Making the most of your digital marketing efforts starts with selecting the right tools. Digital marketing works best when all of your efforts are synchronized across channels and when they don’t require time-intensive manual processes every time you want to launch a new campaign. That’s why it’s important to choose the right marketing tools for your priorities and business size so that you’re only paying for what you need. Such digital marketing tools for small businesses are designed specifically for in-house teams that might not have as much time or as many resources as enterprise operations. On the other hand, digital marketing agency tools need to be nimble, customizable, and powerful to let agency teams manage multiple clients simultaneously.
Selecting the tools that are powerful enough yet right-sized for your needs helps you know you’re getting the best value from your digital marketing and maximizing your return on investment.
Types of Marketing Tools
Digital marketing isn’t just one general catch-all term — it’s an umbrella that covers a range of tactics with the unified goal of driving traffic to your website and adding leads to your funnel. To make the most of your efforts, leverage a few types of marketing tools to help your business
Customer relationship management (or CRM) is a digital tactic focused on ensuring that every contact in your database is served regular, relevant content. Within your CRM system, you should be able to collect leads whether you’re inputting them manually or capturing lead data from intelligent forms on your website and landing pages.
Once you have the lead data captured, your CRM should allow you to build lists that group leads by common interests and demographic information, making it simple to serve content to each contact in your database. Your CRM will then keep a running record of every touchpoint an individual prospect receives, whether it’s from an automated campaign or directly from a member of your sales team.
With an effective CRM system, marketing and sales can collaborate for a full picture of the customer lifecycle. Gain insights on both big-picture and specific, individual levels by understanding who the hottest leads are, who engages with your brand’s content and which tactics are paying off in the form of conversions.
Email Marketing Tools
Of all the digital marketing tactics out there, few are consistent and as powerful as email marketing. With unmatched reporting capabilities and the highest ROI of any digital marketing channel, it makes sense to invest in powerful email marketing tools.
Your CRM is just one small part of email marketing success. You also need to be able to create emails that your contacts will want to open. Whether you want to take a templated approach or focus heavily on personalization and unique design in your email marketing campaigns, SharpSpring’s email marketing tools simplify and streamline the process of designing, building, sending, automating and monitoring performance for email marketing.
Content & Social Media Marketing Tools
In digital marketing, it’s cliché at this point to say that content is king. But there’s a reason this adage has been repeated time and again — content is the only way for users to connect with your brand through inbound digital tactics. It’s what users expect, and if your brand isn’t offering excellent relevant content, your prospects will go to your competitors to find what they’re looking for.
Content marketing doesn’t have to be difficult. Within your marketing automation platform, you should look for blogging tools that allow you to upload and syndicate blogs. The best blog building platforms will allow you to collect user information through forms that are linked directly to your CRM and offer built-in SEO tools to make sure that your blogs read well for search engines as well as prospects.
It’s not enough to just have great content on your blog and website — you need to be present where your users are. Social media isn’t going anywhere any time soon, so leveraging marketing tools for social media management is critical to ensure digital marketing success. SharpSpring’s social media features allow you to schedule content ahead of time or post it instantly on every profile, giving you a consistent cross-platform presence. The calendar view gives you a quick snapshot of your overall social media presence. You can always be certain that you’re posting the right message in the right place at the right time. Unlike other social media marketing tools, SharpSpring doesn’t limit the number of profiles or users you can include in your account.
If you’re running larger content marketing campaigns, such as premium content downloads, you need to be sure you have great landing pages. Landing pages are also critical for paid search and paid social media campaigns as they give these users a quick glimpse of your brand messaging without overwhelming them with content. While most digital marketing tools do not have built in landing page capabilities, you should seek out a robust platform that allows you to directly build and edit landing pages without leaving the system.
Marketing automation allows you to take the repetitive tasks and guesswork out of your marketing efforts. By using effective marketing tools for automation, you’ll be able to schedule content in advance, collect leads through forms that are directly linked to your CRM and develop workflows that automatically generate messages to nurture leads through the marketing funnel based on timing and specific actions they take.
With robust marketing automation features, SharpSpring simplifies marketing automation to make it accessible for marketers who may not have a background in custom coding and development. With the simple point-and-click interface, it becomes simple to automate marketing workflows including those with branching logic based on user actions.
It isn’t enough to just set up your automation and hope for the best—you need to continually test, optimize, and adjust your automation to ensure it’s continuing to perform at maximum capacity. With built-in analytics capabilities, SharpSpring lets you analyze all of your digital marketing tactics, both automated and more traditional, to determine where your time is best used. This lets you automate the tasks and tactics that are more hands-off, allowing you to focus your energy on new campaigns and creative endeavors.
Not all of your website and landing page visitors will fill out a form to give you their information, but that doesn’t mean that traffic should be considered lost. SharpSpring assigns every IP address that visits your site a VisitorID and conducts reverse lookup on these IP addresses so that you understand the demographic makeup of your site visitors. B2B companies can take this a step further, as the VisitorID reverse lookup includes business names of companies who are visiting your site, and occasionally even names, phone numbers and email addresses associated with those business visitors that might otherwise remain anonymous traffic.
What to Look For in Digital Marketing Tools
The most important tools of marketing are your team, your experience and the firsthand knowledge of your brand that only you have. The best digital marketing platform for your needs is one that will centralize all of your campaigns, keep your message consistent across channels, and help you and your team work smarter, not harder.