Small business owners understand the terms “being stretched thin” and overworked. That’s why it’s essential for small business owners to have the right tools in place to help them work more efficiently. The term “work smarter, not harder” couldn’t hold more weight and be more relatable to someone trying to run a full time business.
Here at GoEdison, we rely on simple and effective marketing tools to help our day to day marketing operations. We have compiled a checklist of our favorite small business marketing tools that we feel will help any small business maximize their time and marketing.
Sprout Social helps businesses of all different shapes and sizes maximize their social media marketing efforts. Sprout’s platform allows you to integrate with a multitude of different social channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Feedly and Google+.
There are two major features about Sprout Social that we love. Sprout’s ability to report solid metrics regarding your social media engagement, and the ability to schedule out relevant content weeks in advance.
Using Sprout’s scheduling tool will help any business owner save time when it comes to keeping an active presence on social media. If time is money, then Sprout Social is your new best friend.
Benefits to using Sprout Social as a marketing tool
- Time Management
- Clean look and feel
[caption id="attachment_470" align="aligncenter" width="539"] Sprout Social Reporting and Scheduling Feature[/caption]
As a small business owner you don’t have a lot of room for mistakes, especially when it comes to playing with your marketing budget. That’s why it’s critical you create and track important metrics that will allow you to understand what is and isn’t working. Small businesses live and die by great marketing, this might be one of the best marketing tools out there that has flown under the radar this past few months.
LinkSlice is a clean and effective UTM tracker. To put it simply, LinkSlice helps you track ALL your marketing campaign links you create for social media, email outreach, PPC and your content marketing. It allows you to create a custom UTM that will track all the way through to your Google Analytics.
You’ve already invested time and money into your marketing, it’s essential that you track how your campaigns perform. Using LinkSlice is simple, easy, and very effective.
Benefits to using LinkSlice as a marketing tool
- Simple and clean tool
- Tracks any type of digital campaign
- Specifically made to integrate with Google Analytics
[caption id="attachment_471" align="aligncenter" width="833"] A simple way to create Google Marketing URL's[/caption]
You've heard people speak about Boomerang (including us), but we want to introduce you to what we like to call a "much better version" of Boomerang. Mixmax is a productivity suite for Gmail that will transform your inbox. If you're running a small business it's essential you invest in a tool like Mixmax. With wonderful, simple and clean email tracking, this will help streamline your prospecting process like never before. With snooze and reminders, messages that get buried in your inbox come back to the top of your crazy inbox at the time you set. Now that's pretty damn cool!
We don't know about you, but if your business is anything like ours, we get a stack of emails on a daily basis, and whether we like it or not, emails can slip by us if we aren't careful. Mixmax has allowed us to not only organize our inbox, but also maximize our inbox through much more effective processes. You can actually install Mixmax for free by clicking here.
Buffer is another awesome marketing tool that has similarities like Sprout Social. Like Sprout, Buffer allows to to manage and schedule all your social media accounts under one roof. They also provide some entry level metrics and analytics, which is nice if you don’t need a full on scouting report of your social clicks.
Our favorite thing about Buffer is the ability to use Buffer as an app and Chrome extension. Buffer can be housed as another one of your Chrome plugins, which is convenient when you find a great piece of content that you think would be great to share with your audience. You simply click your Buffer Chrome extension and their app automatically pulls up your social profiles and schedules the content for you. But that’s not it! The best feature about Buffer is they will schedule your content at “peak hours” on your social profiles. Buffer understands Facebook and Twitter’s algorithms a lot better than we do, and they make sure to capitalize on publishing your content at the right time to maximize its influence and potential.
Not to mention, Buffer has a kick ass blog everyone should read!
Benefits to using Buffer as a marketing tool
- Simple and clean
- Algorithmic scheduling tool
- Chrome App Extension
[caption id="attachment_472" align="aligncenter" width="679"] Automate your social media with Buffer[/caption]
Boomerang is one of the most underrated marketing tools out there. Any business owner will tell you the importance of “remembering” to send specific emails at the right time. Although Boomerang doesn’t play as your primary email marketing tool, it’s great for everyday operational use. Boomerang can be a great tool for client emails, prospecting and enhancing your sales email outreach.
Boomerang allows you to schedule out emails in advance and take FULL control of when you send and receive emails. Boomerang has a few features that will rock your socks off.
Our two favorite features are the “Gmail Follow-up” and “Read Receipts.”
Read Receipts - Read receipts for Gmail are great because it helps you track email opens and clicks. Have you ever sent and email and wondered if the constituent even got it? Well, this allows you to hone your internal email data and see the current status of the emails you sent.
Boomerang Gmail Follow-up - The follow up feature is one of the most efficient features Boomerang offers. As many business owners and salespeople know, follow up is critical. Boomerang Follow-up will give you a reminder if you don’t get a reply after a certain amount of days. If the message comes back to you without a response, it gives you the ability to send another email (already pre-scheduled)l to follow up with.
Oh yeah, currently there are over 350,000 small businesses worldwide using Boomerang. Maybe you should too?
Benefits to using Boomerang as a marketing tool
- Automated Email Scheduler
- Read Receipts
- Gmail Follow-up tool
[caption id="attachment_473" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Photo: GottaBeMobile[/caption]
Have A Business Lawyer On Call. (Just in case!)
This might sound like a no-brainier, and maybe even a stretch, but it's honestly not. Having a lawyer on call is always a smart move. Legal issues in business happen all the time, and although you never think it will happen to you, it's always better to be safe rather than sorry. We spoke with a Denver criminal defense attorney who said "Having a lawyer for your business on call is a lot like having insurance. You hope you never have to use it, but if you do, you're sure glad you have some protection at your back."
Even if your business is 100% even-keel and you do AMAZING work, make sure at the very least you know a lawyer and they are aware you run a business. It's as simple as making an introduction and having a local business lawyer's contact number in your phone. Your business could be your biggest asset. Make sure it's legally protected. Although a lawyer won't increase your "small business marketing", they could potentially save your small business from any trouble you might find yourself in when it comes to accidental trademark infringements, copyright issues or branding legalities.
Small Business Content Audit
One of the most powerful and underused marketing tools there is for a small businesses is understanding how a good content marketing strategy can truly increase and help their overall business and brand.
We have created a free marketing tool that every business owner should use. Our free Content Audit gives businesses direct insight on how content marketing will help them grow.
We create specific reports that audit your business content directly. This Content Audit isn’t pre-populated and is 100% custom to each company that signs up. In our Content Audit you great specific content industry insight, one competitive overview, a content calendar template, and simple strategy tips that will enhance your weekly website traffic. The best part our marketing tool is it’s 100% FREE, no strings attached.
Honorable Mention For Businesses That Need Network Data Security
Although this doesn't apply to every small business, but very well could in the near future we think it's only right we mention our friends over at Singularity Networks. Having real-time access to your network analytics is HUGE in today's digital frenzy world. With hacks and security becoming more and more relevant, we as businesses, big or small, have to up our game with network data security. With that being said, if you're thinking about moving to the cloud, we recommend you invest heavily in security tools!
Our FREE Content Audit Benefits Include
- A specific content marketing report tailored to your business and industry
- High level market research; industry specific
- One competitor content overview
- Content calendar template
- Simple strategy tips that will enhance your weekly website traffic
Having simple and effective marketing tools in place will not only help your day to day operations and productivity, it will also save you time and effort, which will allow you to focus on things that truly matter. Like running your business. All five marketing tools listed above are used on a routine basis here at GoEdison. We believe in working smarter rather than harder. Having these simple marketing tools in place allow us to do that.
We encourage everyone to try and test these marketing tools and see how they can increase your daily productivity.
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