one of the highest-ranked SEO tools which has proved to be effective for several small businesses. The tool emphasizes on capturing the search intent of keywords the businesses can rank for. It helps in creating relevant and organic backlinks from high authority websites.
When it is brainstorming keyword ideas and opportunities to rank, Ahrefs comes top of the chart for small & medium businesses. The tool offers a distinct site explorer that allows SMB marketers to check any URL’s top organic keywords, while also estimating how much traffic a competitor receives for any given search term. They are easily capable of identifying their site’s top-performing content and sources of backlinks.
As far as SMBs are concerned, Ahrefs is a fantastic SEO tool. It is not only good for competitive analysis but also ensures that the businesses’ existing content is up to snuff for search. However, the downside is that Ahrefs has a much weaker API platform compared to other SEO tools like SEMRush.
It is no secret that mobile advertising is a radical game-changer for small and medium enterprises. moLotus is an innovative mobile video interaction platform and tech offering unique opportunities to small and medium players. The innovative platform is fast transforming customer experiences and marketing campaigns. moLotus renders on all kinds of mobile handsets without spamming, app download or data connection. moLotus integrates rich media formats like videos with interaction options like SMS, USSD, callback, web links into one message reaching directly to consumers’ mobile inbox.
Delivery of millions of hyper-personalized and customized messages to customers is now possible for SME brands. The messages can be sent quickly across industry verticals and geographies. Several SMEs have achieved extraordinary feats by transforming and automating their customer processes.
moLotus has pioneered new revenue models for SMEs. It helps SMEs to maximize revenue and margin at every step along the consumer decision journey, from acquisition to upsell & cross-sell to loyalty and retention to support and sales. The SMEs are capable of scaling ARPU and performance via moLotus with easy campaign management, data reports & analytics, response management, breakthrough digital transformation and automation API.
The breakthrough tech and platform is targeting a USD 1.7 Billion Direct Marketing opportunity. (Source: Statista). In addition, the platform also targets the emerging USD 1.3 Trillion Digitalization opportunities together with 5G plus Transformation. (Source: Ericsson & Arthur D. Little)
Like big business houses, small businesses need high impact visuals to keep their customers engaged. However, for the majority of small businesses, having small marketing budgets, every dollar counts in the bottom line. Canva offers an unlimited free account with many useful graphic designing features.
Using Canva they can visualize complex data with colorful graphs, and create highly engaging infographics. It is an excellent tool that helps SMBs to create original, visually appealing content in less time. Canva as a tool has evolved a lot by providing more graphic design options. The SMB digital marketers can get numerous templates for social media, eBooks, infographics, and more. There are free as well as paid templates. Small & medium enterprises can use the existing featured templates on the site. They can upload and polish up their own images, or even create completely new ones. Most importantly, they need not engage a graphic designer for creating high-quality graphics via Canva.
The flip-side of Canva is that it lacks basic fonts from its database, serving a barrier for marketers adhering to the brand guidelines. Also, SMB brands can face challenges while creating their own template from scratch.
Content marketing has proven to be one of the key ways to help promote small & medium businesses. BuzzSumo is a cloud-based content platform that assists SMB brands discover the best customer engagement, content and outreach opportunities across social media and search engines. SMB marketers can easily find new keywords, trending stories, customer questions, content success, and all.
Small businesses can easily figure-out what their prospective buyers are talking about. Using Buzzsumo they can gather information on topics that are gaining the most customer attention. The tool analyzes and suggests where certain topics are being discussed and how much attention these topics are grabbing. Buzzsumo helps the SMEs to set up keyword alerts, thus they are aware as to when content is posted or updated. SMB marketers are capable of knowing who posted and where. This allows them to set the direction of their marketing efforts. Marketers have a clear understanding of what their competitors are doing, and what is working or not working for them.
A significant drawback of the tool is that some of the data insights captured are not entirely accurate. The interface too needs improvement for greater convenience.
Mailchimp is a great platform for SMBs to get started with email marketing. It is an affordable, all‑in‑one email marketing platform that empowers small businesses to thrive.
The platform offers several key features like website traffic tracking, attractive email templates, drip campaign design, campaign scheduling, several software integrations and more. It automates emails and makes campaign design and delivery convenient. Marketers can view all the campaigns in one place and track them.
Sending emails via Mailchimp can generate a lot of return for minimal investment for the SMBs. Small and medium businesses get the opportunity to reach vast audiences and help them in retaining customers.
For SMBs it is a quite simple tool to use, although some of the marketing automation capabilities have limitations.
For small businesses Hotjar has become a powerful tool for reflecting on the online behavior and opinions of web visitors. Using Hotjar analytics and insights the businesses can enhance the user experience and website performance.
Hotjar visually presents clicks, taps, and scrolling behaviors, which are the most powerful indicators of potential customer motivation and desire. These indicators suggest what users want and are interested in on a business website. The heat maps make it easy for the digital marketers to understand what users are doing on the website in real-time. The marketers can spot usability issues by looking at user clicks, taps, and mouse movements.
The feedback feature offered by Hotjar tool provides SMB brands to get quick visual feedback on their website. They can easily identify likes and dislikes of prospective customers, identify issues, and determine growth opportunities. Hotjar should ideally be used in conjunction with web analytics solutions such as Google Analytics.
Unfortunately, Hotjar lacks integration, predictive analytics, ROI tracking, and customer segmentation.
Starting-with, small and medium businesses often are capable of activating their own social media business accounts, sending out their first updates, and have a social media strategy in place for going forward. The challenge begins when they get busier and busier and want to keep on top of things. When their social accounts gain traction, it becomes more difficult to monitor, manage, and track them. Here comes the role of Buffer.
Buffer is a freemium cross-platform scheduling platform that supports the large social networks of businesses. The marketers are able to share content and schedule posts via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest via just one click. Buffer allows them to share and schedule posts. It offers Pablo, a free image creation tool, that can help marketers in creating social media images for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. quickly. The Buffer Chrome extension is also a helpful inclusion.
Buffer offers useful social media analytics reflecting the best and worst performing posts based on engagement, reach, and post type. These can be exported too, if SMB marketers need to do any further analysis.
Buffer lags integration. It does not offer monitoring tools for mentions, searches and hashtags.
9. Google Trends
For SMBs looking for a cost-effective analytical tool Google Trends is boon. Google offers it for free. Small businesses can easily search and compare trends using Google Trends.
It empowers small businesses to utilize and discover the marketing trends that matter to them the most for different business scenarios. It is one of the best tools to find out trends much earlier when they come up. It also suggests them as to when they should do away with certain business lines reflecting downward trends.
Google Trends however offers relative numbers only. There are absolutely no ways to get exact numbers. Businesses need to do relative or comparative searches to get approximate results. Furthermore, the context of the search is not clear.
SMB marketers are under tremendous pressure having inadequate manpower. Content brainstorming and calendar creation done manually can be quite a tedious task. Trello - a content brainstorming and calendar service - comes at the rescue of small businesses allowing them to collaboratively create and share ideas across individuals and teams.
Trello acts as a content planner and content scheduler. SMB marketers are capable of creating note cards for article topics, marketing campaigns and more. They can digitally take notes on each card, recording instructions and updating project / campaign status. Marketers can easily assign cards to certain individuals. Trello happens to be a comprehensive tool for small business content marketers and strategists looking to really plan out their editorial calendar digitally.
Small businesses using Trello have found it to be non-agile. Also, there are many limitations related to integration.
The digital marketing tools are helping the SMBs to survive in the competitive digital marketing landscape. The businesses are becoming more intuitive, customer centric, tech-savvy, and persistent - thanks to their digital marketing toolkit. Tools have empowered SMBs to maximize revenues and profitability. For SMBs, it is more important than ever to learn and use a wide range of digital marketing tools to save time, cost and work more efficiently. Choose tools wisely!