64 Affordable Small Business Marketing Tools
Note: This post and the accompanying infographic were originally published by our friends at Hatchbuck. They are republished here with permission.
Keeping all of your marketing ducks in a row is no easy feat for a small business owner. You most likely run a tight ship and don’t have the personnel or budget resources to shell out for countless expensive marketing tools.
The good news is that there are plenty of affordable and effective tools out there to help you optimize your marketing efforts and compete with the big guys.
We’ve compiled a list of 64 of our favorite small business marketing tools to help you avoid marketing madness. You won’t need all 64, and we’re not comparing apples to apples here. So find a few that work for your business and invest time and energy into maximizing them.
Read more about each of these small business tools for analytics, content marketing, lead generation, SEO, PPC, email marketing and automation, design, project management, and social media below the infographic.
Now let's take a closer look at the tools in each category.
Small Business Tools for Analytics
Chances are you’ve heard of Google Analytics. It allows you to capture and analyze data on your web traffic and visitors. When used effectively, you can greatly increase your site’s user experience and increase conversion rates.
The KISSmetrics platform is perfect for SaaS businesses, allowing you to find out where your prospects are coming from, and mapping their journey on your website from prospect to customer. KISSmetrics gives you the important data you need to optimize your marketing channels, attract more customers, and get them to convert once they reach your website.
CrazyEgg’s heat mapping capabilities will give you insight into what visitors are doing on your website. It tells you where they’re scrolling, clicking, and more importantly, what they’re not clicking. With CrazyEgg, you can optimize your landing pages to make sure you keep visitors engaged and help them down the sales funnel.
Hotjar is an all-in-one analytics and heatmap tool that integrates with tons of tools like WordPress, Instapage and Unbounce. Hotjar’s setup is incredibly easy AND you can record web visits to see where your customers are clicking and focusing on your website.
Intercom is a customer messaging platform that allows you to see where your customers are getting tripped up and to send them targeted messages to solve their problems. The tool gives insight into areas of improvement on both your website and within your platform if you’re a Saas company. By automating customer service and triggering live chat, you can keep customers engaged and prevent costly churn.
Pendo acts as an extension of your product so that you can capture all user behavior, gather feedback, and provide contextual help to your users. It provides robust reporting on page and feature usage to help you improve your product.
GoodData is a business intelligence and data visualization tool. It’s more suited for enterprise businesses, but it’s an incredibly powerful tool that can benefit any business. Rather than using your limited resources building and maintaining BI infrastructure, GoodData lets you focus on turning your information into insight across your business.
ChartMogul is another fantastic business intelligence tool. The platform integrates with many other tools you’re probably using (Zapier, Zendesk, Slack, etc) so you can calculate your key metrics in real time. Say goodbye to Excel spreadsheets!
Small Business Tools for Content Marketing
According to their website, WordPress powers 27% of the internet. And there’s a reason for it. WordPress is the easiest content management system out there (in our humble opinion) and is super reasonably priced. It’s free for personal use, but the best package for small businesses starts at $8.25/month.
Content curation can be incredibly time-consuming when building a social presence. That’s where Feedly comes in to help you search, organize and share relevant content. Feedly also integrates with several project management tools such as Slack and Trello.
Can’t afford to hire a copy editor to review your blogs before you post them? Grammarly can save you from embarrassing errors. Use it in combination with your spell checker, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many typos you avoid. If you spring for the premium version, Grammarly also offers a plagiarism checker.
Content headlines are crucial. They determine whether or not readers click on your content. On top of their cohesive content marketing calendar, CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer tool will give your headlines numeric scores AND suggestions to make them stronger.
BuzzSumo is an excellent tool to help you uncover the trending topics and content that performs across various social media the best. You can also identify influencers (and spy on your competition if that’s what you’re into).
Not only does Contently allow you to schedule and optimize content, but the platform also offers freelancer writers to help your business create full-length articles and blog posts. While Contently is really geared toward more enterprise customers, you can’t make a ‘best of’ list without mentioning the platform.
ClearVoice is a content creation and management platform. The collaboration tool gives you access to freelance writers and editors to create professional content. ClearVoice most likely isn’t the right choice for small businesses just starting out (they require an annual subscription), but it’s a great one to keep in mind when you’re ready to step up your content marketing game.
Video marketing is all the hype this year and is an important piece of the content marketing puzzle. Wistia is our absolute favorite video tool. Like many social and content tools, Wistia offers analytics, automation and a place to host your videos. We love using Wistia to see which videos are performing the best on our site. The call-to-action features is also clutch for sending traffic to your site no matter where your Wistia video is posted on the web.
Small Business Tools for Lead Capture
Their simple lead capture forms are an easy way to serve up irresistible resources to your audience, growing your list. OptinMonster allows you to A/B test your forms to see what’s working and what isn’t so you’ll understand why your visitors are staying and going.
Unbounce is an easy-to-use landing page builder. They have beautiful pre-designed templates that will allow you to get your pages up and running without the help of code or professional web design. Plans start at $49/month, and Unbounce offers a free 30-day trial.
LeadPages offers pre-designed landing page templates, pop-up forms and the ability to send SMS opt-in codes. They boast tons of easy integrations and their Pro Plan starts at $48/month.
Sumo (formerly SumoMe) has an array of helpful lead capture tools, including sophisticated opt-in forms, easy integrations with just about any content management system, Google Analytics integrations and heatmaps. Pricing depends on your website visits but starts with a free package (best for those just getting started).
Instapage is another helpful landing page builder. The platform offers PPC compatibility, many integration and helpful A/B testing capabilities. The basic package starts at $29/month (paid annually).
HelloBar adds a non-intrusive lead capture bar to your website so you can turn website visitors into email subscribers into customers. The tool allows you to promote your social content and easily A/B test your messaging.
Qualaroo allows you to optimize your site by providing targeted website surveys to capture customer insight. With Qualaroo you can target questions to visitors anywhere on your website, in your product or in your conversion funnel. Their startup package starts at $199/month billed annually.
LiveChat does just what the name says. This simple tool allows you to get engage customers on your website, capture visitor information and provide more personalized, immediate customer service. The LiveChat starter package starts at $19/month. This is a great way to capture prospects from your website who might otherwise bounce.
Small Business Tools for SEO & PPC
Not only does WordStream have a phenomenal team and company culture, but they’re absolute bosses when it comes to all things PPC and paid advertising. Their free AdWords grader is a surefire way to know where your small business can make improvements.
Yoast is the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress. The tool works easily to optimize your content and landing pages to make sure your site is set up for success. With features like a readability checker and keyword optimizer, Yoast will make sure your content is optimized for the right eyes.
Google AdWords may seem intimidating to small businesses, but the easy-to-use platform is incredibly important. They offer search, display and video advertising to help you reach your customers where they’re searching. AdWords will require an investment to be successful, but it’s worth it for your business to drive more traffic to your website.
Not only does Moz have an amazing blog (including Whiteboard Fridays, which rocks), they help with SEO optimization, keyword research and backlink research. They also offer local search help to make your business more visible in your area.
Google Trends pulls data from Google Search to show you how often search-terms are entered in different areas of the world. With the help of Google Trends, you can find out what’s trending in your area and among your customer base.
AdEspresso integrates with Hootsuite – with both tools you can manage your social ad campaigns inside the Hootsuite dashboard to make sure your marketing efforts are streamlined.
SpyFu literally allows you to spy on your competitors. The platform allows you to search for any domain and see every place they’ve shown up on Google. You can also see a list of every keyword your competition bought on Adwords, every organic rank, and every ad variation in the last 10 years. Now that’s good detective work.
SEM Rush is another competitor research tool that can have a huge impact on your business. They offer the ability to compare your domain to your competitors, pull information on your competitors keywords AND help you discover new competitors in your space organically.
Small Business Tools for Email Marketing & Automation
Hatchbuck is an all-in-one CRM and marketing automation tool created specifically for small businesses. Our easy-to-use platform helps you to organize your contacts, automate marketing activities and drive higher response rates and sales through personalized prospect communication every step of the way.
IFTTT is a powerful automation tool that’s incredibly easy to use. You create or pick ‘Applets’ (formerly ‘recipes’) to automate specific tasks on Facebook, Twitter, and any other business app imaginable. Remember to share the wealth, IFTTT can also help your non-marketing team members.
Zapier is the easiest way to automate time consuming administrative tasks so you can focus on running your business. The tool allows you to connect your web apps for easier automation that will optimize your processes and keep your small business running smoothly.
If you’re an email marketing guru, Litmus is the tool for you. They offer tools for testing your code and emails across different platforms before sending them out so you’ll never have broken images again. They also have an absolutely rockstar blog with tons of valuable email marketing info.
If you code your own emails, like we do, it’s an absolute-must to make sure that they look great in every inbox. Email on Acid’s easy tool allows you to test emails across the most popular email clients, apps and devices so you can fix problems before you hit send.
HubSpot offers a full bundle of products for marketing, sales, and customer relationship management that can be used separately or in collaboration. It’s a powerful platform but one that’s much more suited to large and enterprise businesses. Pricing starts at $800/month for only 1,000 contacts and is an additional $50/month for every 1,000 more contacts.
Infusionsoft is an all-in-one CRM and sales/marketing automation tool with a focus on e-commerce. Pricing starts at $199/month plus a one-time onboarding fee starting at $999.
MailChimp is undeniably the most well-known email marketing platform. They have 15 million customers and tons of integrations, but they don’t offer the CRM feature. This tool is perfect for enterprise businesses who can build an integration with their CRM or for those not looking for CRM functionality.
Small Business Tools for Design
Choosing the right images for your blog and social media posts is essential. Many people respond to photos more quickly than to a headline. Pexels is our favorite stock site. They offer millions of free stock photos for commercial use without attribution. Can’t beat free.
Visual content gets much higher engagement and conversion rates than text only content. Canva helps you create beautiful images and other visual assets. If you’re not ready to create images all on your own yet, Canva is the perfect option for getting started.
Stencil, similar to Canva, allows you to create high quality images for your social media and content marketing posts. The platform has almost a million images to work with, allows you to upload your own fonts AND has a handy Chrome extension that allows you to create images while browsing the web.
99designs is your source for all things design. They have an incredible blog alongside a network of talented design freelancers to help you with anything your small business might need.
Formerly Creative Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud offers all the tools a small business needs to create professional, engaging images to pair with content. There’s a definitely learning curve with Creative Cloud, but once mastered, the possibilities are endless.
Piktochart is a stellar resource for small businesses who don’t have a design guru on staff. The easy-to-use tool allows you to easily create reports and infographics on the fly. They also have simple social media sharing options so you can share your creations once they’re complete.
Easel.ly is another chart and infographic design tool. It has less of the bells and whistles of some of the other tools, but you can sign up for free and get the job done.
Infogr.am boasts some big name clients including MSN, POLITICO and Fast Company. Their infographic and chart templates are more data-focused and perfect more small businesses with more a data-driven approach. Their business plan will cost you though. It starts at $67/month and is billed annually.
Small Business Tools for Project Management
We (like millions of other businesses) l-o-v-e Slack. The platform helps teams organize projects by bringing communication into one place, sharing and commenting on files, and integrating with other apps to get more done in less time. Not to mention the Giphy feature is loads of fun during team chats. Oh, and it’s free for almost all businesses (unless you need an upgraded account).
We use Skype for Business here at Hatchbuck mainly for the video conferencing feature. The tool provides high-quality video with up to 250 people at a time and starts at $5/user per month.
Evernote makes it simple to create notes and categorize task into project-specific notebooks. You can even scan in paper docs to make keeping track of project documents a breeze.
Trello gets good reviews from small business owners because of its seamless setup and ease of use. The main interface functions almost like a whiteboard. They offer a free package for small teams and their business accounts start at $10/month.
Basecamp is a killer project management software that will help keep your team organized for any project and to see your entire task list through to completion. Basecamp will also ensure that no assignment is left incomplete
Asana gives you a holistic overview of personal or professional to-dos. It’s a great option for teams and individuals alike. It also has important integrations that will help you or your team improve workflow.
If you’re just diving into project management, Google Drive is a simple way to share and collaborate on documents, see revision history, and let team members leave & resolve comments. Drive offers a plethora of business tools including documents, spreadsheets, and presentation slides. Plus, it’s free.
Freedcamp’s project management platform is another great option for balancing personal and professional tasks. They have a robust calendar that allows you to see daily or monthly schedules at a glance along with a helpful mobile app.
Small Business Tools for Social Media
We know social media can be a major time suck. Lucky for you, Buffer’s incredibly easy scheduling tool, content library and robust analytics make it easier to reach more people while saving you time.
Like Buffer, Hootsuite is an incredibly robust tool that can save you time in your social media efforts. Our favorite features? The amazing reporting and the filters that allow you to monitor mentions of your brand across social. Pricing starts at $15/month for one user (but you’ll need to upgrade for the real deal analytics).
Agorapulse is a cross between a social media monitoring/scheduling tool and a social media CRM. This tool focuses more specifically on Facebook engagement, and pricing starts at $49/month for one user.
Bitly is the most popular link management available. Users can shorten, manage and measure shared links across the web giving greater insight into engagement. Best news? Bitly is free (unless you want branded links and an enterprise account).
Sprout Social is an all-in-one social CRM, scheduling tool, engagement monitor and collaboration platform. While it’s a more robust tool than most small businesses need, the effectiveness is undeniable. It’ll cost you a pretty penny though. The intro package starts at $99/month per user.
Oktopost is a social media lead generation tool. While social media dashboards like Hootsuite help businesses schedule content, Oktopost is designed to help you make money through your social media efforts.
DrumUp is a newer kid on the block, but effective nonetheless. This scheduling tool allows you to curate content, schedule it AND suggests hashtags for your posts to expand reach and engagement.
Cyfe is a business dashboard. Unlike other social media dashboards, it aggregates data from multiple platforms including social media metrics. The Cyfe platform allows you to see the big picture and assess and evaluate engagement impact and ROI for your social and content marketing.