When you’re a small business owner, it can be daunting to figure out how to create your digital marketing plan, let alone manage all the different moving parts. And with nearly 4.57 billion active internet users in the world, it’s imperative that your marketing efforts are geared toward all those potential customers who are online. 

So, where do you turn when you want to find the best tools to drum up business? Glad you asked. Instead of scouring the internet for hours on end, we’ve done the legwork for you. Consider this your go-to list of small and local business marketing tools, conveniently organized by category.

While many will be familiar, others will be new to you, so explore the options and discover what appeals to you and best suits your needs. Bonus: Most of these are free tools (or at least offer a free trial) with the option to upgrade for more features, which means you can start using them regardless of your budget.

Email marketing tools

Even though it’s old-school in terms of digital marketing, email is far from outdated. This powerful marketing channel lets you connect directly with customers and subscribers to share valuable information that can improve your conversion rate and boost customer loyalty.

1. Mailchimp: Whether you’re creating a newsletter or sending out a promo for an upcoming sale, this platform is one of the most user-friendly tools out there. The free plan has everything you need including basic templates, one-click automation, surveys, and more.

2. Constant Contact: With a free and premium version, this email marketing tool offers more than 100 different templates, an easy-to-use editor, and list-building tools. It’s quite similar to Mailchimp, so it’s really just a matter of personal preference. 

3. Campaign Monitor: With an easy drag-and-drop tool, Campaign Monitor makes it simple to create email marketing campaigns even if you’ve never done it before. You can create your first email campaign for free, no credit card required.

4. AWeber: Designed to help small businesses grow, this email marketing and automation tool has an AI-powered design assistant to help you create compelling emails, automated campaigns, landing pages, and more. There’s a one-month free trial. 

Landing pages

While you can build your website using WordPress, Webflow, Shopify, or some other content management system, you don’t necessarily need a full site to boost sales. Consider landing pages to drive traffic for a specific marketing campaign goal.

5. Unbounce: This tool lets you create custom landing pages and pop-ups quickly without any need for coding. You can try it without charge for 14 days before deciding if you want to commit to a monthly or annual plan.

6. Optimizely: With a robust suite of features, Optimizely helps you create web pages (even if you don’t understand coding) and allows you to experiment with A/B testing to see which version of a landing page works better. There’s a fee-free version as well as paid plans that include a large variety of options.

7. Instapage: Choose from a library of landing page templates (or build your own) with this tool that offers hundreds of features that aim to improve your advertising conversion rates.

8. KickoffLabs: This fun and flexible marketing tool lets you build landing pages, pop-ups, and more for giveaways, sweepstakes, and product launches. Test it out by running a mini-campaign for free.

Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial component of any company’s online marketing strategy. After all, the better you rank on search engines like Google or Bing, the greater your chances of getting discovered by people looking for your type of business.

9. Ahrefs: This “all-in-one SEO toolset” promises that you don’t need to be an SEO wizard to rank higher and get more website visitors. Along with site audits, you can learn about your competitors, research what customers are searching for, and track your progress for ranking on search engines.

10. Clearscope: Powered by AI, this SEO research and content platform helps increase traffic to your site. You can run reports for specific keywords and within a matter of seconds, Clearscope’s optimization tool pulls data from the top-performing sites for those terms. These findings will then guide how you craft your blog post along with suggestions for word count and readability level.

11. Moz: Like other SEO marketing tools, Moz uses software and data to help you boost rankings, traffic, and visibility in search results. Along with site audits and rank tracking, you can review your backlinks and perform keyword research.

12. SEMrush: This “all-in-one marketing toolkit” focuses on SEO with a lot of overlap for different types of marketing, including social media, content and public relations, and paid traffic. 

13. Screaming Frog: Offering a free and paid version, this SEO tool crawls the internet to identify duplicate content, analyze the nitty-gritty details of your website, find broken links, and generally provide you with solutions to improve your ranking. 

Content creation marketing tools

From blogging to vlogging, content creation is an effective way to get your message across, promote your business, and develop a connection with consumers. 

14. CoSchedule: This all-in-one management software for marketers features a suite of services. You can plan, manage, and improve content for your website as well as access real-time blog, social, and marketing calendars. Try the 14-day free trial before subscribing.

15. BuzzSumo: As a research and monitoring tool, BuzzSumo can help you discover content ideas, identify influencers who are relevant to your industry, and come up with content that gets more likes, backlinks, and shares. Type in any topic, term, or website address to see what it can do. (It’s free.)

16. Adobe Spark: You don’t need to have experience with website design, video editing, or a CMS with this paid service. The Spark Page, Spark Post, and Spark Video apps let you choose from themes to create graphics, webpages, and videos in minutes.

17. Google Trends: Most marketers forget about this free tool that’s ripe for the picking and offers incredibly useful insights. Use it as keyword research to discover what people are searching for and how to create content that captures the attention of potential customers.

Customer relationship management

Best known as CRM, customer relationship management tools use data to help you manage and improve customer retention and thereby propel sales growth.

18. Pipedrive: This popular CRM tool helps you generate more leads with chatbots and webforms. Along with managing leads and tracking emails and calls, you can automate tasks and analyze metrics. Sign up for a two-week free trial.

19. Capsule: With multiple easy-to-use sales dashboards and the ability to manage all of your customers and track your contact history, Capsule helps you offer more personalized experiences that foster customer loyalty. Give it a shot with a free 30-day trial.

20. vcita: Created exclusively to help manage and grow small businesses, this CRM tool helps you provide a better customer experience with self-service appointment scheduling, online payments, and more. It also seamlessly integrates with dozens of platforms and offers a 14-day free trial (no credit card needed).

Social media

From Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and even TikTok, the power of social media platforms can’t be underestimated. Here are some social media tools that can help elevate awareness about your business and capture new customers.

21. Facebook: Creating a Facebook business page is free and you can start posting about your business right away. However, you can also use Facebook Ads to advertise online and target specific audiences based on their location, interests, etc.

22. Hootsuite: This hugely popular tool lets you schedule and publish content on all the major social networks as well as monitor, analyze, advertise, and engage with potential customers. You can try it free for 30 days.

23. Buffer: Publish social media posts across several platforms from a single dashboard on Buffer. You can also measure performance, create reports, and access insights to improve your tactics. Try the 14-day free trial with no credit card required.

24. Followerwonk: This tool has a free version that lets you search Twitter bios and compare users, plus you can analyze and track new and lost followers from your own account and competitor accounts.

25. Influencers: While social media influencers with an impressive number of followers can demand a premium for promoting your brand, micro-influencers and local bloggers are a lot more affordable and can still boost your profile and generate interest.

26. Iconosquare: Focused specifically on Instagram, this social media management tool can help you grow your brand with easy-to-use analytics and scheduling options. There’s a free 14-day trial and no credit card is required.

Make your digital marketing tools work for you

As you can clearly see, there’s a wealth of resources out there to promote your product or service. From email marketing and site optimization to customer relationship management and social media marketing, you have plenty of options. 

Keep in mind that one of the best marketing tools you have in your digital toolbox is Podium. Start today with a 14-day Free Trial.

You can boost lead generation by conveniently collecting online reviews and connecting via messaging. Best of all, you can do it all from the same easy-to-use platform.

Pat Johnson
Pat Johnson Product Marketing Manager

Pat Johnson is a product marketing professional at Podium, the leading communication system that connects local businesses with their customers. He is based in Denver, Colorado

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