These 5 Free Tools Will Help You Better Market Your Small Businesses Online

 

So many small business owners, or SMEs with smaller marketing teams, are desperate to do it for themselves.

They like to pour their resources into promotional methods like social media marketing to reach out to the people that matter to them most. Only, as the recent algorithm changes that Facebook have made show, putting all your eggs in one basket as a small business could see you lose out.

If you’re a small business who has poured everything into Facebook over the years, their recent algorithm changes could be set to hit you hard. The social platform wants to ‘go back to its roots’ and is looking to promote posts from people’s friends more than clogging up feeds with posts for commercial pages.

That can be devastating for small businesses who rely on the reach of their Facebook business profiles to regularly update their audience. There may be a ray of hope for small businesses though, with the announcement that the platform is set to provide better data to enterprises on how many people have seen their posts.

Organic reach used to be calculated by how many times a post was delivered into people’s news feeds. Now, organic reach will be calculated in the same way that a paid post is; that it’s only counted if it’s actually delivered to a person’s screen.

That may not sound like much, especially when considering Facebook’s recent changes, but for small businesses looking to grow and reach the next level it’s a move that could prove invaluable.

Spread your bets to gather greater data

Why, though? Regular readers will know that the above strategy is a cardinal sin around these parts. For small businesses to truly reach their ambitions online, it pays for them to build a strong, long-term inbound marketing strategy that utilises the various channels your customers use most.

The internet is more than just Facebook, you know. Using a range of social platforms alongside search engine optimisation techniques, content creation, email marketing and much more besides to reach out to the leads that matter to you is the best way to boost your business’s growth potential.

The best part of incorporating such a strategy isn’t just that small businesses are more likely to discover and attract the leads that matter to their growth. An inbound marketing strategy is critical to consistently gathering consumer data in ethical ways to constantly keep an eye on the performance of your campaign and optimise it for the best results.

Which is why Facebook’s changes to how it displays data could be such great news. The way Facebook has previously shown data in the past has been pretty hit-and-miss. The changes that Facebook is making to the way it presents commercial posts doesn’t mean it’s dead as a platform by any means, and as part of a long-term strategy, can still be key to helping you grow your business.

The data you collect through inbound marketing is key to that growth. That’s something that many small businesses and smaller marketing departments simply don’t know how to approach, though.

 

Spread your bets to gather greater data

Finding the right tools for the job

You may have read our post earlier this month on Growth-Driven Design. Again, it’s a process surrounding the inbound methodology that can be cheaper than building a traditional website, help you get it live quicker and optimise it on a continual basis with the analytical data that it’s collecting.

Anyone and everyone can begin analysing their data now through a variety of free tools designed to help you visualise where people are visiting your website from, how they’re using it, what pages they’re leaving from and much, much more besides.

Facebook itself can be regarded as a tool in that sense, in that it provides some level of analytical representation of your campaign’s performance. It only takes a moment to access Google Analytics too; the very nature of online data though often scares people away. You won’t believe the amount of worried looks we’ve seen when we mention the word ‘bounce rate’…

This is also why so many smaller marketing campaigns fail and smaller businesses stall when they want to grow. It’s easy to create a Facebook post, for instance. It’s much harder to visualise a user’s journey on your website through data alone. Luckily, there are free tools available that can help.

5 free tools designed to help you make better sense of your data

 

5 free tools designed to help you make better sense of your data

 

It’s also one of the many reasons why smaller businesses work alongside an experienced digital agency to do that work for them.

An agency can add support to an existing marketing team or perform the role themselves, allowing you to spend your time growing your business and building stronger relationships with customers and suppliers.

So, what free tools are available to help you better visualise your data? Just some of the most popular include:

  • Google Data Studio: Of course Google has its own solution! Google Data Studio is a free piece of kit that allows users to turn their data into dashboards to make better business decision.
  • DataHero: The DataHero app allows people to pull data from cloud-based services to help them create stunning custom dashboards and charts. Great for those with little technical knowledge.
  • Chart.js: One of the better options for smaller businesses and start-ups because it only utilises approximately six chart types. That’s great for keeping things simple though when you just want to visualise your data.
  • ZingChart: For the more technically-minded, ZingChart uses JavaScript to help people build interactive Flash and HTML5 charts. They also offer 100 types of chart to visualise your data.
  • RAWGraphs: RAWGraphs claims to be the missing link between spreadsheets and data visualisation. Fans cite it as one of the most user-friendly visualisation tools, too, allowing people to simply drag and drop their data into RAWGraphs to turn it into something stunning.

Again though, working with an experienced agency will be able to have everything localised on a single platform, keeping an eye on all aspects of your creative campaign at all times.

If you’re interested in inbound marketing to help grow your small business and make an impact in your industry, speak to the Webpresence team today to find out more.