4 Marketing Tools that Let Small Businesses Compete with the Big Guns
It’s a dog eat dog world when it comes to digital marketing. With the internet being the great leveler, marketing your brand online is now less a function of your budgets and depends more on how smart you are in using all the various tools and resources available at your disposal. With the right tools and tricks, your startup can take on Goliaths without batting an eyelid.
Let’s take a tour of 4 fantastic tools that offer your brand that edge over your deep-pocketed competition, once and for all.
Your website is the heart of all your digital marketing activities. Be it PPC ads, SEO, email marketing or even content marketing, the final goal for all of them is to drive users to your website and make them convert there as efficiently as possible.
For conversions to actually happen once your visitors land on your homepage or website landing page, these pages need to be optimized for towards the conversion goals. A tool like Optimizely allows you to use A/B tests and multivariate tests to build custom pages that are best suited to deliver on specified conversion goals for each page.
- With Optimizely you can test existing landing pages or create landing page tests by modifying, moving around or completely eliminating page elements.
- It lets you run multiple tests simultaneously, you can even schedule tests to run at particular times.
- Allows you to choose the specific target audience that will see a particular test.
- Does not require coding and can be carried out by the marketing team themselves without any external web development support.
- Integrates beautifully with a range of website analytics tools like Google Analytics, KISSmetrics, SiteCatalyst etc. to let you integrate website data with Optimizely effortlessly.
Optimizely is a paid tool that starts at $19 per month for the cheapest plan and scales up to $399 per month, based on the number of visitors your site receives on a monthly basis. It also offers a 30 day free trial period for the undecided ones among you.
Once your site is ready to roll, you need tools to drive traffic – the right sort of traffic – to your site. Email marketing has been proven to be one of the most efficient sources of website traffic offering the highest ROI among all other digital marketing tools.
GetResponse is one of your best choices when it comes to creating, sending and analyzing email campaigns to your entire database at one go. With a simple and extremely intuitive interface, email marketing does not require a specialized agency anymore and can be done in-house from start to finish.
- GetResponse allows you to design and edit email newsletters with its simple drag and drop editor. It also has built-in templates for when you are short of time and need to get a message out ASAP.
- Test every element of your newsletter before send out to ensure maximum opens, clicks and conversions.
- Integrate databases from your social media accounts to expand your reach instantly.
- Schedule newsletters to be sent out at specific times of the day or on specific dates. It also allows you to create triggered emails – emails that are automatically sent out based on a customer’s action on your site e.g. a cart abandonment email will be sent out when a user leaves items in her cart and moves out of your website without completing the transaction.
- The analytics suite that comes with GetResponse tells you exactly what actions were taken on your emails, lets you compare email statistics across time periods and even lets you set up automated reports that are delivered straight to your inbox.
GetResponse offers a 30 day free trial, post which it charges users a base price of $15 per month for a database of 1000 subscribers. Rates vary based on the size of users’ database, with no restrictions on the number of emails that can be sent out per month.
Social media is a platform that no startup or small business can afford to ignore. Even if you use social media only for organic posts and interactions, with no separate social media budget, the rising importance of social media in everything from brand awareness to engagement to website traffic and conversions makes it imperative that you have social media as a strong element of your marketing arsenal.
Social Bakers is a great tool that allows you to measure how well your social media marketing is doing across various platforms.
- Social Bakers tells you how you’re performing on key social metrics like reach, engagement, conversions and more for each social platform you are active on.
- It allows you to compare your numbers with industry standards to see how well (or poorly) your brand performs. Their competitive intelligence tool allows marketers to track how competitors perform on social media as well.
- It lets you listen to conversations about your brand on social media and identify key influencers among your fans who mould user perceptions about your brand. You can also measure how ‘socially devoted’ your brand is to respond to customer queries or comments on various social platforms.
- You can integrate the tool with Facebook Insights and Google Analytics for a more in-depth view of how social media activities co-relate with website metrics.
- Social Bakers’ “Builder” option allows you to create, publish and manage social media posts across platforms.
Thanks to the fact that it offers data that is premium and hard to come by directly, Social Bakers’ pricing is a little on the steeper side of the spectrum. Packages for the analytics suite start at $120 per month for basic plans and can go up to $1000 per month for enterprise plans. Users interested in all the various modules offered by Social Bakers can go in for a Social Bakers Pro account, for which pricing is available on demand.
You can choose to go piecemeal with your marketing efforts, or you can go all guns blazing with an ERP designed to maximize returns from all your various marketing efforts operated from a single tool – Agiliron.
Agiliron is an expansive business management tool with a marketing module that allows marketers a range of activities all under one roof.
From setting up your website using their e-commerce platforms to using their POS system in your physical stores to sending out email campaigns Agiliron has an answer to nearly every marketing pain point.
- Integrate various sales channels like website, mobile, physical stores and eBay marketplace stores under one platform using Agiliron.
- Sales teams can generate, track and manage leads; create and fulfil orders using Agiliron’s modules.
- Manage email marketing campaigns end to end using Agiliron.
- Google Analytics integrates seamlessly with Agiliron to show direct results of each marketing activity.
- Agiliron’s efficient dashboards and reports help marketers see the big picture with a 360 degree view of the business, integrating data from across functions like finance, inventory management, customer service and of course, marketing.
Agiliron offers a huge variety of features at surprisingly competitive prices. Rates start at $49 per month for beginner packages and go up to $199 for enterprise level features.
Just as clothes maketh a man, the right tools maketh a great marketer. Spend time in weighing your options and picking out the ones that work best for your business. After all, these are long-term investments that will build enduring equity for your business, not one-off buys that can be discarded at will.
Guest Author: Hiral Rana
Hiral Rana works with E2M – a digital marketing agency. She is head over heels in love with SEO and social media marketing. She wants to play an intrinsic role in the evolution of digital marketing by exploring its wealth of possibilities and opportunities. A music lover and an adventure seeker, you can connect with her @IamHiralRana on Twitter.
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