If you’re looking to grow your business online, you no doubt want to focus on marketing. And, as a small business owner, you might feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information out there. Where should you start? What’s the most effective approach?
To help you get started, we’ve collected over 20 of the most valuable resources for online marketers, broken down into specific areas.
Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been doing this for a while, these freebies will help you get further than ever before.
Marketing Tools & Platforms
No single tool or platform could ever satisfy your need to run sophisticated marketing campaigns. At the same time, it’s highly unlikely that a single tool could adequately address all of your needs. That’s why you need to be using a variety of platforms and tools.
Luckily, we live in a golden age of digital marketing. Many of the tools and platforms were designed with entrepreneurs in mind. Which is great, because you’re a business owner already. If your business is ready for the online world, then these platforms and tools were built for you.
They offer a variety of features that entrepreneurs love, like automated email marketing, landing pages, and membership sites. Plus, you get to try out new things without risk. There are no contracts or commitments attached to these platforms. You can simply download the app or log in and begin using their services without obligation. Also worth noting is that many of these services offer free trials. Which, again, is great for you because you can’t afford to waste any time or resources without getting some results.
Let’s be honest, email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to market any business. Whether you’re sending out a weekly update on sales or special offers, or you’re using email to conduct sales via live chat, auto-responders, or social media, you can bet that most businesses still rely heavily on this channel.
That’s why we’ve got you covered on this front. With over 20 email marketing platforms to choose from, you’re bound to find one that suits your needs. And the best part is that these services are incredibly cheap. The monthly fees for many of these services are only a few dollars. So, even if you’re opting for the cheapest option, you’re still likely to save a pretty penny.
One of the things that makes these platforms and tools so valuable is that they are extremely affordable. Naturally, you might want to invest in some of the more advanced tools and platforms. However, if you’re just getting started, you can do a lot with the free options. Plus, most of these services offer at least some level of trial access. So, you can try them out risk-free. In most cases, you’ll only pay for what you use. It’s a great way to try new things without risking a lot of money.
As we’ve discussed, social media is becoming an integral part of virtually every marketing plan. Whether you’re using the platform for customer engagement or for marketing research, the data is growing at an incredible rate.
That’s what makes social media so valuable. Not only do you get to try new things and be creative with your approach, but you also get to assess the effectiveness of whatever strategy you might put in place.
Luckily, there are a variety of tools out there that make it easy to access and engage with audiences across various platforms. For example, if you’re on Facebook, you can create a marketing campaign specific to that platform. Then, you can use other services like Hootsuite or Twitter to engage with your potential customers.
Content Creation & Distribution
If you’re running an eCommerce store or selling your own products online, content creation and distribution are crucial. Otherwise, why would anyone ever visit your site? You need to have fresh, valuable content to draw in and retain customers. And you can’t always count on customers returning given the choice of other products to choose from.
Luckily, you can use several tools to create content that’s both informative and engaging. Whether you need an online magazine to enhance your SEO or need to build a blog for marketing purposes, these content creators can help you get the content you need to build a successful business.
From a simple blog to an eCommerce store or a membership site, these tools will allow you to establish content schedules and ensure that you always have content to publish. Plus, you get to try out fresh content without risk.
Inbound marketing is all the rage these days. Essentially, it’s about attracting, engaging, and empowering your intended audience rather than solely relying on marketing to tell your audience what you have to offer.
Why? Because they love your product or service. And they love to be engaged with topics that are of interest to them. So, if you want to grow your business and establish yourself as an expert in your industry, then inbound marketing is the way to go.
That’s not to say that traditional forms of marketing aren’t effective. They definitely are. It’s just that inbound marketing allows you to zero in on potential customers who are already interested in or use your product or service. So, you can use inbound marketing to expand your audience beyond your traditional customer base.
Analytics & Reporting
As we’ve mentioned, the volume and variety of data that businesses can collect has never been greater. But, how are you going to know what to do with all that data when you have so much of it? Analytics and reporting tools can help you assess the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and determine what’s working and what needs to be changed. They can also help you track the results of your inbound marketing strategies and identify high-performing assets for further development.
Thankfully, there are a variety of analytics platforms out there that make this process easy. Whether you need to track the results of a social media campaign or need to analyze the traffic to your website, you can find the perfect solution.
To maximize the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of your marketing efforts, you need to be using tools like Google Optimizer and HubSpot’s Performancesite.
These tools can help you measure and examine the performance of different marketing tactics, including social media. They can help you identify the ones that are working and which ones you should ditch. That’s because the performance of each tactic is unique. Some work better than others depending on the industry. But, at the end of the day, you want to have the best performance across all platforms and tactics.
Keep in mind that not all tactics or tools will be effective in every industry or market. And, sometimes, the opposite is true. So, it’s important that you test and review the performance of different campaigns and methods before investing too much time and effort into one approach.
Web Design & Development
If you’re looking to establish a physical presence on the web, then you’ll want to invest in a quality web design and development. Otherwise, it’s like trying to put paint on a car with a roller. You’re going to look sloppy and it’s going to take you longer to get the job done.
Thankfully, there are a variety of quality web designers and developers that can help you build a professional-looking website for free or at low cost. Plus, you get to try out new things and establish a presence on the web without risk or obligation. So, it’s the perfect stepping stone for a new business or an existing business that’s looking to grow.
Simply put, these developers can help you get your site up and running quickly and professionally. Naturally, you’ll want to invest in quality over quantity. Since you’re a business owner already, why not invest in a team that can help grow your business? Hiring someone to manage your social media or run an online campaign on your behalf is never a bad idea either.
Mobile App Design & Development
If your business is particularly mobile-savvy or you have a lot of interest and engagement from audiences across various social platforms, then mobile app design and development might be the right fit for you.
Thankfully, there are a variety of options for simple, elegant, and user-friendly mobile apps. For example, you could build an app to help customers find your product or service. Or you could build an app to help your customers engage with you more effectively. (Hint: that’s a big topic we’re covering in the coming weeks.)