A Guide to Uncovering the Best Digital Marketing Tools
Are you new to the digital marketing game? Or, are you wondering what the best digital marketing tools are? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you're in the right place!
Read time: 11 minutes
Skip to the section you're most interested in:
Apparently, 76% of business owners surveyed in 2017 think marketing has changed more in the last two years than in the previous 50! With that in mind, is it really surprising most of us need guidance when it comes to mastering the ever-changing industry that is digital marketing?
So, in this article, we're going to run through the best digital marketing tools available, in the hopes they'll save you time, effort, and money in the long run.
Sound good? Let's dive on in.
Content Planning Tools
To make the most out of online marketing, you need to understand your audience fully. Cue, Google Analytics. Arguably, this is the best tool for looking at the following statistics...
This refers to the number of visitors that visit your website, view one page, and then leave without following through on your desired call to action. Your bounce rate's a good indication of the following:
- Whether your site is aesthetically appealing
- Whether your content's engaging
- Whether you provide a good user experience
- Whether your website is easy to navigate
- Whether visitors are searching for something specific.
Evidently, bounce rate is super informative! Remember, if your bounce rate's over 40%, you need to make some changes to your website. If you fall into this category, you need to figure out what's sending your visitors away.
The only way you'll achieve this is by split testing.
Sometimes the issue's obvious. However, it's more likely you'll need to continually tweak your website to figure out what works best for your target audience. This can be a long and tedious process but trust us, it's worth it!
Your conversion rate refers to the number of visitors who follow through on your call to action. This might mean the number of leads you harvest, the number of downloads, etc.
So, in simple terms, your conversion rate communicates how effective your page is. This statistic is especially important since you are ultimately trying convert as many people as possible into leads. You want to get your conversion rate as high as possible, so you don't miss out on potential clients!
By channels we mean where are your visitors coming from? Organically, referrals, Facebook, YouTube, etc.? When you work out where the majority of your visitors come from, you can gauge where your marketing efforts are needed.
The Google Analytics software provides so much valuable information; it's easy to see why we think this is one of the best digital marketing tools out there.
This tool is fabulous for analyzing both traffic and keywords. Not only can you evaluate your own online marketing methods, but you can also see how your competitors are doing!
With SEMrush you can observe the following:
- Advertising stats
- Video and display ad research
- Sample ads
All these details are available for you to see via one straightforward scan. Then, you can export this data onto your hard drive to analyze at a later date. To make the most of this fabulous software, you should be doing the following:
- Checking which keywords your competition's ranking for
- Evaluating which keywords you should try to rank for
- Analyzing how difficult potential keywords are to rank for
All in all, where market research is concerned - it doesn't get much better than this.
It's not surprising it made it into this list of the best digital marketing tools! The Deep Crawl tool is the most comprehensive online website crawler.
By this we mean it analyses your website to get an idea of any technical issues you might be suffering from. Then it can work to improve your site SEO. Putting these features into practice will help users easily navigate their way around your site. Additionally, you're more likely to be found on search engines like Google and Bing.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console was initially named Google Webmaster Tools and is something every business owner should use. This is one of the easiest ways to monitor and maintain your website's Google presence. Plus it's completely free!
The primary features include:
- Search Appearance
- Search traffic
- Google Index
- Crawl status
- Security Issues
Useful and cost-effective, what's not to love about this fabulous software?!
Content Curation Tools
We love this tool; it is so easy to use. Just enter any topic or keyword into BuzzSumo and it will provide you with a list of articles and topics that have worked well for that topic in terms of engagement and shares. This will help you craft and share more engaging content by doing the following:
- Research: You can see what other people are frequently sharing in your industry and view the most popular topics, headlines, and content formats.
- Amplification: Now, you can work out who the social media influencers are in your niche and contact them. Ask whether you can write a guest post on their blog or interview them. This is great for spreading the word about your brand!
- Monitoring: BuzzSumo will send content alerts as new articles get published online, in your industry.
Plus, you get a free fourteen-day trial when you sign up. After that, this tool costs $79 per month, and packages go up from there. This seems a little pricey but time and again it has proven to be one of the best digital marketing tools on the web.
Out of all of these tools, Copyscape is essential. Plagiarism isn't acceptable in any industry (no matter whether it's intentional or not).
Sadly, plagiarism can result in your site getting chucked off Google. If your page gets deindexed, you won't get found on search engines. Instead, visitors will have to access your page via a direct link. Plus, if your page gets deindexed, this could extend to your entire website (if Google thinks the problem is bad enough).
Needless to say, this is bad for business. Plus, there could be some pretty severe legal ramifications! So, do yourself a favour and make sure you don't accidentally plagiarise anything (trust me, it's much easier to do than you'd think!)
Copyscape will run a thorough plagiarism check through any of your writing. Plus, it'll help you optimize your copy for SEO; win-win!
We love Grammarly! It's honestly one of the best digital marketing tools. This is by far the easiest way to ensure your writing is error-free. However, it does more than just fix your grammar; it also makes vocabulary suggestions, so your script sounds more interesting.
Oh, and you can adjust the writing style, so it makes appropriate suggestions! You can select from the following forms:
- Business professionals
- Medical professionals
- Technical writers
Also, once you've downloaded the Grammarly plugin on Chrome, the software will automatically proofread your work when you write pretty much anything online.
Trend.io is a great site if you're looking for influencer and generated content. It's a great way to fill up your calendar, leaving you and your team time to focus on other projects. And because all of the content is fully-licensed, it's ready for any channel you want to post to.
Content types include:
All you need to do is choose where you want to use it.
Email Marketing Tools
If you're hoping to excel in the email marketing sphere - then we can't recommend MailChimp enough. This is honestly one of the best digital marketing tools for email you'll ever use.
This tool allows you to create, send, and track HTML email campaigns simply and efficiently via their drag-and-drop interface. However, from an SEO perspective, we love their fabulous reporting features and the fact they integrate with the following platforms:
- Google Analytics
- and more!
This means in one simple click the recipient of your email can share your content on any of the above platforms! This is a super simple way to gain some extra exposure and boost your brand awareness.
If you're looking to improve your open rate and click-through rate, Mailchimp's A/B testing feature is fantastic! You can design two completely different emails and then send half of your subscribers the option A message and the other half the option B. Then, you can track the open rates for both emails. It doesn't get much easier than that, does it?
Constant Contact has many reasons for being one of the largest and fastest-growing email marketing tools and one of those is the free 60-day trial and pricing that starts as low as $20/month.
It is very user-friendly which is a great option for beginners. Manage your email lists, contacts, templates and more with ease. The list of features include:
- Customizable templates
- Set it and forget it functionality
- Tracking in real-time
- and more
As for integrations, this tool has you covered. Check out just some of the options:
- and so much more!
In fact, they have over 360 different apps and integrations to work with.
Multi-Function Digital and Automation Tools
If you've been following us for any length of time, you know that we are lovers of all things HubSpot. And for good reason! You get it all with this tool: email marketing, landing pages, blog/website hosting, forms, CRM management, reporting, A/B testing - the list goes on!
The software is quite user-friendly, you have access to a ton of training and everything you need for your marketing automation is in one location, integrated seamlessly.
As for integrations... well, check out this list:
- and a ton more!
HubSpot also has this fantastic feature where you can quickly gain loads of useful information about your leads - it's called HubSpot Marketing Free. It's a pop-up tool that automatically gathers email addresses from your website and lists handy data points. For example, which pages your visitors explored. It'll also tell you which of your web pages convert the best!
Active Campaign is a fabulous inbound marketing platform that allows you to send unlimited emails, list contacts, set up automated emails, and more! This software is a great fit for small businesses.
While they did start out as an email marketing platform, they have added marketing automation and CRM features. A great highlight here is the automation campaigns; you can automate marketing activities, along with sales and productivity.
As far as comparisons go, Act-On is probably the closest alternative to my personal favourite, HubSpot. With this tool, you get almost everything you need for automation. I'm talking lead management, scoring, and nurturing, email marketing, landing pages, forms, social media management, and more.
Their drawbacks? They don't offer website or blog hosting, but you do get some pretty comprehensive SEO tools to help. As for the features, there are too many to list here!
Monitoring and Social Media Marketing Tools
Mention is a tool that allows you to monitor any mentions of your brand on the web! You can also keep up to date on all relevant topical discussions in your niche. This information is vital for increasing brand awareness amongst potential customers.
When you create your account, you can set up alerts for words and topics you want to follow. For example, your brand name and other keywords you'd like to track. You'll then receive daily emails on any updates in your industry, your average mentions per day, and where you're being mentioned.
Wyng used to be known as Offerpop. However, it's bigger and better than ever before and certainly up there with the best digital marketing tools available today!
This is an engagement marketing tool that focuses on creating user-generated content. For example:
- hashtag campaigns
- referral programs
You get the idea - Wyng focuses on the way brands reach out and convert consumers from social media. Also, their platform has an analytics feature that monitors the performance of your digital marketing campaigns.
Okay, so MeetEdgar is one of our favourite social scheduling tools. I know what you're thinking "oh great, another scheduling tool" but no! This one is different, promise.
When you create your library of posts in Meet Edgar, they don't expire! Your social media manager ends up really sick and can't get online to post for you? You're covered. The scheduler pulls from your library and posts for you.
You can upload and edit in bulk, and videos post as "native" on Facebook and Twitter, plus you can add other media too like photos and GIFs. And the browser extension lets you add right to your library from the web! Or, if you prefer, simply pull content with RSS feeds from your favourite sites.
While Nanigans is a multichannel advertising software, it focuses mainly on Facebook marketing. This best thing about this software is the fact it has access to the Facebook Exchange (FBX). This means you're able to target your ideal customer with greater ease.
Plus, this platform has features for monitoring Twitter and Instagram ads and growth.
Facebook's Power Editor
We can't overemphasize how amazing Power Editor is. In our opinion, this is hands down one of the best tools.
For those of you who don't know, this is Facebook's own tool for marketers. This is fabulous for anyone looking to run laser targetted Facebook ad campaigns.
The best thing about running ads on Facebook is that they're continually improving their advertising features. You can ensure your ad only gets shown to potential customers, and you'll never go over budget!
Twitter Native Platform
Like Facebook, Twitter is another platform you should consider running paid ads on. Twitter has fabulous targeting features when it comes to specific keywords.
What does that mean? Well, whenever someone tweets, or engages with a tweet, that includes the particular key phrase, they'll be targeted by your ad.
Canva is one of the best options for creating design templates. Anyone on your team can quickly access the pre-made templates, which ensures your branding remains consistent.
There are tons of images to choose from, photo filters, icons, and a huge font library. Create your own infographics, social media posts and headers, presentations, ebooks and other marketing materials, social ads, and much more.
LiveChat is effectively a tool that allows customers to instantly message your support team. This is essential if you're looking to up your customer service game!
You've probably seen this before while online. These tend to be in a box-type shape in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Customers can get the help they need simply and quickly!
We hope you've found some great tools that can help you out. Alternatively, please feel free to contact us with any questions or queries you might have. We'll be more than happy to help you out and point you in the right direction. Speak soon!
Originally posted Feb 20, 2018, updated June 11, 2020
Photo credits: toolbox, analytics, channel, woman, mail, social, bonus