Imagine a surgeon without any instruments.
A carpenter without a tool belt.
A pro golfer without any clubs.
I can go on, but I’m sure you get my point.
Professionals cannot perform without the appropriate set of tools.
And these tools must be updated every now and again; especially if you’re fortunate enough to be part of the CMOs/marketing directors community.
I bet that back in 2012, you used an entirely different tool to measure your SEO success.
One of the great things about being in business in 2020 is we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to marketing tools. And they just keep being invented and revamped.
So let’s look at 6 marketing tools that you simply cannot do without:
#1 – SEO Tool: SEMrush
If your website doesn’t appear anywhere near the top of the first SERP (Search Engine Results Page) for your industry’s key search terms, then you are effectively invisible to consumers.
With such intense competition, ranking at the top can be extremely difficult. That’s where SEO tools such as SEMRush come in—helping you work your way up the rankings to get more clicks from organic and paid search.
SEMRush offers solutions for enterprise and eCommerce companies; it has toolkits for SEO (organic search), PPC (paid search), and social media.
What it actually does is:
- Audits your performance
- Tracks your competitors to uncover their best strategies
- Gives you content suggestions according to selected keywords
Whether it’s backlinks, keywords, or content you need help with, SEMRush is sort of an all-in-one SEO consultant.
Other SEO tools we love are Ahrefs, Moz, and ScreamingFrog.
#2 – Social Media Marketing Tool: HootSuite
Like it or not, most of your potential customers are on social media.
We, at Natural Intelligence, actually really like it because:
- 3.2 billion people (42% of the world’s population) are on social media
- Social media advertising revenue reached $28.9 billion in the US alone (2018)
- This accounts for 27% of all digital advertising revenue
So, yeah. Social media ads are still effective.
But managing multiple pages is quite tricky, especially if you have multiple brands and operate across different time zones like us.
Thankfully, HootSuite helps you manage your social media presence with an all-in-one system that supports Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
HootSuite enables you to:
- Automatically schedule the publication of social media posts across different channels
- Find and filter conversations by keyword, hashtag, and location
- Track your social media performance
Plus, it’s super user-friendly.
Other social media marketing tools we like are Buffer, Sprout Social, and Socialbakers.
#3 – Email Marketing Tool: MailChimp
To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of email marketing’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
It’s been estimated there are more than 3.8 billion active email users in the world, of which more than 1 billion are on Gmail. Despite the rise of social media and the ongoing importance of search—email remains a crucial part of any multichannel digital marketing campaign.
And it’s so much personal than any other channel.
MailChimp is best known for its email platform—which sends out 20 billion emails per month on behalf of more than 12 million customers.
Most users start with the free plan, which has a limit of 2,000 contacts and 10,000 emails per month.
So if you’re running a lean operation, it’s your best freemium solution.
And we are absolutely in awe of their branding prowess:
Other email marketing tools we like are Aweber, Constant Contact, and SendGrid.
If you’re looking for a more robust platform with features that can support a bigger operation or B2B features, try Marketo.
This multi-functional tool offers much more than just a bulk-email sender:
- Customer engagement
- Marketing automation
- Real-time personalization
- Tailored marketing management functionality
- Comprising budgeting tools
- Marketing calendars
#4 – Design Tool: Canva
At Natural Intelligence, we have a team of super-talented designers, video editors, and art directors.
But back in 2009, when we just started, we spent a fortune on outsourced services.
Today, you can avoid these costs.
Along came Canva and disrupted the creative market with a freemium graphic design platform that literally anyone can learn how to use.
It started off as a tool for individuals and small businesses. In 2019, Canva Pro was launched, offering a subscription-based service for businesses that includes access to 2 million photos and illustrations, 500 fonts, and thousands of templates for landing pages, website banners, and social media posts.
Other graphic design tools we like are Crello, Stencil, and Venngage.
#5 – Project Management Tool: Filestage
Your campaigns have lots of moving parts and require a diverse range of skillsets to be successfully carried out.
That’s faster than the national average.
So how do you manage all these moving parts? With a project management tool.
There are lots of well-known project management tools out there, so we feel it’s worth mentioning one that is designed specifically for marketing professionals: Filestage.
Among other things, Filestage lets you collaborate and track workflow in real-time, invite users to provide annotations and comment on files such as PDFs, images, videos, and audio.
Plus, it also integrates with your big project management tools.
So, what should you look for in a project management tool?
- Team collaboration – your employees must communicate and delegate effectively and on 1 dashboard. It’s the only way to get to that deadline in one piece.
- Customization abilities – Your company is different than others in more than one aspect. You need a platform that can adapt to your scale and needs. Everything must be customizable: layout, themes, parameters, milestones – everything!
- Agility and innovation – You don’t want to be stuck with a Stone Age software in the Space Age, right? That’s why your PM tool of choice must be keeping up with the latest changes. Check their website to find their vision or road map for the upcoming years and only then commit to a yearly contract.
Other project management tools we like are Slack, Trello, and Basecamp.
#6 – Marketing Automation Tool: HubSpot
Sometimes, you just need software that can do a bit of everything.
According to one survey, 75% of marketers say they currently use at least one type of marketing automation tool. There are plenty of software products out there that can automate parts of your marketing—of which HubSpot is probably the best-known.
Hubspot offers 3 parallel, paid solutions: marketing, sales, and customer service.
Features of its “marketing hub” include:
- Lead generation
- SEO tools
- Social media tools
- Analytics dashboards
- Landing pages
- Content creation tools
Additionally, Hubspot offers a free CRM (Customer Relationship Management Tool) to rival the likes of Salesforce and Zoho CRM.
Other Marketing Automation tools like Marketo, Eloqua, and Userfox.
Find the Marketing Tools That Will Serve You Best
The 6 marketing tools I covered here are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what’s available.
Whatever it is you need to aid you in your marketing campaigns—someone has probably come up with a solution for it.
Of course, these marketing tools are there to complement your team, not replace them. So, when thinking about the best tools, always take time to brainstorm with your team, compare the different options, and select something that’s compatible with how you do your marketing.