5 Digital Marketing Tools for Small Online Businesses
If you think a non-existent marketing budget means you can’t promote your small online business; think again. A number of the most effective digital marketing tools won’t cost you anything but the time it takes to implement them! Here at Electric Egg Business Solutions we know a thing or two about the digital marketing tools that are most likely to help you grow your business in 2017, and it is our pleasure to be able to share with you our insider secrets.
Without further ado; herewith follows our personally curated list of the top 5 digital marketing tools for small online businesses:
#1 – Get with the program. Get on Quora.
Joining and contributing to Quora is a great, completely free, way to promote your content online. Using Quora as a marketing tool is super easy and super efficient! According to independent researchers, Quora logs an average of 13 000 new questions every day. That means that Quora gets over 13 000 hits every single day, as that 13 000-estimate doesn’t account for questions answered, only questions asked.
For every question asked, odds are there will be more than one unique answer logged. Quora is a growing online community that allows you to filter the kinds of questions you see in your feed, curate (by “up-voting” and “down-voting”) the kinds of answers you think are relevant to the questions asked, and earn real-world rewards for gaining popularity on the site (i.e. having your answers up-voted and being A2A, or “Asked to Answer” questions in your field of expertise).
Celebrities, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists from Amy Schumer, and Michael Arrington to Mark Suster, were quick to get with the program and put Quora to work working for them! By answering questions on Quora, and creating a name for yourself in the community, you can greatly increase the foot traffic to your website as it is within your rights, according to Quora’s terms of service, to add the link to your website in your bio, and to post the link to your website as part of your answer to somebody’s question when you feel they may benefit from additional information you may have on your site.
Ultimately, Quora is a great platform that allows you to reach people already looking for the kinds of content you create.
Pro Tip: While Quora’s terms of service does not prohibit you from adding the link to your website to either your answers or your bio, avoid any inclusion thereof that could be considered spam – people visit Quora to learn and expect answers that take their desire seriously. If people think you are spamming them just to increase foot traffic to your site, they will down-vote your answer, and then nobody will even see it.
#2 – Digg Digg: I dig it, now how can I share it?
Digg allows your readers of your online content or viewers of your online marketing material to share content or marketing material they like, love, heart, or in any way care about and want to promote!
Digg Digg is a completely free (that’s free to download, free to install, and completely free to use ad infinitum) plugin that allows your users to more easily share your content on a variety of social media platforms. Digg Digg is fully customizable in terms of share buttons and appearance, and can help you reach more people, more quickly by making your content easier to share and therefor easier to be seen.
Pro Tip: There are also a number of Digg Digg alternatives available for download. Each alternative has its own selling point. While some Digg Digg alternatives might boast decreased loading times or more customizable features, you will have to do some research to determine just which plugin share bar best suits your needs.
#3 – MailChimp – so simple, even a monkey could do it.
According to MailChimp’s home page, MailChimp is the world’s largest marketing automation platform making it a must-have in your digital marketing tools arsenal. Better yet; it’s a completely free service for all small businesses, and always will be!
With MailChimp’s Forever Free plan, you can send up to 12 000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers every month! MailChimp’s built-in sign-up forms are super easy to customize and share, meaning you have access to enterprise level resources at absolutely no cost to you as small business owner! MailChimp is next-level functional: it allows you to collect subscribers from all popular social media platforms, and even allows you to track your campaigns’ progress with free reports and data insight.
Thanks to the MailChimp Mobile app, you can even keep track of your progress on the fly, because MailChimp knows that when you run a small online business, your office is anywhere and everywhere, and that you need your stats and reports to be accessible at all hours of the day, not just your standard 9-to-5 from the desktop computer in your home office.
Pro Tip: Should your company grow and your needs begin to exceed MailChimp’s free offering’s capacity; MailChimp does have a number of affordable upgrades from their standard free package that are available to you at any time – just sign up and upgrade your package via their website. MailChimp is also sensitive to the fact that needs change, and offers pay-as-you go credit-based options alongside their monthly subscriptions to help you save money when your needs are flexible or inconsistent!
#4 – Cool cats aren’t copy cats – use Copyscape to escape content duplication
If you want to improve the content published to your website, you should definitely add Copyscape to your digital marketing tool belt. Copyscape is a free-to-use online plagiarism detection software that allows you to search the web for duplicate content – i.e. Copyscape is a tool that you can use to check whether or not your content is original.
Original content will always outperform duplicate content, and plagiarism is illegal. Don’t ruin your search engine rankings or your company’s reputation by accidently posting stolen content – rather us Copyscape to escape content duplication. If you are interested in paid tech, Copyscape also provides a Copysentry service that will take the legwork out of scanning for content duplication.
Copysentry performs daily searches and will alert you via email should somebody duplicate your original content.
Pro Tip: If you are not sure what constitutes plagiarism, or want to know the steps you can take once you have identified plagiarism – Copyscape provides a helpful guide to identifying and dealing with issues related to plagiarism and content duplication.
#5 – PicMonkey: the internet’s best free online design tool
According to Spoonflower Designs, PicMonkey is the “best online design tool out there”. One they are quite happy to recommend. This is just one of the testimonials by satisfied customers available for perusal on PicMonkey’s website. While PicMonkey offers premium packages and paid access to an increased variety of online tools, PicMonkey’s standard photo-editing features are available to all, completely free of charge.
PicMonkey allows users to edit, and touch up photographs (or other images), as well as make use of an array of online design tools and collage generators. With PicMonkey it is best to experiment and see what you can do at what cost as promotions and free trials may allow you to do all you need to at no cost to you.
A paid PicMonkey subscription is well worth the money if you intend to make use of PicMonkey for creating digital marketing material long-term. You can create posters, business cards, add watermarks, the works! PicMonkey’s graphic design capabilities exceed expectations and can take your digital marketing materials from meh to magnificent.
Pro Tip: PicMonkey is a great tool for upping your social media marketing game – particularly, taking your Instagram snaps to the next level!
In order to compete with the big fish in this small pond we call the global market, small online businesses have got to get creative with their digital marketing, and without access to the right tools, this can seem quite daunting.
We hope that our five favourite digital marketing tools are as beloved by you as they are by us by the time you’ve finished putting them to good use. When in doubt, remember that most digital marketing tools can be accessed for free in the short term; whether for a limited period (free trial period) or a limited number of times (free photo editing for up to 50 photos once off, for example).
Pro Tip: Make use of free trial periods and free offers wherever possible before purchasing subscriptions or services online. Test the waters, and determine if the product truly meets your needs before you commit to using it long term. Because if the first tool doesn’t meet your every need, you don’t want to discover too late that the second one exceeds your expectations for a fraction of the cost! Do your homework, do your free-trial shopping, and do digital marketing right with free online digital marketing tools.