Effective marketing is all about the person in charge of the campaign. You can throw millions away on failing campaigns with only nominal results, or you can push a product to extreme heights with nothing more than a little honesty and a lot of savvy.
If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that we need to be prepared to tackle what marketing problems come our way. Having the right marketing tools can make or break your marketing campaign. As good as your marketing plan is you have to have the right tools to implement them.
Instead of searching high and low for the best tools, here are nine must-have marketing tools business owners need for 2021.
1. Buffer or Hootsuite
Personally, I prefer Buffer because it is simplified in a way that allows me to use it more quickly and efficiently.
Start out slowly with a free account. With a free account, you are able to add a single social media network and schedule up to ten posts in advance. Start with Twitter because it is the easiest to schedule posts for in Buffer and Hootsuite.
Since posting to Twitter and using Buffer is free in this case, you can experiment quite a bit, and experience a bit you should because you may find many of your posts are ineffective. Getting followers on Twitter, especially with a newer account, is viciously difficult.
The WishPond tools are all about plugging the holes in your marketing that may exist simply because you cannot be expected to know everything about everything. For example, if your landing pages are not striking the right tone, or maybe they are under-performing, then WishPond can create something that will perhaps speak better to your target audience.
Perhaps you are interested in pop-ups, but you are not keen on the sort of data collecting your WordPress or Magenta plugins are doing. In that case, you would get in touch with WishPond, and they would fix something up on your website that suits whatever you are aiming to achieve. Perhaps you are looking for referrals, or maybe a way to organize an online contest. Each can be accommodated with WishPond.
Let the monocles fall from eyes, the cups of tea spit-take out of people’s mouths, and the gentle ladies swoon at the suggestion that Instagram is a must-have marketing tool. However, there is a very good reason why Instagram will be a big deal for smaller businesses in 2021 and onward.
Instagram is the last of the untamed social media networks, and that is true even though Facebook has every tentacle woven through its core (especially since Facebook posts can be “Boosted” through Instagram).
Big business dominates all social media networks, from Reddit to Twitter, from Facebook to YouTube, and the smaller business needs to work 1000x harder to make even the tiniest ripples in the audience’s consciousnesses. Even if they do, the same businesses need to work 1000x harder just to maintain whatever momentum they have gathered. For a small business on social media, getting started and making a ripple is difficult, but keeping the momentum going is almost impossible.
Yet, Instagram has not been cracked by the corporate giants because each has to buy into the affiliate platform. The few who are trying to sell their products through Instagram posts are failing, and yet small fashion lines, makeup lines, and esoteric shops and services are managing to breakthrough. Even something as simple as posts with people playing with your goods, wearing your goods, using your goods, is going to start attracting attention.
4. Facebook Post Boost
Okay, so nobody wants to feed into the data-scraping propaganda network that is Facebook, but the truth is that 2021 is going to see small business owners splitting their Google Ads budget with their Facebook post Boost budget.
The reason for this is the same as with Instagram, the larger corporations are dominating affiliate networks like Google Ads, Bing Ads, BuySellAds, and so forth. The trick to the Facebook Boost function is to set small budgets with between four and seven days run time.
The adverts slip between the gaping cracks that are left by larger highly-funded campaigns. Bigger companies are running high-cost campaigns with very long run times. If you run the numbers and try it yourself, you will see that your smaller campaigns with lower budget amounts always seem to outperform your larger and more highly funded campaigns. The only downside is that you have to keep going online and setting up your small campaigns over and over again.
5. Twitter Explore
Most marketing companies are moving away from Twitter unless they have a few larger influencers in their pockets. People are starting to realize that you need to be a big celebrity or a US president in order to make an impact on Twitter. As small and medium businesses start to move away from posting with the aim of getting conversions, it may be time to start going against the trend. You are going to have to compete with thousands of other Twitter users, but they are not specifically targeting your potential customers.
Again, getting followers, and retweets are not impossible, but getting people off of Twitter and onto your website to make a purchase is very difficult.
Nevertheless, there is a good chance that your competitors are not investing a lot of time and money into Twitter. You may still have a hard time, but with fewer competitors hogging your target audience on Twitter, you may get lucky and a bigger impact and enjoy higher conversion rates.
Site: People Per Hour
How would you like a pool of workers to do all the nasty meta stuff that is otherwise difficult to achieve on the Internet?
For example, if you are looking to get a few views up on your YouTube channel, then wouldn’t it be nice if you could hire people who have lots of friends to go and look at your videos. If you do not have many Google reviews, wouldn’t it be nice if you could pay a few people to post a few positive reviews?
PeoplePerHour is a freelance site where anybody can join, and where you can post adverts for free (until/if you hire somebody, at which point you are charged a fee). You can get people to do just about anything, from photograph themselves using your product, to writing your Facebook posts for you.
Things like Google and Amazon reviews are not allowed on these platforms, but all you have to do is post a job asking for the right thing and people will get the idea.
For example, instead of posting a job saying, “I need ten people to post positive Amazon reviews.” You say, “Looking for Amazon marketing” or something like that. You then ask the bidders personally if they are willing to post your positive reviews.
7. Google Search Console
Site: Google Search Console
Many online articles claim that Google Analytics and the Google Search Console are intentionally broken to help Google make more money from big-money companies by sabotaging smaller companies. This is not fully true. The Google Analytics and Google Search Console are faulty, but it is more through unpleasant design decisions rather than outright malice.
Google works on a verified setting, which means they will record activity, but only if it is verified. For example, if somebody searches for your website with VPN, or from a popular server, or through a third-party app, then the search console probably won’t register it.
Nevertheless, the Google Search Console is free and far easier to use than Google Analytics. You can find out how people are getting to your website, why, with which of your web pages are visible on Google. Even if you do not use it as a marketing tool, you can at least use it as a bug checker to see which of your web pages have bugs and/or are scaring people away. Google will also send you alerts about issues with your website too.
8. Google Ads
Site: Google Ads
It is true that fewer and fewer people are using Google Ads these days, but Google is hardly going out of business because of it, and Google’s reach is still far wider than most other platforms.
The best advice is not to spend too much money at once with Google Ads. Do what other people are doing and split your affiliate advertising budget between a number of different platforms and networks.
With that said, Google Ads still has its uses, especially if you are trying to generate interest for a piece of media, a web page, or a product. The most difficult part is getting your campaign running correctly. It is very easy to spend a lot of money with Google Adverts and get nothing in return, so take it slow until you have set up a campaign where your viewers convert into buyers.
9. Sprout Social
Site: Sprout Social
If you are a social media master, if you have lots of followers and a fair amount of influencer, then you can probably get a lot of use out of Sprout Social. Do not be mistaken, this is not the sort of tool you use if you are just starting out and you want to grow your influence. This is for people who are already making an impact and they want to make a bigger impact.
The reason for this is because the tools rely on the information they collect from your social media channels, and the more viewers and followers you have, then the more information there is to collect. Using the tools at your disposal, you may be able to take a more directed marketing path that relies a little more on strategy and less on luck, charm, and charisma.
If you have worked on marketing for long enough, you will start to notice gaps and trends that are not otherwise obvious. Will you master Instagram in a way that the larger corporations are unable? Possibly, you will probably do better than the blue-chip companies that are trying to buy Instagram influencers and failing to recoup their spending.
Will you turn your automated email service into a flawless machine for capturing warm leads, or turn it into just another boring newsletter service? Will your social media scheduling service help you churn out engaging posts or more spammy clickbait?
We can all agree that the tools at your disposal are not only effective, but they are also pretty cheap, which helps to prove yet again that you do not need a massive budget in order to market your services or your small business.
About the Author
Ava Williams is an editor and career specialist at Resumeble.com. She is fond of traveling, guitar, biathlon, and snowboarding. Ava finds his inspiration in the success of her clients. Meet her on Twitter.
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