Digital marketing can be complex. With so many different tools, apps, platforms, channels, and integrations - finding the best solutions can be a daunting task. So we compiled a list of the easiest, cheapest, most user-friendly tools every digital marketer should be taking advantage of. You're welcome.
#1 - Grammarly Grammarly is any marketer's dream. Not the best at spelling? Constantly using commas improperly? Grammarly has you covered. Grammarly instantly allows you to become a better writer. Best of all? It's free.
#2 - Canva Canva allows you to quickly make beautiful imagery. Don't have a graphic designer on your team? Need something in a jiffy? Canva has a freemium version, but if you need more features - it starts at $12.95 per month. And then you can create beautiful images like these:
#3 - Piktochart Along with Canva, Piktochart comes in handy for the marketer who isn't also a designer. If you need a cheap, easy way to build infographics - Piktochart is your go-to.
#4 - Powtoon Need video but don't have the budget? Powtoon is AH-Mazing. Anyone without a videographer or fancy equipment should check out powtoon. You can easily create animated videos with powtoon with little experience. It's a marketer's dream tool. Check out a video we created using Powtoon here:
#5 - Adobe Stock We all know stock photos are a part of the DIY marketers daily use. Adobe Stock offers beautiful, unique imagery - for an affordable cost. With a plethora of garbage stock photo platforms abound, Adobe Stock is one to remember. #6 - Mailchimp Email marketing is critical to any marketer - but email marketing platforms can get pricey. MailChimp is an affordable solution that allows you to A/B test, comes with beautiful templates, and is extremely user-friendly. For anyone without an email solution - MailChimp is your new best friend. See an example report from MailChimp here: #7 - Storybase Need content ideas? Storybase allows you to type in a keyword and allows you to see insights on popular search queries. Have an idea you want to write about, but not sure exactly what to write? Storybase is a great way to pique your creativity. ^ I mean - it's a valid question - what should you do in Denver when you are dead?
#8 - UpWork Because digital marketing crosses into so many types of tactics - Upwork can be your best friend when you're in a pinch and need outsourcing help. On Upwork, you can find freelancers for literally any task you can dream up. #9 - Videohive Like Adobe Stock, Videohive is a stock video platform with a wide array of videos. Most stock video platforms charge you upwards of $100 per video - Videohive provides beautiful videos for a small fraction of the cost. If you're looking for Stock Videos - Videohive is your jam. [video width="960" height="540" mp4="https://foxtailmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/18393186.mp4"][/video]
#10 - Optinmonster, Optimizely, or Optimonk Whether you use Optinmonster, Optimizely, or another platform. Having a tool to create exit intent offers is invaluable. Want to increase your leads? You need an exit intent platform. Our favorite is Optinmonster because it is easy to use, affordable, and they have a monster in their logo. How cool is that?
#11 - HARO Help a Reporter Out is a great way to build your thought leadership. By signing up to get HARO's emails, you can respond to requests and easily spread your ideas and build your brand. HARO is a great way to DIY your PR initiatives.
#12 - Google Alerts Because there still isn't a better tool out there to notify you when your brand is mentioned online - Google Alerts is the best way to make sure you are aware of all mentions of you, your company, or anything else you may want to track. Staying aware of your company mentions is critical - and since it's free - we highly recommend for every marketer.
#13 - Hootsuite Hootsuite makes it easy to automate your social posting - and anything that can be automated makes a marketers job easier. There are many platforms that allow you to do this - but Hootsuite has the most features for the price, and is easy to use.
#14 - Google Keyword Planner Google Keyword planner is still one of the best tools for SEO & paid keyword research. While you have to setup an adwords account (it's free) to be able to use the tool - there is really no other downside to using Google Keyword Planner.
#15 - Website Grader by HubSpot If you want to see how your marketing efforts are holding up to snuff - HubSpots Website Grader is an awesome free tool to help you easily identify any problems with your website and marketing initiatives. Good news - my blog is lookin alright. ;)
#16 - Similar Web Similar Web allows you to get insights for any website - and with a free and a paid version, it's a great tool to gauge your progress. You can also identify audience behaviors, geography, and more!
#17 - Open Site Explorer Open Site Explorer is another tool that allows you to examine your SEO initiatives. With OSE you can find link building opportunities, track your site's link profile over time, and compare your link profile to competitors as well!
#18 - Ahrefs Want to track your keywords, backlinks, and competitors SEO initiatives? If you are a DIY marketer who needs help with SEO - Ahrefs is an indispensable tool to have in your SEO toolbelt. With a plethora of SEO tools available, Ahrefs is the most inclusive, accurate, and easy to use platform for those getting started - and should be the first place you check out.
#19 - Copyscape If you ever have content written by another individual or outsourced party - Copyscape is your best friend. Copyscape allows you to make sure the content you are posting is original, and not plagiarized. Nothing is more embarrassing than finding out something you posted is a regurgitation of elsewhere on the web. Copyscape is one to have bookmarked for anyone dealing with content.
#20 - HubSpot We already talked about Mailchimp for marketing automation - but if you're looking to get serious with marketing automation - HubSpot is your new best friend. You can add in lead scoring, complex workflows, and so much more in a very easy to use platform. Since HubSpot just announced their Freemium version - it's now affordable too! We are huge HubSpot fans here, and the tool can do amazing things. If you want to get heavy with email - check out HubSpot! Also... they have a Sales CRM too! #21 - Followerwonk Connect with followers and build your network. If you are looking to get into influencer marketing and use Twitter analytics to the best of their ability - Followerwonk is a must-have tool.
#22 - Color Pick Chrome Extension Ever needed a hex code or exact color, and couldn't find it in the source code? ColorPick is your new best friend. Simply install it into your browser, bookmark it, and whenever you need a color - it's a few clicks away.
#23 - BuzzSumo Need help with content ideas? Buzzsumo is ah-mazing. Find out what content is already created around your topic, and what has the most buzz. Looking at keywords of trending content will give you the inspiration you need to create amazing content!
#24 - UberSuggest UberSuggest is another free tool that can help you come up with content ideas, keywords, and more. If you are looking for a tool to give you some new ideas. UberSuggest is a great place to start.
#25 - Envato Elements If you haven't used Envato Elements - this is the first tool I'd suggest you check out. With everything from email templates, landing page templates, infographic templates, and more - you can find beautifully designed pieces at an affordable cost for just about anything you can ever imagine. Envato Elements is a marketers dream - and you can even get unlimited downloads for $29.00 per month - which is a steal!
#26 - Slack
Slack is not only a marketers dream tool, every business should own and use slack. In marketing, it is critical that communication through the marketing team is open, consistent, and transparent. Slack allows you to communicate with your team quickly, efficiently, and even with .gifs! And with all the bot-integrations setup for marketers - if you aren't using slack - you should start.
#27 - Unbounce Unbounce is by far our favorite landing page builder here at Foxtail. Between its beautiful templates, ease of use, and massive amounts of integrations - if you are looking to increase leads through landing pages - Unbounce is a must have.
#28 - Google Analytics (It had to be mentioned) If you aren't using Google Analytics - then this is the first place you need to start your DIY marketing efforts. Google analytics has the ability to aggregate data on your audiences, page performance, and so much more. If you want a crash course on Google Analytics - Lynda has a pretty great one for you to check out!
#29 - Google Adwords (Again, we had to.) Google Adwords is another tool that every marketer should be familiarized with - whether you are running paid campaigns or not, adwords has a plethora of data points that will allow you to craft a smart digital marketing strategy. If you want to learn adwords, this course is a great place to start. They even just rolled out an Account Health Score for Search - it's still in Beta mode, but it will give you insights into your campaigns and how you can improve them as well!
#30 - WriterAccess If you ever find yourself in a crunch to get content delivered on time, or have a holdup in your internal content teams - WriterAccess is your best friend. Writer Access is a platform for freelance writers to find and complete work. With their advanced writer selection, and detailed creative briefs for projects - WriterAccess is the best alternative to an in-house writing team we have found!
#31 - Trello Trello is another favorite tool of ours for managing tasks, content, or timelines. Trello is great for keeping an active content calendar, or managing a small team. With their packages starting at a free version, Trello is a great way to manage your projects on a budget!
#32 - Teamwork Projects Because marketing projects have so many moving pieces, you need a way to organize all tasks, deadlines, and who's working on what. Our favorite project management system is Teamwork Projects - it was built for marketers, and the functionality and ease of use is brilliant. And, it is one of the cheaper PMS available on the market as well. For those reasons, we recommend Teamwork Projects.
#33 - Lynda
Lynda is an online marketers dream platform. With courses on every aspect of digital marketing you can ever dream of — Lynda should be at the top of the list. No marketer can be expected to know the ins and outs of every platform — so for anything you don’t know — I’ll bet you Lynda does know.
#34 - Growthbot Growthbot is a nifty little bot created by HubSpot that allows you to ask questions related to your marketing efforts. You can ask it about analytics, ad performance, leads, and so much more. While they are still currently working out some kinks with Growthbot, this tool is likely to become an essential tool for digital marketers in 2017.
#35 - Tawk.to
Tawk is a free messaging app that allows you to chat with your clients and prospective clients in real-time. You can chat by phone, desktop, and a wide variety of other channels. If you're looking to up your customer experience (which every marketer should be doing) Tawk is a great way to get started.
#37, & 38 :D - Social Media - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube Not much needs to be said here - but you absolutely should be using ALL of the above platforms for your marketing campaigns. If you want more information on using social media for marketing - this beginners guide will give you everything you need to know.
#38 - Medium If you aren't using Medium - you should be. Medium allows you a free way to build your audience, gain link juice, and spread your messages. With Medium, you can repurpose old content and give it a new home. Medium is a free, easy way to get more traction online. It even gives you insights into how your posts are doing: (Yeah... I'm still working on my following - Don't judge)
#39 - Alexa
Alexa is another great tool that can help you with competitor research, audience analysis, SEO, and much more. We like to use Alexa to get a good idea about a business' marketing tactics before we pursue working with them. If you haven't checked out Alexa, I'd suggest giving it a look!
#40 - Survey Gizmo or Survey Monkey As marketers, surveys can tell you everything from data for market research, to client happiness, to brand name ideas - and so much more. Having a reliable survey platform is critical for the DIY marketer. We use both SurveyGizmo & Survey Monkey here at Foxtail. SurveyGizmo has more in-depth functionality, but Survey Monkey is a lot more user-friendly. If you're looking for a survey platform, both of these are top notch.
#41 - GotoWebinar If you do any webinars, or plan to ever do any webinars for your business - Gotowebinar is the easiest, most reliable & affordable way to get started. Gotowebinar has been our go-to platform for all webinars we do in-house. If you're into lead gen - this is your tool!
#42 - Join.me For all your screen-sharing and conference call needs - Join.me is an excellent and affordable solution for your meetings!
#43 - Foxtail's Own: Website Audit Tool Want to know how your SEO initiatives are performing? You're in luck - we have a free SEO audit tool that can give you an inside view on how your campaigns are performing. And it's pretty nifty - take a look:
#44 - Zapier For all those times you are trying to sync two platforms to each other, but can't find a way to make it work - Zapier is your best friend. Zapier allows you to integrate apps between each other for an affordable cost. If you haven't used Zapier, I highly recommend checking it out.
#45 - Google Trends Google trends is a free and easy way to help you see what is trending online, and come up with new content ideas based on what's trending. For anyone looking to create content with curent trends - this should be the first place you stop. As you can see below, in the last 4 hours - Monkeys were searched for at a substantially higher rate than bananas. :)
#47 - Coschedule Headline Analyzer Want to write better headlines? Coschedule headline analyzer is free and will help you write a headline that sticks. Let's see it in action... I typed in "Repurpose Your Way to a New Audience" and this is the report it spit out.
#48 - Quora Quora is a Q&A platform that is heavily trafficked by B2C & B2B Businesses alike. Many marketers use Quora as a lead generation tool for their businesses. By answering questions in Quora, you can position yourself as a thought leader in your industry - and get leads. And since it's free - it's a win/win for the DIYer.
#49 - Slideshare Because you are creating slidedecks anyway - you should be setting up a slideshare account to get new eyes for every slidedeck you create. Slideshare will help you build your audience - and gain new momentum.
#50 - Wordpress, Magento, Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, etc., Because you need to have a website to do any digital marketing - you must have a CMS. Depending on the type of business you start, and how experienced you are - depends on what type of CMS you should use. If you are uncertain which CMS to choose - we'd be happy to talk you through your options.
#51 - IFTTT If you want to setup formulas and automate your day, check out IFTTT. With IFTTT you can do more with the services you love. WIth a plethora of formulas - you'll want to dig in to the platform to see the endless posibilities.
#52 - Google Webmaster Tools Google Webmaster tools will help you monitor your search performance, get support on your site, and so much more. GWT is an absolute must for anyone working on the web.
#53 - Reddit/StumbleUpon Many marketers have abandoned old social media platforms such as stumbleupon or Reddit - and this is a shame. If you use these platforms correctly, you can see a huge return on investment. Don't forget the old platforms just because you haven't used them in a while. We recommend taking advantage of all platforms that make sense for your brand. We will continue to update this list of DIY Marketer tools, but sound off below. What are your favorite marketing tools?