Must-Have Tools Every Small Business Needs to Thrive

Published: November 10, 2020

Author
Mariah Raner

Categories:

As a small business owner, you know your time and resources are valuable. Using the right tools for your small business can help your entire operation run more efficiently and ensure that your resources are being used wisely. 

Common Tools Small Businesses Use

There’s so many tools and software programs that small business can utilize. Here are a few of the most important tools that small businesses can use to help sustain growth in the future. 

#1: A Well-Rounded CMS 

upper left corner of a laptop displaying a WordPress website

Your website is one of your most capable and agile marketing tools.  But it needs to be easy-to-navigate, well-designed, and modern-looking to do its job well. Designing an efficient and beautiful website doesn’t have to be difficult. Content management systems like WordPress make building a functional website simple. This is true even if you aren’t tech-savvy. WordPress has a full suite of tools that you can use to optimize your website. Create stunning pages, optimize your content for SEO, and make your website user-friendly. 

WordPress is the most popular CMS around the globe, and for good reason. The platform by itself is easy to use and fully functional. Yet, you can improve the workings of your website with plugins. Each plugin is able to handle certain functions on your site. This may look like building an e-commerce shop, creating forms that help you gather data, or integrating with social media or email marketing.

And WordPress is loved by millions because it’s open source.  Which means developers are always working to improve the software. Your CMS is at the heart of your website and can help you create a stellar user experience for your customers.  

#2: Personalized Email Marketing 

Email is a powerful tool you can use to reach your audience and engage with prospects. To make the most of email marketing, you need a tool to streamline the process. Mailchimp and Constant Contact are the two big players in this game. Both have a powerhouse of useful tools built in. With these platforms, you can quickly and easily segment lists based on demographics, lead status, or other factors. This makes it easy to send out different messages to different lists. 

Plus, these platforms make it simple to send personalized content. An added bonus when this is becoming ever important in today’s marketing landscape. People want to know that their favorite brands care about them and are actually listening. To emphasize this sending personalized content is essential. Generate email content based on products or services that people looked at on your site. Don’t forget to include personalized fields like their name. 

#3: Social Media Scheduling and Automation 

Example of BrandCraft's social media marketing scheduling calendar

Social media marketing is a great way for you to reach out to your audience on a platform where they’re already spending lots of their time. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are all useful for starting a conversation with prospects. However, when you’re using many social media platforms, it can be tough to keep track of them all, especially when your marketing team has so many other tasks on their plate. 

You may find that your audience uses a few different social media platforms. If you don’t have the bandwidth on your team to keep up with them all, social media scheduling and automation tools are a great solution. 

Benefits of using a social automation tool include:

  • Create and post engaging content on all the platforms your audience is using
  • Schedule posts ahead of time, saving your team time and resources
  • Post at peak hours
  • Keep your posting consistent
  • Grow your presence without having to always check in

More and more, social media automation also includes a chatbot. Chatbots engage with your audience and answer their most pressing questions instantly. The advantages of Chatbots will automatically answer user questions and give them the information they need without having to wait for one of your team members to respond. 

#4: Easy-To-Use Design Software

Stunning graphics, images, and logos are an important part of any brand’s marketing arsenal. The good news—you don’t need a Photoshop pro on your staff or expensive software to create great visuals. Of course, there are times when you may need an expert photographer or graphic designer, but for day-to-day design tasks, you can find a great tool that anyone with a good eye and a little technical know-how can use.

Some of these tools are browser-based and designed specifically for creating graphics for logos, e-newsletters, and social media. Canva is a great choice because they have different pricing options. Their free tools have plenty of functionality, and if you find that you need more, it’s easy to upgrade your plan to get access to more features. 

#5: Smart Analytics

example of google analytics back end for tracking and displaying data

If you aren’t tracking your most important marketing metrics, how do you know if they’re working? While many social media and email marketing platforms have built-in analytics tools for tracking, it’s equally important to have website analytics too. Google Analytics is a popular and free choice, with paid options available to access more features. Plus

With web analytics, you can track key performance indicators. Here are the most common:

  • Page Views
  • Average time on page
  • Interactions per visit
  • Bounce rate 
  • Sources for incoming traffic 

With this information, you can interpret which of your marketing strategies are performing well. Plus, which strategies show room for improvement. 

Analytics allows you to notice trends over time. Furthermore, you’ll be able to recognize the behaviors that your audience is taking when they interact with your brand in the online space. Learn more about exactly what gets your audience excited about your brand and what makes them take action.

Keep in Mind…

When shopping around for the best tools for your business, look for software that can scale up and grow with you. Many of the tools listed above have a free subscription but also have paid tiers that offer more functionality. Looking for an expert team to help you make the most of your marketing efforts? BrandCraft offers a variety of services to help you get a leg up on the competition. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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