Digital tools your small business needs to succeed in 12 months
It is no secret that modern start-ups that rely on business loans can only be successful if they incorporate digital tools into their small business operations in Kenya.
From protecting assets, communicating with the team and customers, or collaborating internally, there are digital services or platforms for almost everything.
With some of the following digital marketing tools for small businesses in Kenya, you can start off strong and then work on improvement and growth !
Best Communication Tools For Small Business
- Slack – www.slack.com
- Microsoft Teams – https://products.office.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/group-chat-software
- Workplace – https://www.facebook.com/workplace/
- Ryver – https://ryver.com/
- Zoho Cliq – https://www.zoho.com/cliq/
- Fleep – https://fleep.io/
- Slenke – https://slenke.com
- Flock – https://flock.com/
- Rocket Chat – https://rocket.chat/
- Teamwork Chat – https://www.teamwork.com/chat
Important conversations between your employees can become quite difficult to keep track of, particularly as your company grows and you hire more and more employees.
So, use a communication tool like Slack which allows your team to chat and share files. It has the additional bonus of being able to integrate with other apps. One of the most popular team collaboration platforms is Slack. Most importantly, Slack is integrated with all major project management, office management, sales, productivity, design, and developer tools, making it easier for you to stay on top of every aspect of your digital marketing campaign.
Similarly, if you need to correspond with your remote team or hold a productive meeting with consultants, prospective employees, or clients, then a video conferencing solution allowing different parties to collaborate is essential.
Join.me is an ideal solution that allows 10 participants at once for free, but you can switch to their paid services if you’re planning on having more attendees.
Best Tools For project management
we’ve selected platforms that are the best for small business environments.
we’re focused on how they work for digital teams at agencies. These include:
- Software development projects
- Web agencies
- Creative agencies
- Digital marketing agency in Kenya
Any new business, especially one that hires remote workers or a business that involves the collaboration of different teams will require help in keeping track of project updates. In situations like these, email is not the most suitable option since it is relatively isolated and members can easily miss an update if they are accidentally missed out of the mailing list.
Project management tools like Trello and Wrike are more suitable options since they are more efficient. Both the tools are cloud-based and provide a complete, transparent look of the project and where it is in its lifecycle. Plus, you can also trace your business’s progress right from the beginning to the end.
Clarizen – https://www.clarizen.com/
Paymo – https://www.paymoapp.com/
Celoxis – https://www.celoxis.com/
10,000ft – https://www.10000ft.com/
Ravetree – https://www.ravetree.com/
VOGSY – https://vogsy.com/
Backlog – https://backlog.com/
Teamwork – https://www.teamwork.com/
Monday – https://monday.com/
Mavenlink – https://www.mavenlink.com/
For those new to content marketing, Trello might sound like another social network that’s popped up overnight.
It’s not. In fact, it’s a great organization tool that can help you and your online marketing team considerably.
Trello is a tool that helps you to manage projects and stay on the same page as your team -a sound digital marketing practice if you want to save time and frustration.
With Trello, everything related to your online marketing strategy can be shared in the same place. It only takes a few minutes to set up a board
Best Tool For storage and backups
All important documents ranging from project files to employee contracts and articles of incorporation must be stored in the cloud or somewhere off-site. You can keep your backups protected by using tools like Dropbox or Google Drive.
Moreover, by using these tools, you can allow users to access files from any location and make changes to important files accordingly.
File storage and collaboration — G Suite
A cloud-based platform, G suite includes the simple, adept productivity tools you need to collaborate with or without access to the Microsoft Office 365 software you’re likely used to. G Suite is completely compatible with most Office 365 files, but it’s similar, simpler features only provide the core functions you need to get work done.
Products in G Suite include:
Google Drive (file storage)
Google Docs (word processor)
Google Sheets (spreadsheets)
Google Slides (presentations)
Google Calendar (calendar)
Google Forms (create and analyze surveys)
G Suite products include revision tracking and save-as-you-go features. You can invite collaborators to view or edit files through shareable links, so you can see who is working on the file at the same time.
Best Tools For your website
Every business needs a website to survive in this competitive world. In fact, a website is an indication that your company is legitimate and you can use it to share information or the latest news. Similarly, you can use it as a communication channel to interact with your customers.
Even if you’re not tech-savvy and don’t have the budget to hire website developers to make your website for you, you don’t have to worry. Website builders like Squarespace help to create a beautiful mobile-optimized website that you can then promote using integrated marketing tools.
With WordPress, you can create your website and be up-and-running in as little as an hour. Websites can be endlessly customized and plans range from $0 – $24.99/month.
Squarespace is an all-in-one tool that makes it super easy to create a polished and beautiful website or online store. They offer a free trial and pricing runs between $12 – $40/month.
Once you have your website up, you will want to know the way people are interacting with it so that you can make changes accordingly. For this purpose, tools like Google Analytics and Chartbeat are ideal.
They track visitors to determine if they’re just bouncing or if they’re clicking on pages. Knowing the pages your customers are clicking, and by mining other similar data, you can optimize your site’s performance.
Google Analytics is completely free software which provides valuable insights into who is visiting your website and what they get up to once they arrive.
It’s best paired with Google Search Console – another free tool that helps you to identify any problems on your site and optimize it for traffic.
Datapoints that Google Analytics makes available to you include:
The number of visitors to your site by day, week, month, or any time period you choose
Where these visitors are coming from – referrals from other website, organic search, ads, social, or direct
The keywords people are using in Google to find your site
The demographics and interests of your users
How long each user spends on your site and which pages they visit
It’s hard not to mention this free tool, which is part of Google’s Adwords toolset. Although it’s designed to help you build out paid advertising campaigns, Keyword Planner is an invaluable marketing tool to help you determine traffic levels for different search terms.
If you’re trying to figure out what search terms you should target and how your audience is searching for things, this is the place to start.
Your content strategy shouldn’t consist of wild stabs in the dark as you write about topics that you think your audience will engage with. In order to be successful in content marketing you need to do your research properly, and this is where Buzzsumo comes in.
Buzzsumo shows content that is trending across social media based on searched topics. Following your search, you can analyze the results that are returned to see what’s so appealing about them and to get ideas of subjects to write about.
Creating relevant and high-quality content is not always enough to grab your readers’ attention. To do so, you need to enhance it with visuals. The options this tool offers to you are multiple- you can use photos that are already featured on the site, upload and polish up your own images, or even create brand new ones. Most importantly, to use this tool, you don’t need to have any graphic design experience.
The age-old saying “a picture tells 1000 words” irrevocably bares truth in the modern digital world. Ensure your digital and social media marketing campaigns are as compelling as possible by using image maker tools such as Picktochart.
This popular online image maker tool allows you to create graphics, infographics and presentations to “take your visual communication to the next level without hiring a graphic designer.”
Now, even though there is a plethora of amazing tools you may want to try out this year, for many digital marketers, Ahrefs is the one and only. With it, you can do competitive analysis and see the keywords your competitors are ranking for in organic search results, find the best keywords ideas, access your backlink data instantly, find content relevant to your niche, keep track of your desktop and mobile keyword rankings
If you want to create landing pages without having to work with a web designer or engineers, start with UnBounce. They have an excellent template library that you can customize to meet your needs.
Beyond the templates, UnBounce will help you A/B test different designs and marketing copy so you can fine-tune your landing pages and optimize conversion rates.
Google Digital Garage
There is always more that businesses can do to stand out online, and that’s why it’s important to keep learning. If you’d like to pick up more digital marketing skills, Google Digital Garage offers lots of free courses in an easy-to-follow format.
Here are some of the topics you can learn about:
Making the most of social media
Selling more products online
Turning data into insights
Building an online shop
How to be noticed with search ads
Blog topic research — Answer the Public
Blogs serve the important purpose of helping your website appear in organic, or non-paid, rankings in search engines, which is an important source of website traffic.
In order to accomplish this successfully, however, you need to know what topics your prospective customers are searching for in relation to your business. Answer the Public is a dynamic tool that helps to discover the perfect blog topics based on the language, or keywords, your customers use.
Proofreading and plagiarism checker — Grammarly
Unless you’re a grammar guru or you have a proofreader checking everything you write online, Grammarly is the free tool you need to sign up for today.
An online dashboard that works much like Google Docs, the tool’s interface is very simple and clean. To proof your writing, open a new document in the dashboard and type or copy and paste your content into it and Grammarly will immediately start checking your spelling and grammar. You can also save documents within the tool if you need to reference them for later use.
Best Tools For managing customer relationships
Thanks to the various digital tools, you don’t need to operate your customer relations on the fly. In fact, doing so only results in forgotten or lost leads and in some cases even converts repeat customers to ghosts.
A customer relationship management (CRM) tool lets you keep track of all aspects of the relationships you build with your clients. For example, you can track how long it has been since you last followed up with your local customers.
Similarly, you can track how many and which visitors come to your site, fill out forms but do not finalise the purchase. One such efficient CRM tool is HubSpot which not only helps you stay organised, but also allows you to stay in the minds of your customers.
With this software, you have access to tools that help with:
- Social Media
- Lead Management
- Landing Pages
- Marketing Automation
There is no stone left unturned, when you rely on HubSpot’s all-in-one marketing software. That’s why it’s a top choice for those who are starting a business.
Best Tools For email marketing
One of the most commonly-used and effective digital marketing tools available today is email marketing. Email marketing tools like Constant Contact and MailChimp let you design, review, and easily send out your newsletters to customers.
In addition, you can see which users opened your emails, the links they clicked on, as well as the individuals who seem most interested in an offer or a follow-up message.
Get this: email marketing technology is used by more than 80% of B2B and B2C companies.
This isn’t something you should wait on. Instead, you should implement an email marketing strategy on day one.
With more than 12 million customers, MailChimp has claimed its spot as one of the top email marketing providers in the world. While there are alternatives, this tool remains one of the best, for many reasons:
is another email marketing management software that uses a freemium business model. Send up to 4,000 emails to 300 contacts every month for free.
is a free email marketing management tool with no contact limits on the free plan. It’s a simple interface for small businesses to get started with email marketing.
Best Tools For managing your social media channels
Apart from a website, a strong presence on different social media channels is also recommended to stay ahead of competitors. Social media is not only about posting your content; it is about engaging with your customers, answering their questions, taking their feedback, and being active and responsive.
So, instead of spending your time going from Twitter to Instagram to Facebook and back, it is a good idea to make use of a social media management tool.
One such effective tool is Hootsuite which allows you to monitor your feeds, schedule posts, view analytics, interact with users and engage with them. The greatest benefit is that it lets you do all this from just one dashboard, making your work easier.
Small business owners who are savvy marketers treat social media as an important tool in their marketing toolbox. They also understand that social media can quickly become an unmanageable nightmare. Hootsuite can help you tame the social media beast. It is a social media management tool that allows you to quickly and easily schedule updates in advance. Perhaps best of all, you can use it to “listen” to what people are saying about your company. It will help you respond quickly.
is a social media management tool that helps small businesses schedule social posts on various social networking platforms. The free version lets you schedule up to 10 posts for each social network. There are premium features and analytics available, too.
is a free platform that lets users connect their various web applications and create logic-based actions. It’s a useful tool for social media marketing because you can set automated actions and alerts on and for your social profiles.
Best HR Software for Small Business
If you’re just starting out, you might not have a fully-fledged team for HR. In such cases, HR management software can be the right choice. As well as helping you schedule employee shifts, such software can send important company announcements.
As a new business owner, it is easy to overlook small details that could eventually lead to issues and even lawsuits. However, with top-of-the-line digital HR tools like GoCo, you can enjoy efficient HR management whilst also reducing the chances of mistakes that might come back to bite you.
GoCo. Best HR software for small businesses and startups.
Gusto. Best HR software for payroll.
Zoho People. Best HR software for people management.
BambooHR. Best HR software for hiring.
Zenefits. Best HR software for flexibility.
Cezanne HR. Best HR software for international needs.
PeopleSpheres. Best HR software for integration capabilities.
Best Accounting Tools for Small Business
Accounting can become boring and menial, but you realise how essential it is when you figure out that your cash flow analysis didn’t account for the payroll cost of the month. So, let digital tools like Xero, an online accounting software, act as your accountant and bookkeeper.
The tool tracks your profits and costs, sends out invoices, reconciles debts, creates expense claims, and does almost everything that you’ll need to complete your tax returns.
Tools for online business listings and profiles
1. Google My Business is a free tool from Google that helps small businesses increase their visibility on Google Search and Maps. You can create and customize your listing while also interacting with customers through reviews, post updates, images, and Q&A.
2. Facebook is arguably the most important online profile you can create for your business, with roughly 1.45 billion global active users every day. You can create a free business profile, share updates, promote products, message consumers, and pay for upgraded features.
3. Bing Places for Business is a free service by Microsoft that allows small businesses to create a business profile on the second largest search engine, Bing. It’s a three-step process:
Claim your small business
Complete your small business’ profile
Verify your small business listing
The harsh truth is, businesses that fail to embrace technology get left behind. As a result, new start-ups have a chance to get an instant advantage over their competitors. So, make sure you incorporate at least some of these marketing tools for small business owners in Kenya to give your competitors a run for their money.
Here at Dimehub , we utilize these tools to help market your small business website with accuracy, which enables us to achieve good results. If you want to market your website , we can help you out.