The goal of inbound marketing is to attract the attention of potential prospects via the use of content, before they even think of buying the product/service. Inbound marketing is one of many cost effective ways to convert prospects into customers and even promoters of your business.
The content can vary and be in the form of blog posts, white papers, guides, infographics, videos, livestreams and more. These are usually distributed through inbound channels such as the company blog, newsletters and also social media accounts.
Inbound marketing isn’t going anywhere, there’s a lot of tasks that need to be actioned on a regular basis to ensure you see some sort of success. Having an agency help you with your inbound marketing strategy can allow you to focus on other marketing strategies and allow the agency to put their experience to use and ensure all parts of inbound marketing is actioned efficiently. However, if using an agency doesn’t fit in your budget, you can still do inbound marketing yourself with the help of the tools available.
Below are five of our favourite and in our opinion the best inbound marketing tools, that you should be using if you don’t have an agency helping with your inbound marketing strategy.
Best Inbound Marketing Tools
In order to have a successful inbound marketing strategy, you need a home of where your content will be available. Usually, the best place for your content is on your website blog.
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system and is used by nearly 75 million websites. Whilst getting started using WordPress might seem tricky, it’s 100% worth it. You have so much more control over content and it’s very easy to use. If you struggle with your WordPress installation, there are plenty of guides and videos available along with hosting companies that offer one-click installs.
One of the best features of WordPress is the ability to install additional plugins. There are thousands of plugins both free and premium that offer additional features such as eCommerce portals, advanced search engine optimisation, visual editors, social sharing plugins and much more.
Of course, with all great things, there are some downsides. WordPress although is a brilliant CMS does need regular website maintenance. You may need to update plugins, update your WordPress version and/or website theme version in order to keep your website running healthy.
WordPress is definitely worth looking into, it’s one of the best inbound marketing tools and should be the home for most if not all of your content.
If you’ve not heard of Hootsuite, I’m not sure where you’ve been hiding. Hootsuite is one of many popular social media managing tools available on the web. The main reasons as to why it’s one of the most popular are due to its features that allow you to publish content across social media profiles at once, their engagement tools and analytics available. It’s one of the most preferred social media management platforms for the majority of businesses.
Hootsuite has several plans that consist of additional features, such as the ability to add more social profiles, extra users, custom analytics reports, team assignments, app integrations and more. With all these features available, no wonder it’s one of many of the best inbound marketing tools out there.
Whilst they offer premium plans, you can get started for with Hootsuite using their free plan manage up to 3 social profiles with basic scheduling.
MailChimp is the world’s largest marketing automation platform of which has 15 million customers from small e-commerce shops to big online retailers. Utilising MailChimp to promote your content via email to your prospects and target audience is very effective. The best thing of all is that if you are just starting out with a list of fewer than 2,000 subscribers it does not cost you anything, however, there is, of course, a limit of 12,000 emails per month.
You can also see how well the emails performed with their detailed reports that include analytics on opens, clicks, bounces, unsubscribes and more. This allows you to track and understand how your recipient interacts with your newsletters.
BuzzSumo allows you to find the most shared content for various keywords. We use BuzzSumo on a daily basis to achieve various things, such as finding trending content to share on our social profiles, identifying key influencers and also for content ideas.
In order for your inbound marketing strategy to work effectively, you need to identify what type of content performs best, so your prospects find it insightful and share-worthy. BuzzSumo helps you achieve that by using their “Most Shared” content research feature, which is extremely helpful and that’s why BuzzSumo has made its way onto our best inbound marketing tools list!
BuzzSumo’s pricing starts at $99/month for the Pro edition which is suitable for bloggers and small teams. The two other plans are Agency ($299/month) and Enterprise ($699/month).
Sumo previously known as SumoMe is a popular WordPress plugin that offers numerous lead collection forms on your website. The majority of features available with Sumo are free with the option to purchase premium advanced features. The downside of this plugin is that you must run a WordPress website in order to use it.
The Sumo plugin is definitely worth the install. It will help you generate more email signups who could be potential prospects. One of the best features about Sumo is the ability to integrate it with most if not all email marketing providers. This is one of the best plugins to generate more leads allowing you to add them into your inbound marketing process.
You are able to change the design and content that appears on the list building popups, slide in’s and welcome mats. Sumo’s pricing starts at $29/month however they have a free basic plan with limited features.
If you’ve found this article useful then don’t forget to share it with your fellow colleagues and others that you may think will find it useful! Have any extra tools or a question? Feel free to tweet me, @_GarethG.
About the Author: Gareth O’Sullivan is the Content Marketing Manager at Creation Agency, he’s a versatile digital marketer and blogger with various experience on social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and more. The best places to connect with him are on Twitter and LinkedIn.