Digital marketing is a broad field that encompasses a range of different techniques, methods, tactics, and processes. There is so much stuff included in digital marketing that some of its major branches (such as SEO, content marketing, and email marketing) are treated as separate and distinguishable fields.
And there is a need for this as well.
A digital marketing expert cannot cope with all the different approaches and techniques on their own. That’s why there’s always a classification, i.e., an email marketing expert or an SEO expert, etc., in teams and organizations.
The purpose of mentioning this all is to highlight the fact that there is a lot that has to be done in a digital marketing campaign. It’s not possible for a person to do it all on their own without any help.
To get help with the various tasks, techniques, and tactics (try saying that five times faster) involved in digital marketing, there are various different online tools that you can use. In this blog post, we’re going to be looking at some of these tools by categorizing them according to the type of marketing they are used for.
Since there are a lot of different types of digital marketing that we’ll have to cover, we will keep our discussion on each tool short and concise.
Email marketing is a popular and proven digital marketing technique that is used by a lot of brands nowadays. Despite being introduced quite a time ago in the last century, it’s still alive and kicking. This is pretty evident, seeing that emails are the primary channel for lead generation for 89% of marketers.
We don’t want to go into too much in detail about what email marketing is. You probably know a lot about it already. We just wanted to give an intro as a…formality.
Let’s move on to discussing the tools that can be used for it. Actually, before moving on, let’s clear up a little something first.
When we talk about tools for email marketing, we basically refer to any and every tool that can help in any or every process in an emailing campaign. For example, if there is a tool online that can help in creating email templates, we’ll consider it an email marketing tool even if it does not play a role in the actual sending process.
Keeping the above in mind, let’s move ahead to discuss the tools.
Mailchimp is a household name in the email marketing business. It’s been around for a couple of decades now (this sounds way cooler than saying ‘since 2001’), and it has approximately 14 million users as of December 2020.
When it comes to email marketing, Mailchimp basically helps you right from the start of the process till the end. You can use it to create an email design by using the existing templates or by coding it yourself. You can also use it to segment the recipients in your mailing list, making it easier to target them separately for specific messages.
Then, you can move on to automate the actual sending process. The number of contacts that you can send to at a time depends on the plan that you’re using.
We can’t really explain and elaborate on the multifarious perks and pros that you can get with this platform. But, as we mentioned earlier, we’re going to keep our discussion on the tools concise.
Sendinblue is a competitor of Mailchimp. There is a lot of stuff that you can do with Sendinblue other than email marketing. But we won’t be going into all of those right now.
As far as the email marketing resources of this platform go, they can help you more or less with the same stuff as Mailchimp. The exact features and perks of the functions can be a little different, but with Sendinblue, you can do the following:
Like Mailchimp, Sendinblue also provides generously for its free users. You don’t necessarily have to become a premium member in order to use it…we mean, you’ll probably have to and want to at some point, but you can start off with a freebie.
Hubspot is, like Sendinblue, a lot more than just an email marketing tool. Their other resources – even their blog – are widely used and are popularly hailed in the online digital marketing biz.
With Hubspot’s email marketing tools, you can create attractive and engaging email designs either from scratch or using existing templates. You can make contact lists and select a particular one from the lot to give an email blast to a particular segment of your users.
Hubspot also helps you with A/B testing, which basically means that you can create two different variations of the same email to see which one of them works better.
And last but not least, you can get detailed insights on your email campaign by checking on factors such as the click rate, open rate, successful deliveries, unsubscribes, bounces, and so on.
Thanks to its free availability and ease of use, Hubspot can be a great tool for beginners and rookies.
Content marketing is perhaps the most broadly-encompassing type of digital marketing. And that’s pretty much because content marketing is defined as the type of marketing that utilizes content or material for the purposes of promoting a brand or for engendering interest in the readers for investing in it.
Keeping that in mind, we can say that pretty much every type of marketing (except maybe telemarketing) falls within the ambit of this definition since they all utilize the content.
Take email marketing, for example. It’s a separate technique, just like content marketing. But, it wouldn’t be wrong to call it a ‘sub-set’ of the latter since it is also based on content.
So, drifting a little away from the point here. Let’s come back to discussing some online tools that you can use for your content marketing needs.
Before discussing the details and features of the tool itself, let’s digress a little here just to explain how it helps in content marketing.
One of the core components and elements of content marketing nowadays is SEO (search engine optimization). With proper SEO, a website can be made to rank at a higher spot in the search results, due to which it can get more online traffic.
Ahrefs is an online toolkit that basically helps in the analytical aspects of SEO. You can use it for conducting keyword research and for evaluating the SEO health of a particular website.
There are a total of six tools that you can use on Ahrefs, as enumerated and classified by the platform itself:
The names of these tools are quite self-explanatory about what they can be used for. If you want to learn more about them, you can head over to the official Ahrefs website. Once again, we can’t really stretch our discussion for too long.
In content marketing, the content used for various activities has to be authoritative and high-quality. And one of the first things that you have to do to make your content authoritative and high-quality is to cleanse it of all imperfections.
Grammarly is an extremely popular and useful tool that you can utilize for this purpose. It has a number of different features that can help in content optimization. Its main offering, i.e., the namesake, is a grammar and spell checker that is available to free users. A ‘Clarity’ checker is also available in the free bundle.
Other than that, there are a couple of other features, such as the plagiarism checker, ‘Delivery’ checker, and ‘Engagement’ checker, that are available only for paid users.
By using Grammarly to find and remove grammatical and fluency-related errors from your content, you can make it more potent for fulfilling the purpose for which it is written.
For example, if you upload a blog post to your website without checking it with Grammarly, then your readers will just be picking out your errors while going through the content. This can kill brand integrity and leave a negative impression on your audience.
On the other hand, if you do check your blog post with Grammarly before uploading it, the smooth and flowing content will help educate your readers properly and also get them to convert into lucrative leads.
Yoast is actually a WordPress plugin, but here, we’re talking about its online real-time content analysis tool.
Like Grammarly, Yoast is also a content optimization tool that you can use to polish the quality of your content before finalizing it. However, unlike Grammarly, Yoast does not point out grammar and spelling errors in your content. Rather, it helps you in evaluating and fixing the readability and SEO-friendliness.
Here is how this tool works.
To start off, you have to enter your content into the provided text box. You can either paste it from a source or type it on the spot. The latter is actually very viable here due to the large number of formatting options available.
As you type the content in the provided space, the tool will check it in real-time and give out the assessments. You will have to scroll down to see them.
If your entered content fulfills the standard set out by the tool, i.e., with regards to the number of links, sub-headings, images, passive voice, transition words, etc., then that particular assessment will have a green bulb next to it.
Nope…this one’s completely free.
This is a bit of a run-of-a-mill cliché, but we can say that content without visuals is like food without salt.
Having a couple of visuals in your content, even if it is just a couple of screenshots or a small set of icons/symbols given at the start, can vastly improve the overall quality.
Canva is a graphic designing tool that can help you with creating designs for your content, be it banners, thumbnails, poster images, and so on.
One of the best things, in our opinion, about Canva is that it is free to use. Normally, a tool of this quality and caliber is only expected to give a free trial or something. But, Canva lets its free users enjoy the software indefinitely. Mind you, there are limitations, but there’s ample stuff that you can do even if you don’t want to cough up the bucks.
Marketing automation is basically the process using which you can make various tasks in your marketing campaign run on their own without requiring input from your side.
Once you set them up, they will keep on executing the same processes over and over again.
For the next part of this post, we’re going to be talking about some tools that can help you automate different tasks in your marketing campaign.
Marketo is a vast online platform, and it can help you with a whole range of different marketing activities. We can’t really do justice to this platform by mentioning it so briefly here. We’ll just give a cursory explanation of the aspect that we’re discussing it under i.e., automation.
With Marketo, you can create automated programs and sequences that provide every website visitor with a unique and personalized experience that is tailored according to their stage in the customer life cycle.
This automation works hand in hand with the other services provided by the platform to give you an all-rounded solution to your marketing needs.
If you are looking to introduce automation in your marketing strategy in smaller degrees by focusing on the communications and messaging aspect, Customer.io is a great tool that you can use.
With Customer.io, you can set up an automated communication flow to interact with specific segments of your users according to their behavior and activities. For example, you can initiate a program to send emails to your customers after they’re done with a purchase to get their feedback. Similarly, you can set up an email campaign for messaging those users who’ve visited and spent time on your site but left without buying anything, etc.
Customer.io provides an extremely detailed set of options that you can use for automating your marketing efforts. You can send messages through various channels, i.e., via SMS, Slack, email, in-app notifications, and push notifications. You can also set the time for the message, such as hinging it on a certain action by the user or after certain time intervals.
Although there are a lot of marketing tools available online, they can’t be afforded by every type of business. Companies in the starting phases can have trouble paying hundreds of dollars on a monthly basis for their different marketing tools.
So, for this part of the post, we’re going to be looking at such marketing tools that can be easily bought and used by small businesses.
Prepostseo is an online platform that offers around 90+ tools. Some of these tools are highly useful for content marketing, whereas some other tools are necessary for SEO.
The thing that makes this platform excellent for small businesses is that it is completely free to start. Every tool on Prepostseo can be used by free and unregistered users, albeit with some annoying limitations. However, those limitations can be removed by purchasing a paid plan. The paid plans are quite affordable, and we’ll give their details below.
Among others, some of the tools that can be used by small businesses for their digital marketing needs are as follows:
As far as the free version of this platform is concerned, one of the biggest issues is the annoying number of ads around the interface. Other than that, there are also input limits on tools such as the plagiarism checker and the paraphraser.
Ubersuggest is a keyword research tool. Although we did discuss one tool in this category above, we’re mentioning this one here because of its affordability.
Tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush cost around $90 - $100 per month, which can be a little difficult for small businesses to manage.
With Ubersuggest, you can take care of your basic keyword research needs with just $20 per month (on the ‘Business’ plan).
Other than keyword research, you can also use Ubersuggest to get necessary information and metrics about your website’s performance, as well as detailed insights about your competitors. It’s like Ahrefs…but cheaper. That is why it is ideal for small businesses.
Google Analytics is another tool that you can use for monitoring your website’s performance. Like Ubersuggest, you can use it to find out useful metrics such as the total number of users, sessions, pages per session, and bounce rate.
Unlike most tools that we’ve mentioned n this list, Google Analytics is completely free to use. You can use it with your normal Google account without paying a penny.
Affiliate marketing is a popular gig nowadays. Simply defined, it is the type of marketing in which an online party, i.e., an affiliate, gets commissions based on the number of sales or conversions they acquire for their sponsor.
Content plays a major role in affiliate marketing. In a lot of cases, the affiliate links are placed in between the content and are promoted using the same.
Keeping that in mind, we can appreciate that a lot of affiliate marketing has to do with creating the right content and then placing the right links in it. That is why, in this section, we will focus on tools that can help you come up with readable and engaging write-ups.
As compared to other types of online content, blogs and articles that are written for affiliate marketing are much more likely to be actually read by the audience. Considering that, you have to make sure that your write-up has high readability so that it does repel and drive your readers away.
Hemingway Editor is a good online tool that you can use for this purpose. With Hemingway, you can analyze your content in real-time and get useful statistics about its readability. If the grade is too high, you can lower it by reducing the number of passive voice instances, adverbs, difficult words, and hard sentences.
Other than readability statistics, Hemingway also provides useful content length metrics such as the number of sentences, characters, letters, paragraphs, and reading time.
Just as staying on top of your website’s analytics and performance metrics is necessary in other types of marketing, the same is the case with affiliate marketing. By regularly checking up on how well your website is doing, you will be able to alter and enhance your approach and make your marketing strategy more effective.
We’ve discussed different tools in the analytics category above, i.e., Ahrefs and Ubersuggest. Now, we’re going to talk about SEMrush.
On a fair and frank note, you can pretty much do the same thing with SEMrush that you can do with its competitors. You can use it to track the total number of backlinks on a domain, the amount of traffic, the authority score, and so on.
There’s a lot more that you can do with this tool. We’ve just mentioned a couple of the features.
Aaaaand that’s it.
To be fair, we can’t really cover all of the digital marketing strategies in such a brief post. But hopefully, after reading this post, you’ll have a rough idea about some of the main types of digital marketing and the tools that you need for them.
Hope you enjoyed this one.