You’ve finally done it. You started your own business.
For years you’ve tiptoed around the idea of quitting the corporate grind and becoming your own boss. But now the conditions are right, and you have the necessary resources in place. So you took the plunge and dove headfirst into the world of entrepreneurship.
And even though you’ve come into this prepared, you’re discovering that there’s still a lot to learn, like how most people are now shopping online.
You wouldn’t call yourself tech-savvy, but you’ve been around the interwebs enough to know that digital marketing is the new frontier for commerce. Advances in technology and the ongoing health crisis saw to that.
Rise of Digital Transformation
There’s been a growing preference for shopping online even before the COVID-19 pandemic. E-commerce stores provide customers with a means to shop at their own pace. That means you can quickly pick a few missing ingredients for the dinner party you’re hosting this weekend. Or it could mean being sucked into the wormhole that is Amazon on a Monday night.
Shopping online isn’t just quick; it is also really convenient—like browsing through an entire Sephora store all by yourself, only you’re doing it at home in your pajamas.
Then came the coronavirus crisis. For months the only way people could buy anything was by adding it to virtual carts and proceeding to check out. This consumer behavior forced a lot of businesses to pivot to web-based channels.
A McKinsey Global Survey in 2020 found that companies accelerated the digitization of their internal operations, customer, and supply-chain interactions by three to four years.
Today, digital technologies continue to drive transformative change. It is reshaping product and factor markets and profoundly altering business and work. With digital transformation accelerating in the wake of the pandemic, the future is arriving faster than expected. Anyone who is and has started a business would do well to keep up.
Must-Have Marketing Tools
A new business must now depend on digital marketing tools to survive. And that’s not a bad thing.
Digital marketing is an equalizer. It creates a level playing field for small businesses, whether you’re selling products on eBay or running your own e-commerce store. It can also give you a high ROI. You could be a silent partner who merely provides cash or the sole proprietor bootstrapping your new enterprise. It doesn’t matter. If done right, you can expect to reap the financial rewards.
Marketing online also fosters growth and saves you money. A strong tech stack eliminates tedious tasks, allowing you to spend valuable time on core activities that will grow your company.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of marketing software. And the ones below are must-haves for tools that do the heavy lifting for your advertising needs.
Email marketing remains a go-to tactic for many businesses and online marketing professionals. That’s because it’s effective and delivers a high return on investment.
Today, eight of ten marketers use it to get the word about clients’ products and services.
Having 2,000 people and more on your email distribution list takes time to build. This is why you should already implement an email marketing strategy from day one. That means using a service that enables you to capture emails, manage your lists, and automatically send emails.
And there’s no better tool to help you with this than MailChimp.
Here are some of the many reasons why this tool remains the best, despite all the other alternatives:
- It’s been around for at least two decades (founded in 2001), well before most companies began using email marketing.
- It has a bevy of self-service support options so users can quickly find answers to all of their questions.
- It’s free for companies with less than 2,000 subscribers and those who don’t send more than 12,000 emails monthly.
- It’s scalable. You can get started with the tool for free and then move to a paid plan once you’re ready to scale up.
Running two or three marketing campaigns across numerous marketing channels can quickly get overwhelming. You have to figure out exactly what’s working for each one of these campaigns. You also need to know where and how to make the necessary improvements.
HubSpot lets you bring all your different marketing channels together. You can optimize for more traffic, achieve a higher conversion rate, and, ultimately, a better ROI.
This all-in-one marketing software solution includes optimized templates for creating landing pages. You also get live chat to convert more visitors into customers.
Other features of HubSpot include the following:
- Lead management
- Marketing automation
- Content optimization tools
- Social media management
Small businesses can get started with the free or basic package rather than the full version, which has a hefty price tag.
With HubSpot, you can manage your entire marketing funnel, everything from attracting visitors to converting them to customers.
A solid social media presence has become a prerequisite to remaining competitive in the marketplace. But it can be a huge time sink, even when using it purely for marketing purposes.
Hootsuite offers a centralized platform for all your social media channels. This digital marketing tool allows you to schedule posts in advance so you can get all your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter content for the coming weeks or months ready in one session.
Other things you can do on Hootsuite are as follows:
- Find out which of your social media campaigns are working best with advanced reporting tools.
- Monitor brand mentions and manages responses in one place.
- Promote your social media posts through the Hootsuite platform
As a new business, you need to know a thing or two about your primary competitors. BuzzSumo can help you with that. It’s a digital marketing tool that enables you to better understand industry trends and identify the key players.
How do you use it? In your content strategy, of course. Instead of taking wild stabs in the dark covering topics you think will appeal to your audience, you can use BuzzSumo to find trending topics on social media and get ideas for what to write about.
Some noteworthy features of this tool are as follows:
- Keyword research
- Influencer search
- Content analysis
- Brand monitoring tools
Google Analytics is one of the top free products that the search behemoth has in its arsenal. You know you need it for your marketing tech stack from that description alone.
Analytics might seem like nothing more than a traffic tool to the uninitiated. But it can make a difference in your marketing strategy if you know what you’re doing.
Adding Analytics code to your website only takes a few minutes. Once that’s done, you can
track every action by every visitor on your website.
Here are some awesome things you can do with Google Analytics:
Identify the social media campaigns driving tons of traffic to your website so you can adjust your future strategy to capture the same results.
Find keywords that are doing wonders for your organic traffic so you can use them as you create content down the road.
The data you can collect with Google Analytics is extremely valuable. And when paired with other marketing products like Google Ads, you can build the foundation for a dynamic and highly effective marketing strategy.
The right visuals keep your audience engaged. All those quality photos sustain readers’ interest. Colorful graphs make complex data more palatable. Informative infographics can increase engagement in your blog articles.
Canva is an awesome tool that will help you create visual content that’s both appealing and original!
The best thing about this tool is you don’t have to be a trained graphic artist to create high-quality marketing collaterals. With Canva, you can create stunning designs with a wide variety of colors, fonts, effects, and sizes. Plus, it has tons of free templates that you can use to make anything from social media images to business cards, even e-books.
Choose from photos already published on the site, upload your own, or create brand-new images.
These days, you don’t need a multimillion-dollar marketing budget to stand head and shoulders above your competitors. Whether you’re starting an NFT marketplace or operating a food business, digital marketing allows you to compete with big players in your industry and come out on top.
That’s because there are plenty of affordable and user-friendly tools to reach new audiences and market your brand. With these, you can learn about industry trends and data to base your digital marketing strategy. You can research keywords that will give you insight into what topics will appeal most to your audience for your content marketing efforts. Finally, you can create stunning visual content for posting on social media and track them without hassle.
Taking advantage of modern marketing tools will help your business stay ahead of your competitors. So look into the ones on our list ad see how they can help grow your new enterprise.