26 of the Best Marketing Tools to Shape Your Campaigns
September 24, 2018
Marketing is downright exhausting, even if you’re really good at it. It doesn’t seem so bad when you’re running just one Google Ads campaign, but once you’re running ten of those, a few on Facebook, have a content strategy and are trying to run email campaigns, it’s easy to feel like you’re drowning. Now imagine scaling that.
This is where marketing tools come into the picture.
There are so many different tools out there that if you have a need for it, a tool has probably been created to help. We now have access to everything from in-depth analytics to marketing automation and tools that can help with content creation.
There are a ton of different tools out there, so it can be confusing to know where to start. In this post, we’re going to look at the 26 best marketing tools in 2018 for any need that you could possibly have.
Analytics & Reporting Tools
Analytics and reporting tools should be important to any marketer, because you need to know exactly what’s working with your campaigns and why. In this section, we’re going to take a look at a few analytics tools, but note that more specialized tools that also contain analytics (like social media or email analytics) will likely be found in other sections, so don’t forget to check those, too.
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the very first thing you should set up when you create your site. It will provide invaluable information about customer behavior, where traffic is coming from, what they’re doing on your site and how different pages are helping you to reach specific (and financial goals). You can read more in our post here.
2. Facebook Insights
Facebook Insights is Facebook’s native analytics tools, and it will give you amazing insight into your on-platform activity and how it’s affecting your overall marketing goals. You can even get detailed metrics on how you’re performing compared to your competitors and take a look at what content is performing best so you can apply that knowledge to your overall campaigns.
Snaplytics is a third-party analytics tool and it gives you the absolute best data about Snapchat marketing and Instagram Story performance. The analytics they provide easily are more useful than the native analytics of both platforms put together and the information is around much, much longer than on the native platforms.
Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing should be a go-to for most businesses. These tools will help.
4. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is an email marketing solution that has hundreds of email templates (all mobile-optimized), detailed analytics and email collection tools you can embed on your site. You can create, schedule and monitor emails all through their software, which is both reliable and high performing.
Not feeling Constant Contact? You can check out other similar and great alternatives like the following:
Bananatag has some of the best email tracking and analytics software out there. Sometimes you need to know exactly when specific leads are opening their emails, how they’re interacting with the content and more. This is the tool to use.
Social Media Marketing Tools
Social media marketing can be a lot to keep up with, so let’s take a look at some tools that will improve the results you’re getting and streamline your efforts.
6. Social Media Management Software
There are a few really great big names in social media management and publishing software, and they all have similar features. They allow you to create, schedule and then publish content across multiple social media channels from just one platform. Detailed analytics are also included and they all feature social listening and inbox management software.
These are the big names you should check out:
Hashtagify is the ultimate hashtag research tool. Enter in a potential hashtag term and see all possible associated terms that may perform well, along with that phrase’s current and past performance in different demographics. This should help you identify and find top-performing hashtags for both Twitter and Instagram.
ShortStack is my go-to choice for social media contest software. It has a diverse array of contest templates for everything from photo contests on Instagram to Pin It to Win It Pinterest contests. They offer real-time analytics, and you can set automated terms for entry.
Other great alternatives include:
Automation tools will take some of those tedious, exhausting marketing tasks off your hands so that you can focus your energy where it’s needed most.
Marketo is the big player in marketing automation, and it was created to help streamline and automate marketing tasks. Think high-performing auto-responders, lead management, customer lifecycle management, prediction analytics and more.
10. Dynamic Ads
This one isn’t technically a tool, but it can be such a big asset to businesses I wanted to include it anyways. Facebook’s Dynamic Ads let you automated your ad campaigns. You can, for example, automatically showing ad campaigns of specific products or services to users who have recently purchased them. Just have to upload a product catalog and create a template for your ads, put your pixel in place, and you’re good to go. You can learn more here.
IFTTT is free, and it can be used for personal and professional uses. For marketing, this tool can take care of tasks like automatically posting on social media when your blog posts go live, or get notifications about affiliate marketing opportunities. There are a large number of different “recipes,” and all you have to do is search for them.
PPC & Keywords Tools
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a key component of many business’s marketing strategies, and it can be exceptionally difficult to do well. These tools can help with keyword research and overall PPC campaign execution.
12. SEMrush Keywords Magic Tool
SEMrush has a lot of great marketing tools, and their Keywords Magic Tool is a huge assest for both organic and PPC keyword research. You can look for exact match, phrase match, broad match, and question-based keywords to best suit the campaigns you’re looking for. The results can offer keyword suggestions, along with showing you the search volume, CPC, and potential competition for each.
13. Google Keyword Planner
It’s not a huge surprise that Google’s own keyword tool is a strong one for PPC and organic research. The tool is free, and you can quickly see keyword suggestions matching your search, along with the search volume, competition level, and the range of what you can expect to spend per bid.
AdEspresso offers Facebook Ads and Google Ads creation and management software. You can create ads from within their dashboard, and use their software to more easily split test huge amounts of content and automate your campaigns.
Want to only run engagement posts on every post that gets a certain amount of engagement organically? You can do that. Their software also offers specific suggestions for how to improve your campaigns in real time.
Content Marketing Tools
Content marketing is an exceptionally valuable marketing strategy, but it’s also a particularly time consuming one, even if you aren’t even writing the content. These tools can help you see actual results from your content and create it more effectively.
15. SEMrush Backlink Tool & Writing Assistant
There are two SEMrush tools that I recommend using specifically for content marketing.
Backlinking is an important goal of content marketing, because it helps build your site authority, gets traffic to you, and indicates that your content is valuable enough other sites are willing to link to it. SEMrush’s backlink tool will show you all the backlinks your content is getting so you can evaluate your progress here.
Their new SEO Writing Asssistant tool is also a good one. It will evaluate how well your content complies with SEO best standards and make recommendations to improve the actual writing. This tool can also show you other similar content that’s performing well so you can have an idea of what you’re up against and how to stand out.
The Hemingway Editor is a free app that will automatically assess the text itself and improve your writing.
It will show you your readability score (hint: lower is better), and make suggestions for what to edit in your text. They don’t just stick to grammar errors, but will also help you to simplify the text with specific advice.
There are a lot of graphic deisgn tools out there, but Snappa is a personal favorite. It’s drag-and-drop design tools are easy to use, and they have hundreds of customizable templates that were all created for specific purposes like featured images or WordPress images. It’s affordable, and there’s almost no learning curve.
BuzzSumo may be the best and most complete content marketing platform out there. They have a number of incredible tools, including backlink tracking, analysis of your content, research tools that show you the most shared content on a certain subject within different time frames and more.
If you want to know the average shares by content topic, type, and more, this is the tool for you.
Website & SEO Tools
There are a few tools that you’ll want to use in order to evaluate the health and performance of your site. These are the ones I recommend.
19. SEMrush Suite
I know, I’ve mentioned SEMrush a lot, but their suite of tools strikes the perfect balance of affordable, easy to use and completely comprehensive.
The features that are specifically beneficial to website and SEO analysis include:
Moz is an outstanding SEO software that has a number of different tools and features that will help you with your site ranking.
Moz Local is tailored to local businesses and helping them improve and create business listings to be found by their target audience. This is a good place to start for smaller businesses struggling in this area.
Moz Pro will benefit all businesses, providing important SEO information like position tracking, site audits, and reports providing suggestions for where to make improvements. It’s a lot like SEMrush, but with a different interface and with domain authority tracking included.
Pingdom gives you insight into how quickly your site is loading on desktop and mobile, uptime and downtime and functionality of important conversion components like contact or checkout forms. If something goes wrong, you can set up alerts so you can act immediately.
Competitor Research Tools
Competitor research should be an important part of your marketing strategy, and these are the best tools that can help you in that department.
SpyFu is my personal go-to for competitor research, especially when it comes to SEO and big-picture stuff. It’s also an excellent keyword research tool.
SpyFu will show you what your competitors are doing and which keywords they’re targeting, both for organic and PPC traffic. You can even see how much they’re paying and what’s working, so you know which keywords to steal for yourself.
I know, SEMrush has shown up several times on this list, but they have one of the most comprehensive suite of tools out there. This goes for their competitor research, too, which works a lot like SpyFu. Just enter in any domain, and this tool tells you what organic and PPC campaigns they’re getting, how much they’re spending, their traffic, who their top competitors are, and the keywords they’re using.
Project Management Tools
Last but definitely not least, we have project management tools. Project management tools will become essential as your campaigns and your team members grow in scale. They’ll ensure that nothing falls between the cracks and that everyone’s on the same page.
Asana is a popular project management tool that allows you to create boards and move cards with projects are assignments to different sections. It’s commonly used to track project completion, and each card can contain information about what tasks need to be done, who is involved and responsible for what, files to be shared, and more.
Team members can communicate directly on the cards and tag each other, and with a dedicated and individual task list separate from the actual boards, it’s an easy and visual way to stay on top of everything.
Unless you upgrade to the paid version, Trello is basically a free version of Asana. I think the interface is a little more straightforward, which is nice. You can move cards (which contain titles, descriptions, tasks, followers, files, and deadlines) through different boards, showing where a specific project is and what still needs to be completed.
If you want some help keeping on top of things, Trello also has a great notification systems. Users will be emailed every time they’re assigned to a new card, a deadline is approaching, or they’re tagged in a comment.
Slack is a popular communications tool used by everyone from small businesses to mega corporations. It’s a live chat tool that allows you to create teams with member directories, and communicate with individuals, entire teams, or a few specific people of your choice. File sharing is a huge advantage here, and it has a ton of integrations with other tools like Asana and Google Drive.
Marketing is hard enough as it is. Trying to do it all manually can be nearly impossible as your campaigns grow in number and become more complex.
Every tool on this list can help your marketing efforts, whether that’s by making things a little easier for you, offering clear and actionable data, or by making the campaigns themselves more effective. Pick a few and check them out. Most, if not all, have free trials, so you can see what works for you without any commitment.
What do you think? Which of these marketing tools do you use for your campaigns? Did we miss any of your favorites? What tools do you rely on most? Share your thoughts, questions, and suggestions in the comments below!