Online Marketing & Advertising: What Are the Best Tools for B2B Marketing?

In 2014, B2B marketing spent a massive $14.7 billion online—more than any other category. This figure is expected to reach $16.9 billion by 2018.

If you’re curious, here are the top five tools for B2B marketing:

1. Google Analytics

If you’ve ever shopped online, you’ll know that every retailer tracks your online behavior to understand and serve your needs. Now, these same brands want to reach your inbox to understand your needs and wants.

That’s why Google Analytics is such a dominant force in the marketing measurement world. The tool helps businesses understand how people found their site, what content they engaged with and what actions led to a conversion (e.g., purchase, lead, etc.).

Besides serving as a useful measurement tool, Analytics can also be used to gain valuable marketing insights. For example, you can use the tool to view traffic from different countries, acquireers (partners, affiliates, etc.), and search terms that lead to a conversion.

You’ll only see the most basic of Analytics reports without any personalization or advanced segmentation—but that’s all you need to get started. Plus, you can always slice and dice your data any way you want, using the tool’s many built-in metrics and reporting capabilities.

2. HubSpot

Speaking of getting started, few marketing tools are as streamlined or as user-friendly as HubSpot. This web-based tool makes it easy to create a marketing automation workflow that will track all the steps required to convert a cold lead into a paying customer.

Users can organize their workflow tasks into a logical and easy-to-follow process—which makes creating a marketing plan a breeze. Plus, you can track the progress of each step in real-time, gain valuable insights into each phase of the marketing process and identify areas for improvement.

As a B2B marketing manager, you’ll want to look into utilizing HubSpot for at least the following reasons:

  • E-commerce marketing
  • Marketing planning
  • Web and mobile analytics
  • Automated emails
  • Customer support
  • Social media

3. MailChimp

A rival to HubSpot, MailChimp is another sleek and user-friendly email marketing tool. Its popularity has soared among marketers, due in part to its inbuilt automation capabilities.

Once you set up your account with the popular email marketing tool (which doesn’t require a team, so you can get started with a free account), you can utilize its automation capabilities to send out e-mails on a schedule (e.g., monthly, quarterly, etc.).

Furthermore, you can personalize each email you send out, tailoring content to the interests of each recipient. You can do this by using a tool such as A/B testing—which regularly mixes up to two versions of an email to determine which one converts the best.

If you want a no-fuss way to get started with email marketing, MailChimp’s intuitive and user-friendly platform makes it a no-brainer.

4. Social Media Management (SMM) Suite

If you’re active on social media, you’ll know that every brand and website tracks your online behavior to understand your interests, measure your engagement with content and learn about the effectiveness of their campaigns.

In order to leverage this valuable learning, businesses use a tool called “social media management” or “SMM” for short. These tools help businesses build digital marketing and social media strategies, monitor and analyze performance across all channels, identify opportunities for growth, and create content calendars.

As the name implies, the social media management suite works hand-in-hand with other tools in your digital marketing toolbox, allowing you to execute a complete strategy. You can start with an easy-to-use web dashboard that will show you the performance of your overall strategy in real-time.

You’ll often hear SMM tools compared to Pinterest, since both are useful for connecting with potential customers and growing your business. However, SMM tools are more comprehensive, helping you track every step of the way, from creating a strategy to measuring its success.

5. Ahrefs

Last but not least, we have Ahrefs, which is short for “Alexa, hit the refresh button.” This handy tool saves you the effort of constantly checking Google Analytics for traffic stats. Instead, you can enter a URL or keyword, and let Ahrefs do the heavy lifting.

The tool performs an in-depth SEO analysis of your site, pinpointing areas for improvement and offering valuable advice on how to make your site more SEO-friendly. Furthermore, you can download the free tool or use the service’s web console to get real-time analytics for any keyword or website in under a minute.

Even if you’re a seasoned marketer, it’s always nice to have another go-to source for the best tips and tricks. As you can see, we’ve covered a lot of ground in this list, from SEO to email marketing and everything in between. Hopefully, these tools will help you build out a complete strategy and manage all aspects of your brand’s digital marketing. Which one will you choose?