What makes a good marketing tool?

It must allow you to complete a task more quickly, more easily, and more effectively. Most tools perform magnificently over a very narrow range of tasks, so you will need multiple marketing tools. You will need to choose tools to cover everything from analysing your competitors’ websites to editing your photos and making them suitable for social media posts.

Ubersuggest

Your business web pages are only as good as their rank in Google. Ubersuggest takes the guesswork out of ranking. It lets you analyse your competitors’ sites and work out why they rank higher than you. If you know what they are doing right, you can make sure you are following similar good practice.

Ubersuggest has a suite of features that are all simple to use, even for people who don’t live and breathe SEO. It lets you find keywords that are working in your niche and tells you which sites are linking to your competition. Ubersuggest will even show you which subject matter is getting hits, so you know what your customers are looking for and can better serve their needs by producing similar content. Oh, Ubersuggest has a free level that will give you most of the information you need.

Hubspot

Hubspot’s CRM software is the standard that others are measured against. And it is free.

Understanding your customers is crucial to effective marketing. HubSpot’s free CRM is popular with small businesses that are looking for a simple, low-cost CRM package. There are add-ons that you can purchase as you need them, but the free package will fill most of your needs.

Hubspot allows your team to speak with a single voice. Each team member has access to previous conversations with a potential customer, meaning nobody contradicts previous team members.

Active Campaign

You know you need an email marketing solution, but want one that is user-friendly. ActiveCampaign has all the features you need and its pricing is attractive to SMBs that are starting to grow their email lists.

Active Campaign’s flow charts mean you can plan your email sequences easily – Your action/follow up email sequences are simple to understand and design: This allows you to automate your marketing and sales processes to a large degree. Active Campaign includes customisable automation templates for common marketing sequences. Cart abandonment, user engagement, and up-selling templates are all available.

Advanced segmentation options are available to Active Campaign subscribers. These mean you can use multiple conditions to choose who you send emails to (Many email marketing providers only allow segmentation using a single condition.)

Easel.ly

Infographics can take you hours to design from scratch. Easel.ly makes infographic design faster, so you will produce more.

You can design from scratch using the library of images (or upload your own), or you can choose and modify a template from the hundreds available.

Your Easel.ly charts and infographics will help customers visualise the information you are sharing. They will also attract links from other websites, helping your Google ranking.

Sprout Social

Customers have come to expect high levels of activity on your social media accounts, but planning and tracking all your social channel campaigns and activity can consume every hour of every day.

Sprout Social monitors all your company social accounts and makes it easy to respond to mentions. All your social mentions are combined into one feed, making it possible for a single employee to handle all your social activity. If you have a larger social media team, Sprout Social has team workflow tools that work well. Your team will also be able to monitor content performance across multiple social networks.

Unbounce

Your website is a multi-purpose marketing vehicle. It provides customers with information about your products, lets customers get to know you, and lets you demonstrate your niche expertise. However, it is not optimised for conversions, email capture, or sales.

A landing page is designed to do one job, and to do it well. Landing page builders like Unbounce make it simple to construct web pages that will compel customers to take action. Building landing pages using Unbounce templates is fast.

Constant A/B testing and improving response rates are crucial to judging how well you are communicating with customers. Test your pages using alternate A/B versions to see which performs better, then take the winner and compare that against another variant.  Doing this manually could fill all of an employee’s week. Unboounce makes A/B testing simple, so new iterations of a page can be set up in a few clicks. All this saves many hours of employee time.

Fotor

Every business needs unique photos to illustrate its unique offerings and ideas. Image libraries don’t cut it with customers in the same way as your own photographs. However, you will need a photo editing tool that allows you to crop, edit contrast/focus, and add text to your pictures.

Fotor is simplicity itself to use and gives you the functionality you need without all the bells and whistles that Photoshop offers. Its narrower range of features means there is no steep learning curve and you can delegate image production to any employee. You get access to thousands of templates and image effects without the ongoing cost of a monthly subscription.

The Short Version

You need marketing tools such as Ubersuggest, Sprout Social, and Fotor. You need them whether you are a one-person start-up or a multi-million pound company with thousands of employees.

Marketing is important, but so are research, business development, and networking. You have to put limits on the time and resources you dedicate to marketing. The tools listed here are all simple to use with short learning curves. They allow you to do more in less time.

What are your favorite marketing tools?