5 digital tools every small business should know about (and be using)

As mentioned in my previous blog where I shared my easy website tips for small businesses, it can be really hard to do web and digital marketing well on a small budget and without the staff to help you.

In an effort to save you time and stress, I’ve picked the five digital tools which will do a lot of the hard work for you. What’s great about these five resources is that they’re all free to use (with pro accounts available if you have the spare budget). I’ve used all of these sites at one time or another and they made a huge difference to me so I hope they’ll do the same for you.

If you’re a small charity, this advice works for you too, so keep reading!

Canva – www.canva.com

Hate designing your promotional materials? Don’t know how to figure your way around Photoshop? Use Canva. It’s perfect for designing all sorts of things with ready-made templates set up so all you have to do is switch out the text. There are posters, menus, business cards, social media graphics and so much more which all look professionally designed. And if you don’t like any of the templates? Canva allows you to quickly design your own completely from scratch.

Hootsuite – www.hootsuite.com

If you are spending half your life logging in and out of different social media accounts for your business, why not use Hootsuite instead. The tool lets you connect up multiple social media accounts (Up to 3 on the free plan) where you can begin to track conversations, hashtags and engagement all on one screen. Use it to respond to the people posting about your business or keep track of what your competitors are sharing through their channels. You can also schedule posts which will save you a lot of time in the long run.

Unsplash – www.unsplash.com

Been searching Google for images to use on your website or social media channels? Stop right now. It’s hard to tell where these images have come from and there may be rights associated with the images which leave you open to costly fines. If you can’t afford to pay for photography, use a site like Unsplash instead. The huge collection of high-quality public domain images are available to download for free and without the need for credit (The option to credit photographers is available if you want).

Airtable – www.airtable.com

I LOVE Airtable. The easy to use database tool is incredibly useful for tracking so many different things at once. Think of it like Microsoft Excel but (in my opinion) better. You can create tables that track staff shifts, customer relationships, to-do lists, project planning, event management and a whole lot more. It has so many useful features including the form creator (which can be embedded on your site), calendars and document management thanks to the upload attachment option.  With the app, you can access it all from your smartphone wherever you are in the world and make life so much easier.

Google analytics – analytics.google.com

What good is having a website for your business if you don’t know how people are using it or who the people using it even are? That’s where Google Analytics comes in. If you’re not using it yet, you’re missing out on a lot of really important data for your business. When are people using your site, what are they interested in, what device are they accessing it from, how old are they, what sites are they coming in from?  All it takes is a little bit of code added to your site to track this information. Use it to make the most out of your website so you can get it to do all the heavy lifting for you.

Have you used any of these tools? Let me know what you think of them in the comments below. 

Looking for more digital marketing advice for your business or charity? Check out my marketing advice tag to view all blogs on the subject.

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