SME marketing: Six tools to start using immediately

Marketing a small business is not an easy job considering the usual lack of finances and time. There’s no way you can afford to assemble an in-house marketing team and the chances you can swing the help of an agency is just as slim.

You own a small business. You need to establish your brand and compete with more senior services. And you have a shoestring budget.

While your situation might feel constrained, the reality is you have tons of options.

Small business owners are operating in a time pregnant with opportunity as there are an abundance of affordable technological tools, platforms, and services that can help SMBs manage and market their brands.

To help you identify some of the most potent business-building tools on the market today, we have assembled 6 digital weapons that every business owner should be wielding.

If you’re ready to get down to brass tacks and expand your digital presence, check out these powerful platforms.

#1: SentiOne

In the age of social media, every small business needs to monitor the conversations surrounding itself; just a couple of bad experiences can destroy a baby-faced brand.

SentiOne provides the toolset that SMBs need to listen to what folks are saying online and effectively manage their reputation.

Capable of overseeing sources like Facebook, Instagram, blogs, and more, this social listening platform can monitor and analyze mentions made in over 26 different languages.

SMBs can track brand names, social profiles, and endless topics based on the keywords entered.

Moreover, SentiOne enables users to determine how words and phrases are monitored as well. For example, the rule filters enable users to search keywords in only Facebook Group and Event pages, among other sources.

This tool also provides users with real-time analytics covering keywords, mentions, impressions, sentiment, gender distribution, and tons more valuable insights.

And since SentiOne has an extremely short learning curve, you can start getting serious value out of it almost immediately.

#2: Buffer

Buffer; an oldie but goodie.

While we’re on the topic of social, we can’t fail to mention this social media management powerhouse.

Buffer makes managing multiple social media profiles and boosting followers on various platforms a synch. This tool automates a brand’s social shares across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other popular online destinations.

The analytics touted through Buffer’s streamlined and readable interface helps business owners establish how well (or not) their content is performing, without overwhelming them with data. Here, users can uncover clicks, retweets, shares, mentions, reach, and other vital metrics.

With free options available, there’s no reason not to use Buffer.

#3: Narrow

Sticking with our social theme, Narrow is another must-use platform that SMBs should take advantage of. Co-founded by Sujan Patel, Narrow helps businesses build highly targeted audiences on Twitter.

The tool works like so: Users enter in various hashtags and keywords related to a business or audience and Narrow will begin to automatically follow and like tweets based on that data.

Users can select if keywords should appear in a user’s bio or in their tweets. In time, the platform will supply users with analytics data to help them establish how well certain keywords perform over others.

If accounts followed by Narrow’s automated service don’t follow your brand back within a certain timeframe, they will be unfollowed so that you don’t end up following a million irrelevant prospects.

This engagement tool helps brands gain awareness online by connecting with people who are already discussing relevant topics and are likely to be interested in a company; perfect for small businesses with minimal buzz.

#4: Chattypeople

Chattypeople is another social-focused tool, but in a much different way than the other offerings on this list.

Chattypeople is a platform for creating AI chatbots on Facebook. This service requires no coding (a major bonus for tech novices) and seamlessly integrates commerce options to help boost a business’s revenue.

Alternatively, brands that have limited manpower can utilize Chattypeople to construct competent customer service bots that can push promotions to consumers or answer questions from your customers without pulling you away from more pressing matters.

Chattypeople is also free to get started, so it’s worth a test run to see if it’s right for your business.

#5: Norbert

In the B2B world, many organizations try to appeal to a broad audience with their marketing campaigns, hoping to appeal to an array of businesses.

What is often a more effective strategy, however, is account based marketing. Through this paradigm, B2B brands concentrate their efforts on a definitive set of accounts and attempt to woo them through personalized outreach campaigns.

For this sort of strategy, you’re going to need to get your hands on high-level corporate email addresses so that you reach an organization’s real decision-makers.

To unearth this information, you’re going to need a tool like Norbert.

Norbert is an extremely streamlined email search engine that merely requires someone’s first and last name and domain. From there, just hit the “Go Ahead Norbert!” button and the system will get to work.

Norbert touts a clean interface, is easy to use, and makes uncovering valuable email contacts a breeze.

#6: Portent’s Content Idea Generator

If you have an online business, you need to be publishing content on a regular basis; that’s just the name of the game.

That simple sounding task, however, can prove rather difficult after the first year or so; that’s around when the idea well starts running dry.

If your brand is going to continue pumping out informative and inspirational content, it’s going to need a bit of inspiration of its own. That’s where Portent’s Content Idea Generator becomes your new bestie.

This no-brainer tool simply asks you to enter in your desired keyword. It will then spit back an endless array of headline ideas and angles.

For instance, entering ‘SEO’ returns, ‘How to Build an Empire with SEO’.

I’d read that.

Much like Buffer, Portent’s Content Idea Generator is free to use.

If small business owners want to succeed online, an arsenal of powerful tools and platforms is a necessity. Put these 6 services to work in your marketing mix, and you are likely to generate a lot more awareness, followers, traffic, and sales.

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