It’s a new year and most of us are happy to be leaving 2020 in the rearview mirror. It was a tough year at almost every level and marketing is no exception.
2021 promises to be challenging as well, but we hope that also means an eventual return to something that feels like the old normal as vaccines are distributed and society recovers and reopens.
There’s no shortage of marketing tools that can help you navigate whatever lies ahead. Here are 9 that help you plan and refine your marketing to attract more customers, drive more sales from your efforts and keep you on-brand.
If you’ve ever spent time and money designing a landing page, an opt-in form, or anything else devised to drive conversions – only to be disappointed by the results – then Clickflow is the marketing tool for you this year. It’s a robust, SEO-driven A/B testing apparatus that you can use to test every aspect of onsite SEO.
While Clickflow isn’t cheap – you’ll pay $109 per month – you can get a free trial to check it out. Using it for a couple of months can help you improve your meta data, tags, and content to improve your rank on Google and get more conversions than ever before. It’s a worthwhile investment.
#2: Google Analytics
Google Analytics isn’t new but don’t roll your eyes because we’ve included it here. A lot of small business owners don’t bother checking their Google Analytics and that’s a mistake that costs them customers and revenue.
For a free tool, Google Analytics provides a ton of relevant (and actionable) information about your website visitors and their behavior. You can use it to determine which resources are sending you the most traffic and which content is driving conversions. You already have access to it – so start using it!
PRO TIP: when connected to your LocalWerx Business Center, Google Analytics data is included in your weekly Executive Report to help you target your marketing efforts and understand your results.
#3: Screaming Frog
What if you could chase Google’s spiders with a frog and spy on your competitors’ SEO? You can with the free version of Screaming Frog, an SEO crawler that can give you a leg up on your competitors.
Using Screaming Frog, you can scan up to 500 URLs and collect technical optimization data. It allows you to check tags, identify broken links, and find duplicate content. It’s a great way to audit your own site and spot holes in your competition’s SEO.
If you do your own content writing and grammar isn’t your strong suit, Grammarly is an indispensable tool. They have free and paid versions, and the free version should be robust enough for most small businesses.
Grammarly will spot spelling errors, including pesky contextual errors that most spellcheckers miss. It’ll also correct your grammar, make suggestions to tighten up your content, and you can even use it to flag duplicate content online – especially useful if you outsource your writing!
A lot of small business owners struggle to come up with great ideas for content. BuzzSumo is a tool that can help you find content ideas with its keyword search function. You can also use it to identify potential influencers to promote your products and brand.
You can try BuzzSumo free for 30 days. After that, pricing begins at $99 per month. Because their search bar is located on the home page, you can get a few freebies a day even if you don’t sign up for an account.
Businesses that are active on social media must share a combination of original and curated content. But where can you find quality content to share with your followers? That’s where Feedly comes in.
Feedly is a news aggregator that will collect all relevant news in your specified niche or industry. Then, you can comb through, read what interests you, and find the best content to share with your followers on Facebook or Twitter. They offer a free trial and monthly pricing starts at just $6.
Email marketing is still one of the most affordable and effective ways to connect with your audience. We like MailChimp for its robust free option that allows small business owners to send up to 12,000 emails per month.
While there are some email marketing providers that are better suited to huge enterprises, MailChimp offers enough features to allow local companies to build a list and create email sequences that convert subscribers into paying customers.
#8: Facebook Creator Studio
If you already have a Facebook business account, then you have access to Facebook Creator Studio. It’s a tool that allows you to view everything you’ve posted on Facebook and create new content to share with your followers – and it’s free.
What we love about Facebook Creator Studio is that you can use it to schedule and test posts. Scheduling means that you can have content going live while you’re busy doing other things. The testing features allows you to compare the performance of multiple posts and determine which content does the best with your audience.
Canva is one of the most versatile content creation tools around. You can use it daily for small tasks such as resizing images to use in your social media profiles, creating memes, and so much more. You can even create traditional marketing for print, like posters, flyers and brochures. Features available in the Pro version even help keep you “on brand” with color palettes and saved logos.
Canva’s free option gives you access to 250,000 templates and robust design features. If you want to upgrade to the Pro version, it’ll cost you $12.99 per month. In return, you’ll get a free Brand Kit and access to Canva’s massive library of 75 million premium stock images.