10 Inbound Marketing Tools You Need in Your Toolbox
Inbound Marketing Tools
When it comes to inbound marketing, you’re only as good as your tools. After all, even the most skilled marketer can’t deliver results without a way to capture leads, track results, and manage the marketing process.
This is why we put together this list of 10 essential inbound marketing tools you absolutely need in your toolbox:
Category: Marketing Automation
Marketing automation adoption has grown 11x among B2B marketers in the last four years. And for good reason – 80% of marketing automation users increased their leads, while 77% saw an increase in conversions. In one industry benchmark report from Circle Research, 74% of respondents said that marketing automation had been “beneficial” to their business.
When it comes to marketing automation, you can’t really go wrong with InfusionSoft. This small-business focused tool helps you manage contacts, automate marketing, identify hot leads and streamline your sales process, all from a single dashboard. At $199/month, it’s also one of the cheaper automation tools on the market.
Alternatives: HubSpot, Ontraport
Category: Content Calendar
If you’re still using complicated spreadsheets to manage your content marketing, this is the tool for you. CoSchedule is a powerful content marketing calendar that will not only help you plan and collaborate with team members, but also schedule social media updates from a single dashboard.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a solo marketer or lead a team of bloggers, designers and social media managers – CoSchedule will save you hours on every post you publish. And it costs just $15/month to start!
Alternatives: Kapost, EditFlow
Category: Social Media
For an inbound marketer, there are few channels more important than social media. Unfortunately, posting content across multiple social networks is incredibly time consuming (and mind-numbingly dull).
Enter Buffer. Buffer is a simple tool that takes all the pain out of social media promotion. Instead of manually sharing content on each network, you can just add your updates to Buffer. The tool will then figure out the best time to post, and share your content across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.
The best part? You’ll get in-depth stats on the performance of each update, along with recommendations for content ideas – right in the Buffer dashboard.
Alternatives: HootSuite, Edgar
Category: Visual Media Creation
With the web becoming more and more visual, you need a way to create high-quality blog post covers, social media graphics and in-post images quickly.
Canva is just the perfect tool for this job. Forget Photoshop and GIMP – Canva will supply you with a vast (and growing) selection of pre-made templates for different uses (social media, presentations, etc.). After selecting a template, you can add your own text, change the background, and alter the color to get just the right design.
It’ll save you countless hours and hundreds of dollars in design costs, making it one tool you definitely can’t afford to miss in your marketing toolbox.
Alternatives: Photoshop, Pixlr
Category: Note Taking
Don’t you hate it when you stumble upon a great marketing article, but can’t find it later in your ever-growing bookmarks folder?
This is why you need Evernote.
Evernote is arguably the world’s favorite note-taking app. It promises to help you “remember everything”. Think of it as a digital Moleskine notebook on steroids. You can create as many notebooks as you want and fill them with as many notes as you need. Every note you create is instantly searchable, and you can organize your thoughts with tags.
Evernote works seamlessly across the web and mobile. You can email in your notes, take screen clippings with Chrome/Firefox plugins, and even collaborate with team mates right inside Evernote. This is one app everyone needs to use, regardless of discipline or designation.
Alternatives: OneNote, Google Docs
There are few skills more important for inbound marketing success than email outreach. Scheduling emails and sending reminders to prospects, however, can be tough, even with a CRM.
This is where Boomerang comes into the picture. This little tool plugs into Gmail and gives you complete power over your email. Want to remind yourself to follow-up after a conversation? Boomerang will do that for you. Want to send an email at a fixed time? Boomerang can do that as well.
Best of all, it’s free to try and the pro account costs just $4.99/month – a low price to pay for ‘inbox sanity’.
Alternatives: Google Snooze for Gmail, FollowUpThen
Category: RSS Reader
RSS might not be fashionable anymore, but when it comes to keeping abreast of what your favorite bloggers are saying, nothing comes even remotely close.
This is why RSS readers are still a mainstay of any serious marketer’s toolbox. And while there are plenty of RSS readers to go around, few compare in features and usability to Feedly.
Use Feedly to organize your daily reading, to curate content for your social media feeds, and to reach out to influencers when they publish new content. The tool is free to use, though there is a pro plan for heavy users.
Alternatives: INOReader, FeedSpot
Category: Social Media Intelligence
Have you ever wondered who your Twitter followers actually are and when are they most active? Or do you want to connect with fellow marketers, bloggers, and social media influencers?
If the answer to either of these questions is ‘yes’, you’ll love FollowerWonk. This tool from the people at Moz gives you tremendous insight into your followers. You can also use it to search Twitter bios by keyword. Use it to find people to follow, and to gain better understanding of your own followers.
Category: Landing Page Design & Testing
The landing page is one of the most important components in a successful lead gen campaign. As the first step in the funnel, the quality of your landing page will have a direct impact on your conversion rates.
Instead of fiddling with templates and custom designs, give Unbounce a shot. This powerful tool will help you quickly create powerful, conversion-optimized landing pages. After creating the page, you can even use Unbounce to conduct split tests and get the best conversion rate possible. Plans start at just $49/month.
Alternatives: LeadPages, Instapage
Category: Project Management
Trello is different things to different people. Some use it to keep track of their to-dos. Some use it to collaborate with teammates. And some use it to manage complex projects.
Instead of juggling spreadsheets, emails and messaging apps, use Trello to manage your projects from inception to finish. You can easily create multiple boards for managing your editorial calendars, freelancers, and social media posting schedules.
Best of all, Trello is completely free to use (though there is a paid plan for more serious users).
So there you have it – our list of 10 tools you can’t afford to miss in your inbound marketing toolbox. For a list of these tools at a glance, check out our handy infographic below: