Bondfield Marketing

Essential marketing tools for small service businesses

Why use marketing tools in your business?

Every business will need to be doing some marketing activities. There are endless marketing tools available to make that quicker and easier.  Many also provide useful data to help you improve. I wanted to share my personal favourites, as this may help other businesses speed up that process.

I use a range of marketing tools, some free and some subscription-based. I’ve outlined the main types to consider and shared the specific tools I choose to use for my own marketing.

How to stay on track of your marketing with useful tools

The top categories of tools to consider using to make your life easier fall into –

  • Social media scheduling tools
  • Email marketing tools
  • Images / visual branding tools

Of course, the list adapts for each business, but this is a good starting point for the organization of your marketing using different platforms.

 

Social Media Scheduler Tools

Why would you need a social media scheduling tool?

Social media can be hard to keep track of. If you leave posting to be done naturally each time, you will likely fall behind and rush to post something.

Planning your social media content ahead of time stops this panic-posting scenario. It’s a much more effective use of your time to spend 1-2 hours in one sitting planning out and scheduling your content for the week, than it is to do it every day.

 

Benefits of using Agorapulse as your chosen scheduler

Agorapulse is very easy to set up and begin using. Once you start, you can duplicate Agorapulse social media marketing toolposts and re-purpose them in the future, saving valuable time.

If you choose to use Agorapulse as your social media scheduler, you can plan out and visualize the content on a calendar view.

This can be really helpful to ensure you are not repeating certain things too often and helps fill in any gaps you may need in your content.

Using a scheduler opens up the possibility of working on multiple accounts at once. It saves logging in to various accounts in different browser tabs.

With Agorapulse, you have everything you need to engage and interact with your followers all in one place. They have an inbox where you can respond to messages, and you can also see and reply to all comments on every social channel.

Once you have posted content, you receive detailed reports to show how your channels are performing.

Everything is streamlined for excellent social media management.

 

As a fan of Agorapulse myself, I offer an affiliate membership deal where you receive 2 months free when you sign up to Agorapulse!

This is an affiliate link, so if you sign up, I will receive a small payment. But I only promote products and services that I use myself and would recommend anyway! Do drop me an email if you want to know more.

 

Email Marketing Tool

Why is email marketing important?

email marketing tool

Many small businesses think they only need to be good at social media, but I recommend building an email list too. This way your business isn’t completely reliant on one or two platforms.

Don’t forget when you are collecting data you need to have permission to store it to comply with GDPR regulations. For guidance on GDPR, read this article.

Email is one of the most direct ways to connect with your audience, so it should be taken advantage of.

It’s proven that good email newsletters give a high ROI compared to many other marketing streams.

Why is email marketing so successful?

These simple statistics show how easy it can be to reach your end-user through email –

If you are not already, then you should use email marketing in your company, and use a third-party tool to manage the marketing.

 

Key Features of Mailerlite for your email marketing tool

mailerlite email marketing toolThe platform I personally use to manage my growing email list is Mailerlite. It’s really easy to set up and use.

If you are growing your email list, this is a great tool as it’s free until you reach 1000 subscribers.

You can create email templates that are easily re-produced, meaning it’s a very quick task to create a new email campaign.

There are other useful features such as landing pages and automation services.

For example, if you have a free resource, people can download this in exchange for their email address by using a landing page. It’s a simple pop-up tool that can be edited to your need. That contact will then automatically be added to your database.

Once your email campaigns have been sent, you can track user activity. It tells you –

  • How many total emails were sent
  • What percentage of people opened (your open rate %)
  • How many people clicked your links (your click-through rate %)
  • If anyone unsubscribed
  • If any contacts bounced (hard bounce & soft bounce)

Seeing this level of detail can be useful to make your marketing emails better in the future. It can give you an insight into changing the content to see if it improves performance. For example; changing the time of the day sent, or how many links you include.

The possibilities are endless for email marketing, but I would advise you to keep it simple to begin with and focus on adding value to your reader. You want them to open the email, read the content and feel like it added something to their day. 

Visual Branding Tool

Why would you need a visual branding tool for marketing?  

Most small companies are not lucky enough to have in-house graphic designers, nor a professional budget.

Many companies hold stock of branded images done by a professional, then they have to reuse this in various ways to support their marketing activities.

If you are not a graphic designer or have limited creativity, then you should use a tool to help create better visuals. Mixing up your imagery will be really beneficial to your marketing.

Using Canva to create branded visual images

canva visual branding toolCanva is a brilliant marketing tool and is very popular with Marketers and small businesses. The reason it’s so popular is because of how easy it is to use, and many features are completely free.

They offer a large bank of ready-made templates, so you can search for examples such as ‘business cards’, ‘Facebook posts’, ‘brochures’, and many more.

These templates can be personalized to your company branding. If you have a branding kit with set company colours, you can use these in Canva to personalize the pre-made templates without much effort.

You can upload pictures (such as a logo) and place these in the design at any position and size.

Another great benefit of using Canva is you can download your design in different formats such as PNG, PDF and JPEG at the click of a button.

It’s like a very simplified version of Photoshop, without the skill needed to use it.

It’s easy to share access to your designs with other team members and you can easily duplicate images to create multiple versions.

I use the free version of Canva, but you can upgrade to unlock even more features.

And if you use this link, we’ll both get access to some of the premium features

How I Manage my Marketing for Introverts Podcast

Not every business will have a Podcast, but as they are on the rise, I thought it would be good to share how I manage mine.

Podcasts are increasingly popular, and with the lockdown, many more people have recorded these from home. There are various Podcast tools out there, all with different features and pricing depending on your needs.

Using Libsyn as my Podcast Hosting Tool

Libsyn podcast toolThe platform I have chosen to use is Libsyn. It’s an industry-standard platform, recommended by many professional producers.

It’s going through an upgrade right now. It takes a little bit of time to set up at the beginning of launching your podcast but once that’s set up it’s straightforward.

Easily add new content and show notes for each episode and publish to your chosen platforms.

After you have launched your podcast episodes, Libsyn offers easy access to the show statistics. It breaks down the number of listeners, and depending on which package you opt for, can also tell you where they have come from.

Pricing is by the amount of storage you need. If you are planning shorter or less frequent episodes you will need less storage and may want the smallest package.

I pay $15 a month for 250 MB storage on my current Libsyn plan.

All these features make it a great tool to support my marketing.

Listen to the Marketing for Introverts Podcast here. 

 

Thanks for reading about how to use marketing tools to help your business

Jenny Procter Marketing for IntrovertsI hope that you found this article useful, and it gave you an insight into how to use marketing tools in your business. I would love to hear if you have used any of these platforms and how it’s helped your business.

If you need marketing advice, I offer a consultancy service that is tailored to your business ambition. Find out about how Bondfield Marketing can help your business in our consultancy service.

 

 

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Jenny Procter Bondfield Marketing

Marketing for experts and introverts.

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