You and your team want to enlist the help of some digital marketing tools to streamline your processes and elevate your promotional efforts. But, you have no idea what the best online marketing tools are and you’re overwhelmed with all of the options. A quick search on Capterra for “digital marketing” turns up nearly 11,000 results, from "what is digital marketing?" to "digital marketing agency pricing model".

Whew! Is your head spinning? We don’t blame you. That’s why we’ve pulled together this straightforward guide. While it’s by no means an exhaustive list of all of the online marketing tools available, it will break down the best ones to start with. 

Think of it as your starting toolkit. As you get comfortable with these tools and find out more about your team’s unique goals and needs, you can explore even more choices. 

What are digital marketing tools?

Before we get into the tools and solutions themselves, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what digital marketing tools actually are. 

A digital marketing tool is any sort of technology solution that helps you and your team with your marketing strategies and efforts.

That’s pretty broad, isn’t it? That’s why these tools can be broken down into more niche categories — like email marketing tools, social media management tools, keyword research tools, analytics tools, content tools, website tools, and more. 

Why are digital marketing tools useful?

Tool fatigue is real, and we understand if you’re rolling your eyes at the idea of adding yet another platform or piece of software to your team’s arsenal.

But, trust us when we tell you that finding the most useful digital marketing tools for your team offers a number of advantages, including:

  • Improved insights: No more guessing about a strategy and hoping it sticks. Analytics and keyword research tools can help you and your team make informed decisions.
  • Boosted productivity: Marketers have a lot to do. One study found that 80% of marketers feel both overworked and understaffed. The right tools can simplify your workflows, automate tasks, and make marketing a lighter lift for your team.
  • Streamlined collaboration: Marketing teams not only work with each other, but also with vendors, freelancers, agencies, and nearly every other department within an organization. Our own survey found that poor communication is a top stressor at work. Fortunately, plenty of tools exist to make collaboration and communication easier. 

Despite these benefits, only 77% of companies say their relationship with technology is average or above average. While that’s a fairly sizable percentage (and a step in the right direction), it means that 33% of teams have quite a bit of catching up to do to leverage technology tools to their full potential. 

Free digital marketing tools for small businesses

You’re ready to roll out some digital marketing tools and reap the benefits on your own team. But, where should you start? 

Let’s break down some of the best and most popular tool options in four different categories: communication tools, research tools, social media and design tools, and organization and project management tools

The best part? You can upgrade for additional features, but the basic tiers of all of these solutions are absolutely free. 

Communication tools

You’ve heard that communication is key, and these tools can help you and your marketing team connect and correspond efficiently and effectively. 

1. Slack

As one of the most popular instant messaging platforms on the market today, Slack is perfect for keeping your team’s conversations organized. You can create different channels to keep discussions focused and searchable. Plus, Slack integrates directly with Wrike. 

2. Zoom 

Sometimes there’s no replacement for a face-to-face conversation — but that’s hard to do with freelancers, clients, team members, or other people who might not be in the same office. Zoom makes it easy to video chat with anybody. 

Research tools

From keywords to content ideas, your marketing team needs to sink their teeth into plenty of research in order to make educated decisions and craft effective strategies. These tools can get you the information you need. 

3. Google Analytics

Whether you want to learn more about your audience or where your website traffic is coming from, Google Analytics is a free, comprehensive platform that presents all of those need-to-know analytics in a digestible way. 

4. Feedly

Maybe you and your team want to create a resource you can refer to when you need relevant content to share on social media. Or perhaps you want to keep up on marketing advancements and industry announcements and share those with your team. Feedly can prioritize keywords, trends, and topics and organize information from the sources you trust. 

5. Google Keyword Planner

Everybody turns to search engines these days and keywords should be informing a lot of your marketing decisions. If you’re struggling to find the right keyword opportunities for you, Google Keyword planner will help you select the best terms for your business. 

Social media and design tools 

When it’s time to get creative, these tools can help you easily design graphics and queue up engaging social media posts — in a fraction of the time it takes you to do so now.

6. Buffer

With Buffer, you can create and schedule social media posts to your company’s Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. No more frantically scrambling to get something posted — with Buffer you can batch your work and stick with a consistent social media publishing schedule. 

7. Canva

Maybe you need to create featured images for blog posts or quote graphics for social media. If you don’t have a trusted freelancer or in-house graphic designer to turn to, these seemingly simple tasks can feel pretty daunting. Enter Canva. It’s an extremely user-friendly platform that makes it easy to create professional-looking graphics. 

Organization and project management tools

From files and assets to project timelines and objectives, you and your marketing team have a bunch to keep organized. If you’re relying on piles of computer files and random, scattered spreadsheets, these tools will bring some much-needed structure and organization to your work processes.

8. Google Docs and Google Drive

You’re probably already familiar with Google Docs and Google Drive, as they’re some of the most popular ways to create and store documents in the cloud. With these tools, you and your team can search and access your important documents from anywhere. You can make your file management even more straightforward by integrating Google Drive with Wrike.

9. Zapier

If you and your team are wasting a bunch of time on repetitive, mindless tasks, it’s time to eliminate those. Zapier makes it easy by connecting your apps and automating common workflows. So, whether you want to automatically create Wrike tasks from saved Slack messages, create new Google Calendar events from Wrike tasks, or something else, Zapier can make it happen. 

10. Wrike

Managing marketing projects is hard, which is why we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Wrike for keeping your marketing campaigns organized. It will keep you and your team on the same page so you can deliver more winning marketing projects — with way less stress. 

Why Wrike could be the digital campaign tool for your business

All of the above tools are undeniably helpful. But, when you’re looking for a broader tool to organize all of your marketing team’s work and projects, Wrike is the best digital marketing tool to turn to. 

With Wrike, you can:

  • Break down silos and centralize communication
  • Gain complete visibility into all of your marketing tasks and projects
  • Demonstrate results through real-time monitoring and reports
  • Eliminate burnout by getting better insights into your team’s capacity and workload a lot more (including automating approvals and simplifying feedback and comments). 

Sound like something you and your team need? We thought so. Start your free trial today and level-up all of your marketing efforts.