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Tips and Tools for Small Business Marketing: Part 1, Cool Tools

MDWebPro, Powered by Digital Solutions, Inc. would be considered a small business, and as the Marketing & Public Relations Director, I oversee a majority of our outgoing communicating. Much of that communication is in regards to the overall marketing of our company.

There are a variety of benefits when working for a small business, and there are also a number of drawbacks. One of those drawbacks is often that instead of having an entire marketing team to brainstorm ideas, develop strategies, execute plans, process the outcome, and assess future direction of the company, all of these tasks might fall on one or two people. This can feel overwhelming, especially when the tasks of the “Marketing Team” are the responsibility of a few people.

As a small company that has learned (and is still learning) to market for ourselves, as well as for our clients, I wanted to write a two part article to share some the tips and tools that we use in order to make marketing to your audience possible without hiring or outsourcing work.

Social Media
hootsuite-logo Hootsuite – This is a social media management tool that helps manage and publish material on a variety of social networks from one dashboard. In order to manage all of these accounts, often times companies have to go to each site in order to manage the accounts, but hootsuite allows users to link accounts together. There are 3 different account options (Free, Pro, and Enterprise).

Most small businesses could get away with the free profile that lets you manage up to 5 social profiles, enhanced analytics reports, basic message scheduling, and app integration. Users can link Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Foursquare, WordPress, Mixi, and a few other networks together for more simplified and unified social network management.

Marketing Emails
Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 3.30.05 PM MailChimp – We have recently adopted MailChimp as a marketing tool and it has been a dream to use. Our previous email management was cumbersome and the opposite of intuitive. Comparing that to mailchimp was like comparing night and day. Mailchimp allows for simple management of email lists, easy set up of email campaigns, and lots of customizable templates to make sure that your branding is consistent and at the front of your emails.

Mailchimp also includes a wide variety of analytics and reports, auto-responder email options, multi-user accounts, and the ability to segment out groups. I am a big fan of mailchimp, to say the least.

Public Relations
Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 3.39.20 PM Vocus.com – Vocus supplies Public Relations, Marketing, and GR/PAC resources, but we have only used them to write and distribute press releases. Since I am the one who is in charge of writing press releases, I have appreciated the service. They lay things out in an easy way and even give your press release a grade before you publish it, giving you a chance to make adjustments.

Next week I will publish part two of Tips & Tools for Small Business Marketing, where I will focus on a few tips that I hope will help free up time throughout your day. Because if I have found anything to be true, it is that making the most of my time helps me make the most of my profession.

 

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About Tyler Weber
Tyler is a graduate of Bethel University and was added as the Director of Public Relations in 2013. With a background in Non-Profit and Public Relations, Tyler enjoys refining his communication skills while working toward a “Big-Picture” purpose. In addition to staying on the cutting edge of communication, he does his best to see the person in every interaction. If you were to sit and have a conversation with him you would likely discuss a variety of diverse topics from tattoos to your ideal super power. You can follow Tyler at Google+

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