Online Marketing Tools for Digital Marketers

The online marketing tools available to digital marketers make many tedious, time-consuming tactics easier. With the ever-increasing number of channels to communicate with your customers, the more tools to simplify and streamline your online presence, the better.

We’ve put together a list of 42 online marketing tools for digital marketers that offer an astonishing array of services. Most offer free basic access, with upgraded editions offering additional services. Let’s take a look at the major categories of free tools, what they do, and how they can make your online marketing a whole lot easier.

Choosing the Right Tools from Your Toolbox

Baskin Robbins offers 31 flavors of ice cream; we offer 42 free tools you can use for your digital marketing efforts. Choosing the right “flavor”, however, depends more on your customers than on your particular tastes.

The right marketing mix depends on your customers. Knowing what your customers appreciate and respond to helps you choose the best tools from the toolbox. If your customers enjoy social media sites such as Pinterest, you may find that a good online illustrator combined with a platform that allows you to post rich media imagery, works the best for you and your business.

Most digital marketers use multiple online marketing tools to develop their overall plan. If you’re in the market for a new marketing tool, check out our infographic. These tools cover the major categories of activities that digital marketers do on any given day including the planning, production and promotion of online content.

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The Types of Tools Available

There are many online marketing tools available for digital marketers. They fall into the following general categories:

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Perhaps the most important tool for a digital marketer is Search Engine Optimization. SEO involves over 250 factors that Google, Bing, and Yahoo! use to find, index, archive and serve your content to the right person, at the right time base on their query. Most SEO projects begin with finding and using keyword phrases on your website, but because SEO involves so many other factors, you’ll also need to explore tools for link building, content creation, and much, much more.
  2. Social Media Marketing: Social Media Marketing tools enable you to push content links across multiple platforms, as well as monitor specific platforms right from your desktop. Automation tools like HootSuite let you schedule social media shares days, weeks or even months ahead of time so that you’re always keeping in contact with your customers across multiple social media accounts.
  3. Pay Per Click (PPC): Pay Per Click or PPC advertising is a form of online advertising in which users see ads next to their search queries. Advertisers only pay when the ad is clicked, hence the name “Pay Per Click.” Also known as Search Engine Marketing, SEM is the most common form of online advertising, but banner ads and social media ads are based on a similar model. Tools for PPC ads help you select the best keywords, research phrases, and run effective campaigns.
  4. Content marketing: Content Marketing is a marketing method where you create and distribute valuable content free of charge, to a predetermined and carefully selected audience. Your initial goal is to commence a conversation with your future customer. Content marketers share all types of content: articles, blog posts, white papers, presentations, podcasts, videos, images, and infographics like the one on this page. Your customers get something of value without an immediate expectation of a sale. The secret is building relationships and educating customers as they move through the purchase consideration process.
  5. Email Marketing: Permission-based email marketing allows you to send messages directly to your customers. Match messages with customer interests, and you’ve got one effective tactic. Email marketing tools provide you with the opt-in forms for your website, templates to send emails, list management and more. Auto-responders, or automated messages that are sent out once a customer joins your mailing list, are also a key part of email marketing.
  6. Data and Analytics: Digital marketing thrives on data and analytics because it provides the feedback necessary to refine and improve campaigns. You need to know how many customers visit your website, what they do when they get there, and more in order to refine your campaigns and test the best techniques. Data and analytics tools provide you with the information you need to plan and launch great digital marketing campaigns with full transparency.

A Quick Overview of Four Popular Tools

With 42 online marketing tools for digital marketers, it’s hard to choose our favorites, but these four are among the best.

  1. SEMRush
    SEMRush is a paid tool that helps you find keyword phrases with the best potential for your SEO, content marketing, and PPC advertising campaigns. The tool offers the ability to track keywords, analyze backlinks, review competitor keywords and more.

    • PROS: Very robust tool that provides a great deal of data at a reasonable fee. Great for digital marketing efforts including SEO, content marketing, and PPC.
    • CONS: May feel overwhelming for newbies. No free option after a trial period, and monthly fee may be steep for startups.
  2. BuzzSumo
    BuzzSumo is a tool used for SEO and content marketing campaigns. You simply enter a keyword or a website URL, and the site helps you find what content performs best for that keyword or website. Use it to analyze your own site or a competitor’s site, and find the best-performing web pages. The tool shows analyzes your social media shares and more to give you unparalleled data.

    • PROS: Very easy to use. Provides plenty of data for content marketing. Great for publishers who must keep tabs on lots of online content and competitors.
    • CONS: Investment of at least $99 a month may be steep for newcomers and startups.
  3. Ahrefs
    Ahrefs is a link-researching tool that lets you analyze backlinks into your website or popular sites for link-building campaigns. The company boasts it has its own database of links, which is refreshed every half hour or so, making it independent of search engine data. It’s useful for building all types of digital marketing campaigns, including SEO, content marketing, and more.

    • PROS: Contains many tools in one, including keyword research, link analysis, reports and more. You get your money’s worth with Ahrefs
    • CONS: There are few drawbacks with Ahrefs and many positives. Some find the data overwhelming, but if you prioritize your SEO tasks, you can use all the data you find in Ahrefs.
  4. Buzzstream
    Buzzstream is a link building and online PR tool. You can use it to find emails for website owners so that you can complete a guest posting or link-building campaign with email outreach. A built-in CRM tool makes it easier to keep notes, build relationships, and track responses

    • PROS: Buzzstream offers services that few other tools offer. The build in CRM system offers considerable value
    • CONS: If you’re not ready to work on your link building campaigns or guest posting campaigns full speed ahead, Buzzstream may be too much of a tool for your needs.

Prioritize and Explore the Online Marketing Tools for Digital Marketers

So where should you begin in your quest to find the best tools for your digital marketing campaign? Prioritize your needs. Most digital marketers begin with keyword research and SEO, then advance to other marketing tactics. You may wish to begin with SEMRush, for instance, to find keywords. Make a plan and stick to it.

Digital marketing tools have come a long way from spreadsheet-based reports. These tools can take you even further towards achieving your marketing goals.