Whether you’re opening a startup or embarking on the path of becoming an independent marketing guru, utilizing various marketing tools will only make your life easier. In the ocean of endless marketing tools, free and paid, how do you choose which ones to work with now? We’ll break down a few of the best tools for marketing beginners that not only will help you at the start but will also stem into tools you’ll use further down the road. First, it’s important to identify the purpose of what you want to use marketing tools for, and for your convenience, we’ve already broken them down into categories.
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4 Free Tools for Research
For anything to be effective, it is best to study, research, and analyze before taking action. That’s why you need to have methods on hand to make research more accessible, without only relying on a simple search engine query.
Want to know what is trending each day both locally and globally? Google Trends gives you a quick roundup of all this information, for no cost at all. You get to see what headlines are trending all across the world and assess if any of these topics or keywords are worth touching upon in your marketing.
This is a great platform for research along with brainstorming. Don’t know what your next blog post or social media post is going to be about? Type in a few keywords related to your brand and see every associated search result that is currently trending within that sphere. You can find sample questions, comparisons, or related uses of that keyword to see which are the best options to implement in your marketing efforts.
Research for any sphere often involves a combination of qualitative and quantitative work. Your answers to market related questions will not always be available in black and white, handed straight to you. You may need to go out and get it with the use of questionnaires or interviews. This is where tools such as SurveyMonkey come in handy. As an alternative, you can look into Google Forms or integrating surveys into your email marketing with MailChimp.
In the 21st century, you’ll be carrying out research on concepts that you didn’t think would be necessary 10 years ago perhaps. Hashtag research falls into this category. Before any Instagram post or Tweet, you must carefully tailor your target hashtags for each individual platform. This is why you’ll need tools to help you access what hashtags are worth using and which you should rather set aside. RiteTag is capable of being your helping hand in this process.
4 Tools for Written Content Creation
Creative and enticing copy comes from within the specialist, but there are helpful marketing tools you can acquire to make certain processes easier. There is no shame in opting for tools that help in certain steps of the content creation process, whether it’s for brainstorming, proofreading, making use of ready-made templates, and so on. Content creation entails a range of different branches from written content to visual, which is why we’ve put forward some of the best tools to support your progress with any of them.
Want to send out surveys, newsletters, promotions, and email marketing galore? Then MailChimp is an undeniable tool for beginners and professionals alike. With their range of free templates, you can whip up an email marketing campaign in record time without worrying about coding and designing eye-catching emails from scratch.
All of your written copy needs peer-reviewing or grammar checking, but having an in-house editor is not something you can, or need to, invest in right off the bat. Grammarly provides free and additionally paid grammar reviewing solutions that go beyond the regular grammar checkers. After all, you don’t want your clients to spot the typos in your provided copy.
Yoast is an optimal plugin for your WordPress site to ensure your written content is up to par with SEO standards. It will analyze all of your headings, meta descriptions, and titles to summarize everything that is done well or poorly in relation to your content’s optimization. All you have to do is plug in the keywords that you were targeting for the current page. This takes a lot of pressure off of maintaining an in-house SEO specialist if you don’t have the means for it at the moment.
Copywriting has never been easier and more accessible than now. Copy.ai utilizes AI software to generate ready-to-use content depending on the keywords or descriptions you provide. The tool can generate content for anything from Instagram captions to blog post introductions and meta descriptions and more. You can choose to use this content as it is or as a method of brainstorming to make the content more of your own.
3 Platforms for Visual Content Creation
While Canva concentrates more on visual content, it allows you to showcase your written content in a creative format beyond the black-and-white text. The free templates can help immensely with your SMM posts since Canva provides pre-formatted image sizes for different social media platforms and thousands of ready-made posts you can use. Canva is an exceptional tool for self-employed digital marketers or teams without an in-house graphic designer available.
Stock photos are an absolute savior whether you are an amateur designer or an established one. It’s just not possible to get an original image or vector every time you need something for your social media marketing. Shutterstock has an endless collection of visuals at your disposal for even your most specific and picky needs. If a Shutterstock membership is not an investment you want to make right now, there are completely free alternatives such as Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay that are worth looking into.
Vimeo is a hidden gem for filmmakers and videographers. While your initial instinct may be opting for Youtube, Vimeo is considered a more professional and favored platform by those seriously involved in videography. There aren’t any advertisements across your videos, taking away the spotlight from the content and the platform comes with several other helpful tools to engage your audience with visual content.
4 Methods for Planning and Organizing
Digital marketing involves being informed and active across several platforms at once, and if this is left unorganized, then you’ll have a hard time separating the wheat from the chaff. Especially if you plan on providing marketing services to several clients simultaneously, you’ll need to do everything in an organized manner.
Whether you’re working alone or with a tight team, you can never go wrong with utilizing planning software to keep track of tasks, goals, and deadlines. The user-friendly and easily accessible boards on Trello allow you to log all of your projects in an organized manner. It gives the opportunity to collaborate with other coworkers across your organization and constantly be aware of the status of ongoing completed projects. You can also take a look at Jira, which is a sister application of Trello and exhausts much of the same features that users know and love in Trello, but with more advanced features.
If you’re planning on carrying out digital marketing for several clients at a time, then an efficiently categorized calendar will be a lifesaver. You can plan, publish, and analyze campaigns across all of your social media channels with Buffer. Storing all of this information in your mind and solely relying on memory for planning social media posts will become chaotic and challenging after a short while.
The boxes are already there for you to fill in! This is by far the simplest tool you can find for organizing anything from content calendars to logging data and much much more. Easily share separate files with clients or colleagues whenever you need to and they can make live changes right on the document for you to see.
Video content is ranking more than ever and it’s high time to make use of that to its full potential. Biteable offers an extensive variety of templates and stock videos to stitch together videos for anything from commercials, trailers, promotional videos, sale videos, and much more through their tool. They even have a subsection titled “anything and everything” which tells you all you need to know about the range of opportunities you will receive.
4 Tools for Metrics and SEO
Have a website? Then you need to have a hawk’s eye on how your marketing efforts, whether organic or paid, impact web and mobile traffic. It’s crucial to make a habit of analyzing and tracking important analytics for search engine optimization. Assessing what is working and what isn’t in your marketing campaigns is an immense step towards making progress and here are three tools to get you started:
All you need is a Google account (free of charge) to access all of the in-depth analytics related to your website once it’s linked. Despite everything, Google is still a frontrunner in search engines which means you can’t go wrong with optimizing your website for SEO best practices. It’s recommended that you gradually utilize all of Google’s G-Suite features in general since these tools can help you become frontrunners in your niche if you use them to their full potential.
This is an outstanding tool not only for SEO, but digital marketing in general, especially for competitor analysis instead of just your personal data. Besides metric analysis, there is an extensive list of features you can utilize such as keyword generation and website audits. All in all, there is so much in one place!
For SAAS and e-commerce marketing, Kissmetrics is certainly a tool worth looking into for your marketing analysis. By accepting the demo, you can see all of your metrics in one place and make the choice for yourself if you want to continue with a paid plan. Kissmetrics works great with SAAS websites and eCommerce integration as well, which is a feature that not all tools offer these days.
Ahrefs is arguably one of the best SEO tools you’ll find online today. Although it is only available through paid plans, marketers will agree that it’s an investment worth making. It’s exceptional for competitive analysis in an effort to help you stay in the game with your competition. The limits of the platform don’t end there though, you can dig deep to find many other SEO resources such as a keyword explorer and generator, website checker, broken link checker, and much more.
Entering the world of digital marketing seems intimidating at first, but once you acquaint yourself with all aspects of the field, it will become much easier to navigate around both company and client needs. You’ll certainly find branches of digital marketing that you enjoy more than others, but being equipped with handy tools for every step of the way will just make your task at hand easier. Whether you are a beginner or an established digital marketer, you’ll get a lot of use out of these marketing tools.
Chris Mcdonald has been the lead news writer at complete connection. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides. Chris is also an author of tech blog Area19delegate. He likes spending his time with family, studying martial arts and plucking fat bass guitar strings.