10 Useful Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

17 Jan 2020

When starting or growing a business, there are a range of cost effective tools which can help structure your marketing activity, increase engagement and work towards growing your brand within the industry.

Supporting small businesses is at the heart of what we do, so we’ve outlined 10 of our favourite and most cost effective marketing tools that every small business can utilise when starting out or looking to expand.

1. Social Media

First and foremost on our list is the power of social media.

Love it or loathe it, social media is now a massive part of everyday lives and with more and more people earning a living by becoming ‘Social Media Influencers’ or ‘Youtubers’, it is no wonder that businesses who choose not to promote their products and services through social media are already on the back foot.

With 3.5 billion active social media users across the globe and 45 million active users in the UK alone, social media is by far the most cost effective tool for businesses to target potential consumers and grow their online presence. However, it is important for businesses to carefully select which platforms to promote themselves on to ensure their target audience is being reached.

Hootsuite’s 2019 UK Digital Report outlines some of the most popular social media sites in the UK which businesses are taking advantage of to grow their brand online and lists the percentage of online users reported in January 2019.

  • YouTube – 80%
  • Facebook – 78%
  • Instagram – 47%
  • Twitter – 46%
  • LinkedIn – 27%
  • Pinterest – 27% 

 

2. MailChimp

When it comes to email marketing, MailChimp is a fantastic, cost effective platform for businesses to utilise when it comes to distributing key messages electronically.  

MailChimp’s ‘Forever Free’ account is a great starting point for new and growing businesses who may just be beginning their email marketing journey or for those who have a small number of subscribers and would like a cost effective solution to communicating with both current and potential customers. With various plans available to suit a range of business sizes and budgets, MailChimp is a must have marketing tool.

3. Trello

Third on the list is virtual task-manager, Trello. Trello is perfect for small businesses and teams who work collaboratively on various projects and consists of various functions which allows users to:

  • Create multiple personalised boards which are specific to individual projects
  • Add due dates, comments and attachments
  • Assign items to specific team members to complete
  • Share boards
  • Track both short and long term goals

Trello’s basic plan allows individuals to carry out all of the above completely free of charge and so is a fantastic tool for businesses to structure, plan and manage daily tasks.

4. Google Products

Google has a vast product range consisting of hundreds of support tools that can help online users in every aspect of daily life. From Google Shopping to Google Maps, there is a Google app to suit everyone, even small businesses. Here’s some of our favourite Google products that businesses of all sizes can utilise to get the most out of their marketing strategy.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts allows users to receive email notifications when a new result for a specific topic appears in a Google Search. Businesses can use this tool to monitor any news articles online which mention the company name or other relevant industry phrases which can be key when managing PR activity.

Google Trends

Google Trends allows users to stay up to date with all the latest online ‘trends’ by exploring what the world is searching for on Google at any specific time. In addition to being able to find the latest online trends across the globe on any topic, users can also specify their search by region and demographic audience making this tool perfect for those businesses looking to target specific sub regions. Businesses can therefore utilise Google Trends within their marketing strategy by creating ‘on trend’ content which is likely to attract higher engagement.

Google Analytics

Understanding your customers is key to business success and with the help of Google Analytics, you can do just that. This tool allows businesses to get the most out of their website data by utilising features like analytics intelligence and detailed reporting to support their marketing strategy.

Google Ads

Google Ads is a cost effective way for businesses to get their website seen instantly by potential customers. With prominent spots on the users search results, these ads give businesses instant visibility and can help drive website visits, get more phone calls and increase store visits whilst working to a budget that suits.

Google My Business

Google My Business is a free profile which allows businesses to connect with potential customers across Google Search and Google Maps. Posting photos, leaving reviews and linking to the company’s website are some of the many features Google My Business offers, allowing you to engage with customers through Google, completely free.

Learn more about the Google products available to support your business here.

5. Dropbox

A platform to store, sync and share files, Dropbox offers businesses the ability to keep large files all in one safe, secure place. With both free and paid for packages available, Dropbox is an easy and reliable data drive for businesses to utilise both internally and with clients which allows a communal place to share project files.

6. SurveyMonkey

A global leader in survey software, SurveyMonkey gives users access to creating, sending and monitoring survey responses to drive business forward. With the ability to carry out various survey types including customer satisfaction, employee engagement and market research to name a few, SurveyMonkey is a key marketing tool for small businesses to utilise. With both free and paid for plans available, there is a solution to suit every business or individual’s needs.

7. Canva

For businesses with small marketing budgets, Canva is the perfect tool for creating professional graphics in minutes. With both free and paid for plans available, Canva’s design templates for every occasion and simple drag and drop features allow you to create design led graphics for social media, websites, promotional material and more.

8. Bitly

When it comes to social media, SMS and email marketing, long URL links can appear bulky and unsightly which in turn, can be off putting for the end user you’re trying to reach. Bitly’s free URL shortening and personalisation link management platform allows users to create recognisable links for incorporating across digital initiatives whilst also giving users the ability to monitor the impact of these by viewing key analytics including total clicks, user location, referrer and more.

9. Skype for Business

Professional online communication platform, Skype, is a tool that both small and large organisations utilise daily to connect with colleagues and customers alike. Features include audio and HD video calling, call recording, live subtitles, instant messaging, screen sharing and more. Skype is also available across all devices making it even easier for you to speak with colleagues and customers whether you’re in the office, at home or on the move. When it comes to selling, consumers will buy from people they know, like, and trust so adding Skype into your marketing mix will allow for customers to put a face to the business name which will help increase engagement.

10. iStock

iStock’s royalty-free images, stock footage clips and music tracks allow businesses to power their creativity by using these audios and visuals to enhance company websites, blogs, social media posts, video footage and more. With various plans available to suit a range of budgets, iStock is perfect for any size business looking to add professional visuals and audios to their projects.

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