Best Digital Marketing Tools You Should Consider in 2020
Digital marketing tools formulate the backbone of any digital campaign. They give marketers a lens through which to see and analyze the data they collect. When you’re digital marketing campaign rests on such insights, then by default your priority is to choose the best digital marketing tools out there. Fortunately, this is one industry where you will find a range of options to choose from. The list of best digital marketing tools includes top choices as per popular vote online. Please note, these are just suggestions, and based on your scope of work, you could find some marketing tools excluded from the list, equally or more helpful. For a streamlined experience, we’ve classified the tools as per function and included our pick of 3 options for each type. Without further ado, let’s get to it.
Top Marketing Tools
As per BrightEdge Research, 53.3% of a website’s traffic comes from organic searches. Paid digital marketing channels can spike website traffic but the same is good for time-bound promotional offers and not for building a regular site audience. The following tools could help you level up with online competitors.
Best SEO Tools
SEMRush takes up the technical heavy-lifting off the marketer's shoulders and lets you build your content strategy around high-performing keywords. It audits your website and suggests backlinks.
- It helps you with keyword research and uncovers the strategies being used by competitors.
- The keywords can be further differentiated as per the target channel/medium. Other features include an on-page SEO checker, domain comparisons, organic traffic insights, and CPC (cost per click) map to name a few.
- SEMRush’s social media tools automatically let you deal with online reputation management (ORM). It provides you with your brand mentions, interactions, and scores your overall brand reputation.
- This digital marketing tool lets you schedule creative posts across 5 social media channels and lets you study publishing trends overtime.
- Marketers can also analyse their audience and run advertising campaigns using SEMRush.
2. Google Search Console
As of January 2020, Google’s share of the search engine market was 87.35% (Statista). It introduced the Google Search Console to help website owners understand their performance in terms of search engine queries i.e. the Google search index. Digital marketing enthusiasts would find the tool handy for the following factors:
- Give conformational approval to the search engine so that the crawlers can scan your website
- Identify and report un-indexed pages and submit the same for re-indexing.
- Monitor search traffic trends. What user queries are triggering your content to rank, and most importantly, how often does the user click through the search results and land on your website.
- Automatic notifications as and when the crawlers face spam messages or other indexing issues with your content.
- A comprehensive report on which sites are linking back to you.
- Highlighting issues for mobile use of the website.
For any business owner, SEO specialist, digital marketer, site administrator or webmaster, this free digital marketing tool is a must-have.
Moz is an ultimate tool for inbound marketing and marketing analytics. Its SEO feature sets offer functionalities such as Keywords research page optimization, backlinks, and site audits. Domain Authority was a Moz invention that is now a staple method to estimate a sites’ overall SEO-health. Its list of features offers digital marketers:
- Moz Keyword Explorer for detailed keyword suggestions, understanding the competitive SEO-climate of your industry, SERP (Search Engine Results Page) optimization techniques, and to the point search volume data.
- Site crawl tests and recommended changes. Users can also track their competitors using Moz.
- They have an Open Site Explorer that gives webmasters link-information and spam reports.
- They also have their SEO browser called the MozBar.
Moz has a thriving online community and the latest additions to their suite of services include Moz Pro, Moz Local and STAT.
Best CRM Tools
Let alone new sign-ups, managing existing customer relationships begins to get challenging once the user database expands beyond a certain threshold. CRM tools play a primary role to glue your brand reputation with customer-centricity. From bringing the consumer into the marketing funnel to converting them into ardent followers, these CRM tools are highly recommended.
Inbound marketing is the methodology where a business generates consumable content that is customized to the liking of the target audience. It could either be entertaining or resolve problems for customers. The digital marketing channels used for such targeting campaigns are social media, SEO and branding. Hubspot is a software that helps customer micromanage multi-platform marketing campaigns. Its’ flagship CRM tool, HubSpot CRM, is renowned to automate and optimize customer information in one place.
- To begin with, it is free to use wherein users can store up to 1 million contact records including details such as name, email, address, etc.
- Real-time analytics such as email opening and click-through rates. Through the HubSpot CRM, mass mailers can be sent automatically to thousands of prospects.
- It also gives sales teams the ability to record sales calls, broadcast emails, schedule or assign tasks to anyone within the sales team.
- In case of failed leads, sales representatives can save notes, for future lead revival campaigns.
Another reason why HubSpot tops our list of CRM tools is that it integrates effortlessly with Gmail, Windows’ Office 365 and Outlook. Ecommerce vendors would find it useful to work with Shopify as well.
- It's not important that all the features offered by a particular CRM have to be utilized by a business. But you cannot deny the sense of security that a full-fledged software provides when the need arises. For that reason, Salesforce with its unending supply of CRM toolkit makes our list. Highly scalable, the Salesforce CRM is used to nurture and grow leads. It offers the following:
- Contacts can be classified and stored under groups as per their profile. This data can be leveraged while launching new products or re-introducing old ones to customers with high-end personalization.
- Lead scoring and management help you identify potential customers with the highest probability to convert. When you have your priorities set, marketing can be synchronized to streamline your approach.
- Sales analytics lets users study past campaign results to refine your message delivery. The Salesforce CRM, which can be accessed by on-field sales teams through a smartphone, collects incoming data from the website traffic, any ongoing customer poll, social channels etc. This data can be further used to evaluate your future options further.
With Salesforce, managers can maintain a close sight on sales teams and monitor performance metrics that need improvement. This can be done with its Sales Performance Management feature.
6. Zoho CRM
Zoho offers two classes of CRMs. One is the Zoho CRM Plus and the other is the Zoho One. Both have their advantages. With the Zoho CRM Plus businesses can communicate with their customers through digital marketing channels such as email, social media, live chat, survey etc. It has a smartphone app version that lets teams coordinate tasks effectively and increase productivity. The company’s other flagship, Zoho One, has the following features:
- Zoho One packs a punch with 35 web applications to help you succeed at multi-channel engagement. It integrates seamlessly with Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, etc. Emails are automatically organized as per Sales pipelines. Not to mention other add-ons like real-time notifications and email segregation as per statuses.
- The dashboard incorporates all social media platforms in one place curating all the feeds in a single, organized cluster. Managers can customize the platform to delegate hot leads to particular team members.
- With the Zoho CRM, prospects can be connected with via a call personalizing customer service. The call data is automatically logged to help you improve quality. To expand its service delivery options Zoho has partnered with telephony platforms like the Ring.io, Knowlarity, Promero and Twilio to name some.
Zoho has been in the game since 1996, therefore you can be sure to get a service that is best in class when it comes to customer relationship management tools.
Best Social Media Marketing Tools for Digital Marketing
Social Media has to be top of your list if you want your marketing to have a quantifiable relationship with sales. A brand's social channel is its central nervous system when it comes to interacting with online followers. But with thousands of unique sessions and brand mentions, there should be tech-support to make sense of so many numbers.
This social media platform was voted as the 2020 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Social Marketing Management. Hootsuite serves customers with tools innovated for social marketing, social customer service, social selling, and employee advocacy. Scheduling social media posts is just one out of many compelling features that it offers via its product suite:
- Hootsuite lets users manage multiple social channels in one place. Its coverage includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and more. Even if you have multiple social media profiles on a single platform, you can manage and schedule the content uploads via Hootsuite.
- The Team Management feature allows social media managers to systematically delegate tasks to team members. This could be any social mention that needs a response. Doing so minimizes the possibility of duplicate/multiple responses on the same inquiry by the user. You can even deploy chatbots for automated responses.
- Hootsuite comes with multi-device, multi-browser support on all operating systems proving a great convenience to account managers.
Better to manage all your social media engagements from one place than risk giving out a poor customer service quality.
Competing in the same category it is important to note that social media tools will have most if not all features common. But when it comes to scheduling and sharing posts, Buffer is second to none. Here are a few of its features:
- Own and manage multiple social media profiles and schedule posts months in advance with a social media calendar. Buffer allows unique schedules to be assigned to each social media profile.
- If Instagram is your preferred medium of marketing, then Buffer would especially suit you. You can schedule and post stories with the ‘Stories Planner’. Any sales inclined post with a link in bio can be connected to various URLs. Posts can also be pre-stitched with a comment at the time of publishing. With the Hashtag Planner, you can manufacture your hashtags, save and organize them.
- Buffer helps you out in analytics with custom reports that you can share with the team. You can use this data to see if the current strategy bears you any fruit or not and make viable pivots.
It is a unified portal for all your social media promotions. Making the most out of it is really up to the marketers with the tool offering uber-customization alternatives.
9. Sprout Social
This digital marketing tool has earned its share of fandom by build-up niche services around everything social media. The list includes social analytics, social engagement, social publishing, social listening, and automation. In an overview, this is what Sprout Social is about:
- Measure key analytics drivers with its cross-platform toolset targeted towards all major social media platforms i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
- Sprout Social’s smart response methods let you pick and revert to each message you receive in your profile inbox. Automated responses can be sent via chatbots to relieve the pressure from communications teams.
- With Sprout Social, you can peel the nature of social mentions that your brand attracts and formulate befitting response measures to emerge with a professional online image makeover.
It offers a 30-day free trial post which users can choose to continue or discontinue the service. Considering Sprout Social already buttresses 20,000+ businesses, you’re more likely to do the former.
Best Email Marketing Tools
Outbound marketing plays just as important a part in attracting new prospects as inbound does in solidifying them. Regardless of the business-size, using an email marketing tool that allows you to personalize the first-time approach towards prospects and generate leads is tricky, but undeniably important. This is an experiential sub-vertical of marketing that can only be mastered after a few attempts to know the secret sauce that works. The following email marketing tools are the ones that have proven their bang for the buck.
No matter the size of the business, Mailchimp has you covered. Its affordable plans are one of its USPs, notwithstanding vendor-friendly features. With Mailchimp, you can send personalized mass mailers using its Merge Tags and Advance Segmentation, whether it’s a hundred or a thousand customers. Some of the features it offers are:
- Mailchimp allows you to blast emails out to your subscriber list in one go. On the other hand, users can also, target customer groups based on email click-through-rate and geolocation. Its wide array of email templates allow marketers to get started right away. Add content and images to the email with drag-n-drop options subsequently using the Mailchimp Editor to refine the layout.
- Features such as automated workflows and RSS-to-email provide flexibility to email marketers and send emails with triggers. Mailchimp can also be integrated with Google Analytics to share website traffic reports through outbound email marketing.
- Mailchimp comes with a Time Warp feature for businesses that operate on a global scale and reach out to customers that are distributed over different time zones. With Time Warp, you can schedule the mailers to be sent when your customer is awake.
- Campaign results are archived and ready for comparison in one place with its Comparison Dashboards. Mailchimp does away with the need to export files and then relate campaign results. Instead, all that a user is required to do is to just select the campaign, and the software automatically fares it with past results.
From small and medium enterprises to Fortune500 corporations, Mailchimp is the go-to choice for most. It continues to add marketing platforms for integration such as Wordpress, Zapier, and Canva to its tally.
This software as a service platform offers a good mix of basic plus advanced features for emailing customers. ConvertKit offers similar features to Mailchimp with the best ones being the following:
- Automate your email campaigns to cover the subscriber base at peak times. You can segment your customer list with tags that allow you to differentiate email content offerings as per the readership taste.
- You can easily integrate it with leading content publishing and top marketing tools such as Wordpress, Zapier, WooCommerce, Shopify, and Lead Pages to name some. Switching from any other email marketing tool is also hassle-free.
- Additionally, you can add sign-up forms within the email and grow your customer list overtime. With ConvertKit users can design attractive landing pages.
The platform has two pricing plans. You can either choose to opt for the free version or purchase a premium membership beginning from $29/ month.
Aweber is an industry stalwart with over 20 years of expertise in creating business upstarts with successful email marketing campaigns. Speaking strictly from a user perspective, there is little to choose between Aweber and the tools that we have already discussed. Nevertheless, its track record and the long list of 1,000,000+ businesses will attest to its benchmark-setting services. The following are its features:
- Aweber’s Smart Designer is an AI-based, email template maker. It brings people with no technical expertise at par with coders to design and deliver business-standard emails.
- You can create aesthetic landing pages without the necessity of having to connect them with your website.
- If your website already has a rich content bank with articles and reports that you wish to share in the body of the email, you can do so with Aweber’s Auto-Newsletter feature.
It has more than 5 pricing plans to choose from, depending upon your user base be it 500 subscribers or 50,000.
Best Content Marketing Tools
The old marketing adage, Content is King, still carries the same weight that it used to when it was first coined. After all, content is the ingredient that glues and holds the fabric of marketing together. As paradoxical as it may sound to non-marketers, content is both the start as well as the finish-line of marketing. If you have already vested yourself in the best digital marketing tools to up you’re branding, you only stand to gain by adopting the same approach for content marketing.
Buzzsumo has blazed the trail for content marketing. This tool is based on four key metrics, all revolving around content.
- The first metric is discovering the type of content that resonates with the target audience in your industry. With its powerful content discovery platform, you can immediately identify trending topics and forums that people are gravitating towards. Shortlist topics for your content calendar based on keywords and user queries.
- Buzzsumo has the world’s largest repository of social engagement data that goes up to 5 billion articles. From such a chunk, it sorts the most pertinent formats for you to create new content on. You can do the same for social channels like Facebook.
- Its key selling point is the influencer database with millions of authors and content creators. Buzzsumo can easily point to leading voices within your domain who have an active following. With relational dependencies, you can forge business partnerships and further embolden sales.
- The platform lets you monitor the latest comments/shares/tweets with brand mentions and undertake response measures to engage with customers as and when the action happens.
They have monthly to yearly payment plans with a cancel anytime clause. Pricing starts at $99/moth and goes up to $499/month.
Speaking of content, you can never deliver strong, impactful marketing copies if there are linguistic glitches in your content. Grammarly is a language tool that takes care of all your language discrepancies when it comes to content.
- You can use it either as standalone software or a Microsoft word plug-in while writing content. It scans, highlights, and rectifies grammatical issues in the content. For basic issues, the free version is enough however for high-level writing you are suggested to go with a premium membership.
- Both Windows and Mac OS users can make the most of Grammarly. You can specify your preferred style of writing such as American English or British English and the tool would treat the content under the selected convention.
- It comes as a browser extension as well so email marketers creating mass mailers on the go would find Grammarly a blessing. Users can even specify their genre of writing and let Grammarly perform the content clean-up.
Although for the vast majority of netizens, the free version of the software would suffice, but for detail-oriented digital marketers, premium plans have monthly ($29) quarterly ($59.95) and yearly ($139.95) payment options.
Perhaps this is one tool that the less we say about the better because the probability is you might already be using it. WordPress is a content management system with tons of features. As per a stat, 35% of the content on the web has something or the other to do with WordPress.
- WordPress allows non-engineers to achieve extreme levels of content editing with simple drag and drop features. You can integrate plug-ins whether you have a blogging website or an e-commerce store. Choose from the constantly updated list of themes for the front end without worrying about the code.
- You can manage multiple websites with a single WordPress account. This feature is called Multisite. This all-encompassing software puts content-first, taking care of all your publishing needs.
- When publishing posts on a webpage, WordPress allows the option of splitting the same over multiple pages, in case the content is too long. Moreover, it also assigns intuitively smart URLs to the webpage as you upload new content.
- WordPress continues to grow by the day. As per a stat, users make up to 70 million new posts through WordPress each month. It just goes on to show you the value this CMS tool brings to the table.
This concludes our list of the top digital marketing tools. The tools listed above are the bread and butter of many digital marketers. Although with each passing month, new tools would continue to make it to the market, it is safe to say, that the ones listed above are here to stay for a long, long time.