It’s easy to feel daunting and overwhelming when you’re about starting your own small business. With the rise of the competition, it’s imperative to have a solid online presence. You need to make your business stand out so that your target customers will find you. 

But, with all those juggernauts that already dominate your market and niche, of course, it’s not all plain sailing. 

That’s why digital marketing strategy came through the whole affair like a breath of fresh air. Whether it’s an e-commerce store or a brick-and-mortar business, this strategy helps your business to get seen by your target customers faster with less effort. 

Today, nearly 50% of small businesses spend $10,000 or less for digital marketing each year. One-quarter of small business owners (25%) are also planning to start investing digital marketing soon, which can help their businesses stand out amongst competitors.

You don’t have to invest in sophisticated digital technology that costs you a thousand bucks just to get a competitive edge. Even the basic ones can help you to stay competitive and more noticeable.

However, with those thousand of marketing tools out there, you are left wondering which solutions are right for your business moving forward. That’s why we listed some of the must-have marketing tools so you can get your small business the limelight it deserves in no time.

#1. Wix

A website can act as your online brochure or catalog that you can “give” to your potential customers 24/7. It should come as no surprise that 92% of small business owners believe that having a website is the most effective digital marketing strategy.

You can use Wix to build and design your website, effortlessly. There are over 500 designer-made templates for every business. You can repurpose them using a simple drag-and-drop feature; you don’t have to know any coding language to do it.

What’s more, Wix also lets you optimize your website for mobile devices. Therefore, you can appeal to broader target customers.

It’s recommended to use a professional web design company if you don’t have the skills to design it yourself, by doing that you will also get a better quality of work and support.

#2. MailChimp

There are more than 3.9 billion daily email users. It means reaching out to some of them will boost your small business online visibility. That’s why email marketing remains an effective way of digital marketing strategy. And MailChimp can help you with that.

MailChimp is an automation platform that allows you to create and send emails for marketing campaigns. More than that, it also spoils you with email tracking, view success, and click-through rates, even generating custom reports. 

That way, you know how well your emails are performing. And since it’s an automation tool, you can always reach the right person at the right time.

#3. Google Analytics

Keeping track of your small business performance is crucial to know what areas you need to pay attention to and when it’s time to make a shift. Therefore you need Google Analytics to assess the effectiveness of your current marketing strategy by analyzing your website traffic.

There are a lot of metrics you can track with this tool, such as website visitors, page views, bounce rate, goal completions, and more. 

Once you know and understand the behaviour and demographics of your website visitors, you can constantly improve your marketing results and create more customer-driven website content.

#4. Google My Business

Your potential customers will be looking for your products and services online, and Google is most likely to be the first place they go to find it. In this matter, you can make your small business show up in a Google search with Google My Business.

So, if your small business is a local business and hasn’t claimed your Google My Business listing just yet, then you are probably losing business. This tool helps you to display all the information your customers need about your local small business, including photos, operation hours, and special events. You can also respond to reviews, questions, and messages from customers.

#5. Wistia

The latest video marketing statistics show that more than 72% of customers prefer learning a brand through video.

It means that video marketing can help you gain more customers and make them understand about your small business. In this matter, Wistia can help you do that.

Wistia is more than a business video-sharing platform. It’s a tool that can help your marketing video get the views it deserves. It features advanced analytics– including identity tracking and engagement, video security, customizable CTAs, easy embedding, etc. 

This tool makes your video look more original and professional than if you hosted on other platforms, like YouTube or other social media.

#6. Slack

If you work within a small team, then you need a communication tool to make sure that all the team members are on the same page to achieve specific goals. Here, Slack is a powerful communication that you can try with your small team. It ensures that everyone on your team is in the know, right away.

You and your team can send messages in real-time. More than an instant messaging tool, it’s actually a combo of all communication features. From chat to emails to file-sharing, Slacks provide it all. 

#7. Buffer

More than 64% of businesses use social media as their strategy– it’s a preferred factor from small business owners to build their online presence. But, managing all social media profiles can be tough at some point. That’s why you need Buffer in your marketing toolbox.

Buffer allows you to manage your social media accounts and schedule the content posting for each of them. With this tool, you can manage social media like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ as well as track the results with one single click.

By all means, it helps you to streamline your social media processes. Thus, you can spend more time you’ll have for other marketing and brand-building strategies.

#8. KWFinder

At least 89% of small business owners believe using search engine optimization (SEO) is the most effective digital marketing strategy. And one of the most important parts when it comes to SEO practices is keywords. 

Your potential customers type a keyword into the search box of a search engine to find what websites that match what they’re looking for. Here, you need to use the keyword they’re using to have they get them to click on your website.

KWFinder is a worth-trying tool that gives you a list of potential and powerful keywords that your customers mostly use. It also shows you a chart that shows the number of searches per last 12 months, so you know what keyword currently becomes a trend in your niche.

#9. HotJar

HotJar is a robust marketing tool for tracking and understanding your visitors’ behaviour and feedback. One of its well-known features is the heatmap feature. It shows you which areas in your site show heavy traffic and interactions, so you know what your potential customers are exactly doing on your website.

You can also easily access instant feedback from visitors by showing them a poll or survey before they leave your site. That way, you can develop your website and make some right changes based on deep insights. It helps your small business online performance and generates more people to the website.

#10. Trello

If you have a small team for your small business, Trello can help you collaborate, communicate and coordinate all of your marketing projects. Especially if you have remote team members, this tool is probably a hero. 

From meetings to project planning and every team-building activity in between, Trello will transform the way you work on your individual tasks and with your team.

The key features of this tool include deadline alert and notifications, file-sharing, progress meter checklist, and more. With this tool, you can also know the progress of every project and the member that is currently working on that.

#11. Canva

Nearly a quarter of small business owners (23%) agree that visual content is the most effective content they’ve created in the past year. So, instead of giving your potential customers a bulky paragraph of articles, why don’t you create images or posters?

You don’t need to hire a professional designer to create stunning visual content. With Canva, there are a lot of layouts for every occasion. You can choose a template that best fits your small business personality and feel free to customize it. 

It also allows you to download the images to your device or share it across your digital channels.

#12. Shopify

With e-commerce platforms, you can gain global exposure to get the word out about your products and services. And if you’re looking to take the jump into launching an e-commerce business profile for your small business, Shopify is a natural choice for many reasons.

Shopify allows you to open your online store easily. It provides you with the tools you need to accept electronic payments, online shopping carts, the ability to sell on social media, analytics, and more.

You don’t need any tech and design skills to build your e-commerce profile. These tools offer you more than 100 ready-made themes that you can choose and repurpose to suit your brand image. You can also add your logo to make your brand more trustworthy.

#13. Slab

Slab is a great tool to jumpstart your small business. From crafting your company culture and values, to creating a user manual, to onboarding new employees, and documenting regular meetings, Slab can give you ideas and get you amped up through its extensive library of templates. These guides are used by industry leaders, so you can rest assured that they are efficient. Slab integrates well with your existing platforms such as Slack, Google Drive, and Dropbox, just to mention a few — which means that there is no need to re-organize your stack and instruct members on a new tool. 

Slab’s cool features take organizing up a notch. Slab Topics, for example, put relevant context to your folders and tags for easier browsing. Unified Search, another Slab functionality, allows you to find data across all the tools you use. Another great thing about Slack is it’s easy enough to use that even the least tech savvy members can enjoy creating and organizing with it. 

Final Thoughts

You don’t need to be a big corporation with a massive number of employees and deep pockets to use technology to improve your business. Luckily, the internet brings you a bunch of tools you can utilize to start managing your business operations easily and more effectively.

However, there’s one thing you need to bear in mind while choosing those marketing tools: make sure the tools fit your small business needs, goals, and budgets. That’s why you need to be strategic about how you operate your small business with those marketing tools so you can increase your odds of success in the end as well as the ability to get your business off the ground.


Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps business increase conversion rates, close more sales and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).