Hubspot And Five Other Marketing Tools For Small Businesses That Will Make Your Life Easier!
Businesses have been successfully engaged in marketing for decades before online tools became available. However, the digital economy offers a never before seen opportunity for small businesses to punch above their weight in marketing terms, by taking advantage of a variety of free and affordable automation tools. These tools make your life easier by giving you access to more data, enabling you to focus your resources, and automating many of the repetitive tasks associated with marketing.
As HubSpot partners, the HubSpot marketing automation platform has a special place in our hearts, so no survey of small business marketing tools would be complete without a brief review of HubSpot and what it has to offer. In addition, we would like to introduce five more useful tools that can help you do more with your marketing.
1) HubSpot: http://www.hubspot.com/
CRM, Sales, Marketing Automation toolkit
HubSpot has rapidly risen to become the leading marketing automation platform for small and medium-sized businesses. They offer an entire suite of marketing tools from within one platform, that are all designed to help you generate leads, build relationships and close deals. The HubSpot approach has proved to be successful at generating new business for thousands of companies across the world.
The approach is one of ‘inbound marketing’– i.e. building a strategy that encourages potential leads to come to you. The Internet allows businesses to turn the traditional, outbound marketing approach on its head. These strategies were always problematic because many prospects found them intrusive or unconvincing. In their place, HubSpot allows you to create an interconnected strategy of personalised email campaigns, social media outreach, landing pages and blogs that establish you as a presence within your industry that customers can take seriously.
For more information about HubSpot, we have written several introductory blog posts that cover the platform in more detail. Click here to read more, or give us a call to talk to one of our advisers.
2) FollowerWonk: https://moz.com/followerwonk/
Twitter profile optimisation
Despite the rather silly name, FollowerWonk is one of the most useful social media marketing apps designed to work with Twitter. You can download the application for free, and use it to identify influential Twitter users within your industry. It does this by ranking users on the basis of ‘social authority’. Analysing users through social authority suggests who you should be following and cultivating relationships with on Twitter. It ultimately takes the random element out of Twitter and transforms it into a lead generating engine for your business.
3) Screaming Frog: https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/
You might be forgiven for thinking that Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithms have spelled the death of SEO, but it is still alive and well, and is an important part of any inbound marketing strategy. Screaming Frog is one of the best marketing automation tools for SEO. It is technically an SEO Spider; a small, desktop-based program that scans a website URL and extracts useful information about its on-site elements based on links, HTML, images and CSS. You can use it to analyse your own website, gaining insights into the quality of your links and how well your code performs from an SEO perspective. You can also use it to peak ‘under the hood’ of your competitors, seeing who they are linking to and understanding the reasons for their success. Screaming Frog is available for free with limited functionality, and there are also paid versions.
4) Hootsuite: https://hootsuite.com/
Social Scheduling App
HootSuite is the grandfather of online marketing apps and still one of the most useful for small businesses. If you use social media as part of your marketing strategy (which you should do), HootSuite takes all the hassle out of regularly posting social media updates by allowing you to schedule posts across multiple platforms.
Want to set up tweets and Facebook updates to coincide with scheduled blog post publications? Want to send ‘real-time’ marketing messages to coincide with an important trade show in Seattle, while you’re sleeping peacefully in Sheffield? Want to send a promotion to customers in four different time zones at the same relative time?
HootSuite allows you to do all this and more. Schedule your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn content for optimum publishing times up to six months in advance and see all your social responses and comments from one convenient UI.
Not only does HootSuite save you the trouble of logging into each platform independently, but it also comes with some handy analytics features. At a glance you can see the number of shares on your posts, the level of user engagement, and how your social media content performs over time.
5) Portent Content Idea Generator: https://www.portent.com/tools/title-maker
Generate snappy titles for your articles and blogs
There’s no getting around it; written content is the core of inbound marketing. Creating original content to express your ideas and services is the key to generating leads and securing new business. It is no wonder, therefore, that writer’s block is the curse of the content marketing generation. Portent was written to help users with one specific problem of content creation: coming up with snappy titles that grab a reader’s attention.
Type your subject idea or keyword into the app – e.g. ‘small business marketing tools’ - and it will suggest a title for you. You can refresh the suggestions until you find something you are happy with.
Two of the titles we have just generated for this keyword are:
‘You Haven’t Seen This Small Business Marketing Tools List on Buzzfeed’ and ‘The Insider’s Guide to Small Business Marketing Tools’
The possibilities are almost endless.
6) Pablo: https://pablo.buffer.com/
Social Media Meme Generator
If you have ever tried to create a ‘spontaneous’ meme image for Facebook or Twitter in response to a news item or trend, then you will appreciate how long it takes. It takes both time and money to source and purchase the right images. Then you need to edit and manipulate them using a premium image editing program such as Adobe Photoshop, or wait three days for a graphic designer to do it. Pablo offers a fast and free alternative. Access a variety of fonts and 50,000 royalty free images to create a catchy meme for immediate publication. You can upload links and logos to complete your image, and the whole process takes minutes.
Embracing Marketing Automation
There are dozens of marketing tools for small businesses available on the Internet. Some are better than others, and this is just a small selection of those that may be useful to you. When engaging with small business marketing, there is so much choice that it is helpful to have an experienced guide on your side to help you make the right decisions for your business. JDR is an experienced inbound marketing agency with the knowledge and skills to help boost your marketing ROI. For more information, please get in touch with one of our team for an informal chat.