At Kudzu Brands, we rely on exceptional teamwork and remarkable digital marketing tools. Some days, the latter matter the most. (I kid, I kid.)
When considering January blog topics, we, of course, thought of “Best of” lists, specifically which digital marketing tools would benefit your business this year. Searching high and low, we expected to find new-fangled platforms that would capture our imagination and stun us with their capabilities. There are plenty available, but the names we saw over and over again are the brands we’ve trusted for years. They’re the same ones we use for clients and the same ones we’re recommending to you. And, as an added bonus, all five have FREE versions you can use.
“If you’re a business owner who loathes planning social media, you’re not alone, and there is a solution.”
What is Digital Marketing?
This fancy and somewhat daunting term simply means any marketing using the internet. Not so scary. So, if you use social media, email marketing, or content on your website, you’re already in the game. Digital marketing tools enhance outcomes that monetize success. The more tools you have, the better your game.
For us and any client who hasn’t dipped their toe(s) into this communication juggernaut, we recommend Mailchimp. And before you roll your eyes at email newsletters, according to Salesforce, email marketing earns a remarkable ROI: $38 for every dollar spent, or 3800 percent.
The advantages of using Mailchimp are plentiful. For instance, if your email list is relatively small and you need only basic options like sending an email campaign, use their FREE version. Take it for a spin. See if it’s the right fit for your business. In addition to email campaigns, you can create a landing page, website, and social ads with the Basic level. The top-tier Premium plan comes with options that will delight your marketing team.
If you’re a business owner who loathes planning social media, you’re not alone, and there is a solution. Actually, there are two solutions. First, you can hire an agency like Kudzu Brands. We handle social media strategy for many of our clients. However, tons of scheduling platforms are available if you are in a DIY situation. They have different bells and whistles, and many provide free trials of varying lengths. Last summer, our content strategist (ok, full disclosure again, that’s me) tried out probably eight different platforms before finding the one that was perfect for our company’s needs and our clients.
We opted for Loomly. Since then, the world has seemed a little brighter. Loomly allows you to load up all your content a week, month, year in advance, and you never think about it again. With this digital marketing tool, you can schedule multiple platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, etc. Want to check the progress of your social engagement? Run your analytics? Need approval on your copy before posting? Save everything in draft mode, leave a comment, and send a notification. It’s robust, intuitive, and a game-changer. They even offer a 15-day FREE trial.
Digital Marketing Strategy
Not only is having Google crucial to understanding the success (or tribulations) of your website, it’s also FREE! Like most Google tools, it’s simple to get up, and you don’t need a ton of digital know-how to do it. The most intimidating part might be adding the Analytics global site tag to your website. But, with Google’s explicit instructions, community help forum, and direct assistance, you’ll hurdle the issues should they arise.
Once your analytics are churning, the data you collect will be invaluable. From knowing the age and gender of your users to determining if more visitors are discovering you through organic or direct search, you’ll be shocked by the granular information you’ll find. This is one powerful digital marketing tool you can’t do without.
“Information like this can increase your bottom line, and it’s all FREE.”
Google Analytics 4
Although it’s not replaced Google Analytics yet, there’s every reason to believe that Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will one day. Google rolled out this new tool in 2021. The new platform includes:
- Expanded predictive insights
- Deeper integration with Google Ads
- Cross-device measurement capabilities
- More granular data controls
For marketers, one of the most significant changes is in reporting. One major advantage is the expanded view of the customer journey. You can explore what channels drive new customers in the user acquisition report and utilize the engagement and retention reports to understand customer actions and conversions. Information like this can increase your bottom line, and it’s all FREE.
“Super simple to learn with pre-designed templates, installed fonts, gorgeous photos, courses, and tutorials, you can create just about anything you can imagine.”
If you have a WordPress site and are not using Yoast, you’re welcome for this recommendation. Frankly, it taught this content professional more about blog writing than any other tool.
Yoast is the WordPress plugin that shows you how to optimize the heck out of your writing. Feed it your keyword, and it goes to work identifying if you’ve used it too much or not enough. It lets you know if you have used it in the right way, if you need to go back and add it to your H2 headers or if it doesn’t appear early enough in your copy.
But, that’s not all. Yoast even scours your copy for readability, reminding you that not all readers are looking for a dissertation. This plugin is a must-have for the burgeoning or experienced writer. It provides exceptional suggestions for refining your copy. And…they have a FREE version.
Don’t have a degree in graphic design and aren’t inclined to get one? We got you. Canva is the user-friendly design platform you can use for your digital marketing needs. Super simple to learn with pre-designed templates, installed fonts, gorgeous photos, courses, and tutorials, you can create just about anything you can imagine.
We use our subscription for social media graphics, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Mailchimp, and more. The templates they offer (or make your very own!) range from certificates and infographics to business cards and T-shirts. Frankly, you’ll be stunned that you can brand all of your business collateral needs with one tool. (Ahem, there’s a FREE version.)
There’s a massive caveat with this platform. As a brand agency, we would be remiss if we didn’t caution you about creating a logo with Canva. A logo is crucial to your business and isn’t something an amateur designer should do on their own. Whether it’s another professional agency or us, leave that task to a trained graphic designer.
And there you have it. These tools are so effective for Kudzu’s clients, and we naturally wanted to share them with you. Whether you start with one or all five, you’ll see the fruits of your labor. Don’t have the time or patience for any of the above and can’t believe you made it to the end of this article? Let us be your entire toolbox. We love building businesses like yours. Reach out today!