Can you name the top challenges facing small business today? This question was part of our discussion for my panel at the Marketing Technology Summit with AZTechCouncil. According to the Small Business Report 2016 (a survey of 1,100 small businesses conducted by Wasp Barcode), hiring new employees ranks first. It’s followed quickly by using marketing tools to increase profits.
While you can’t “tap an app” to fix the challenge of hiring new employees, you can use online resources to increase profit margins. You need an innovative mindset. And you need to optimize your company to take advance of digital marketing tools.
Online Marketing Tools that Drive Revenue Growth
To grow faster, you need to attract either investors or private equity firms. How do you knock their Armani socks off? You can demonstrate improvement in these five areas of your business: strategic planning, email marketing, marketing automation, video content production, and big data visualization.
Luckily, you don’t have to do this alone.
The following five marketing tools will help you focus on revenue. Because you’ll be able to generate business reports, improving customer experiences, and increasing team communication. Read them all to see which ones might suit your needs.
- WorkFlowy – Lists to Organize Your Brain
- AWeber – Email Marketing Software
- HubSpot – Inbound Marketing & Sales Software
- Wistia – Video Analytics & Marketing Tool
- Tableau – SaaS Analytics For Everyone
1. WorkFlowy for Strategic Planning
The secret to increasing revenue is a clear sales strategy. As you develop your strategy, you can use WorkFlowy—the self-proclaimed “notebook for lists”—to record notes and make a detailed, collaborative list of all of the tasks you need to accomplish.
WorkFlowy makes list navigation easier by including features that let you, for example, drag-and-drop bullet points and use arrow keys to navigate up and down within a multi-line item. When I’m inspired to improve something, I don’t write emails first; I draft outlines using WorkFlowy.
2. AWeber for Email Marketing Tool
Email marketing ranks as the top small business marketing tools. Fifty-four percent of small businesses use email marketing, which makes email automation that much more important. AWeber’s email automation lets you create and send engaging emails based on templates—secure in knowing that they reach their subscribers’ inboxes.
This application supports campaign segmentation, so you can send each individual consumer the right email based on his or her actions at different points during the campaign. You can also see how your email marketing campaigns perform, and by using the mobile app, you don’t need Wi-Fi to add new subscribers on the go.
You can also see how your email marketing campaigns perform, and by using the mobile app, you don’t need Wi-Fi to add new subscribers on the go.
3. HubSpot for Marketing Automation Tool
Marketing automation can give you a competitive advantage over other businesses. It leads to a stronger scalability model by promoting efficiency, and insights to better serve your customers.
HubSpot’s marketing automation software focuses on inbound marketing to provide personalized messages. You deliver these message through buyer persona workflows. Buyer personas let you target your customers with the right marketing messages at the right time. Once you define and create these personas, HubSpot automatically generates lists to tell you the visits, contacts, and customers in that persona.
HubSpot also provides an SEO keyword reporting dashboard which is great for optimization.
4. Wistia for Video Content Production
Cisco, the networking giant, predicts that by 2017, 69 percent of all consumer Internet traffic will be video content. Many companies see video content as the future of marketing.
Wistia lets you gate and personalize video. It provides analytics about who’s watching and which videos are the most effective.
It can even get more specific to tell you what parts of your video are the most popular. And if you’re embedding your video on a site, Wistia provides a variety of options to improve website-page loading speed times.
5. Tableau for Business Insights and Data Visualization
As organizations collect more data, they’re implementing more data visualization solutions. If you want to be effective with big data, you’ll have to follow the leaders of data visualization.
Tableau helps you see your data, understand it, and then share that information with others. With its improved application program interface, you can create beautiful reports.
Sorry, intern: your Excel spreadsheet work is no longer needed.
And this application isn’t restricted to just desktop use—Tableau also optimized its dashboard to look great on mobile.
Getting Started With Marketing Tools
Once you decide to use one or more of these apps, track down the training and support documentation. You’ll need to assess your team. You must decide if they have the capacity or aptitude to execute an integration project.
After that assessment, begin with the end in mind. Answer these two questions:
- What strategic metric do you want to hit?
- Who will manage the platform to hit the targets?
Next, make sure your team leaders get certified or advanced expertise. Hubspot, for example, offers free certifications for marketing, sales, and even designers. As they learn more, your lead velocity will increase. They’ll then understand how to integrate marketing tools that help prospects say either “Yes/No or Not Yet.”
After Implementing Marketing Tools, Expect Big Results
As a matter of fact, with these applications in place, you’ll start to see results in the following quarter. You’ll be able to view a single digital dashboard to understand the health of your business units. Which means no more Excel spreadsheets and no more late email updates from directors.
You’ll have beautiful reports that address workforce efficiency, customer acquisition costs, customer lifetime value, and the cost of goods sold.
You can impress your investors by illustrating buyer personas based on average revenue per user. Your executives will be happy that you segmented your database based upon North American Industry Classification Standards.
Then you’ll also find, as I did, that you’ll mentally process data faster and shift resources with confidence.
More importantly, before you ever spend a dime on paid media, you’ll be able to create storyboards and revenue forecasts.
The end result is empowerment.
So you can let API integrations handle that the micromanagement. You must focus on executing the vision and strategy.
With these five marketing tools in place, your business will become scalable. You’ll have an empowered team that can make faster decisions based on clean data.