The United States is home to more than 28 million small businesses. It means that as a business owner, you should be looking to get whatever edge you can over the competition.
If you don’t shape up, the hard truth is that eventually you’re forced to ship out- as many as 80% of young businesses become insolvent and fail within 18 months of creation. You need to up your game, and the first pillar on which your success will stand is digital marketing.
The internet is a mainstay in this day and age, and regardless of your industry, you will need to have a strong social marketing strategy that makes the most of search engines and social media to drive traffic your way.
The easiest way to do this, of course, is to hire a firm to get your marketing done in a flash. If you are taking care of the marketing strategies personally,
Here are some of the best marketing tools to start off with.
MailChimp for Email Marketing
The importance of email cannot possibly be overstated- it is used by more than 80% B2C/B2B firms. On day one, the one thing you should do is build an email strategy.
MailChimp is one of the very best tools out there for this purpose. It has been around for over 16 years, certainly longer than most of its competitors. It has free plans for small businesses (12,000 emails a month to no more than 2,000 subscribers) and is really easy to set up and use. That’s as good as it gets.
Tools for Analytics
When you’re starting off, you need to be appraised of how you are doing, and the marketing figures won’t reflect that from day one. An analytics tool, on the other hand, will. How extensive you want your insights is entirely up to you and your budget.
You can set up Google Analytics on your website for free, and track all visitor actions in no time. It’s as good a traffic tool as any. You get to identify the places from where traffic arrives at your website, the regions which are your biggest fans, keyword performance, and so on. You can use these insights to tune your marketing strategies.
You could also go one step higher and get a tool like KISSmetrics which is a holistic solution to all your analytical needs. You have insights from across your funnel, every step of the way. You get to see potential leads, leaks in the pipeline, positives, negatives, and everything in between. It is fairly pricey, however, but if you can afford it, it is a small price to pay for insights that will drive your bottom line up manifold. You will need to keep an eye on how much you spend, though, lest you should fall into debt. Finding sustainable lines of credit is the biggest issue for a business, and debt management is the number one small business killer.
HubSpot for Holistic Marketing
HubSpot is one of the top CRM, sales, and marketing software tools. It ensures that your entire marketing funnel is in one place, and allows you to have a cohesive strategy, with complete control over:
- Your website, blog, content, and SEO
- Analytics and Lead Management
- Social Media and Emails
- Calls to Action and Landing Pages
- Marketing Automation
With the essentials sorted out, here are some other great tools you can have at your disposal:
- An organizational tool like Trello for project management and collaborative efforts.
- A social media automation and insights tool like Hootsuite, IFTTT, and Followerwonk
- An easy-to-use SEO tool like the WordPress All in One SEO Pack plug-in for all your SEO and content development efforts.
With these tools at your disposal, you are now all set to head out and conquer your sector, driven by the power of a well-formed marketing strategy.
Isabella Rossellini is a marketing and communication expert. She also serves as content developer with more than seven years of experience. She has previously covered an extensive range of topics in her posts, including business and start-ups.