Small business marketing tools

Getting people to notice you is possibly the single biggest challenge faced by small businesses and it’s fundamental since nobody is going to buy anything from you, be it goods or services, unless they know you exist and believe you can provide a solution to whatever problem it is they face.

The good news is that there are a lot of great tools out there to help you get the word on the (digital) street, some are free and those that aren’t generally have pricing plans which are within the reach of smaller businesses.

Pipedrive or HubSpot

We have previously recommended Pipedrive as a CRM system for sales teams and it can be a good option for marketing teams too, but HubSpot arguably has more going for it from a marketing perspective, with integrated tools to help with core marketing activities from emails to blogging to SEO.

MailChimp

Even in 2018, do not underestimate the power of “old-school” email marketing. There are plenty of tools out there that you could use, but there are also plenty of reasons why MailChimp is the tool of choice for small businesses, one of which being that it has a very SME-friendly pricing model.

Hootsuite or Buffer (or Tailwind)

Hootsuite used to be the undisputed main player on the social-media management scene. Then Buffer came along. In the early days of the Hootsuite versus Buffer match-up, there were clear differences in the functionality of the two apps, as well as the pricing, so there might have been objective reasons for preferring one over the other.

Both apps, however, have worked to cut down the other’s advantage with the result that, at this point in time, they’re very similar in both functionality and pricing so your choice is likely to come down to which interface you prefer. Buffer’s is a bit more intuitive and user-friendly.

You will almost certainly want one of them, unless you are completely sure that you are only going to use Pinterest and/or Instagram, in which case Tailwind might be a more budget-friendly choice.

SurveyMonkey

While social media polls can be very useful (and engaging), if you really want meaningful data then running a carefully-crafted survey is usually the way to go and SurveyMonkey has become the tool of choice for running them. This is partly because it is so easy to use both as a business and as a survey respondent and partly because it is both robust and affordable.

Google Analytics (or KISSMetrics)

Google Analytics may look intimidating at first glance, but as it is owned and managed by Google there is no shortage of helpful (plain English) documentation on it to help you to learn about it. Alternatively, if you’d prefer videos, then just head to YouTube and take your pick.

Once you get the hang of it, you can gain all sorts of interesting and useful insights into your website’s performance. KISSMetrics has a much easier learning curve and can also produce a lot of helpful data for you, but Google Analytics is free whereas KISSMetrics is on the expensive side.

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