25 Great Resources for Small Business Marketing

Most small business marketers wear many hats and have limited resources, making it difficult to cover all the bases. The good news is that there are a wide variety of free and low-cost tools, as well as informative resources, that can improve your efficiency so you make the most of your marketing efforts.

In case you want to drill down to what is working for other companies, a recent survey by Constant Contact of small business owners discovered that the top five tools respondents use for attracting new business are as follows:

  • Daily deals: 53%
  • Internet ads: 51%
  • Web listing sites: 38%
  • Social media ads: 37%
  • Online coupons: 29%

That being said, here are 25 small business marketing resources we either use at Affinity Express or for which we have heard good reviews from our contacts.

Marketing MazeWebsite

1. WordPress. Offers a great solution for small websites and blogging platforms (free version).

2. Google Analytics. Gives you vital traffic and user interaction data for your website, enabling you to make useful business decisions (free).

3. Bravo Video. Offers an easy way to capture customer testimonial videos that can be shared on your website, as well as your blog and social media channels.

4. Pixlr. Enables editing of images (e.g., resizing, cropping, filtering, enhancing, etc.) for your website, marketing materials and more without the need to invest in expensive software.

Online Marketing

5. Google+ Local. Leverages local SEO to increase the visibility of small businesses online (free).

6. LocalVox. Analyzes your online presence and tells you what you need to do to get listed on all the major online directories like Yelp, CitySearch and dozens of others (free report).

7. Hubspot. Facilitates inbound marketing with software that drives attract visits, convert leads and close customers.

8. SpyFu. Compares the search engine marketing tactics of your competitors so you can improve your advertising and search engine optimization efforts.

Mobile

9. Duct Tape Marketing. Provides a video of a live panel discussion on the basics of mobile marketing for small businesses as well as lists of mobile marketing resources such as mobile site creation tools (e.g., MoFuse, Mobify.me, etc.), mobile testing websites, SMS and text resources, etc.

Mobile MarketingSocial Media

10    Hootsuite. Keeps tabs on your social networking assets from one dashboard and lets you monitor brand mentions and schedule posts for the future (free version).

11    Markitty. Monitors your social media usage, consolidates all stats in one place, shows what is working, provides specific suggestions based on activities and gives help from marketing experts (special shout out here because this is the product created former Affinity Express marketing manager, Unmana Datta!)

12    FollowerWonk. Finds Twitter bios, compares social profiles and optimizes your following by improving your ability to listen, engage and measure.

Content

13. Copyblogger.com. Shares an infographic on 22 ways to create compelling content when you don’t have a clue and other inspiring posts about content creation.

14. LocalVox. Published a list of more than 100 content ideas from successful customers to generate ideas you can write about.

Email

15. MailChimp. Makes email marketing simple with an easy-to-use collection of newsletter templates and the ability to customize your own design.

16. Constant Contact. Helps you grow and manage a profitable mailing list and makes it less likely you’ll land on spam blacklists for sending out emails from your own servers.

Email Sample DesignStationery and Collateral

17. Staples. Designs and prints business cards, letterhead, brochures, flyers, signs, banners, posters, forms, labels and more (extra discounts for annual spending commitments).

18. OfficeMax. Designs and prints brochures, cards and invitations, flyers, forms, holiday cards, presentation folders and other marketing essentials and has a mobile print center app.

19. Vistaprint. Offers cost-effective printing of postcards, flyers, brochures, rack cards, presentation folders, loyalty cards and more, as well as stationery, invitations and websites.

Customer Relations

20. SugarCRM. Automates and improves efficiency of customer communications, such as follow-ups, appointment reminders and lead conversions.

21. Survey Monkey. Allows you to create your own online questionnaire that you can email to customers to gather useful data that will inform your business (free).

Public Relations

22. MarketWire. Provides you with distribution channels to announce news about your business and maximize exposure.

23. HARO (Help a Reporter Out). Keeps tabs on information that reporters need and notifies you by email so you can cultivate and help media contacts, potentially resulting in coverage for your business (free).

Research

24. Feedly. Consolidates feeds from your favorite blogs to help you stay on top of developments in your industry and the communities you serve; offers the ability to read directly on the app or click a Save For Later bookmark; has a good selection of sharing options, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Pocket, Instapaper and Evernote (free).

25. Flipboard. Opts for a more visual approach to story syndication for mobile (smartphones and tablets only), presenting feeds in a magazine-style format and enables updates from social media too (free).

And if this is not enough to get you started, here is a list from Constant Contact of 15 more websites, blogs and forums where you can get information and advice on how to grow your small business.

What marketing tools do you use and find especially helpful for your small business? Do you wish there were better resources for other areas of marketing?

About Kelly Glass
Kelly has been vice president of Marketing at Affinity Express for nine years now. She drives company strategy and all marketing activities.

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