Today we’re sharing the top 30 best digital marketing tools for small businesses that you need to know about!
When you’re running a small business, you’re wearing many different hats all at once.
It doesn’t matter if you have zero employees yet, a small marketing sales team or a growing team. You can always stand to simplify and automate things where possible, right?
It just takes finding the right marketing tools.
In this post, we’re going to share the best marketing tools for small businesses that help execute their digital marketing strategy.
And make sure you read through the whole post because a lot of these are free options for small business marketing tools so that you don’t have to worry about putting a lot of your money towards influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, etc.
30 Small Business Marketing Tools To Help With Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Organic Social Media Management Tools
If you post to any social media platform outside of just Facebook, you’re going to want to use a social media scheduling software, saving time.
We say “outside of Facebook” because Facebook has its own built-in scheduling platform in Creator Studio that technically works for both Facebook and Instagram…
…(although it doesn’t give you all the options in scheduling Instagram posts that we would like).
But if you’re wanting to mass schedule the same post to multiple platforms at once, a social media scheduling software is the way to go.
We currently use Zoho Social here at LYFE, but we have tried and liked many different scheduling software over the years.
Hootsuite is another popular social media scheduling software that we have used in the past.
It’s just a little bit limited for what we need as a marketing agency, but it often suffices for small business owners otherwise.
A social media scheduling software, in general, will allow you to mass schedule an entire month’s worth of visual content creation or more all in one sitting.
This not only gives you more clarity and direction in your social media efforts but it is also more efficient than stopping what you’re doing to schedule posts.
If you post on Instagram, you’ll want to utilize LinkTree.
We all know how Instagram gives you one link in your bio, and they don’t support clickable links in your captions.
So what do you do if you need to refer to multiple links in a week’s worth of posts?
Are you going to manually change your bio link every day? You could, but that’s not often sustainable or efficient.
LinkTree allows you to house multiple different links in your LinkTree bio. So when someone clicks on it, they can choose which of your links they want to click from there.
You can update the links in real-time at any given time, pick the background screen color, and how the names of each link appear.
Digital Advertising Tools
4. Facebook Ads Manager
If you perform any paid Facebook marketing, you’ll need to have your Facebook Ads Manager set up.
Ads Manager serves as a campaign monitor and tracks the performance of Facebook ad campaigns.
If you want more page likes, post engagement, video views, website traffic, lead generations, lead captures, or to drive sales, Facebook Ads Manager is where you run those marketing campaigns.
We show you how to create a Facebook ad in that blog if you need to learn how.
5. Facebook Business Suite
The Facebook Business Suite houses all of your Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger accounts in one place.
This free marketing tool makes it super easy to give certain team members or agencies the access they need.
It serves as a customer support tool and centralizes all of your messaging tools so you can respond to customers across different platforms in one place.
It streamlines all of your different Facebook marketing efforts to help you efficiently manage it all from one place.
6. Google’s Keyword Planner
If you’re performing SEO for your website or blog site, you’ll want to use this free Google tool.
It allows you to do keyword research, for keywords that are relevant to your business to see if people are searching them or not and if so, what the search volume is.
This will help direct your content writing efforts so that you know what topics and keywords to write your blogs around.
If you’re a local business owner, you’ll want to make sure you’re ranking for local keywords as well…
…and small business marketing tools like this will help you determine which local search terms are being searched the most.
Overall, it serves as a mobile marketing technique by keeping a pulse on your target audience and their searches so you know how to pivot your SEO efforts accordingly.
Email Marketing Tools
MailChimp is one of the most popular and user-friendly email marketing programs available.
Unlike direct mail, emails give your customers the opportunity to be in control.
If you’re newly getting started with email marketing, this is a great marketing software to go with.
It’s also available at a lower price point than some of the other email marketing tools, making it affordable for small business owners on a budget.
An email marketing tool like MailChimp will allow you to automate all of your email campaigns so that you don’t have to sit down and manually send them out every time they’re needed.
Someone purchases a product? They will automatically receive a confirmation email.
Someone signed up for your email list? They will automatically be funneled into your drip campaign.
Marketing to potential customers becomes a lot easier.
MailChimp simplifies the process of setting up email automations so that the everyday business owner with little to no user experience can still get started with email marketing.
Active Campaign is a more advanced email marketing tool, and it’s actually the one we use here at LYFE.
To some, MailChimp being a simpler program may be a pro, but to others, it’s a con because it limits their capabilities.
ActiveCampaign may offer a steeper learning curve and be a little pricier, but it gives you more powerful features and customization at the same time.
Plus, Active Campaign doubles as a customer relationship management tool, or a CRM.
If you’ve already dabbled in email marketing for a while and are looking to take your email and/or SMS marketing automation tools a step further, this may be a program worth looking into.
9. Google Analytics
This is probably the most popular marketing analytics tool on this list, and if you’re not already using it, you need to start today.
Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic, currently as one platform inside the Google Marketing Platform brand.
It’s basically a tool that connects to your website, and it breaks down your website traffic for you so that you can see which sources drive traffic and conversions.
For instance, here’s a glance at our GA account. You can see that the majority of our traffic comes from organic Google searches.
And knowing this kind of information is useful across all of your marketing efforts because you can tell which ones are paying off the most (and therefore which efforts are worth investing in).
Now there are tons of things you can track and learn and do with Google Analytics.
But the biggest takeaway you should note is that it can quickly give you a birds-eye view of where your traffic is coming from and what traffic sources are actually converting. Google Analytics also serves as a conversion rate optimization tool.
And one of the reasons small business marketing tools like this are so popular is because it’s a free plan!
Google Analytics Academy has a beginner course that you can take if you are totally new and want a powerful enough starting grasp on how to use the tool to grow your business.
Some of you may have noticed this tool has already been listed once today, but it’s because Zoho Social is a social media analytics tool and scheduling software in one!
Once you connect your social media platforms to it, it gives you a birds-eye view of all of your social media accounts.
You can see if your followers are increasing or decreasing, what kind of posts tend to get the most engagement, where your followers are coming from, and much more.
You can look at this customer data for individual platforms or across all of your platforms in just a couple of clicks.
Knowing this kind of information allows you to better understand your social media efforts and make informed decisions that lead to the desired outcome- like followers, engagement, and sales!
If you don’t yet have the capacity to pay for small business online marketing tools, or an analytics platform specifically, every month or every year…
…each individual social channel does come with its own analytics built in.
Instagram Insights, Twitter Analytics, TikTok Analytics and so on all come with the social media platform for free.
They may not have the same extensive details or reports that some of the paid social media analytics tools do, but they’re better than nothing if you don’t have a budget for paid analytics yet!
12. MozBar extension
This is a Google Chrome extension that is a free place for you to use when you sign up with your email for a free account.
It allows you to view statistics about the results on search engine result pages.
When you type in “social media advertising” into Google and scroll down into the results, this is what shows on screen when you have the MozBar extension installed.
It shows the page authority and domain authority for each page.
Now, let’s click on one of these results and show how the MozBar works as a landing page builder.
We can see the Domain Authority listed where the extension icon is, and if we click it again, we can get the menu bar drop down from the extension where it shows the PA and DA again.
Then you can tap on Page Analysis to get some more information like their meta description, what keywords they’re using in their headers etc.
There is a paid version that gives you more insights, but for what we need here at LYFE, we just use the free version.
MozBar is a great way to spy on your competitors and scope out some backlinking opportunities.
Backlinking is when another website links back to your website from theirs, and you want a website with a higher domain authority than yours to link back to you.
So, having the MozBar extension installed is a quick and easy way to pull up any website or URL and see what its authority rankings are.
13. Google Search Console
Search Console offers reports and the right tools that help you measure your site’s search traffic and performance.
You may remember this service being called Google Webmaster Tools in the past.
Once you connect your website to this tool, it shows you how Google crawls, indexes, and serves your website.
You can use Google Search Console to learn a lot about your website visitors:
- how many visitors you’re getting and their source,
- whether more of your visitors are on a desktop or a mobile device,
- which web pages they visit the most
…and so on.
It can also help you identify and resolve website errors, create a sitemap, and more.
We specifically go back and utilize this tool whenever we’ve updated old pages on our blog…
…because we want Google to acknowledge the changes that we’ve made in hopes of it getting us better rankings in the search results.
So all in all this is another one of those free small business marketing tools from Google that can help you improve your SEO efforts as well as just know what’s going on with your website and traffic.
Google also has a beginner’s guide for this as well.
SEMRrush is a multi-functional tool.
You can perform content marketing, competitor market research, SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay-per-click) marketing, and social media marketing all in one place.
This tool is a little bit similar to Google Search Console in its functionality, but it’s a paid tool, and therefore offers deeper insight and way more tools than the Search Console does.
For instance, it has the keyword magic tool that we use often that allows you to type in any keyword related to your business and see the search volume for it and the keyword difficulty.
The keyword difficulty tells you how hard it would be for a website to rank organically in the top 10 spots on Google for that keyword.
It also shows you the SERP features for that keyword and questions typically searched around that keyword.
And that’s just one facet of the SEO tools; don’t forget there’s a whole sidebar menu of tools within SEMRush for advertising, social media, content marketing, and more!
If you’re interested in seeing several ways this program can help you grow, you can schedule a training demo with them.
Yoast is a WordPress plugin that helps ensure whatever page you’re working on is optimized for SEO.
It’s very user-friendly, signaling whether something needs work or not with the green, red, and yellow light system.
They also have other variations available such as Yoast for Shopify and Woocommerce as well as Local SEO and more so you can find the version that works best for your needs.
It simplifies the process of filling out your page title, meta description, and more while ensuring that your page is optimized to rank high in the search results.
This is helpful because when your website ranks high in the search results, leads come to you. You don’t have to generate leads or cold-call.
Instead, you can reap the benefits of inbound marketing.
16. Content Aced
Content Aced optimizes content and analyzes your writing and offers suggestions based on what’s currently ranking in the Google search results.
You can have it analyze existing pages by entering a URL or you can copy and paste your writing directly into the tool if what you want it to review is not published yet.
It will give you different topic suggestions to include in your writing so that it can rank higher in the search results.
17. Hemingway App
The Hemingway App is one of those free small business marketing tools, and this one particularly helps simplify your writing.
It’s a website where you can copy and paste your captions and it’ll tell you how to edit your writing to make it bold and clear.
One of the things you’ll see in the upper right corner is a Readability grade.
Most businesses want to aim for a lower reading level because it makes their captions easier to understand by a wider audience.
The Literacy Project found that the average American reads at the 7th- to 8th-grade level.
So the Hemingway app helps you break up run-on or compound sentences into simple sentences among other things to ensure your copy is easy to read.
Graphic Design Tools
Canva is an online design and publishing tool that helps you design all kinds of graphic types: posts, newsletters, logos, flyers you name it.
There is a free trial option and there’s a paid Canva Pro version where you get a few more features for $10 a month on a yearly marketing plan.
If graphic design is not your realm of expertise (or even if it is!) Canva is a great tool for whipping up branded graphics, getting access to royalty-free stock images, increasing brand awareness…
…and finding strong template ideas if you’re just stuck on ideas for creating content.
We like this tool for small businesses because the free version still makes itself really useful for elementary designers (or for the entrepreneurs who just wear many hats)…
…while the paid version offers additional features that allow more experienced graphic designers a little more freedom.
Now of course there are other photo editing software that seasoned designers can and will want to play around with, but Canva is just a well-rounded software for all.
Photoshop is one of those more advanced design programs. You can make graphic designs, edit photos, create 3D artwork, and more.
This program gets easier the more you learn about it and spend time using it, but it’s not as readily user-friendly as Canva is.
It’s an advanced program that a lot of professional photographers and designers use.
Small businesses will benefit from having beautifully edited and professional marketing photos and graphics. This software can achieve that for you.
Photopea is a free, simpler version of Photoshop.
Small business marketing tools like this are web-based program which allows you (or any of your marketing team members) to access projects within it from anywhere.
It is used for a lot of the same purposes Photoshop is and is compatible with Photoshop files.
Anyone who has used Photoshop before will pick up on Photopea almost instantly, and anyone who hasn’t may find they can learn a little quicker on Photopea than on Photoshop.
This tool gives business owners starting out an easier and more convenient alternative to Photoshop.
Fiverr is a website that is best known for connecting business owners to freelancers who provide graphic design and video services.
Need a logo made? Or a YouTube thumbnail? Or a Facebook ad design?
You can connect with one-time freelancers to get the job done well and quickly instead of spending the time and money to hire a team of graphic designers yourself.
They offer other freelancing services as well, but graphic design is one of their most popular.
YouTube Marketing Tools
22. Keyword Tool
Similar to Google’s Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool allows you to do the same thing but for YouTube.
In addition to being owned by Google, YouTube is a search engine itself.
Your YouTube videos should be optimized for YouTube SEO the same way your website is for Google SEO.
Keyword Tool helps you do that by showing you the search volume for any given keyword.
It also gives you similar suggestions to that keyword and shows you what’s trending upwards vs not.
If you make YouTube videos or perform video marketing, this is a great video marketing tool to have in your pocket.
23. YouTube Studio
YouTube Studio comes free with any brand YouTube account.
It gives you all the analytics you need to know how your YouTube videos are performing.
Everything from a dashboard view to a video-by-video view and everything in between is available.
Looking at your videos’ CTR, the traffic by source, the subscription rate, and more will give you a pulse on how well your videos are doing and what you need to do to improve them.
You may find patterns such as a certain type of thumbnail tends to garner more clicks than another. Or maybe one topic always gets more views than another.
Looking into your YouTube Studio regularly will help you realize these patterns and act on them.
24. Camera Equipment
In order to have the best YouTube channel, you need to have the best equipment! Below is everything we use to film our YouTube videos:
- The Panasonic LUMIX GH5 4K Digital Camera
- Rode RodeLink FM Digital Wireless Filmmaker System (Microphone)
- Green Screen Backdrop Kit
- 4 EMART LED Video Lights with Adjustable Tripod Stand
All of this is available on Amazon, meaning you can have everything you need to start a great YouTube channel in 2 days or less!
Again, this is exactly what we use for our YouTube channel, which is growing at about 5K subscribers per month right now!
Team Management Tools
Zoom is a program that allows you to video call and screenshare with your team and/or clients.
As great and quick as chats are, sometimes you do need to just talk things out face to face or screenshare to help explain things better and so on.
If you’re using it for clients, it can be the easiest way to earn trust the same way you would in an in-person consultation.
Similar to other small business marketing tools out there, Zoom has free and paid plans, so you can choose the one that makes the most sense for what you need.
Some of you may already be familiar with this software because it really boomed in early 2020!
Counting both free and paying users, Zoom has 300 million daily meeting participants…
…which is a 2900% increase from December 31, 2019, when it had 10 million meeting participants logging on daily.
So, Zoom has become a great tool for small businesses especially since a lot of them have gone remote.
Slack is a messaging platform that allows for quick communication between your employees. Sometimes an email is just too much or takes too long!
Slack gives you instant communication via direct one-on-one chats or group chats called Channels.
It also allows for Huddles, which is almost like Slack’s alternative to Zoom.
With all of Slack’s features, it makes it easier for you and your team to work cohesively and more efficiently.
27. TeamWork Chat
TeamWork Chat is a website that is exactly what it sounds like! It’s a website and app that allows you to chat with your team about work.
You can chat with your coworkers one-on-one or you can create group chats to have a work chat with multiple people in it…
…and you can also rename those group chats to whatever makes sense for you.
For instance, if you have all of your social media team in one group chat, it would make sense to rename the chat Social Media Team to keep yourself organized.
Chats are instant and allow for a casual, quick means of communication that replaces quick conversations you would usually have in person in the office.
They allow you to live chat back and forth to collaborate and get some work done instead of sending slow, formal emails.
TeamWork in particular also makes it easy to send gifs and emojis so that you can convey emotions a little better since you’re not face-to-face.
And TeamWork Chat has an app you can download to your phone so you can also keep in communication with your team while on the go.
28. TeamWork Projects
TeamWork Projects comes from the same family as TeamWork Chat!
It’s a project management software that makes collaborative office work a lot easier.
If you have multiple people working on one project, you can set up the tasks that need to be done in such a way that’s dependent on one another.
For instance, let’s say one team member can’t start working on their essential part of the project until somebody else finishes their work first.
You can set the project up so that when one team member marks their task as done…
…the next team member will be notified that they have the green light to then begin working on their piece of the project.
You can also set up tasks to be recurring, which is helpful for managing weekly, bi-weekly or monthly tasks, and every task has a deadline attached to it.
TeamWork Projects allows for every team member to know exactly what they’re responsible for doing and by when.
29. Time Doctor
Time Doctor is a time-tracking software that gives you peace of mind that your team is actually working and not taking advantage of an at-home environment.
Simultaneously, it allows employees to track their hours.
Even if your team is salaried, tracking hours just allows them to avoid going into unpaid overtime.
Or if your company does pay extra for overtime, they can see how many OT hours they’ve acquired.
The way it works is they “clock in” with a tap of the button, and “clock out” when they’re done.
While they are clocked in, the software will take random screenshots of the user’s screen every few minutes, but again, it only does this if they are clocked in.
For you as the business owner, this helps you ensure that your team is being productive and not just watching Netflix all day.
You can set up notifications so that you are alerted if TD picks up low activity for any of your employees or if it detects a “mouse moving” software that has been installed on the user’s computer.
This might seem invasive to some, but the reality is not every single person on this Earth is honest!
Hopefully, the dishonest people are not the ones you’re hiring, but this software just helps keep a light eye on everybody’s productivity the same way you would in the office.
If you walked by a cubicle and somebody had their feet up binging Game of Thrones for 8 hours every day, you would have something to say about that right?
The standards are no different just because you’re now a remote company. So, Time Doctor helps to keep everybody accountable.
Acuity is an online business appointment scheduling software.
They give you your own customized scheduling page for you to send to clients. This gives the clients a real-time and up-to-date look at your availability.
That way you can set your schedule and boundaries while giving clients the freedom to schedule appointments on their own.
But beyond just scheduling appointments, here are some of the other great key features of Acuity.
You can sync your calendars, so if you normally use Google calendars, you can connect the two and it will automatically notify you when an appointment has been made.
You can set up automated text or email reminders to help you reduce-no show appointments.
Lastly, you can offer more than just appointments with gift certificates, packages, memberships, or group classes, and you can customize everything to fit your brand guide.
So if your business relies on clients scheduling calls with you, I would strongly suggest that you look into this software.
That wraps up our 30 small business marketing tools! We trust these tools will be helpful to you based on your marketing needs.
Be sure to check out our other small business marketing resources below! Also, don’t hesitate to contact us today if you need help with any of the digital marketing strategies we mentioned above.