Marketing Your Business: 8 Essential Marketing Apps for Small Businesses

James Monroe, Business Management Expert and Author

applications on an iphone 11 pro

Marketing a small business can be time-consuming. After a long day of doing what you do, the thought of spending time on social media, newsletters, and promotions can be overwhelming.

After all, it’s not enough just to post on social media. You need to compete with all the creative, attention-getting posts and videos out there. And manage, review, and optimize your website. All while taking care of your existing customers and running your business. Yikes.

But marketing is essential. It’s how you find new customers and keep current ones coming back.

Marketing Apps: Game Changers for Small Businesses

Thanks to the prevalence of marketing apps, it is easier than ever for small business people to market themselves like pros using apps designed specifically for their needs and budgets. These apps help save time while improving your image and customer satisfaction. They help you:

  • Manage social media
  • Create marketing materials
  • Manage email marketing campaigns
  • Manage your business’s online presence
  • Create surveys
  • Edit videos

Here are some low-cost (or no-cost) marketing apps to help busy business people find, engage, and retain customers.

8 Marketing Apps for Small Businesses

  • What it is: Buffer is a social media management tool that helps you plan and schedule posts across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, and X/Twitter.
  • Pros: Planning and automated posting is free for up to three social channels.
  • Cons: As with many social media management tools, pre-scheduled posts fail more often than manual ones.
  • Price: You can get a free version for up to three social channels. Or, for $6 per month, you can add additional channels, plus analytics and comment-monitoring capabilities.
  • What it is: Canva is a design tool that helps you quickly create sophisticated, colorful designs and images for social media and blog posts.
  • Pros: Simple drag-and-drop operation with templates for creating social media posts, newsletters, and presentations.
  • Cons: The free tier has limited stock photography and tools
  • Price: Canva offers a basic tier for free. Or, for $12.99 per month, you have access to higher quality stock images, video and audio, more sophisticated editing tools, and scheduled posting to social media platforms.
  • What it is: CapCut is a video-editing app that helps you quickly make high-quality videos formatted for every major social media platform.
  • Pros: It’s easy-to-use, with direct export to TikTok. It also includes stock video, music and business templates to jumpstart the creation of social media videos, and video ads for Facebook, TikTok, or YouTube.
  • Cons: CapCut is owned by the same company that owns TikTok, which may be a concern for some people.
  • Price: It is free and currently has no paid tiers.
  • What it is: HotJar analyzes how people use your website to help you identify what elements are engaging or can be improved.
  • Pros: HotJar can analyze your site and show you simple tweaks you can make to increase the number of completed transactions or better engage users.
  • Cons: Compared with more complicated tools like Google Analytics, HotJar provides less detail and flexibility in exchange for simplicity.
  • Price: For a small site where you need fewer than 35 sessions a day, the free tier may be all you need. The next tier ranges between $48 and $80 per month, depending on features and the number of sessions.
  • What it is: Yelp for Business allows you to register your business and add relevant information, including photos, to help prospective customers find your company and see how existing customers rate it. Yelp also lets you respond to reviews and messages.
  • Pros: Yelp is one of the first sites people seek out when searching for local businesses, so it’s important to present the best information and images possible on your business profile page.
  • Cons: There is a fee for things like a call-to-action button, and Yelp may try to sell you advertising, which can be expensive.
  • Price: Yelp for Business is free for the basic service, $1 per day for a call-to-action button such as “Buy Now” or “Print Coupon,” and $1 per day to remove competitors’ ads.
  • What it is: Google Business lets you control how your business appears on Google, including in search and on maps. Businesses can reply to reviews, message customers, add images, hours, URLs, contact information, and even link to products for sale online.
  • Pros: This may seem obvious, but Google handles so many local searches (including searches on Google Maps) that to stand out, your business profile must be attractive and up-to-date.
  • Cons: You may be encouraged to sign up for Google Workspace, a paid service, or buy Google advertising.
  • Price: The ability to update your Google profile, as described above, is free.
  • What it is: MailerLite is an email marketing platform that helps you create and deliver marketing newsletters.
  • Pros: Its drag-and-drop newsletter design tools are easy to use and the reporting feature helps you understand how people interact with your email campaigns. 
  • Cons: The free tier limits you to 1,000 recipients.
  • Price: Free for up to 1,000 subscribers and 12K emails per month. The lowest-priced paid tier provides automation features and templates for about $9/month.
  • What it is: SurveyPlanet is a survey app you can use to engage customers, check customer satisfaction, discover trends, and test new product ideas.
  • Pros: Unlike many other survey apps, Survey Planet offers templates and supports surveys in more than 30 languages. There is no limit on the number of surveys, questions, or responses for their free plan. 
  • Cons: Custom themes and many survey design features are only available in the paid tier.
  • Price: SurveyPlanet’s basic service is free. For $20 per month, you’ll receive access to additional customization options and features.

And let’s not forget the Index app from Pinger. We’re not listing it with this group because Index is not specifically a marketing app. But, it is an easy and effective way to communicate with your customers and prospects, to strengthen your connection with existing customers, and lay the foundation for more business down the road.

With Index and some of these eight apps, you’ll reach customers and prospects on social media (and look good doing it), understand how they’re using your website, engage with them using newsletters and surveys, and put your best foot forward on Yelp and Google. All this with a minimum of time and expense.

For more tips about running and growing your small business, visit the resources page at Index by Pinger.

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James Monroe

Jim Monroe is an author, business leader, marketing and product strategist. He is passionate about helping young managers be successful by avoiding common mistakes. His latest book on management is “Don’t Be a Jerk Manager: The Down & Dirty Guide to Management.”

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