Small Business Marketing Guide

12. 25+ Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

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Small Business Marketing

25+ Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

Jul 10, 2023 • 10+ min read
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      When it comes to small business marketing, efficiency is the name of the game. You’re probably running your business with a small team (or maybe entirely on your own), which means you have no extra time to waste on impractical processes or bad tools. 

      Marketing tools can make a huge difference in accomplishing your marketing goals with more ease and efficiency. They can streamline processes and make overall digital marketing management much easier to handle. But finding the right tools is a task in itself—one that can take far too long if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. 

      The following tried-and-true marketing tools can help up-level and manage every facet of your marketing, from social media to email to analytics.

      Social media marketing tools.

      You must have a social media presence—period. There are a number of platforms where you can have a presence, but they all require consistent content creation. Social media necessitates a certain level of organization to design, post, and manage content, and social media tools serve to simplify that process. No matter where you decide to create a profile, there are some tools that make creating content, posting, interacting, and analyzing easier.

      Content creation


      Canva is a much-loved design website with design templates that enable you to make engaging designs quickly—no design experience required. You can upload your brand’s fonts and colors to make the templates match your branding while relying on the expertise of the templates to create a visually pleasing design.


      This mobile app tool lets you create visually intriguing Instagram Stories, which can help your content stand out as users click through their feeds. It includes filters and effects, templates, and brand customization. You can also visually plan your Instagram feed with Unfold, which is a great feature if you prioritize having a visually cohesive grid.


      This free video editing app to create videos for all social media platforms. While most social media platforms offer video editing in-app, many find external editors easier to use. You can export your edited video from CapCut directly into Instagram or TikTok to post. 

      Content calendar tools.


      Buffer offers up to 10 scheduled posts per month across three social channels for free. It has many other features, like analytics, photo editing, and integrations. Buffer boasts an intuitive interface and even has approval flows for social media teams. 


      This is another popular content management tool that offers bulk scheduling, custom URL creation, content recommendations, and more. It also features AI for caption generation and content ideas. Hootsuite can integrate with Canva for you to share your designs directly into the platform to schedule or post.

      Meta Business Suite 

      This software offers its own proprietary content tool for Facebook and Instagram. You can manage your direct messages and mentions from the dashboard, while also planning and scheduling content. 

      Keep in mind that not every tool works for every platform. Explore the features and limitations of each tool before fully diving in, especially if you are going to create a paid account. Each social media platform has ever-changing rules and restrictions on third-party tools, so it’s smart to check on the latest recommendations as well. You want to be sure that it will be a worthwhile investment. 

      Email marketing tools.

      CRM (customer relationship management) tools are essential for email marketing. You can’t just send emails from your personal email. That would violate CAN-SPAM rules, first of all. In addition, personal emails also aren’t built for designs or to reach as many people as your email list might have. You need to have a CRM where you can build and send emails, maintain your subscriber list, and see how your emails are performing. 

      If you’re not sure what kinds of emails to send, you can get inspiration from Milled and Really Good Emails, two free libraries of actual emails from real brands. It can be helpful to browse these libraries and see what emails stand out. Take note of what you do and don’t like and use that information to inform your own brand’s email design. 

      When you’re ready to start sending emails, here are some CRM platforms to try.


      Hubspot offers a lot more than just email, making it a robust tool for interacting with customers and boosting sales. It enables a high-level view of your entire pipeline and helps streamline lead generation. If you’re looking for a wide range of features, like live chat and email templates, HubSpot is a great option.


      This tool has a free option for businesses with 1,000 subscribers or less. It has email templates, A/B testing options, segmentation options, and more. Mailchimp is a good choice for those looking for a simple (and possibly free) email marketing tool.


      Moosend features a drag-and-drop email editor, AI subject line optimizer, user activity tracking, and a lot more. While it’s not free, it offers a free trial and one of the lowest monthly rates on the current market. 

      Compare Email Marketing Platforms

      SEO tools 

      You’ve spent plenty of time and money getting your website up and running; now it’s time to get the most out of it with an SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. Your Google Analytics account has plenty of insights, of course, but beyond that, here are some tools. 


      Ahrefs is where you’ll want to go when you need to brainstorm keyword ideas and find ranking opportunities. It also gives you insight into what’s working for your competitors, including their estimated site traffic, backlinks, and more. 


      This mainstay is a robust platform with a number of both free and paid tools. Their Keyword Explorer tool is a great way to find relevant keywords for your site and analyze the existing ranking websites. When it comes to local SEO, the Moz Local tool offers local business listing creation and management, which can significantly streamline your online listing management if you have more than a few. 


      This tool tracks keyword position to keep an eye on how your priority keywords are performing. It gives thorough insight into ranking difficulty, as well as keyword variations and related keywords. SEMrush has some of the best competitive intelligence of any SEO tool and doesn’t require extensive technical expertise to get the most out of the platform.

      There are also a number of free Chrome extensions that can help inform your SEO strategy. Meta SEO Inspector enables you to look at the meta data—like the title tag and meta description—of any webpage. TextOptimizer is a writing assistant tool to improve your keyword strategy. Keyword Surfer gives in-depth analysis of keyword ideas and traffic estimations. Some of the bigger SEO tools, like Moz, also have accompanying Chrome extensions.

      More SEO Tools for Small Businesses

      Conversion optimization

      While keywords and content are an important part of SEO, so is site design. Users make a decision in a matter of seconds if they’re going to keep scrolling and stay on your website, and conversion tools can help you see what’s working and find opportunities for improvement.


      This tool creates heat maps of site visitors’ actions. These visuals enable you to see where people are (or aren’t) clicking, and you can even watch real-time visits to see exactly how each user explores your site. This information can help you restructure web pages to improve engagement and conversion. And there is a free version! 


      Unbounce is one of the best tools for testing web content. It offers built-in variant analytics and A/B testing, so you can ensure your site pages are as optimized as possible. Unbounce has plenty of templates for you to choose from, so you don’t have to design a web page from scratch. This makes it ideal for the standard small business owner who doesn’t have web design experience. 


      This is another great testing tool, and it can be run across a number of platforms, including mobile apps, making it an ideal option for companies that rely on more than just one channel to conduct business. It enables you to track the entire content lifecycle, from creation to experimentation, monetization, and analysis.

      Online ads 

      Paid advertising can be a great way to grow your small business. There are several ways you can share digital ads: social media, video, pay-per-click, native, search, and more. Whatever you choose, you need to take a data-driven approach to ensure you get the best ROI possible on your ads. Here are a few tools that can help both create and launch your digital ads.

      Meta Business Suite

      If you want to run ads on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll have to use Meta’s tool to do so. Meta ads run on a daily budget, which will depend on your targeting placements. The Meta Business Suite gives live results, so you can always see what’s working and tweak your approach based on the metrics. And with their thorough analytics, you’ll have great insight into the effectiveness of your placements.

      Google Keyword Planner

      Planning to run Google ads? Get your targeting right with their keyword tool, which works for both organic and paid strategies. You can either input your existing keywords to see their forecast, or you can use the tool to find new keyword ideas and create a campaign based on the results. 


      Give your PPC ads a boost with this cloud tool. TapClicks offers thorough reporting, automation, and a lot more. It has seemingly countless integrations, making it an easy tool to use alongside other platforms you already know and love. TapClicks can simplify and boost conversions, especially for those who are new to the paid side of marketing.


      If you’re looking to run ads on multiple platforms, AdRoll is the tool for you. In fact, it supports over 500 platforms. AdRoll enables you to manage ads for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, email, and display. For a one-person or small team, this can be an ideal option to avoid having to use several different tools. 

      Project management

      How will you get all of your marketing goals accomplished? You could try to keep a mental list or use a pen and paper. Or, you could use a project management tool to track all your to-dos and projects. These platforms are particularly useful if you need to assign or collaborate on tasks with other team members. 


      If you like your to-do lists—but are looking for something a little more functional—Todoist is a great option. Their free version has plenty of functionality, including reminder schedules, individual project lists, and task labels. Todoist is best for individuals or small teams.


      This project management tool offers a more visual approach to task lists. Trello employs Kanban-style boards where you can create individual task lists, attach files and links, and move cards around as projects progress. You can assign cards and/or tasks, making it a good option for teams.


      One of the most robust project management options, Asana has multiple views, including Kanban boards, lists, and timelines, making it a good choice for teams with varying working styles. Asana is ideal for larger projects or teams and offers both free and paid versions.

      Data analytics

      It’s crucial to know if all your marketing initiatives are working, and data analytics are the best way to do so. Data removes human subjectivity and gives concrete numbers to prove what’s working and what isn’t. There are a number of tools for each marketing channel, but here are a few options to try. 

      Google Analytics

      This is your home for all your website analytics—and then some. This is the primary tool to track your website traffic and learn more about your site visitors. You can find significant audience information here, including demographics, location, behavior, and more. You can also see where your web traffic comes from and analyze your conversion efforts. Google Analytics can have somewhat of a learning curve, especially when it comes to adding custom goals, but the effort is well worth it for the information you get in return.

      Google Search Console 

      Google Search Console is the first place you’ll go once your website is set up. There, you can submit your sitemap to be crawled and indexed, so it can start showing up on Google. This tool is important for technical SEO. It will indicate any issues with your website that might be affecting your SEO, like site speed or broken links. It also has insight into the exact keywords people are using to reach your site (which might include some you’re not targeting, giving you a new strategy).


      This product is a great way to conduct research and get more data about your customers. Surveys provide invaluable information for both new and existing businesses that want to ensure their marketing and targeting efforts are as precise and data-driven as possible. You can use them to get product feedback, compare your customer satisfaction to industry averages, conduct market research, or even analyze employee engagement. 

      13 Market Research Tools for The Small Business Owner

      What are the best marketing tools for small businesses?

      The answer depends on your priorities and your budget. Any of these tools can be an excellent addition to your stack if it suits your digital marketing strategy and overall business goals. But, if you’re not planning on running ads online, for example, you don’t need to spend time looking into ad tools. Only pursue the marketing tools that align with your set business strategy. 

      And don’t feel like a failure if you can’t figure out a tool. Not every option works for everyone! It’s most important that your tools of choice work for you in terms of functionality, organization, and cost—not that you’re using the trendiest tool of the moment.

      About the author
      Maeve Ginsberg

      Maeve Ginsberg is a copywriter & storyteller. She is a marketing strategist a Picante Collective where she helps businesses with marketing strategy and brand voice.

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