Marketing Tools refers to the strategies, techniques, and tools that businesses utilize to promote their brand, products, and services. They develop a comprehensive and effective approach using such tools to boost their sales and improve their market share in their respective business. The main objective of these marketing activities is the dissemination of information to make their presence known and communicate to the intended audience of their products and services.
Large companies have a number of channels for which they apply their strategy, but it doesn’t mean that startups and small businesses cannot use these tools for their growth. There are a lot of affordable tools and the internet has been a great benefit as a platform for different media that are available for these small competitors.
The affordability of these services has made a significant impact in helping businesses with limited bandwidth to be more competitive in their industry. Here are some of the tools that are cost-effective and inexpensive for every type of businesses:
1. Social Media
In today’s “inspire and sell” approach, social media has been arguably the main proprietor for these marketing methods. You can take advantage of the different social media platforms to not only get more audience but to have different channels to communicate to them about your products or services. Tools that allow you to control and manage multiple social media accounts in one dashboard can significantly make things a lot easier for you to capitalize this platform.
- To schedule posts ahead of time to give you an opportunity to create a multi-segment content that you can upload over a certain period.
- It helps you identify relevant influencers to represent your business.
- The capability to reply to comments and address issues as soon as they arise.
2. Market through Emails
This method uses a more direct approach to target leads that are highly-potential to do business with you. You can save a lot of time by using tools that specializes in automating sales activities and an intuitive system that helps you engage with your audience with a carefully crafted email or text campaign.
By being able to have outsourced email marketing to professionals with state-of-the-art technology will help you convert your inbound leads to sales. Your leads will have different behaviors and you should be able to adapt and make a well-designed approach to close the deal.
3. Classified Ads and Online Ads
Classified adverts are one of the staple tools to market your business. Today it’s not only in print but also on websites like Craigslist and services like Google Ads. The latter uses specific keywords to help identify leads or potential customers and shows them your ads if related to their search.
This will cost you a bit of money, but you’re paying for the convenience and Google’s algorithm to help you identify high-intent customers. It also gives you regular exposure across different platforms and websites.
4. Optimized Websites
Your online presence is not sufficient by just having a website. You must have a website that is optimized to get high traffic. When people search for something on the search engine, it will be to your advantage if your business appears on top of the first page if they look for something related to your business. This is why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be a requirement for any website that is tailored to selling something especially e-commerce.
The Customer Relationship Management system is one of the essential tools for business and marketing. It is your one tool that helps you manage your potential and current clients or customers.
Gone are the days where you navigate through spreadsheets, numerous inboxes, and clunky apps that only make things slow and complicated. CRMs help your sales team by giving them a single channel where they can talk to the clients and fulfill orders as well as address concerns. This will also serve as a database for your client’s information and its user-friendly interface will save you a lot of time getting over the learning curve.
The data is stored in the cloud so you don’t have to carry around your computer or transfer your files to your mobile phones. You can access the tool anywhere and monitor your sales performance anytime as well as in real-time.
6. Marketing Automation
This is one of those time-saving tools that help marketers with their day-to-day routine. An example would be transferring emails and downloading report files. There are available tools that allow you to design your own chain of applets. It follows a conditional formula or “IF, THEN” statements that make things smoother and it connects to your different accounts across different platforms. However, this should only be done for very simple and mundane tasks that don’t really need a lot of analysis or critical decision-making.
Every marketing strategy begins with the gathering of data to get the “lay of the land” so to speak. Surveys are useful to help you make decisions as well as design your approach to taking on the competition. It also gives you an idea of how your products are helping or satisfying your customers. It will give you a chance to identify the ones that need improvement. Surveys can also help you rate your products opposite your direct competitor’s goods. You can conduct this activity over the phone, in person, online, or through some entertaining games.
8. Data Analytics
Just like surveys, data analytics will provide you with a snapshot of how your business is doing and show you areas where you can improve your sales performance. The data ranges from sales reports to campaign performance as well as the visitor traffic of your website. The latter can be paired up with your SEO to help you optimize your online presence.
Reporting will give you an overview of your current campaign activities and help you tweak your process to make it more efficient. You will be able to see your engagement, email responses, and content volume that will show you what methods are effective and you can capitalize on your strengths.
9. Collaboration and Communication Tools
This is mostly an internal tool that will aid in increasing synergy and focus the team’s efforts on a single goal. In your business, you will be dealing with a number of people with different files and reports. It’s only logical that you provide an organizational tool that can provide a centralized warehouse of those files and contents.
Dropbox or like services provide a cloud-based data storage system that can be accessed anywhere by their respective personnel so they can work with the team wherever they may be.
A common communication channel is an essential aspect of your endeavor for collaboration. There are already a number of simple and convenient tools that allow you to send messages, share screens, and conduct video conferences. These tools will help you align your team and will help them call for assistance when they need it. Communication tools like Slack is a useful app that can integrate different platforms like Gmail and Trello to make a comprehensive space for your marketing team.
10. Content Creation
Selling your product and services is your goal and your campaign content is the main component of how you’re going to market them. There are different uses for your campaign, but the objective is always to draw your audience, in this case – potential customers, to purchase your product. You can use different media to deliver the message such as written blogs, striking graphics, and captivating videos. Your content doesn’t necessarily have to be the same and repetitive, but the theme should be the promotion of your business.
For text blogs, you will have to rely on the good old-fashioned individual expertise and insight. For graphics, there are a number of tools that will help you create a vision for your product that your customers can get behind. You can create logos, banners for your websites, and campaign ads. These tools are there to help you design a strategy that takes advantage of how visual cues are the fastest way to get into your customer’s mind.
Videos are the combination of a well-written message and animated visual aesthetics. With the speed of the internet nowadays, it has been noted that people consume more content through videos. You can upload your videos on YouTube or you can host them on your website. The important thing is that your content must be eye-catching as well as informative in order to drive more traffic.
12. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
The bottom-line for online as well as every marketing strategy is to convert leads into customers. This tool helps you analyze your online contents and make quick adjustments to favor those that can convert potential into sales. It will also help you launch promotional offers on targeted audiences visiting your website based on triggers set up by historical data.
13. Project Tools
Launching a campaign does not happen overnight, there should be a lot of thought put into each project. You can use tools to help you organize your team and track the progress of each marketing program from start to finish. There are a lot of free online project boards that provide you the convenience of creating a process flow, assign tasks to your members, and set deadlines for each task. This way you’ll be able to spot bottlenecks and address them before they become a problem for your campaign.
Events are one of the best ways to have a personal face-time with potential customers. If you’re planning to hold conferences, company parties, or community gatherings, you will be more effective if you can get the people you want to join them.
By using tools like Eventbrite or Facebook Events, you can promote your event as well as help you in managing logistics. You can create a landing page for your program and set the important information about it. With some tools, you can collect ticket fees and communicate to your participants in one place.
15. Lead Generation
This is one of the most basic tasks for marketing. Asking for your visitors’ email contact and building a database for those leads will help you on your way to your goal. You can also track their activities on your website and use that to offer them something they’d be interested in. Their contacts will also help you build a profile on the visitors of your website and you can see your customers’ demographics, area of concentration, and who they are. All of these are in-bound marketing tools that will let you see what are your strengths and where you need to do more work.
16. Loyalty Programs
Repeat customers are always good for business. Big companies aim to make more than 60% of their revenue from repeat customers. This will give them the stability and confidence to continue operations. So, it goes to show how important it is to take care of your regular and loyal clients. This measures the tendency and frequency of your customers to come back again and again.
Offering loyalty programs to loyal customers is essential to keep a stable sales performance. It costs way less to keep customers happy than getting new faces through your doors. Small businesses might want to take some notes from big organizations on giving something to loyal customers and not dwell too much on the price tag.
It cannot be ignored that marketing tools are an integral part of every business to succeed. With the right investment in these tools and due diligence, you can expect an improvement in your sales. The reason why I said the “right investment” it’s because you will also have to be prudent with the methods you’ll use for your marketing needs.
Everything is not plug-and-play and you’ll have to make some adjustments along the way to make these things aligned with your goal. Nevertheless, with today’s stiff competition you can hardly go wrong with taking every advantage you’ll get to have an edge over everyone else.
Interesting related article: “What are Marketing Tools?“