17 Inbound Marketing Tools You Should Be Using

Inbound marketing has become one of the most pertinent ways for businesses to create awareness, and incur leads and sales. The importance of inbound marketing lies in the focus of delivering high-quality, and relevant content to your target audience, while pushing a holistic, data-driven methodology that leverages how people buy today.

The key reasons of implementing inbound marketing are to:

  • Steer away from interruption marketing, i.e. throwing ads to everyone and anyone.
  • Turn strangers into customers, and customers into promoters.
  • Measure where your marketing budget is going, and which is yields the highest ROI.

As such, let’s quickly take a look at how the marketing playbook has changed:

marketing-playbook

More specifically, here are some major stats you should be aware of if you aren’t taking advantage of inbound marketing to market your company and to attract/retain customers.

  • Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing. (Hubspot)
  • B2B Companies that blog only 1-2 times per month generate up to 70% more leads than those that don’t (Hubspot)
  • 77% of CMOs at top performing companies indicate that their most compelling reason for implementing marketing automation is to increase revenue (cmo.com)
  • 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (cmo.com)
  • 93% of buying cycles start with an online search, which is why SEO is vitally important for businesses looking to get found online. If you don’t rank well in search, it’s hard for people to find you. (Marketo)

With all of the above in mind, my last blog post on the 5 ways inbound marketing will help your business grow, mentioned a few recommended tools. And as promised, I said I’d provide a deeper explanation of each tool in a this blog post to help you decide which tool you should adopt as well as research for a fit with your executions.

  • One-stop shops:
    • HubSpot – Great for SMBs looking for a place to create and manage an end-to-end marketing solution that is also affordable.   Entry price is $200/mo paid out annually. (I also use HubSpot Sidekick to help track email opens, clicks, etc.).
    • Marketo – Great for larger/enterprise companies. Marketo is at a higher price point and also more robust in terms of being able to dive in deeper with data as well as customization. Entry price is $1,195.
  • Email:
    • Customer.io – You can send out triggered messages based on actions people take on your website and product. The ability to simply create segments based on pageviews, events, and email activity is all integrated. It is free to sign up but the price of entry is $100.
    • Mailchimp – With great content marketing behind its brand, Mailchimp is a great solution for solopreneurs to small companies. The entry price is free up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. I use Mailchimp myself and love the easy drag-n-drop functionality as well as workflow set up.
    • Infusionsoft – Great for small businesses looking to nurture prospects and customers. You can also leverage their apps, writers, designers, partners, etc. to help with in-depth training and their free resources (e.g. e-guides, e-books, blogs, etc.). The entry price is $199.
  • Social:
    • Buffer – With recommended times to share your content throughout the day in order to drive more traffic and increase fan engagement, Buffer does the job. You can also collaborate with other team members for content sharing. Buffer also does a phenomenal job with writing detailed content about the best inbound/digital marketing strategies and tactics. Entry price is free for individual use and then goes up to $10, $50, $100 and $250.
    • IFTTT – Save time by taking advantage of this tool. This is my go-to productivity tool as it helps me create automated workflows around my executions. IFTTT connects with multiple apps from smart home technologies, news alerts, all the way to eCommerce. Entry price is free.
    • Cyfe – If you need an all-in-one dashboard view of your social media analytics, this is the tool to go with. You can also pull data from multiple widgets such as Salesforce, Google, Shopify, Eventbrite, Facebook Ads, WordPress, and soon. Entry price is $19/month.
  • Content Creation and Management:
    • Fiverr – Bootstrapping your marketing efforts doesn’t mean you have to look “cheap.” Fiverr is a great place for any business to browse solutions to your needs and choose the person you want to work with based on the work samples provided. Starting prices is typically $5 and then goes up from there.
    • CoSchedule – I’m a big fan of CoSchedule as I’ve recommended it to my clients and also have used it for myself. You can build out your content calendar, in addition to collaborating with team members and tracking the percentage of completion under each content initiative. Their headline analyzer also provides insight on the overall quality and rate your headline will produce with social shares, traffic and SEO value. Entry price is $15.
  • Content Promotion:
    • AdRoll – I’ve used this tool for years now and love their easy-to-use platform. You have the ability to drive retargeting across multiple devices on Facebook, Twitter, Apple iAd, and millions of other websites. Additionally, you control how much you want to spend and can log into your account to see analytical data to help make better decisions.
    • Facebook Advertising – People targeting is the way to go and that’s why I continue to use Facebook’s robust advertising capabilities. From creating like-audiences all the way to honing in on new markets, this is the way to go to implement quick tests and learn what’s working as well as what’s not.
    • Google Adwords – Recently Adwords released a feature similar to Facebook’s like-audience, except specific to search. You can also leverage display and retargeting through Adwords to further implement A/B testing as well as reaching a broader audience.
  • Landing Pages:
    • Unbounce – Easily build landing pages without having a designer in-house. Unbounce’s drag-n-drop functionality will allow you to create your own landing pages, or you can use their existing templates. They also have available templates on ThemeForest that are ready for purchase too. Entry price is $99.
    • LeadPages – A direct competitor to Unbounce, LeadPages does the job when it comes to building one click opt-in landing pages and CTAs. What I love this tool is that it’s geared towards getting conversions, i.e. getting the visitor to take action. Entry price is $25.

Final Thoughts

The tough thing about these marketing tools and platforms is that they all cross-over in one way other other, so take the time to do your own research. That way, you can choose the best tool that is most fitting to your needs and to help foster your executions for the best results.

2 Comments
  1. avatar image
    Taylen Peterson at December 22, 2015

    I couldn’t live without IFTTT, Buffer, and marketing automation like Hubspot or Marketo. Solid list!

    Might I also suggest Instapage as a landing page software to include in your list, though? Comparable pricing but a more advanced drag-and-drop page building product with more customization options to truly test different A/B hypotheses.

  2. avatar image
    Nick at January 19, 2016

    Nice post! Where’s GetResponse, though?

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