Tight On The Budget? Jitesh Has A Perfect And Offbeat Digital Marketing Tools Budget Planned For You…
Almost every business meeting I go to, I am asked this question, “So Jitesh, how should we spend out digital marketing budget?” And that is inevitably followed by another question, “What paid tool subscriptions should we go for?”
These are “fair enough” questions to ask. Those of you who know somewhat about digital marketing or marketing automation, would understand that tools play a big role in running and managing your campaigns efficiently. However, the real question is, “Are all paid digital marketing tools right for your business?” Honestly, no! You should try to get every paid tool possible for your business.
Here’s a real life example. Just a couple of weeks ago, an owner of a medium-sized software company based in Miami contacted me. He asked for my help in resolving the current marketing challenges his business was facing. His issues were:
a) His online marketing initiatives were bleeding money.
b) His online marketing campaigns weren’t effective in terms of bringing money to the business.
One of my filter questions when talking to a business owner for the first time is asking him about how many tools does he currently subscribe to. And I instantly spotted the issue. He had over ten paid subscription tools to monitor the traffic on to his website, which he believed were for “improving the SEO” of the site.
Upon asking him about why he’d have so many tools for the same purpose, he answered, “That’s because those came highly recommended by the SEO experts at different conferences I went to during the last year and a half.”
It took me some time to show him how he only needed two out of those thirteen tools and could easily save up a lot of money for his business. What I said seemed to make sense to him and thankfully he’s happy to report that they’re doing much better in their digital marketing campaigns now, especially by suppressing the cost side. Freeing up this budget allowed him to invest his money in newer ways of promoting the business through social media websites.
So, why am I sharing this story with you? For these reasons, essentially:
- It’s important to spend smartly on digital marketing tools.
- Not every tool is the right tool for you.
- Not getting an expected ROI could be due to not investing into the right tools.
- And finally, it’s important to learn about the tools that you really need to invest into.
I am writing this post to suggest some useful paid digital marketing tools to you that will help in growing your business online. I have used so many tools over the years that I now have a fair bit of idea about which tools you should buy and why? And above all, these paid tools work! So, I am not recommending them to you because they are popular. Rather, because they offer real tangible
results for your business.
I would like to clarify before I get started that I am not getting any incentives for referring these digital marketing tools to you. It’s purely some valuable information for your business. You don’t have to pay for any of them, if you are not willing to use them.
Also, just because I am suggesting these tools doesn’t mean that you have to try all of them. I can totally understand that you may be tight on budget. And that’s precisely the idea behind this post, right? To help you save money from buying unnecessary tools. My suggestion is that you read what I have to say about these tools carefully. And if you are convinced, then you should start with the tool that you found to be the most useful. Remember, just go for one tool to start with.
But, here’s the most important thing! Don’t buy it straight away. These tools come with free trials. So, sign up for the trial version of the tool and at the end of the trial period, if you are satisfied with its performance, only then make a long term commitment. And if the trial version is not available, the go for the lowest package even if it doesn’t have all the features you’re looking for. Use it for a month at least. Don’t give up within a couple of weeks. Commit to using it for at least a month. And once you find it a good value-addition to your business, upgrade your license.
Okay, with that being said, here are some useful digital marketing tools that you can try for your business:
If you have been following the SEO industry news regularly, you would know that one thing that can really make or mar your website’s ranking on Google, is your backlinks profile. Google from time to time changes its algorithm to ensure that there are no malicious link building attempts to boost the rankings of sites. And that’s why, it’s really important that you are completely aware of the backlink situation of your website. And that’s why I suggest Ahrefs.
One thing that I keep checking once every day, both for my business website and also my blog, is Ahrefs’ dashboard. It’s always open in my browser. And to give you an idea, here’s what it looks like:
So, what’s the value-addition for this tool?
i. It offers an in-depth look at your website’s organic traffic and a complete backlink profile through Site Explorer
ii. It helps you discover the most popular content for any topic, in terms of organic traffic volume, social shares and backlinks, using Content Explorer
iii. It helps you find the most profitable set of keywords for your website with Keywords Explorer
iv. You can get regular alerts about every new keyword ranking, or social mention or backlink addition/deletion
v. You can keep an eye on your website’s ranking, both for desktop and mobile using Rank Tracker
vi. It allows you to compare your site’s performance with your four other competitors through Domain Comparison
vii. You can find the keywords your competitors rank for, but you don’t using Content Gap
viii. Backlink Checker helps you find the newer and authentic backlink opportunities around your website domain
ix. You can spy on your competitors’ backlinks using Link Intersect
So, as you see, it’s one tool but with a suite of other tools accommodated in it. And there’s much more you can do with Ahrefs. They have a trial version of the tool available. If you take my word, it’s a bang for your buck!
You must be thinking why’s Facebook included in this list, right? That’s because it rightly deserves to be there. You might already be spending on Facebook paid advertising. But, on Facebook, it’s now about how much you spend. It’s about how wisely you spend your budget on Facebook. The word you’re looking for here is ROI. And even if you have a limited marketing budget, you must consider spending on Facebook. If stats convince you more, according to a recent study, the paid posts on Facebook avail 145% higher organic reach. And if it’s a video you are promoting, it’s altogether a different story.
If you’ve absolutely never invested into Facebook’s paid ads, then this’s is to familiarize you with it:
There are many ways you can spend on Facebook. It’s called your campaign objective. Whether you want more brand awareness on this world’s largest social media platform, or want to attract more local customers to your shop, or increase traffic to your website, or to sell more products online, you can accordingly choose the type of campaign here.
Facebook allows you to set up interest-led targeting. Which is something that Google cannot offer to you at present. So, it’s really useful!
So, I suggest that you headover to your Facebook personal account and create a business account to set up your first campaign today!
If you are very active in promoting your business across different social media websites, but having a hard time when it comes to managing your schedule of posts, then I suggest that you try Buffer. A pretty straight forward tool and does exactly as the name suggests – keep a buffer of posts lined up for your social media pages while you can focus on other important aspects of your business. You can place it on auto-pilot mode and know that it’s doing its job right, every time.
Buffer can help you manage your social media account at an individual level as well as at the enterprise level. You can create compelling and engaging images for your social media posts using their Pablo tool. If you use social media networks for providing customer service, then you can use their Response tool.
Well, there are other social media scheduling tools available out there, but none of them are as comprehensive as Buffer. So, give it a shot when you can.
4. Crazy Egg
It’s good to have more traffic flowing into your website. Very good, indeed! But, what’s the use if you do not know what your customers are doing once they arrive on your site? What are the places they are clicking? What makes them ditch your site? What makes them fill the contact form? Don’t you wonder about these things? Well, I suggest that you try Crazy Egg.
Well, let me start off by saying that there’s nothing crazy about this tool. So, don’t go by the name. Jokes apart, it works like an x-ray through your visitor’s intentions while on your site. You can see, like I said, where exactly are people clicking? Is it the banner? The call to action button? The white space? Or the “X” button to close the browser? You can see it all. This helps you in deciding how to strategically place the call-to-action buttons across your website.
Likewise, it can show you the scrolling ratio per page, meaning how deep your visitors go on your website’s page. Obviously, the deeper they go, the more engaged they feel. But, if they seem to not go beyond the first fold of your page, then it means that you don’t give them a valid enough reason to scroll down. This will help you in rethinking the architecture of your site.
And similarly, you can also see the source that you website visitors are coming from. Why is that important? If you know what the most popular places from where your visitors come on to your website are, then you can accordingly customize the content on your site in order to increase your conversion rates.
Crazy Egg offers a free trial version option. It’s valid for a month. So, feel free to go to the website and start your free trial right away!
Again, you might be thinking that there are more popular email marketing tools out there like Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, etc. So, why did I include this tool in my list? While other email marketing tools are only specific to the function of sending out emails, GetResponses goes a step ahead and offers you other features too.
You can create and host webinars on this site and thus increase the conversion rate of your website. You can create customized landing pages and increase your chances of closing more leads. In a nut shell, this is not just an email marketing tool for your business. But, more precisely, it is a marketing automation tool.
The features that I personally enjoy while using this tool are autoresponders, drag-n-drop editor, audience segregation, and click tracking, to name a few.
GetResponse also offers free trial for 30 days. So, don’t wait a day more and try this useful tool today!
If you ask me what is the one thing that I would like to optimize on your website, my answer will be, “user experience”. Content optimization, link optimization, etc. are secondary. Just like how you value customer experience the most in offline business transactions, on the Internet it’s how you treat your website visitor that counts. And that’s why I have included Optimizely in this list.
- This tools helps you in delivering personalized content for your visitors.
- If you own an ecommerce store, then you can optimize the recommendations for your products.
- Through the html interface incorporated into this tool, you can create and manipulate your onsite experiences from the scratch.
- You can optimize the mobile experience of your website for your customers. This helps in increasing your overall user engagement rate and eventually your conversion rate.
Once again, this tool offers you free trial for a month. So, don’t wait and sign up for your Optimizely account now!
At the risk of sounding biased, this is perhaps one of my favorite paid tools when it comes to managing my digital marketing campaigns. And I am saying it purely out of my experience of using this tool. I have used it since quite some time and it’s proved to be handy every single time.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Just look at the above screen shot of their home page and see the list of their clientele. However, no need to feel discouraged after reading these big brand names. This tool is one of the most economical tools I have come across in managing digital marketing campaigns for over several years.
As it rightly claims, it is an all-in-one SEO and online marketing tool. To be more precise, it is a collection of about 16 different tools.
- You can get meaningful insights into your competitors’ strategies in their organic search campaigns, PPC campaigns, link building activities and other forms of digital marketing efforts.
- It can get you as close to uncovering their advertising budget, their ad copies, their set of targeted keywords, etc. And this means that you can copy what’s working for you and ditch what’s not. How convenient!
- You can understand what websites are referring traffic to your competitor’s website and also check the validity of those links. This will help you refine your own link architecture.
- You can carry out keyword difficulty check, domain vs. domain check, etc. and convert those data into meaningful reports and charts that you can easily understand yourself and explain to your management or business partners.
As always, I would like to reiterate that these list is in no sense exhaustive. You have an ocean of digital marketing tools to select from.
So, even if you are tight on your pockets, you can easily invest into any of these tools and see your results soar high. At the same time, these tools help you in saving a huge chunk of your operative costs while managing your digital marketing campaigns. You do not require the technical expertise in order to own and manage these tools. They are self-paced and self-explanatory.
And, if you don’t want to spend on buying tools and would rather use the free tools available to you, then visit this blog post of e-Intelligence, which lists over 100 important digital marketing tools: https://www.e-intelligence.in/blog/100-must-have-digital-marketing-tools-for-startups/.
Now, it’s your turn!
What are some of the digital marketing paid tools you simply cannot be without? Share your favorites in the comments section below.
Until the next post, have a good one!