Inbound marketing strategies have been able to produce the results they’re known for, due at least in part, to the myriad of marketing tools available online.
Whether they’re intended to measure conversion elements, monitor social media or engage with consumers, these tools have helped make inbound the wildly successful marketing methodology it is today. The list of 7 below are in our opinion some of the best available.
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is Google’s bare-bones solution for measuring web traffic and understanding who your audience is, and what they’re looking for. Absolutely free for its users, Google Analytics is hard to pass up when it comes to building an inbound marketing toolbox. Google analytics currently features a breadth of analytics tools businesses use to measure their web activity, including:
- Audience data and reporting
- Mobile ad measurement
- Advertising reports
- Adsense, AdWords and Google Tag Manager integration
- Data collection and management
- In-page analytics
There’s a reason that, when many inbound marketing agencies think of search engine optimization (SEO), Moz is what first comes to mind. Moz (formerly SEO Moz) combines all aspects of SEO under one accessible software, including ranking and link, content, traffic and social analytics.
The Moz software detects major errors or SEO opportunities on your website, and provides campaign and keyword solutions at varying levels as part of its service plans. Moz’s pricing plans range from standard (€95 a month) to large and premium plans (€238 and €572, respectively)
HootSuite is by a fair margin one of the most popular social media managing tools on the web, and for good reason. It’s cross-platform capabilities, engagement tools and analytics make it a preferred social platform for many businesses.
HootSuite currently offers a free version of its services, which supports up to three social media profiles and sports basic analytics and scheduling capabilities. The €9.50 monthly business plan, as many small or growing companies new to inbound learn, is well worth the investment if all-inclusive, higher price inbound platforms such as HubSpot are out of reach. In this plan, up to 100 profiles can be linked, as well as up to nine team members (users).
MailChimp is an email management tool perfect for businesses just getting into inbound, who want to see how “smarter” email marketing can benefit their traffic. MailChimp’s “Forever Free” plan is includes most of what a company could ask for in terms of capabilities, minus some features like delivery automation or email support that can be unlocked by enrolling in the platforms “pay as you go” billing levels.
The Forever Free plan includes:
- A/B email testing
- Email templates and design options
- Multi-user accounts
- Social sharing
- Campaign archives
- Subscriber profiles
Wistia is web video hosting with inbound in mind. In-video forms (called “turnstiles”), customizable video CTAs and email integration with services like HubSpot, InfusionSoft, MailChimp and Marketo, make Wistia the most effective video hosting tool for inbound marketing.
Additional tools include:
- Analytics, video heatmaps (measuring engagement) and trend graphs
- Breadth of customisation options
- Video SEO, history tracking and thumbnails for email campaigns
Wistia is available in free, small business and team plans, with more capabilities the higher plan level you sign up for; like inbound marketing as a whole, you get what you give with Wistia.
SalesForce is a cloud-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform built around sales, and designed to automate the sales process and generate inbound traffic with a toolbox of inbound gadgets that grows the more you put into it. SalesForce offers a broad variety of service plans, from €24 a month to €239, each with various sales-based inbound tools. These include:
- Custom dashboards
- Products and product ordering
- Case management
- Contact management system
- Lead scoring
In addition to SalesForce, other CRMs like MS Dynamics, Sugar and HubSpot help inbound marketers generate the leads they seek online.
7. HubSpot COS
Of course, we can’t make a list of handy online tools for inbound without saving a space for the all-in-one behemoth that is HubSpot. HubSpot covers it all, from social media and content creation to behind-the-scenes conversion analytics.
The catch, of course, being the higher price tag that comes with it (€191 for a Basic plan, which serves most companies new to inbound, and €764 for the Pro plan, which integrates smart content, marketing automation and lead scoring to fuel inbound results).
Despite this investment, however, many growing businesses recognize the strengths of having an all-inclusive inbound platform like HubSpot, over enrolling with multiple other service providers dedicated to single tasks.
The best way to carry out an inbound marketing campaign depends on what you want to get out of it. If you’re merely looking to “test the waters” with social media, HootSuite could be the right tool for you, and for the right price. However, if you’re ready to give inbound your all, a committed platform like HubSpot would be your greatest asset. There is no best tool for inbound, it all depends what kind of results you want to see from it.