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BFS Capital Blog

Digital Marketing Tools for Small Businesses on a Budget

June 4, 2015

Marketing is tricky in general. But the constantly changing digital landscape makes online marketing even trickier for many small business owners. It’s not easy to determine where your small business should focus its digital marketing efforts. Plus, it can cost a lot of time and money to do things right.

To make matters worse, while necessary for most businesses, some digital marketing channels like social media don’t directly produce revenue. It’s more than just setting up social media profiles and expecting followers and interactions to flood your inbox with notifications. Digital marketing and all of its subsets – like search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing and social media – require strategic thinking, calculated implementation and frequent measurement.

So in order to help out, we’ve put together this list of some of the best digital marketing tools for small businesses on a budget.

Search Engine Optimization Tools

Google Keyword Planner – You need a Google AdWords account to access this, but it’s one of the best keyword research tools on the internet. It is primarily designed for paid search (PPC) but can benefit SEO keyword research as well.

Keyword Tool – This tool is a great substitute for the Google Keyword Planner. Keyword Toolhelps you find short-tail and long-tail keywords that web users are typing into Google search.

Google Trends – Google Trends can help you determine upward trending terms. It can also suggest other related keywords and rank them based on popularity.

Keyword Tool by WordStream – This tool offers extensive, highly relevant keyword suggestions from a database with more than a billion terms that is constantly updated with keywords from multiple sources. This free keyword tool from WordStream can help a small business owner identify the best keywords to target in PPC and SEO campaigns.

Wordtracker – The free version of Wordtracker generates up to 100 keyword strings and the corresponding search volumes for every keyword phrase you look up.

UberSuggest – Not only can you search for keywords with UberSugget, but you can also filter by the language and format – web, images, news, shopping, etc.

Backlink Analysis Tools

Open Site Explorer – Open Site Explorer offers a free version that allows you to access 1,000 backlinks per site, three times a day. With this tool, you will find information about page and domain authority, social metrics and linking domains.

Majestic Site Explorer – The paid account is far better than the free version. However, with the free version of Majestic Site Explorer you can access general information about your site – number of external backlinks, referring IP addresses and referring domains.

Social Media Tools

Social Mention – Monitoring over 100 social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Digg, etc., the Social Mention tool allows you to track and measure what consumers are saying about basically anything (you, your company, a product, or any other topic) on social media networks.

Hootsuite – Free for up to 5 social network accounts, Hootsuite allows you to manage social media profiles simultaneously. You can schedule tweets for future posting dates, create a single post to be published on multiple accounts and also respond to individual interactions and messages from within one platform. It’s a huge timesaver, especially if you manage different social media networks for multiple sites.

Graphic Design Tools

Canva – One of the easiest graphic design tools available, Canva allows you to create graphic designs for digital or print mediums. By beginning with a custom layout or a blank page, creating blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations, and more is made simple for everyone. It can help small business owners with a little creativity create their own designs for free.

Content Marketing Tools

Swayy – Crawling about 50,000 pieces of content every day, Swayy provides you with a scrolling list of suggested content based on your online community’s interests – determined by retweets, favorites, responses, etc.

LikeHack – After connecting this tool to your social media profiles, LikeHack finds similar content and stories related to what’s on your newsfeed.

Influence Marketing Tools

Klout – Klout offers ways to bridge the gap between influencers and brands on social media. It suggests shareable content that your audience hasn’t seen and creates content that gets the conversation going amongst your friends, followers, and fans. It’s a fantastic tool if you plan on developing an influencer marketing strategy for your business.

Followerwonk – This Twitter analytics tool allows you to optimize your tweets for account growth by helping you understand who your followers are and what they are interested in. Using Followerwonk, you can filter through your followers by keywords in their bios, location or names.

Wefollow – Based on a specific influence rating, WeFollow allows you to search for leading Twitter users within your area of interest.

Many of these digital marketing tools have paid versions and, frankly, they are usually much more robust than the free versions. However, the free versions of these tools are ideal for small businesses on a budget. Plus, with so many tools to choose from, you can easily aggregate data points from these different platforms to provide more than enough information to make accurate data-driven marketing decisions. As a savvy small business owner, you can learn what each of these tools does and use the data they provide to help reach your business’ digital marketing goals while staying on budget.

Image courtesy of Nongkran_ch /