Small Business Tools

Which online tools help best market your small business?

Today, the selection process of softwares and marketing tools is confusing.  This is partially due to the sheer amount of them available; but, also the investment and research required to find the most optimal tools.   Small business tools help us to create content that inspires the buyer’s behaviors, therefore, choosing the best tools becomes critical.   Budget constraints, flexibility, ease of use, and connecting with other small businesses communities, all play into the selection process. 

Generally, the first small business constraint is a budgetary one.  Most small businesses operate on a shoe-string budget and cannot afford expensive tools.   Yet,  in order to compete with big business, small business content has to look cohesive and compelling.  

We’ve outlined some requirements that have helped our small business clients choose the right tools.

Budget, simplicity of use and the ability to rapidly integrate our small business into the local community are a list of requirements.

Effective Content Creation Tools Highlight Your Small Business In a Professional Manner

Adobe Spark meets most small business budget constraints. You can purchase a monthly subscription for $10 a month. It’s inexpensive, yet boasts the power of all Adobe products. The quality of the output stands up against any larger corporations. As your business grows Adobe grows with you.  The software allows branding your small business with a variety of fonts, uploads of your logo and sample social templates. Adobe Spark partners with other companies to provide free images and icons that work seamlessly for the core social media platforms. We have tried many tools for creating content but none seem to have met our requirements until we found Adobe Spark.

“Create beautiful graphics, web pages, and video stories in minutes.” Is displayed across the front page of Adobe Spark.

Creating content can be time consuming. Spark is a tool that supplies you with predefined social templates and free images at your fingertips. The post creation becomes almost effortless. Spark Adobe also predefines different platform content sizes in their templates. This alone, can lift the work load for you. Spark has a variety of templates for the various social platforms making the selection process easy to walk through as you create your masterpiece.

There Is a Slide show Video tool within Spark that enables you to create video in minutes with context help slides. Again, style templates allow the small business owner to choose the appropriate theme and images. Audio and music clips can be added to enhance the view of the video.

A very nice addition to Adobe Spark is the large community of users which enable the user to learn through webinars from Adobe employees and monthly blog features that make the learning fun and easy.

Effective Small Business Community Tools

It’s all about the local community when it comes to small business. Our favorite small business community platform for networking and connecting online is Alignable.  Each day of the week, Alignable prompts the users via email to do something with your community. On Mondays they find someone in your contact list who could introduce you to new customers.   On Wednesdays they send you tips on how to stand out in your community.   Thursdays, they present a potential contact someone based on the categories chosen when the account was established.  Alignable guides you each step of the way to furthering your engagement and developing your communication strategy. It doesn’t stop there; Alignable has forums that allow small business owners to ask and reply to day-to-day questions from the Alignable community.


Effective Small Business CRM

“Why Pay For A CRM When This One Is Free” is Hubspot’s CRM webpage slogan. We agree. Keeping track of the little details of your customers goes hand in hand for successful social engagement and social selling. Hubspot CRM’s free tool is the perfect small business CRM tool for tracking customers -> https://www.hubspot.com/products/crm. Hubspot also offers a Sales component that works jointly with your CRM and allows scaling your sales methods.

Zoho Social

“Manage multiple social channels, schedule unlimited posts, monitor keywords, and collaborate with your team—all from a single dashboard.” This is Zoho’s slogan for helping you create and schedule social media posts that drive engagement to your brand. They offer a free trial period and support is available for configuring and setup. The cost is minimal for managing one brand and allows an organization to create brand awareness for a few dollars per month. If someone else manages your social media, Zoho allows collaborating with other people or employees. Messaging response is available for certain social platforms. Zoho also provides reports that show…For social posting, Zoho Social is a perfect tool to schedule social media posts.

Buffer

“Save time managing social media for your business” is Buffer’s slogan. Buffer’s functionality is much like Zoho and starts with a freemium model. You can use the tool for social media posts on several platforms. It’s differentiating feature shines in their analytics.

For social posting, Zoho Social is a perfect tool to schedule social media posts.

Effective Email Marketing

“Build Your Brand - Sell More Stuff” is Mailchimp’s message. Mailchimp is a great email marketing provider that offers a free version for the small business client.  Email marketing helps a small business build their subscriber list and send out newsletters to effectively communicate the activities, products and services your small business offers.  Mailchimp can serve the small business but also has the capability to upscale rapidly as your business contacts increase.  Their reports show opens, click through rates, bounces and other standard email features that help you track who is opening what newsletters or emails on a daily schedule.  They also have many partners that offer software integrations to other products and services that enhance your email marketing.

Chris Brogan states that “Email Marketing is the Most Important of your content marketing efforts”.  He also claims “there is a 20% open rate rule for every 1000 subscribers, or 200 people will open your email, and you generally get a 1% purchase rate or 2 sales.”

Websites

Your online presence is a direct reflection of you and your business.  A solid website displays a professional presence and can act as a content/information distributor to your prospects.   Squarespace, a website providers,  helps you to create clear, concise and modern websites for a fraction of the cost.  You get your choice of several pre-built templates that are tailored to specific industries in the small business world.  Whether you want a  simple websites or one that helps you sell products (e-commerce website), Squarespace is a great tool.  One of their best features is the online chat (technical) support system that clients can access as you build your small business website.

Work With Me

Each small business is unique and how they address marketing their company on the world wide web.  Understanding your small business best features and highlighting those are what differentiate your small business from everyone else out there.  Social Biz Concepts can show you how to use your resources and tailor your small business marketing strategy.  Sign up below for a free consultation call. Along the path of small business ownership, we can help you find the right approach to utilizing the best marketing tools available to you.