So you want to be a kick-ass Inbound Marketer. These inbound marketing tools (and a few thousand more) are all you'll need.
The correct implementation of inbound marketing is essential to reap its benefits. In this age of technology, your inbound marketing strategy is as good as the tools you use to implement. Inbound marketers are a tech-savvy bunch of people, always on the lookout for tools, to not just deliver quality inbound marketing services, but also ease their operational pain. Look no further as we've compiled for you an exhaustive list of all the tools you'll need.
This post is divided into various sections to help you find what you're looking for. These sections are the most important aspects of inbound marketing.
- Basic Inbound Marketing Tools
- SEO Tools
- Social Media Tools
- Email Related Tools
- Content Related Tools
- Marketing Automation
Before we get into the various sections let me tell you about the one software that rules them all.
HubSpot is an "all-in-one" solution in every sense of an inbound marketing tool. This mammoth of a software was made by the fathers of inbound marketing themselves - Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. To call it a mere software would be an understatement as it aids you in all the online based marketing efforts. This software alone is enough to fulfill all the services provided by all the softwares combined, as mentioned in this blog. Lately, the HubSpot software has become so extensive that it has now been broken into three modules based on the use case - HubSpot CRM, Hubspot Marketing and HubSpot Sales.
Why not try HubSpot for yourself and see what it can do for you - Take a Hubspot Quote?
Basic Inbound Marketing Tools
These are the essential tools you'll need to start your Inbound Marketing Strategy:
1. Google Analytics
This tool is a one shop stop for everything related to website analytics. This a vast software that helps you track your website metrics. From the number of visitors to their demographics, geographies, and behaviors, there is nothing you can not find your audience with this tool. The best part is it's free.
2. Google Keyword Planner
Keyword Planner is a module in Google Adwords, for usage of which you'll need to sign up & create an account. This tool provides the exact number of searches occurring for a keyword along with its trends and related keywords. Your SEO and content creation strategy can leverage this tool to reach a larger audience. The free version of this tool provides search volume in range while to get the exact search volume you'll need run a campaign on AdWords.
SEO is one of the most important aspects of inbound marketing. Organic search provides a steady stream of leads (which is the only reason why we love organic search). Hence investing in a search related software will go a long way in helping you reach your lead goal.
Ahrefs is a source of up-to-the-minute, most extensive, and accurate SEO data. It has the largest keyword index (5.4 billion keywords), fastest backlink crawler (4.1 million pages per minute), and powerful content discovery system (5 million new topics a day). Not only can such a huge database help you with your own campaigns, but also give you access to competitors’ results in inbound marketing. You’ll see what keyword and backlink opportunities you’re missing and figure out how to fill in that gap.
SEMRush is to SEO what Hubspot is to inbound marketing. It deals with all aspects of search engine marketing - from organic to paid. Organic research, display research, backlink analysis, keyword research are just some of the areas it can help you in.
3. MOZ Bar
MOZ has made this list for one thing and one thing only - their ingenuity. By introducing terms like domain and page authority, Rand Fishkin (founder of MOZ) has made the complex processes of SEO easy to understand. The same is true with this tool, which acts as a browser add-on.
Yoast is a widely used WordPress plugin that helps is the optimization at a page level. This helps the author add page title, description and deal with other SEO related issues on the page. Znbound is really thankful to the Yoast team and would like to attribute all the SEO success on this blog to Yoast.
This is lesser know tool, but it is as simple as it is effective. SERPLAB is a search ranking monitoring tool. You can hire a bot to crawl interested SERP results you interested in. Along with the rankings, you'll also receive the important information like the ranking page and the ranking history. There is more too. Feels good to know that there is one bot who is working just for you at under $ 5 per month.
6. Google Webmaster Tools
Another one of essential Google tool that you can use for free. Webmaster tool provides you data on how your search results appear, what keywords people are using to come to your site and other crawl related errors.
Social Media Tools
Social media used right can go a long way in generating leads and making connections. Also, check out a list of social media tools advised by pros.
1. Facebook Business
Facebook Business is the advert module of facebook which helps you run ads on Facebook. You can use Facebook lead ads to generate leads for us re-targeting to nurture visitors. Facebook provides you with various targeting options which make sure you get relevant leads.
2. Twitter Ads
Like Facebook, Twitter also has advertising options with regards to lead generation and re-targeting. But unlike Facebook, the per lead cost on Twitter is lower. Hence a tool worth checking out.
Youtube has reached 1 billion visitors per month that is almost one-third of all the people online. This fact alone makes Youtube an important commodity for an inbound marketer. Youtube ads can really help you if your product is B2C. You can run Youtube ads directly via Google Adwords account.
Linkedin is the world's largest professional network and it could really help you with lead generation if your audience is B2B. If ads are not your style you can run an In-mail campaign where you can send direct messages to your targeted audience.
Buffer provides you with a smarter way to manage your social media which helps you save time. Using buffer you can schedule publish and analyze all your social media posts on one platform.
E-Mail Related Tools
E-Mail is still as effective as ever and cheaper than it's alternatives.
MailChimp is a popular email marketing service that you can use for sending cold email campaigns and email newsletters. The thing that contrasts MailChimp from others is the fact that it is extremely user-friendly. This causes easy adaptability and removes the constraints of learning a whole software. Still not convinced if they are worth your while, why not try their free plan which entitles you to 12,000 free email per month forever.
2. Active Campaign
Active campaign is another email marketing service you can use for email marketing. Constant Contact provides it's lead-management module which helps in providing some sophistication to your email campaigns. This along with its automation feature really makes it worth a try.
The above mentioned two software is all-in-one email marketing software while GMass is just a Gmail plug-in. Even after this, GMass deserves recognition. This is due to the fact that GMass ensures that your mail is received in the primary section of the receiver. Although you can only use it for small campaigns or else Gmail might lock your account.
4. Quick Email Verification
The biggest error email marketers do is overlook email validation in hopes that the email list would be clean and devoid of bounces. This is rarely the case. Quick Email Verification helps you avoid this mistake which ensures higher deliverability.
Content Related Tools
Content is the heart of an inbound marketing strategy. It's what attracts, converts and closes your audience.
1. Google Trends
Google Trends is a tool by Google that helps you analysis trending stories on the basis of data accumulated by Google search. This provides you with the top stories which people are searching for and provides you with content topics that could help you reach a higher audience.
BuzzSumo is a content research tool that helps you identify the content that is performing well for your audience. It does that by showing you the most shared and tending content that helps you devise your content plan.
inbound.org is a community of 170k+ marketers founded by HubSpot and Moz. This is a great place to stay updated on all the new trends related to inbound marketing.In April 2018, HubSpot has decided to pull down the curtain on inbound.org and move all the assets to growth.org.
4. Hemingway App
Hemingway is a text editor that helps you assess how readable your text is. This is important as content creators often overlook how their content would be perceived by the reader. Hemingway app cites you the specific lines that are hard to read which makes improving drafts simple.
Outbrain is a content advertiser that specializes in sponsored website content. You can use Outbrain to help promote your content and help it reach a wider audience. It does this by showing post recommendation on its network of partner websites. Their sponsored content is displayed in such a way that it is hard to distinguish from the normal recommendations.
Marketing Automation Software
Marketing automation software options exist across the spectrum - from the small business to the enterprise. Znbound would need a dedicated blog post to do justice to this extensive subject. For the moment here is a short list to get the readers going.Given Znbound's status as a HubSpot partner, we are avoiding talking about HubSpot. Needless to mention HubSpot goes beyond marketing automation capabilities to also address inbound marketing and CRM.
Marketo is a 'thorough' marketing automation software.Though the company employs inbound marketing, but the tool is limited in its capabilities. It finds a good fit with large enterprises. Marketo pricing tends to shock the SMB.
Zapier is an app that makes it easier to automate workflows by integrating other web apps together. This integration happens in just a few clicks and is free for many of the apps. Whatever the stack of softwares you might be using, Zapier would have a solution for that. Once upon a time, Zapier used to be affordable.
Note to the Readers- The Znbound team intends to keep adding to this blog with the hope that one day it will hit a century. If you are a martech team who is smoked about your product, give us a shout. Kindly use the comments section and we will pick it up.