With business competition at all-time highs, you can’t follow the “if you build it, they will come” philosophy and expect to get your business seen on the internet in 2017. So, how will you go about gaining exposure and taking your business to the next level this year?

While a large budget and an experienced marketing team can make growing your business all the easier, there are some great marketing tools available to help you generate leads, convert them into sales, and maximize your ROI. In fact, here are six must-have tools for marketing your business in 2017 and beyond:

SEO

Did you know nearly 90 percent of online shoppers check out reviews before making a purchase? Shocking, right? Well, it shouldn’t be. People have been searching the Web for reviews since the days of AOL, and the numbers keep going up, not down. To take advantage of this, you need search engine optimization or SEO.

SEO is the process of developing a high engine search rating, which leads to more traffic for your website. Although you can reach a lot of people through social media, it is important that you don’t forget to use SEO techniques as well. If you’re interested in optimizing your marketing efforts and growing your business, you need the right SEO strategy.

By continually showing in the search results for a variety of keywords, your business will gain credibility, become an authority, benefit from fresh targeted leads, and acquire more sales. However, to do so, you need extensive SEO knowledge and the right SEO tools, or help from an experienced SEO consultant. Either way, it’s well worth the effort.

Lead Capture Page

Many business owners send their traffic directly to the homepage of their company website, but this can be a big mistake and result in nothing but missed opportunities. When someone clicks on a link from social media, an email, a search engine, or advertisement and is taken to your home page, they will be left knowing a little about your company but have no idea what they’re supposed to do next. It’s much better to use a lead capture page.

Unlike a lead magnet, which is a free product or service offered in exchange for someone’s email address, a lead capture page is the actual page that is used to make the offer, attract targeted prospects, and capture their information. The two tools work together.

After they submit their email address or other contact information, you can send them directly to a targeted landing page. This will increase the likelihood of converting the traffic into sales as well as leads and have a huge impact on your marketing results.

Autoresponder

Another piece to this marketing puzzle is the autoresponder. Like SEO, email marketing is HUGE. With the development of several tools, email marketing can be fairly simple and incredibly effective. Every successful company large and small utilizes email marketing to deepen their relationships with customers and direct them to promotions. Best of all, it can be done on complete autopilot.

Like its name suggests, an autoresponder is designed to save you hours upon hours of time each month by sending out emails automatically to your lists on your behalf. You can have several lists, and regardless of whether you have 100 or 100,000 people on a list, you can send out an email to all of them with a simple click of a button. This is known as a broadcast.

An autoresponder will also allow you to load dozens of pre-written emails and send them out according to a schedule of your choosing. You can send an email out daily, every other day, once a week, or whenever you want. You decide the emails to send, the order to send them in, when to send them, and the autoresponder does the rest. It truly is an indispensable marketing tool.

CRM

If you’re a business owner, chances are you’re familiar with the term “CRM,” but what exactly does it mean? CRM is an acronym for Customer Relationship Management. In its simplest form, a CRM system provides businesses with the ability to manage data associated with customers, prospects, and business relationships.

With a CRM system, you’re able to store accounts, sales opportunities, customer contact information, leads, and more in a single central location. This makes it a powerful marketing tool and an invaluable asset for any fast-growing business.

When choosing the best CRM for your business, try to select one that’s cloud-based, provides effective email campaign management, can integrate and track customer data, and track the sales pipeline. By doing so, you’ll give your business the boost it needs to compete in 2017.

Blog

A company website is vital in today’s business age, but a company blog is equally important. A blog is valuable virtual real estate for several reasons. In addition to providing current and future customers with valuable content that keeps them coming back to your site, it’s also an important SEO ranking tool.

When done correctly, your blog pages can achieve first page rankings in Google and provide you with a flood of free leads and sales. Consistent high-quality blog posts can generate more traffic than almost anything else. Creating a blog doesn’t have to be difficult. WordPress is a free platform with a variety of options anyone can use to create stunning, high-quality blogs. With a good domain, reliable hosting, a quality theme, and a few plugins, you can have your blog articles bringing in cash in no time at all.

Social Media Manager

Social media is inescapable. It exists in our homes, schools, and certainly our businesses. As the popularity of social media continues to grow and more and more sites are appearing each year, so too are the number of social media services and tools.

With billions of users at any given time, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram can be a gold mine for companies. However, managing social media campaigns can be exhaustive and require endless amounts of time. Fortunately, there are social media tools that take care of much of the tasks associated with social media marketing. From automatic posting to content curation, you name it and there is a social media tool that can do it.

You should first invest in a social media management tool. Designed to help you measure, track, and manage every aspect of your social media accounts, a social media management tool will save you countless man hours each week and become an essential part of your marketing arsenal.

Bottom Line

Most business owners are bootstrapping leaders forced to juggle dozens of different priorities. As a business owner, you may have to act as an operations manager one day, an accountant the following day, and a marketer the next. Without the right tools, this can be a strain, and for some, downright impossible.

Limited time, manpower, and budget can cause serious roadblocks for businesses. However, when armed with the right tools, you can streamline your business, get the most out of your marketing efforts, and not just survive but thrive.

Think about it. How would it feel to have potential customers reach out to you ready to buy your products or services? What if you could work less, live more, and still experience record growth and business success? With the tools above, you can experience exactly that.

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