In the world of marketing, it seems like there are always new tools, tips, tricks, and trends to discover and incorporate into your marketing strategy. How is it possible to keep up with them all?
As a marketer myself, I often wish I had a better sense of all of the tools available to me -- and what sets each of them apart -- so I can make more informed decisions on how to create and optimize content.
Luckily, I have the privilege of working on a team of 150+ other marketers who specialize in different functions than I do. And because of that, I was able to curate this list of the top tools every marketer should know about and use.
The list of recommended tools below is sorted into different sections so you can get a better sense of what tools are available for different functions of the job.
Types of Marketing Tools
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Content Creation and Design
Lead Capture and Conversion
Website Optimization and CRO
Lead Nurturing and Email Marketing
Data Reporting and Analytics
Digital Asset Management
Team Communication and Collaboration
Above lists the different types of tools for every part of your job. Below is our roundup of the best marketing tools in each category.
You and your sales team want to sell your product or service -- not fight with messy spreadsheets, cluttered inboxes, or clunky tools that slow you down. That's why using a Customer Relationship Management System -- also known as a CRM -- is essential. Not only will it help your sales team manage relationships, but a CRM will also give you a place to deliver those leads you generated to your sales team.
CRMs are such an essential part of any good marketing and sales team that we think everyone should have one. That's why the HubSpot CRM is completely free.
If your team is making investments into PPC ad campaigns on platforms like Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, it's probably a bit of a hassle to manage all the different ad campaigns you're running across each different network. Besides just managing them, you then have to try and report on the results of all of them. What a struggle. Luckily, there's tools for that.
AdStage takes the hassle out reporting on all of the PPC campaigns you're running and puts it all in one place. AdStage helps you automate, create, and manage your campaigns across all of the major PPC platforms, then allows you to report on your results. With visual features and powerful automation tools, AdStage is a must for PPC experts and newbies alike.
Social media managers know the pain of posting that perfect social media post only to have a follower find a typo a minute later and call you out. For marketers, using a social media tool to schedule all of your posts (so you catch those typos beforehand) is a must. But it also helps to get the right analytics from your social posts, especially on channels where it can be hard to get that information.
NapoleonCat is way more than just a scheduling tool; the platform offers a whole stack of features for social media managers. Thanks to the unified Inbox, you will release lots of time that your team normally dedicates to switching between accounts to answer questions on social media. Thanks to many collaboration-focused features, NapoleonCat untangles workflows for even the busiest teams. Its other features include automated moderation, reporting, and social media analytics.
Marketers need tools to plan which keywords to rank for and making sure the content they create actually meets their goal once created. Ryte is the ideal tool marketers can use to make sure their SEO efforts are having a real impact on their marketing strategy.
In the world of content creation, there are admittedly tons of different tools you could use to create various types of content. Whether it's social images, logos, blog posts, or ebooks -- the options and tools are endless.
That said, a newcomer among the Adobe Suite of tools is winning the hearts of many marketers, including this one, for its ease of use to create stunning webpages, awesome videos, and eye-catching graphics. The best part? It's completely free and impossibly easy.
Adobe Spark is a suite of three web or mobile apps -- Spark Page, Spark Post, and Spark Video -- that allows marketers to easily create graphics, webpages, and videos in a variety of themes in minutes.
You can completely avoid the hassle of page layout, video editing knowledge, or a CMS and start creating content that looks remarkable immediately. For example, we use Spark Page at HubSpot to create some of our online guides and promote them with Spark Videos and Posts. You can too!
Haven't you heard? Video is the thing everyone is talking about. But how do you actually implement it into your marketing?
Maybe your strategy is just to put a YouTube video embed on one of your blog posts or landing pages. But then what happens? Someone else's ad plays on your landing page before your video even begins. That's bad for your conversion rates, brand, and your user. Luckily, there's a solution.
Wistia is a powerful video hosting platform that allows you to host your videos on your website -- ad free -- with a guaranteed smooth playback and responsive player. Wistia also helps you prove the ROI of your video efforts by offering you video analytics and key metrics to fine-tune your video marketing efforts over time. Ready to take your video marketing to the next level?
Whether your team holds monthly customer and prospect events, yearly conferences, or just occasional community outreach parties and events, it's important to have the best event marketing tool up your sleeve when the time comes to use it. After all, in-person events are some of the best ways to interact with potential customers and create a brand experience that prospects, customers, and your community will remember.
Eventbrite is an efficient, easy-to-use tool tons of marketers rely on not only to manage the logistics (like ticketing) of events but also to promote their events. Eventbrite lets you create an event landing page and allows you to set up your ticketing and payment for the event all within the same platform. The best part? Eventbrite is always free if you're hosting a free event!
When it comes to your bottom-line goals, you probably want a few tools for not only attracting prospects to dedicated marketing campaigns, but just as importantly, converting those visitors into leads and customers.
HubSpot's free marketing tools can help do just that. The moment a lead shares their email, you’ll know who they are, where they work, and what pages they visited -- all in real time. When they view an offer or check your pricing, you’ll be ready to follow up right away.
And with simple but powerful analytics, you’ll learn more about what’s working and what’s not -- like which traffic sources or pieces of content are driving the most conversions. It's a risk-free way to find out what inbound marketing can do for you. No budget necessary.
If you're in the mood for demand generation, you probably have your eyes on the prize: converting anonymous website visitors into contacts with email addresses that you can successfully nurture. Landing pages are a must for capturing lead information on important offers and opt-ins.
Thanks to a drag and drop interface, Unbounce lets you quickly build mobile responsive landing pages without developer assistance. The tool also integrates with a number of different CMS platforms and software.
With Unbounce Convertables, you can also launch targeted overlays on top of any web page, each with a dedicated call to action. Customizable triggers and targeting rules give you control over who sees your offers and when so you can serve the most relevant offers to the right audience.
As marketers, sometimes it feels like we're constantly making educated guesses about how our site visitors are going to interact with our content. While we might design a page to draw our user's eye to a spot on a page, how do we ever really know where their focus is so that we can improve that experience?
Hotjar is a new and easy way to truly understand what your web and mobile site visitors are looking at when they interact with your site. With its visual heatmap tools, you can understand what users want, care about, and interact with on your site. Hotjar visually represents visitors' clicks, taps and scrolling behavior, giving you the ability to find hot areas for growth and conversion rate optimization.
It's not enough to drive traffic to your website and then convert them. Many of your website visitors may not be ready to buy, and that's where lead nurturing comes in. Email marketing is a great way to nurture contacts toward a purchasing decision.
HubSpot offers robust email marketing software from free to enterprise. You'll be able to create emails in a simple drag-and-drop interface, personalize emails for better experience and performance, and see email activity in your free CRM. HubSpot also offers automation solutions in their paid plans.
Automation is nothing new to marketers. Whether you want to save time doing marketing tasks or simply cut time wasted doing those daily tasks like saving emails and files to spreadsheets, having a tool that makes your life easier and saves you time is ideal.
As previously mentioned, HubSpot has a powerful automation tool included in its paid marketing tiers. It doesn't just send drip sequences. You can also use it to trigger specific actions such as updating a contact record or adding a contact to a list when certain criteria is met.
Most tools that automate some of your marketing strategy will also provide reports that allow you to see and present your campaigns' performance to other employees in your company. What if you want a more holistic look at the health of your marketing?
From the efficiency of your content calendar to the effectiveness of your lead-generation methods, Digital Marketing Tuner offers a helpful overview of all of your latest marketing activities.
Developed by OverGo Studio, an inbound marketing agency and HubSpot Agency Partner, Digital Marketing Tuner guides you through a brief survey where you can submit basic information about your company's content volume, email open rates, website traffic, and more. The tool then sends you a detailed report in which you can better visualize your team's strengths and weaknesses so you can make even better decisions for your company moving forward.
In any marketing team, the inevitable happens: there's a million files and pieces of content between everyone on your team without one place to keep it all. Organization on any team -- let alone a marketing team -- is essential. That's why it's important to have a collaborative organization tool to keep you sane.
Dropbox is the perfect tool to keep your team organized and your files under control. With cloud-based software to keep your files accessible anywhere at anytime, Dropbox helps your team store all of its files in a central location. Dropbox makes it easy to collaborate, too. With tools like Dropbox Paper, which allows you to write and collaborate in real time on the same doc -- and sharing tools for shared folders and files, you'll be organized and ready for any project that comes your way.
Where would your work day be without accessibility and communication between you and your colleagues? Probably pretty frustrating. Marketers can't shy away from communication when it comes to aligning with team members and across the company, so having the right team communication tools is necessary every single day.
Featured Communication and Collaboration Resource:
I wouldn't be given any slack if I didn't make the world aware of this tool.
Slack is a powerful messaging app that allows you and your teammates to quickly message back and forth without the hassle of email. But it's not just AOL instant messenger 2.0. Slack has powerful features and integrations that make it possible for you to integrate all of your other daily tools -- like Trello, Gmail, Giphy, and so many more -- right where you're already communicating. You can start channels between different teams or just chat with specific colleagues. Slack makes remote and in-person work possible and easier than ever.
File management and organization is one thing, but how do you manage all of the moving pieces of a marketing campaign or project? There are many different tools you can use for project management, but only one sticks out when it comes to the number of integrations and features at the price of -- oh yeah -- free!
Trello is a great project management tool for small teams and individuals. With it's Kanban-style setup and fun user interface, Trello lets you set up to-do lists and tag individual cards with due dates, members, labels, and more. You can attach files, links, images, and more to your cards and easily get a full-view of any project that you're working on. At HubSpot, we use Trello daily to manage our team campaigns and individual to-do lists. Want an example of how we do this? Check out our guide to managing marketing campaigns in Trello.
You've got all the tools you need, but are you looking for a place to start putting them all together? Check out our free marketing plan. It'll walk you through creating your own marketing plan and teach you how to use all of these tools together.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Sep 2, 2020 9:17:00 PM, updated April 26 2022