Are you a small business or lean team looking for advanced marketing tools for your brand? You’ve come to the right place. With the recent rise in inflation and drop in access to capital impeding small business growth, it’s more important than ever to maximize your available resources.
The marketing tools small businesses use to attract and retain customers can make or break them. Advanced marketing tools that maximize efficiency, productivity, and ROI are instrumental. They level the playing field between large and small businesses, making up for limited resources and budgets.
That’s why we’ve identified 12 of the best marketing tools for small businesses, keeping these major factors in mind:
- Price: Affordable pricing with different tiers depending on budget
- Usability: Approachable enough for anyone to jump in and start using with speed and ease
- Use-cases: Most relevant for small businesses
Marketing tools for lean teams and small businesses
Learn about these tools and how they can fit into your small business marketing strategy in our quick guide.
- Specialty: Email marketing
- Small business benefit: An affordable way to reach customers directly with personalized messages and promotions
- Top features: Email builder, templates, AI tools, analytics, A/B testing, predictive segmentation
- Price: Various plans: Free, Essentials ($13/month), Standard ($20/month), Premium ($350/month)
Email marketing is a valuable tool for small or any sized businesses. Mailchimp customers, in particular, receive impressive results with the tool, including up to 39x ROI and $1,700 earned per campaign, on average.
Mailchimp has plenty of templates and intuitive drag-and-drop email builder tools accessible to various skill levels. The platform allows you to create segmented lists of different groups of customers so you can send them personalized campaigns based on their preferences and demographics. You can also A/B test emails based on different send times, subject lines, and body content.
- Specialty: Content design and creation
- Small business benefit: Streamlines and expedites the content creation process to lower talent costs and foster more efficient workflows
- Top features: Templates, Magic Write AI text generator, Brand Management
- Price: Free: limited access for individuals, Pro: $120/year for upgraded individual plan, Teams: $300/year per five users with additional features
Canva is a design platform that enables anyone, regardless of skill level, to create visual assets for a wide range of content types and presentations. Teams can use the tool to design anything from social media content to videos, presentations with audio and animation, entire websites, infographics, and more.
It has robust team collaboration capabilities, including a whiteboard brainstorming feature, centralized media library and brand kit, social media content scheduler, and content approval feature.
Some of their results for small businesses include:
- Increasing content creation by 60%
- Reducing external design workload by 30%
- Decreasing turnaround time by 90%
- Reducing design costs by 50%
- Specialty: User-generated content (UGC) marketing
- Small business benefit: A cost-effective way to maximize the reach and impact of customer feedback and advocacy
- Top features: Retail Syndication, Social Commerce, Ratings & Reviews, Sampling, Questions & Answers, Creator Marketing
- Price: See pricing page
Bazaarvoice takes one of your brand’s most precious organic resources and turns it into rocket fuel for growth. User-generated content — any content like reviews or social media posts created by your customers and creators — is so effective because it inspires trust and confidence in shoppers, much more so than branded content.
Our Shopper Experience Index found that 78% of shoppers have more confidence in purchases after seeing customer content, and 74% trust UGC over branded content on product detail pages (PDPs).
The Bazaarvoice platform is multifaceted, but the collection and amplification of UGC are central to each feature. Bazaarvoice collects content like product reviews and visual UGC from social media for you and distributes it across your e-commerce site and retail partner sites. UGC is great for SEO, helping you potentially triple website traffic and reduce customer acquisition costs by up to 75%. Sharing UGC across marketing channels can also increase conversion rates by up to 4x.
Compared to main competitors on G2, Bazaarvoice has been voted the #1 in UGC for 12 consecutive quarters and is the Leader in the space.
- Specialty: Website and e-commerce site builder, content management system (CMS)
- Small business benefit: No-code, easy-to-use website builder tools to reliably run your e-commerce site and create new web pages
- Top features: Templates, SEO tools, e-commerce email automations
- Price: Standard: $30/month, Plus: $74/month, Advanced: $212/month
Webflow’s intuitive, drag-and-drop, no-code website builder makes it easy to launch and maintain your e-commerce site. Everything is customizable according to your branding, including how you display and highlight products and layout your website pages. An added benefit is the ability to send and design branded transactional emails, including order and shipping confirmations.
- Specialty: Social media management
- Small business benefit: Easily manage, create, schedule, and measure content for all your social media channels in one place
- Top features: Scheduling and Publishing, Monitoring, Analytics, Collaboration
- Price: Standard: $10/month, Professional: $30/month, Premium: $40/month
Zoho Social is an intuitive, user-friendly social media management tool that anyone can learn, regardless of social media expertise. It offers integrations for all the most valuable channels for brands, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and more. It helps lean teams save time and money with its scheduling and automation features. Zoho also has helpful collaboration features, like the ability to chat with team members about campaigns and pieces of content.
Compared to its major competitors on G2, marketers prefer Zoho Social across the board. Small business owners on G2 call out Zoho Social’s ease of use, time-saving benefits, great customer service, and batch-scheduling capabilities as top qualities.
- Specialty: Project management, database, and notetaking
- Small business benefit: Whole team has more visibility and better collaboration and can assign and track tasks in one centralized workspace
- Top features: Wikis, Projects, Docs, Notion AI
- Price: Free limited plan for individuals, Plus: $8 per user per month for small groups, Business: $15 per user per month for several teams within a business, Enterprise: Request a demo to run entire, large organizations
Notion is a productivity tool that has a vast amount of use cases, so you can make it work however you need it to. Businesses of all sizes use it to create and store internal documents and resources, create and track project workflows, create and maintain databases, and even use it as a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Its responsive interface with automated functionality makes it user-friendly, customizable, and efficient.
Notion is highly rated on G2, and the reviews by small business owners credit the tool with saving time and money.
- Specialty: AI-powered content creation, lead development, and analysis
- Small business benefit: Boosts efficiency and productivity at low cost by expediting the writing process and automating processes
- Top features: AI Marketing OS, AI Sales OS, AI Chat
- Price: Various plans: Pro is best for small businesses at $36/month or Team at $186/month
Copy.ai is an AI platform built specifically for marketing. It can generate content for emails, blog posts, and social media based on your unique brand voice and tone. Its marketing capabilities include competitor analysis, optimizing content using SEO best practices and knowledge, refreshing content, and creating briefs from transcripts. It’s also a good sales tool that can integrate with your CRM to produce lead scores, personalized outreach materials, and develop lead enrichment.
The small businesses that have implemented AI as a growth tool have experienced positive results. According to Constant Contact’s Small Business Now report on AI, 91% of small businesses say that AI helps them be more successful. Additionally, 60% report saved time and better efficiency, and 25% expect to save more than $5,000 in the next year from using AI for marketing.
- Specialty: Website performance analytics
- Small business benefit: Free tool to measure and optimize website performance and gain insights on visitors and content
- Top features: Website sessions and engagement reports
- Price: Free
Google Analytics offers real-time data analysis and insights into your website’s performance. You can look at your number of organic visitors, audience demographics, top visited pages, top pages for conversions, Google Ads performance, and much more.
Small businesses can use this valuable free marketing tool to identify top-performing pages with the most views, low bounce rates, and high times on site. Likewise, you can find the weakest pages with low views, high bounce rates, and low times on site. By analyzing both, you can see where and how to optimize your website for better results.
You can also evaluate your traffic sources to see where to dedicate your efforts. For example, if you have low organic traffic, you should prioritize improving SEO. If you have low traffic from email or social media marketing, you can focus on driving more traffic from those channels.
- Specialty: Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Small business benefit: Fast competitor analysis, easily find what customers are searching for online
- Top features: Site Explorer, Keywords Explorer, Rank Tracker
- Price: Plans starting with Lite at $99/month (best for small businesses)
Ahrefs offers a variety of SEO tools to analyze your website’s keyword rankings, look at backlink growth, and discover the value of different search terms you could target. Likewise, you can do a deep dive on your competition to compare the same data. For example, you can find out the top search terms your competitors rank for and what pages rank for those terms.
Ahrefs can show you which keywords have low competition and significant search volume to determine which ones you should target to secure a top search results ranking. This information will inform which product pages you should optimize and how and provide ideas for new content, like blog posts and landing pages.
- Specialty: Video creation and marketing
- Small business benefit: Leverage the impact and popularity of video marketing, save costs on expensive video services and outsourcing, collect leads directly from videos
- Top features: Video creation and editing, live event and webinar hosting, marketing CTAs, lead generation, built-in SEO
- Price: Plans starting at $19/month (best for small businesses) up to $319/month+
These days, video is one of the most powerful content formats. If you’re not leveraging video for marketing, you’re behind the 91% of companies that are.
Wistia offers a user-friendly platform that eliminates or reduces the need for small businesses to outsource expensive video marketing. In addition to being a video creation tool, Wistia offers A/B testing, analytics to measure performance, lead generation capabilities, channel distribution, and more. It provides the best quality for the price for small businesses that have lean teams that wear multiple hats.
- Specialty: Automated workflows
- Small business benefit: Creates connected, seamless, efficient workflows that save time, enable more revenue-generating work, and ensure you don’t miss customer leads and interactions
- Top features: Zaps (automated workflow prompts), Paths (tasks performed based on assigned triggers), Schedule (recurring task scheduler)
- Price: Free (for individuals with limited features), Starter ($20 a month), Professional ($49 a month), Teams ($69 a month)
Zapier is an automated workflow tool that connects all the apps your business uses for internal and customer-facing communications.
It saves a lot of time for small teams to get them out of the weeds of lots of small — yet important — daily tasks. It’s easy to use and requires no coding, so anyone can jump in and start using it at any time. The tool allows you to set up a trigger that performs a designated task, like adding a new Shopify customer to your Mailchimp email list for example.
- Specialty: SMS marketing
- Small business benefit: Affordable and easy-to-implement customer acquisition and retention tool
- Top features: Contact list builder, text sender, 1:1 texting, mass texting, trigger-based automated and personalized campaigns
- Price: Customized, volume-based pricing
SMS marketing is a powerful conversion-driving tool for e-commerce and retail brands. According to Attentive’s 2023 SMS Marketing Benchmarks report, SMS is a top-three revenue-driving channel for 53% of marketers. SimpleTexting is a texting service tool specifically designed for small business success.
With SimpleTexting, you can improve your customer support, promote special offers, and reduce cart abandonments with direct customer interactions. Matykos Beauty is an independent beauty brand that captures shoppers’ attention over its many competitors using SimpleTexting. By requesting customer reviews for one of its key products through SMS, Matykos Beauty boosted its search presence and brand awareness.
Your customers are your most important asset
As a small business, your time and money are especially valuable — these marketing tools are designed to save you both. Keep in mind that UGC from your customers is one of the most cost-effective ways to increase brand awareness and conversions. Whichever tools and marketing strategy you have, make sure UGC is a central focus for greater impact.
If you’re not sure where to start, watch our on-demand masterclass: How small businesses can maximize shopper content and ROI.