6 of my favorite digital marketing tools for small businesses
Updated: Mar 31
When you're trying to grow your small business, it can seem like you need to reach the moon and all you can afford is a kite. Not to worry, if you want to start doing it yourself, there are tools out there that are either free or low-cost. And if you need more help after that, get in touch! Here is a selection of my favorite low cost tools. This is a blog I'm going to be adding to over time as I discover more handy tools - there are new ones being invented all the time!
Mailchimp - Email marketing and contact database
This email marketing platform is free up to 2,000 contacts in the database, so it's great for those starting out and who want to build a solid database of contacts. The email templates are easy to use, or you can have your graphic designer (if you're lucky enough to have one!) build a template for you to input. There is also a range of pricing options for you to grow your marketing efforts as you become more sophisticated.
Google Analytics - Website analytics
All marketers should have Google Analytics in their toolkit. It's crucial for monitoring traffic to your website. It enables you to track and better understand how your customers behave on your site, which pages are most popular/useful and helps you break down your online presence so that you can constantly improve how you serve customers.
Trello - List-building tool
Trello is used by all sorts of teams for organizeing projects and tasks (technology dev teams love it), but it can be particularly helpful to content marketers and people generally trying to organize blog content. Basically, you create "cards" for each action item and can organize these under different headings, so you can keep track of where actions are at all times. It's nice to use as a single user, but you can also add other team members to it so that you can all collaborate on projects.
Canva - easy graphic design tool
I am not a graphic designer, and I don't make any claims to be an expert at manipulating images. So discovering Canva was a god-send for me. For people who are scared by Photoshop, it's perfect. It has lots of templates so you can create anything from a desktop image to social media post. And it's easy to overlap text on images, or put your own logo on there. I whipped up the cover image for this blog on Canva in about five minutes.
The social media channels' own platforms
Professional marketers often use scheduling tools like Hootsuite to line up their posts ahead of time, but small businesses can achieve the same thing by just using the various social media channels directly. They also have perfectly good internal analytics tools for you to keep track of the effectiveness of campaigns.
Miro - brainstorming and planning platform
This has become my favorite way of brainstorming in groups, or planning. It allows multiple people to collaborate remotely to come up with ideas and has lots of templates you can use for different purposes. I'll often use it on my own to map out new concepts because I don't have a big board with post-its at home! You can then capture parts of the board as an image so you don't lose your gems.