Marketing is one of the most essential components of success for a small business. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most intimidating for those just starting out. All the marketing websites and advertising jargon trying to sell you the “perfect marketing strategy,” it can be overwhelming. There’s no reason to be scared of a little business marketing, and the right tools can make all the difference.
Let’s face it, humans are very visual creatures. The image you show to customers is vital to how they receive your product. Think about the popular films of the last several years. Imagine the epic blockbusters of the 2000’s and how their box office sales would be different if they had been filmed with 1960’s special effects. That’s the difference between a well-designed business website and a hastily thrown together web page. That’s the difference between a business card a customer will keep in their wallet and one that will get tossed. Canva is an invaluable design tool which allows you to design anything and publish anywhere. The massive collection of graphic and text tools offered by Canva provide you with everything you need to put the best face on your small business.
Analytics and statistical data may not be the most exciting phrases for most of us, but they are two of the most significant components of audience building and business growth. SEMrush is one of the most prolific players in the industry when it comes to analysis of web content and performance. Essentially, the SEMrush platform ties together SEO, social media marketing, content performance analysis, and traffic analytics to optimize your web presence for your target audience. SEMrush performance tools are so valuable that big names like eBay and Quora use them regularly.
A unique approach in performance optimization, Optimizely incorporates experimentation and empowers ideas. Basically, the tools included with Optimizely allow you to customize all of your content with multiple variations and guage the performance of each to find what gets the best results. For example, the same article or blog post may attract more clicks with one headline than with another. Optimizely allows you to create alternate versions of one page to determine which headline performs better. Beyond this, though, you can experiment with all aspects of your site to find what works best for your business. To better illustrate the impact of this tool, see what computer powerhouse HP had to say about the benefit of experimentation and the use of Optimizely.
Organization and planning can’t be stressed enough when building and growing your business. One component that is sometimes overlooked is the ability to take notes when inspiration strikes and incorporate them into your business strategy. Evernote is a tool for taking business notes and organizing them in a clear and useful way. The advanced programming allows you to keep track of ideas, plans, to-do lists, and anything else you might need to jot down. What’s really great about Evernote is that it organizes your notes from both online and hard copy sources. Simply clip from the web or document or PDF file, or scan a printed form or handwritten note. Evernote can read and search for keywords in 28 typewritten languages and 11 handwritten languages.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool designed to help businesses maintain an active social media presence across multiple platforms. The first major benefit of Hootsuite is the ability to post to all of your social media accounts simultaneously, saving you time. The scheduling feature makes it easier to keep your accounts updated daily while you focus on running your business rather than promoting it. Additionally, Hootsuite will measure the impact of your media posts and public response to ensure that your social media activity is delivering positive results.
Strong team collaboration is one of the most important aspects of business success. The lack of effective collaboration is a great way to mismanage time and kill profits. Trello is a solution to the difficulty of project collaboration in the modern era. Much of the work performed today is carried out by teams who may not even be in the same time zone. In the past, email would be the primary means of communication. While email is great, a huge volume of back and forth emails is not the best way to keep ideas and insights organized and may lead to confusion and miscommunication. Trello provides a platform for collaborators to utilize shared access to a project so that everyone can contribute in one place. This is great because your team can really work together and remain organized even if you are a world apart.
Give these tools a try and see how it helps your business. Do you have any other favorite tools to add to the list? Share them in the comments.