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Did you know that there are 582 million entrepreneurs in the world? With numbers like this, entrepreneurs everywhere need a competitive edge. If you’re building and scaling a business, chances are you’re constantly on the lookout for ways to get a leg up on your competitors. To accomplish this, you’ll need a great marketing strategy that stands out in a saturated market and access to the best digital marketing tools.

In this blog, we’re going to outline nine applications you need to optimize your digital marketing strategy. There may be a few that you are familiar with; others might be new to you. These are the ones that can unlock that door to success you’ve been waiting for.

From project management to outsourcing tasks and simplifying your social media marketing efforts, each of these applications will help you get the competitive edge you’re after. Plus, they’re easy-to-use with minimal technical skills required.

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Project Management and Collaboration - Trello

The most important part of starting your digital marketing strategy is communicating and setting expectations for deliverables and deadlines for yourself, and if applicable, your team and stakeholders. In the past, most project management efforts took place via email. However, that traditional process was not created to accomplish the dynamic and fast-paced tasks that digital marketing activities demand. 

Trello is a free digital marketing tool for easy project management. The app displays each project like a “board” containing “cards” with checklists, and the user interface is easy to understand and navigate. Like other platforms, there are upgrades that come as paid features to get the most out of it. But, the basic free service entails checklists, deadline reminders, data filtering, activity logs, email notifications, customizable task categories, and more. It’s the best tool to simplify and organize digital marketing projects.

Keyword Research - UberSuggest

Searching for keywords can be a daunting task, and it can even get expensive with the price of premium keyword research tools. UberSuggest is an easy digital marketing tool for researching keywords and provides valuable insights that other free keyword search tools don’t. This includes a simple-to-navigate dashboard and useful keyword information, such as total search volume, difficulty, and paid difficulty if you’re thinking of running an ad campaign around that keyword. You get up to three free searches per day. 

You’ll also get keyword ideas and suggestions that are relevant to the one you’re searching for so you can update older content or develop a new content marketing plan.

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Customer Relationship Management - HubSpot CRM

If you’re in need of marketing, sales, and CRM software all in one, look no further than HubSpot. This app helps attract visitors and close customers through the process of optimizing your entire marketing funnel together. You will have access to tools that help with blogging, SEO, social media, website, lead management, landing pages, calls-to-action, marketing automation, email, and analytics. 

There is truly no stone left unturned when using HubSpot’s one-stop-shop marketing software. With everything you need in one place, you don’t have to pull yourself in many different directions. It is also a reliable resource as you continue to grow and scale your business.

Email Marketing - Flodesk

Fun Fact: Email marketing is nearly 4x more effective at audience engagement than social media. Finding the right email marketing platform is your biggest challenge. If you’re into a simple user-face that allows you to customize and create aesthetically pleasing emails, then Flodesk is your new best friend. This app allows you to design emails with the world’s most intuitive email builder and integration system. If you’re familiar with Canva, think about Flodesk like the Canva of email marketing.

For those who are more into coding and working on backend tasks of email marketing, we suggest Mail Chimp instead. It’s not as user-friendly, but it will give you access to more optimization if you have the time to learn about it.

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Freelancing and Outsourcing - Fiverr

Need to take some digital marketing tasks off your hands? Take a dive into the world of Fiverr. This app allows you to hire professional freelancers who can provide you with a premium service. There are fast turnaround times at a pretty affordable price. For example, if you need a social media post for an event coming up for five dollars, Fiverr is the way to go.

The interface allows you to quickly sift through freelancers using the search feature. It’s as simple as typing in the service you’re interested in and choosing a freelancer based on their overall rating and average cost.

Blog Topic Research - Answer the Public

Blogs serve the important purpose of helping your website appear in organic, non-paid, rankings in search engines. It’s one of the most important sources of website traffic. In order to accomplish this strategy successfully, however, you need to know what topics your prospective customers are searching for in relation to your business. Answer the Public is a great tool to do just that.

It works similar to a search engine, all you have to do is type in a keyword related to what your customers are searching for. Then, the tool will generate tons of topics based on real search queries and trending questions.

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Research Your Market - BuzzSumo

This app is ideal for entrepreneurs who need to learn more about their market. It’s safe to say that you know many things about your industry and primary competitors, but as things evolve and digital marketing changes, you’ll have to stay sharp on your strategies. BuzzSumo helps you learn what type of content performs best with search engines and your audience.

Don’t guess what is performing best in your niche. Use this app to get the answers you need. Even if you don’t do much with the data it provides at first, each search will help you better understand your competition and target audience.

Proofreading and Plagiarism Checker - Grammarly

We would all love to be grammar gurus, but we are all simply humans, and humans make mistakes from time to time. Grammarly is the free tool you need to sign up for today! It’s an online dashboard that works similarly to Google Docs. It will proofread your writing to check for any spelling and grammar mistakes. There is also a plug-in for your browser that, once installed, automatically proofreads everything you type online. 

The free version includes a spelling check, basic grammar check, plagiarism check, and detailed explanations about the reasons why the error is a grammatical or spelling mistake. It’s truly a lifesaver for all content including blogs, emails, social media posts, and more.

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Track Digital Marketing Performance - KISSmetrics

Track, analyze, and optimize your digital marketing performance. See what’s working and what’s not, across all campaigns, mobile, and web. It’s great to spend time on your digital marketing efforts, but are you really getting a return on investment? KISSmetrics allows you to track and analyze every strategy you implement. For example, with a funnel report, you can see if there are any “leaks” in your business. Maybe there was a broken link or bad coding. Whichever the case, KISSmetrics will catch it and report it right back to you. 

Starting at $120/month, this isn’t the cheapest app, but you’ll want to think about it as your business continues to grow. The insights you’ll receive will be invaluable to your company’s growth.

Narrowing down which digital marketing tools you need to get ahead starts with a strong digital marketing strategy. But, by incorporating a mix of the applications above that work for your business, you can achieve success in all digital marketing efforts. No matter your goals, these powerful and - mostly - free apps, are sure to help you bring your business to the next level, for less.

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