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The best small business marketing tools in 2019

There is no shortage of small business marketing tools and apps out there to choose from – that’s for sure. In fact, it’s overwhelming. It doesn’t help that most of their sales pages seem to be written in a language other than English. So, how do you know which are the best small business marketing tools? And, more importantly, how do you know which are the best marketing tools for YOUR business?

The best small business marketing tools (as tried and tested by me)

Luckily for you, I’ve tested more small business marketing tools than I can count, so that you don’t have to. Obviously, the tools you choose will depend on your business and your marketing strategy, but hopefully this guide to the best small business marketing tools will point you in the right direction.

Found any small business marketing tools you love? Please share in the comments below!

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Index

  1. Best small business email marketing tools
  2. Best styled stock photos that don’t suck
  3. Best small business social media marketing tools
  4. Best graphic design tools
  5. Best tools for hosting online courses / webinars / landing pages
  6. Other useful small business marketing tools
  7. Best small business affiliate marketing tools

Best small business email marketing tools/apps

Whenever I talk about your email marketing tool/app/service, I’m referring to the place where your email database lives, where you can send EDMs (that’s fancy speak for “email newsletters”), where you can automate email sequences and more.

ActiveCampaign

I’ve been using ActiveCampaign for nearly 2 years now, and it does everything I need it to. You do need to sign up for a more expensive plan if you’re looking to use some of their fancier features, but for most small business owners, the lite plan will be more than enough.

Click here to try ActiveCampaign free.

ConvertKit

ConvertKit has a beautiful, simple layout and is one of the simplest email marketing tools for small businesses that I’ve come across.

Not sure if ConvertKit is a good fit for you? Click here to try it free for a month.

MailChimp

MailChimp is a pretty popular email marketing tool for small business owners – simply because it’s (a) free to start with and (b) easy to use. It’s is slightly more basic than ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit, but if you’re simply looking to start growing your list and send out a monthly or fortnightly EDM, Mailchimp will do the job.

Click here to try MailChimp.

Best styled stock photos that don’t suck

I know stock photos aren’t technically small business marketing tools, but they’re pretty crucial! Most stock photo websites tend to fall in one of two categories – they either look tacky or they’re expensive. I’ve sifted through the masses of terrible stock photos and found some gems to share with you.

Styled Stock Society

These gorgeous, feminine stock photos are perfect for taking your brand to the next level. You can filter their collections by colour, which is handy for keeping all your brand visuals consistent. Unlike other feminine styled stock photo websites, you can purchase collections of photos, without being locked into a membership.

Click here to check out Styled Stock Society.

Haute Stock

At $99 every 3 months, these stock photos don’t come cheap – but they sure are gorgeous and will certainly help your business get noticed. If your brand is luxe and feminine, then this is the perfect stock photo website for your business.

Click here to check out Haute Stock.

Unsplash

If you’ve never used Unsplash before, prepare to lose several hours of your life to browsing their beautiful collections of free (yes, FREE) stock photos. If you don’t have the budget to splash out on expensive stock photos, Unsplash is definitely worth checking out.

Click here to visit Unsplash.

Creative Market

Creative Market is honestly one of the best-kept secrets in the marketing world. Not only do they sell stock photos, they also have a HUGE range of resources – everything from social media graphics to fonts to WordPress templates. Everything is reasonably priced and, if you sign up, they’ll send you 6 free resources every week!

Click here to visit Creative Market.

Best small business social media marketing tools

Social media tools for small businesses are a dime a dozen these days. There are tools for everything from planning your feed, to creating video content, to editing your photos, to finding the best hashtags for your pet unicorn. Ok, maybe I made that last one up… But, it could happen one day!

Planoly

I love, love, LOVE Planoly. I’ve only been using it for a couple of months, but I love it. Sure, it’s not the cheapest Instagram scheduling tool out there, but it certainly gives you all the features you’ll need. The drag-and-drop view makes it easy to see what your Instagram feed will look like (and re-arrange it to make it look as slick as possible) and, as an Instagram official partner, they also offer auto-posting.

Click here to try Planoly for free.

Sprout Social

Sprout is a complete social media management system. It’s not cheap, but if you’re managing multiple client accounts, it’s excellent. It allows you to monitor and reply to comments, monitor hashtags, keep an eye out for mentions, schedule and publish content and it has excellent reporting.

Click here to try Sprout Social for free.

RecurPost

Hands up who here has written an epic blog post, only to promote it once and never again? Yeah, me too. Enter RecurPost. All you have to do is upload your content once, set a schedule and RecurPost will automatically recycle your old content so that you’re getting every little last drop of value out of it.

The best part? It’s free for your first 3 social accounts.

Click here to try RecurPost.

Iconosquare

Iconosquare is an Instagram analytics platform – perfect for learning more about your followers, your content and your competitors. It also has a scheduling option, but I’ve never actually tried it (whoops!)

Iconosquare also offers Facebook analytics, which I personally find far more user-friendly than Facebook’s native analytics.

Click here to try Iconosquare.

Linktr.ee

You know how Instagram only allows you one link in your Instagram bio? Well, Linktr.ee fixes that problem, by creating a landing page where you can have multiple links. Upgrade to the premium version and you can even install the Facebook Pixel in your Linktr.ee to allow you to retarget visitors (this is one of my best Facebook Ads Hacks).

Click here to try Linktr.ee.

PixelYourSite

Speaking of the Facebook Pixel… SO many small business owners avoid installing the Facebook Pixel on their website because they assume it’s going to be too hard to too techy for them. PixelYourSite is a WordPress plugin that makes installing the Facebook pixel easy peasy.

Click here to try PixelYourSite.

Tailwind

Want to nail Pinterest marketing without spending hours pinning and re-pinning posts? Tailwind is the solution for automating your Pinterest posts. You can even use it to plan and schedule Instagram posts, and their analytics features are excellent.

Click here to try Tailwind.

Best graphic design tools for business

You might not be a graphic designer, but you’ll probably find you need to do some simple graphic design for your business from time to time. Maybe it’s an Instagram post, or a Facebook Ad image, or even a quick video or animation – these tools below have got you covered.

Stencil

Stencil is designed with marketers and small business owners in mind – its simple interface means that it’s easy peasy and super quick to create graphics for social media and ads. It’s even integrated with Buffer, which means you can create and schedule your social media posts in just a few clicks.

It’s free for your first 10 images each month, so click here to try Stencil.

Canva

Slightly more advanced than Stencil (but still far simpler than jumping into Photoshop) is Canva. I always recommend Canva to people looking to create their first lead magnet (a free downloadable that you offer in return for someone giving you their email address), as it has some gorgeous templates that you can easily customise to fit your brand.

Click here to try Canva.

Click here to check out my Canva Instagram puzzle feed template.

Creative Market

I know I already mentioned this one earlier, but it deserves another mention! If you decide to go with Canva, you can actually purchase Canva templates from Creative Market – and really take your graphics to the next level. Or, if you’re a bit more savvy on the tools, you can download templates for Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, like these pre-made Instagram templates.

Click here to visit Creative Market.

Best tools for hosting online courses/webinars/landing pages

New Kajabi

Possibly one of the best marketing tools for small business, full stop. Kajabi does a million things in one. As well as being a platform for your website (with a drag-and-drop builder), it totally removes the need for a course hosting platform, an email marketing platform, a landing page builder, a webinar host, a checkout solution… Because, it has everything!

Click here to try Kajabi free for 14 days (and get a lifetime 15% discount on any plan).

Other useful small business marketing tools

Zapier

I always think of Zapier as the duct tape that holds together all my apps. I don’t think I could manage without it, to be completely honest! It provides a really simple way to integrate all your different tools and apps, and create automations from them. Got a new invoice in Xero that you need to pay? Zapier can add an automatic task to your to do list on Asana. Someone tagged you in a photo on Facebook? Zapier can add that to your Dropbox automatically.

Click here to try Zapier.

Google Analytics

If you have a website, Google Analytics is a non-negotiable. It’s free, so you have NO excuse for not using it. The reporting will tell you almost everything you need to know about your website visitors, including their demographics, where they’re coming from and how they interacted with your content.

Click here for Google Analytics.

HotJar

HotJar is similar to Google Analytics, in that it shows you how people are interacting with your website. However, it does have some additional features that I LOVE…. Like, heat maps (so you can see how long people are spending in different parts of the page) and screen recordings (to show you how people interact with your website).

Click to try HotJar.

Best small business affiliate marketing tools

Referral Candy

So often, affiliate/referral marketing gets put in the “too-hard” basket – simply because it sounds like it might be difficult to set up. It’s actually not. Referral Candy is super easy to integrate into your online store or website, and takes all the manual work out of your referral program.

Click here to try Referral Candy.

Best customer support apps

LiveChat

Sometimes, your customers have questions that they want answered, like, yesterday. These questions are usually the difference between buying from you, and hitting the big ole X button. LiveChat allows your customers to message you from the page you’re on, and you can reply to them instantly – making them far more likely to buy from you.

Click here to try LiveChat free for 30 days.

I will keep updating this page with more of the best small business marketing tools, as I test them and try them, but if there are any you love, please let me know in the comments below!

This post contains affiliate links, however, you can rest assured that I’m only recommending small business marketing tools that I truly LOVE. 

FREE EBOOK

79 Ways to Up-Level Your Business

Steal these 79 actionable tactics to elevate your business growth. 

7 Savvy Strategies to Ignite your Instagram


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