Outbound marketing efforts are a critical component of any marketing campaign, as outreach and follow-up convert leads to sales. Acquiring those leads and determining which are your best prospects makes inbound marketing critical. To acquire leads and collect data, your marketing team needs the best inbound marketing tools to automate processes for maximum ROI and efficiency.
We’ve researched and reviewed the top twelve must-have inbound marketing tools and we’ve got recommendations so your team has the best. Along the way, we’ll also examine the types of tools used for inbound marketing and make some recommendations for implementation. Let’s begin with the various types of inbound marketing tools that create the greatest impact.
Types of Tools Used for Inbound Marketing
Despite the hundreds of inbound marketing tools available, they are organized into four main types. Here is a quick overview of each:
Traditional Marketing Media (Outbound Marketing)
As the name suggests, traditional marketing media are print ads, billboards and similar physical media used to attract or collect potential customer information. There is still a place for this type of marketing in 2021, but it’s effectiveness grows more limited every year.
Digital Marketing Media
If it’s online, it’s digital marketing media. Pay-per-click ads, landing pages, website ads, and any other form of data collection is considered digital marketing media. Blogs, onsite videos and other content are also considered part of this category. In 2021, digital marketing media continues to be relevant, despite advances in other categories.
Social Media Marketing
Videos, blog posts shared on social network newsfeeds, images and any other content shared via social media qualify as social media marketing. The more interactive the content, the higher the ROI. Social media profiles make it much easier to collect lead data, especially if visiting users have completely filled out their profile information.
Promotional Marketing Tools
Any media with a promotional offer is considered a promotional marketing tool. Digital coupons, discount codes, email newsletter discounts and any posted social media offer are considered promotional marketing tools.
Additionally, promoting products via social media influencers is a thriving marketing channel. Promotional offers predate the internet by decades, but they remain just as effective today. After all, who doesn’t like getting a deal on a product or service?
Top Inbound Marketing Tools For 2021
Here are our recommendations for the top twelve must-have inbound marketing tools:
GatherContent (Content Management)
When you need a single location for all your blog posts, videos, eBooks, web copy and podcasts, GatherContent is a one-stop-shop. Managing content across all marketing channels is easy at first, but that changes quickly with growth. Keeping everything centralized and organized can become a full-time job without an effective system.
GatherContent allows marketers to bring order to chaos using repeatable processes. Moreover, their visual workflows and intuitive processes enable marketing departments to quickly bring even the most unruly project to heel.
Beacon (E-Guide Design)
In commercial and industrial B2B marketing, there is nothing so beloved as an in-depth eGuide or a free eBook. The problem is not all enterprises have the time or resources to generate professional, high-quality content like this at scale. Enter Beacon: a customizable, dedicated eGuide and eBook design tool. This software suite comes preloaded with all the layouts, imagery and typography you need to produce top-quality content. Better still, Beacon allows you to import original content for new eGuides or to update/upgrade existing eGuides. After a few clicks and edits you have a finished product with no design experience needed.
Unbounce (Landing Pages)
Never underestimate the power of landing pages when it comes to inbound marketing. These pages are where casual browsers become leads, prospects and eventually sales. Unbounce allows anyone to build smart, effective landing pages quickly and efficiently. It also works exceptionally well if you are optimizing an existing page in a no-coding environment. Anyone can build beautiful, intuitively functional landing pages that can easily be scaled as your business grows.
Sumo (Content Upgrades)
A recent trend in inbound marketing tools is purpose-built software suites that complement landing pages using pop-ups, scroll boxes and in-line forms. Sumo takes these proven landing page additions and optimizes them for WordPress and provides content upgrades quickly and easily. Gated content, email list signups and more are all made available in unique and highly effective ways.
Drift (Live Chat)
Follow-up contact can seem very impersonal, particularly via email. Live chat services provide a far more personal point of contact and create more authentic engagement. Drift is one of the foremost live chat services that integrate machine learning, chatbots and more to create authentic connections with every visitor to your page. Best of all, Drift is specifically designed to drive lead generation and conversions.
OneSignal (Push Notifications)
There is no tool so useful in the inbound marketers kit as push notifications. Notifications for new content can be automated and sent to subscribers in their browser or on their mobile device. Onesignal allows users to create their own custom push notifications to keep their brand in the forefront of their subscribers’ and customers’ minds. It is a simple yet highly effective way to keep potential customers engaging with your brand via content.
A seasoned veteran of the email marketing game, MailChimp is built on the principle that email marketing never dies: it only evolves. This app allows any marketing department to create personalized, precisely-timed direct communication with contacts, leads and customers.
Buffer (Social Media Management)
Lead generation from social media is a crucial part of any inbound marketing strategy. That being said, it can also demand a significant amount of time and resources. Buffer enables marketing teams to balance personalization with automation to maximize the impact of their social media content. With a few clicks, blogs, videos and automated Tweets/posts can all be automated to keep content fresh and relevant for followers and visitors alike. Best of all, the intuitive interface and data-driven content scheduling make Buffer one of the most powerful inbound marketing tools available.
ClickToTweet (Shareable Content)
Original, high-quality content isn’t a silver bullet solution to generating leads and conversions. Content is ineffective unless it reaches as many users and browsers as possible. ClickToTweet is a free tool that allows the creation of Tweetable links for visitors to share your content with a single tap or click. Just create a ClickToTweet box in your content showcasing the messages or quotations you want users to promote via their Twitter account. More importantly, ClickToTweet is especially useful for promoting blog posts and other content in content CTAs.
Flow (Project Management)
Marketing campaigns are only as effective as their organization and task management. Flow is designed to allow marketing managers to list, prioritize and delegate specific tasks to team members. Scheduling is a simple drag-and-drop process to your existing calendar. Additionally, Flow centralizes planning, task discussion and team feedback, allowing management to keep their finger on the pulse of every campaign with minimal effort.
Hotjar (A/B Testing)
Testing UX (User Experience) is a critical component of measuring marketing campaign success. To that end, Hotjar provides a means for acquiring invaluable indirect feedback from visitors. Marketing teams can generate heat maps, create polls, analyze conversion funnels and run data analysis of visitor engagement with just a few clicks. Furthermore, Hotjar is available with both a free package and premium paid package for users that want more powerful features.
Majestic (SEO Tool)
While social media management and content generation are important, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should never be overlooked. Majestic boasts the largest link index database, creating a larger data set for SEO analysis and generating a more accurate backlink image. It is essential to know the strengths and weaknesses of your content’s backlink profile when measuring the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.
Majestic also offers an exceptionally useful feature known as the Trust and Citation Flow Metrics. Using this feature, marketers can easily determine how effective a website or content post while building new inbound content links. Essentially, Trust and Citation Flow provides a clear picture of whether or not a site you are trying to backlink is worth the investment of time and effort.
Most important of all though, you can instantly get a bird’s eye view of your backlink profile health and determine where additional backlinks will be most beneficial. This is absolutely invaluable when developing an SEO strategy for any campaign.
All in all, running a successful inbound marketing campaign depends on how effectively you use the resources at your disposal. The right marketing tools can mean the difference between growth and stagnation. Maximize your ROI and drive higher sales revenue with the twelve tools we’ve shared with you here. If you are currently seeking to improve your inbound marketing efforts, Selling Revolution is here to help. Our team has the knowledge and experience to help your marketing team get the most out of each of these highly effective tools. Contact us today for more information.