6 Online Marketing Tools For Small Business

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Small business marketing can be a monumental task, but having the right tools can save you a heap of time. This article covers our favourite online marketing tools for small business, and best of all, many of them are free!

Digital marketing is a whole new world. No longer can you afford to ignore the internet, success and the internet are intrinsically linked. It’s vital to every business, no matter the size, to have an effective online marketing plan in place.

Your strategy needs to encompass

  • Social media and all the power it holds
  • Search engine optimisation to maximise organic traffic
  • Leverage media marketing opportunities

In small business, every single lead is important. When first setting out in your digital marketing journey, it’s critical to have not only your strategy and plan, but also the online marketing tools that allow you to effectively implement it. This list of online marketing tools is not definitive, but it certainly is a great starting point to get your small business marketing up and running.

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Email Marketing

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Email marketing is one of the most widespread and commonly used online marketing tactics.

Let’s put email marketing in the spotlight for a minute –

  • There are a staggering 2.9 BILLION email users worldwide
  • Approximately 80% of businesses use email marketing, small businesses fall well short of this.
  • 86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15% would like to get them daily. (Statista, 2015)
  • Two-thirds of emails are read on either smartphones or tablets. (Marketing Land, 2015)
  • The open rate for emails with a personalized message was 17.6%, compared to 11.4% without personalization. (Statista, 2014)

Email marketing can be incredibly powerful. And it can be used in a variety of ways.

  • Follow up abandoned carts in ecommerce websites
  • Stay in touch with loyal customers
  • Launch products
  • Announce a sale or promotion
  • Summarise the latest news for your business
  • and so much more!

Check out our article for a few hints and tips on your email marketing and email newsletters.

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Now, i’m sure that 99.99% of you have heard of MailChimp. It is the “name” in email marketing ‘software’. But i’m not going to recommend them. Why? Well, yes, they have a FREE plan, but quite honestly it doesn’t give you a hell of a lot, and to implement automations then you automatically have to be on the paid plan. And for the same price of that paid plan, I find that ActiveCampaign[affiliate link] gives you a lot more features, a great user interface, plus is easy to use for the same amount of money. Not to mention the fact that it includes a Sales CRM – your hunt is over my friends. You can also check out why we switched to ActiveCampaign.

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Social Media Marketing

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Social Media Marketing. My goodness what a massive impact it can have on your business! Being prominent on social media takes time, patience and a good dose of humour. What is Social Media Marketing? Social media marketing is essentially any marketing activities you do for your small business on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tripadvisor, etc.

The world and power of social media marketing extends from simply posting on your Facebook or Twitter profile regularly, but also to analysing traffic, moderating comments, potentially cross posting on relevant groups/pages and more. Whilst you can manage many of these things within the platforms themselves, trying to stay on top of it when you have more than one to monitor can be very difficult.

This is where the social platforms come in. They consolidate all of your accounts, all of your activity, and allow you to manage your social media marketing somewhat easier.

For those of you on a strict budget, Buffer is a great place to start. Buffer is a free (yup – FREE!) tool that allows you to push content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and a few other platforms. However, if you are active on Pinterest be prepared to pay the USD10 per month fee to gain access!

Hootsuite and Sprout Social are also great platforms, but they do come with a decent price tag.Social media marketing with Buffer

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Online Marketing Effectiveness

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Return on Investment (ROI) is critical. There is no point in spending your hard earned money on marketing if it’s not delivering a return for you. Everything you do needs to result in sales. Now, no one is a miracle worker – if there are issues with your product, or your price, then even the best marketing will make it very hard for you to see the sales you crave.

So how do you know if your online marketing is successful? By tracking your traffic and conversions through Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is FREE, easy to get started with, and should definitely be one of online marketing tools. Activating goals and funnels is where the real fun begins, and can be a rather steep learning curve. But, start small and build it up as you go.

Measuring marketing ROI with google analytics

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Show me the traffic! Customer Search Behaviour

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Google Keyword Planner has just become your new best friend. Another FREE and rather indispensable tool, Google Keyword Planner allows you to see exactly what people are searching for, how much competition there is for given keywords, and opportunities that you can hone in on. Unfortunately Google have started to limit the detail on keyword planner until you have an advert running, but you can still get a pretty clear picture of keywords to target and opportunities.

finding keyword opportunities

Want to make it even better?

Pair it with Google Webmaster Tools and you have a more wholistic view of your customer search behaviour. Google Webmaster Tools allows you to see who is coming to your site and what search term they used to find you.

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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in WordPress

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Every single thing you put on your website that is for public consumption – whether it’s a page, post, image, document, project or anything – it should be optimised for search traffic.

Yoast SEO, acclaimed to be the number one WordPress SEO plugin,  is packed full of features and allows you to easily adjust and update your content to maximise impact on your chosen keyword. Using simple colour coding (red = bad, orange = ok, green = good), Yoast will give you tips to improve your SEO and Readability scores based on your chosen focus keyword. We also have a few copwriting secrets for SEO ranking. Yoast also has a wide range of helpful articles so that you can learn the basic (And some more fundamental) aspects of search engine optimisation.

Yoast Search Engine Optimisation for WordPress

The best bit? It’s free! There is a premium version of the plugin which provides extra functionality, but the free version is perfectly adequate to get you up and running, and starting to see some serious traction with your chosen keywords.

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Attention Grabbing Messages

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Once the bane of everyone’s existence, they are now so common place people are positively shocked when they visit a website and don’t get hit with a pop up message. Whilst pop up messages can be incredibly annoying, but they can also be very fruitful for the marketer if done tastefully and in a way that is useful for the visitor.

Don’t just have a pop up for the sake of having a pop up. It needs to have a clear and obvious objective, and reward the visitor with something. Here’s a few examples:

  • Get 10% off when you sign up to our mailing list. Reward = 10% off
  • Tips to help you maximise the sale price of your home. Reward = education
  • Want more traffic to your website? Learn the number 1 reason you are not getting enough targeted traffic to your website. Yes/no. Reward = education
  • Don’t miss the next big thing. Like us on Facebook to get it all in your news feed. Reward = first to know
  • Uh oh! looks like you left something in your Cart. Reward = reminder / possible discount

There are a HEAP of tools that can effectively put pop ups on your site. In fact, I’ve already mentioned one in this article – Active Campaign! But, there are also dedicated tools that can either be managed within your WordPress website or external to it.

SumoMe is another great platform, and probably one of the more well known online marketing tools. Unfortunately their platform has become a little diluted (in my opinion) and they seem to put their hand out for money for a lot more features than they used to. However, SumoMe lets you add not just pop ups, but social sharing icons, and follow customer behaviour on your site with their heatmaps.

GetSiteControl is a great, but lesser known, tool with heaps of options and great flexibility for pop ups, and it’s free! If you go to the paid version then you get even more features, but for most people the free version is more than enough.

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So there you have it, our top picks of online marketing tools for small business. Remember, don’t try to bite off more than you can chew. Master one digital marketing tool at a time – implement, adapt, monitor – and then move onto the next!

For more tips on online marketing, check out our articles for our top tips for online marketing success.

Happy online marketing peoples!

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