With so many marketing tools to choose from, sometimes getting a referral from a friend or colleague can be very helpful to select the best options for your business… particularly from another small business owner that has first-hand experience successfully using the marketing tool. Their tools to set up a press release for distribution are super easy to use – you can upload numerous photos with captions, have a quote call out, link to your website (with preview) and add links within the body of the release. They just introduced a new $99 basic release package, in addition to standard packages with more bells and whistles that are still very reasonable.  Set up an account with PR Web to check them out (use this referral link to save 10% on your first release with PRWeb).
If you are setting up a website with WordPress you need to buy a custom domain and set up web hosting. If you are looking to start an email newsletter (which every business should regardless of industry), then I recommend you sign up for free trials of at least two different services to compare them.
These are the main picks for my favorite small business marketing tools, and I hope you find this helpful when choosing marketing tools for your business! With over 20 years of integrated marketing experience, Diane is author of the award-winning book PR Tools to Toot Your Own Horn. In a world of micro-moment marketing, customers and prospects are seeking more bite-size content to consume.
In 2012, 6 million small businesses joined the cloud, according to an SMB industry study by Parallels, for reasons including security, data management and storage space. Since the provider monitors security issues, they will notify you in the event of a security breach or data loss. Cloud computing has a low barrier to entry, which makes it easy for your small business to choose services based on evolving needs. With so many different cloud storage tools, search for one that fits your needs and your budget. The cloud’s flexibility provides a measure of security, and allows your employees to access work files from anywhere. Also see our File Sharing and Cloud Storage Tools Directory for more small business cloud resources. GUEST POST: This post was contributed by Isaac Hernandez who writes for several Spanish-language blogs and covers digital technology. You Just Had an A-Ha Moment: Marketing Your Money-MakerDoes Google+ Fit into Your Social Blogging Strategy? Crafting a strong elevator pitch is the most important fundamental marketing skill every business executive needs, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
Telling other people about your business is the proven formula for promoting business growth.
An elevator pitch covers what is important about your business and why those particular details are important. It is all about speaking to each person as if your pitch was exclusively designed for them. It isn’t necessary to simply rely on your wits alone to craft an effective elevator pitch. When you learn how to concisely deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time, you can truly make the most of any businesses opportunity that comes your way. Although there are many ways to market your business to help you grow quickly, nothing is more effective than internet marketing. Before marketing your business on the internet, it is important to have a plan and create the assets you need to market. Once your website is in place, there are certain internet marketing strategies that are an important part of your internet marketing plan. Google allows you to use several different internet marketing strategies to market your business. Facebook provides many of the same internet marketing opportunities since it offers fan pages and ads, and it is the top social marketing website online. Internet marketing tools help automate many of your internet marketing strategies and complete marketing tasks quickly. Products and services featured in the social media tools directory offer free or low-cost ways for small businesses to maximize and manage their social media marketing efforts using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest or other social networks. HootSuite is a social media management system for businesses and organizations to collaboratively execute campaigns across social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ Pages from one secure, web and mobile-based dashboard.
With Sprout Social, businesses can manage their entire social media presence from a single, intuitive platform. Buzzalot social search engine pulls user-generated content from the biggest social media channels, delivers it in an easy-to-consume format, and provides more results faster than any other social search engine on the market. SocialEngine is the most popular social networking software that lets people build their own community driven websites like Facebook, MySpace, Youtube, and etc.
Taking advantage of free video postings on YouTube should be a must-have component in every company’s marketing tool box.

Communicating through an audio and visual presentation can broaden the reach of business news or promotions. There are many ways businesses can tap into YouTube to improve or augment their public relations efforts.
YouTube videos can extend the reach of promotional messages in an engaging and interactive way. Using a video marketing channel on YouTube gives businesses the ability to create a mini-site within YouTube to organize and showcase PR videos. I’ll tell you what tools I am using now, or have used in the past, and why I think it’s a smart pick for small businesses.
There are multiple regional and industry options you can select for distribution, and you can set it up to post directly to your social media accounts.
My pick for domain name registrations is GoDaddy simply because of ease-of-use and familiarity with how to use their domain manager tool.
The few times I ran into technical issues with transferring sites they fixed it up superfast. The pricing and functionality of email marketing services is so similar it may come down to just picking the one that seems the easiest for you to use. But there are times when you need printed materials – like sales flyers, brochures or business cards.
You can also check out our full directory of marketing tools to find other resources for growing your small business.
Diane also serves as the marketing director for SureShade, a growing small business that has become the new standard for shade on boats, and runs Marine Marketing Tools, a site that bridges her passion for boating and small business marketing. They are looking for information that is quick, understandable and easy to act upon if desired. The cloud provider — be it Dropbox, Egnyte, SugarSync or CX — has its own secure server and takes care of server maintenance and security so you don’t need to. With only 40 percent of healthcare organizations reporting that they would either be able to prevent or to quickly detect a data breach that exposed patient information, according to a 2012 study by Ponemon Institute, having backup is crucial. Passwords and security measures may be breached, even if you require authentication and access control. Some cloud storage services offer collaborative features, including chat, groups and real-time notifications that help increase collaboration within the workplace. Find out what format your data will be stored in, how easy it will be for you to export or crosswalk data should you cancel the plan, what amount of bandwidth you will have for uploading data to the cloud, and what fee is associated with downloading data in the event it’s needed. Creating an elevator pitch is a highly effective method for communicating to new customers and investors what they need to know about your company and what it does.
Share essential details about a product or service in a quick message so people get a snapshot of what it is all about and why it matters to them.
It is basically a business owner’s chance to make a good first impression — like a man taking a woman on a first date.
Your pitch is not designed to share the entire story or hit on every important point in a minute. If you are speaking to an investor, you don’t need to tell them your business loan has been approved or you plan to apply for a business credit card.
Many good resources are available to business owners and salespeople to educate them on what to say about their company. The reason is that it allows you to automate many of your marketing processes by using online tools and scripts.
These strategies include search engine optimization of your website, creating business pages, and using specific industry portals for your business. They include indexing your site in the search engines, building a business page to showcase your business, and advertising to help you drive traffic to your business quickly. Twitter allows for microblogging, which are short messages approximately 140 characters long, that allow you to communicate with and connect to your audience. According to Greg Nunan at Tech.co, there are many free tools that are essential to internet marketing success. Advanced functionality includes tools for audience engagement, team collaboration, account security and comprehensive analytics for end-to-end measurement and reporting. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare and more are managed via powerful tools to help our customers listen, engage and grow their audience – turning social connections into loyal customers.
SocialCentiv identifies consumers who are Tweeting at the exact moment when they express an intent to purchase a product or service related to your business.
A video adds a dynamic element to company messages, helping public relations activities such as press releases come alive. Videos can help improve organic search engine results for a company, increase visibility through YouTube searches and easily add an interactive element to a company website.

Videos on YouTube can be accessed by media representatives, customers, prospects, investors and potential business partners.
Traffic can be measured and monitored through YouTube analytics to understand traffic sources and overall reach of public relations videos. I like that they have specific categories for industry releases (so I can segment for my client) and that our releases are showcased within a relevant industry group. Cloud storage alleviates the need for your business to take care of tech needs in-house and can save your business money and resources, since it provides backup, storage and applications that can enhance productivity and stretch resources for less than comparable resources in-house. If the cloud server goes down, you may not be able to access your resources for a period of time.
These free plans allow you to try out different services before signing your business up for a business plan with more storage space. Look for a cloud storage provider with bank-grade security, secure data transfer, secure stored data, access control and data separation, according to the director of research at CX. It is a quick summary of what your business does designed to spark the interest of a customer or investor. A succinct description of your business will pique the curiosity of others and leave them begging for more information. This is the concept driving a 15 or 30 second TV spot and it is also the same principle that operates in an elevator pitch. It is designed to get a person thinking about your message and persuade them to seek out more information. Show how your business helps people now and what separates you from the competition in the present. An investor, vendor and customer are not going to want to hear you repeat the same message with no variation. Mashable suggests recording a pitch on a video camera or trying it out in front of a select group of friends or colleagues to get feedback on where you need improvements. They can answer the who, what and why questions about their business, identify their pitch goal and analyze the strength of their pitch. Marketing materials like emails, articles, and even videos can be scheduled to post when you need them to so that you are free to do other things.
According to Priya Shah at Business2Community, the first, and a must have asset, is your website.
Google, Facebook, and Twitter allow you to create a social marketing strategy to distribute your content and connect with your audience. Twitter also offers paid advertising opportunities for those who want to drive traffic quickly. These include tools to create digital documents, find ideas for content, make presentations and infographics, and spy on your competitors.
Use Buzzalot to discover social content for your personal or business online presence, enhance your content strategy, feed your e-reader one of our instant RSS feeds for the latest social buzz, or even hook a feed straight to your CMS for a dose of unmatched social zing! With our easy-to-use online tool, you can quickly find the ideal customers at the ideal time, directly engage them with special offers, and ultimately turn Twitter conversations into customers.
There is a range of templates and add-ons available to extend the basic features already included in the SocialEngine core. With proper use of keywords in video descriptions, YouTube videos can generate traffic beyond typical traffic sources. The viral marketing effect of sharing videos can be a huge help to public relations efforts.
The combo works really well for me because I can pop up a new website very quickly and affordably (like a special event micro-site I am working on now).
Businesses that use a cloud server assume less risk in the event of data loss, property damage or equipment breakdown, according to Rackspace Hosting. Some cloud providers even assert ownership rights over the enterprise resources and data that you stored in the cloud.
To learn more about different cloud storage options, one place to check out is Cloud Storage Finder reviews. A website is the home for your business online and the foundation for your internet marketing plan. Tools like autoresponders, although not generally free, allow small businesses to automate their email marketing campaigns and save time with menial tasks like subscribes and unsubscribes.
Their pricing is also pretty good, especially if you use one of their coupons or referral codes.

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