22 Best Digital Marketing Tools Every B2B Marketer Should Have in 2023
Finding the right digital marketing tools is difficult.
It’s not just in the sheer scope of martech available, but finding the right stack that works for your brand, messaging, workflow and team are all equally important. Plus, there is also the monthly or annual cost of each martech tool to take into consideration, which can sometimes run high.
It’s a lot to mull over.
As B2B marketers ourselves, we know what it’s like to find exactly what works best. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of tools we’ve used to help deliver the best to our clients.
No, we’re not affiliates of these products or sponsored by the companies. We’ve just used a wide range of tools, and these are the ones we keep going back to.
Table of Contents
Customer relationship management (CRM) is technology for managing all relationships and interactions with current and potential clients, with the goal of improving business relationships, and thus, growing the business. A good CRM tool will help you stay connected with your clients and improve profitability.
The great thing about effective CRM tools is that they can be used across the entire sales lifecycle, spanning marketing, digital commerce, customer service, and sales.
There are quite a few CRM tools out there that can help you with this. Here are two of them.
Hubspot has become one of those proverbial household names in the marketing world. Its robust capabilities allow digital marketers to keep track of different stages in the sales funnel and pretty much all marketing tasks.
The great thing about Hubspot is that you can create a free “lite” account that gives you the basics. For more powerful features, you’ll have to purchase a subscription.
Like Hubspot, Zoho is up there in flexible CRM tools categories. Zoho is known for its versatility with use cases across a variety of industries. Partly because of its interface design, it’s user-friendly and fairly easy to get set up. This makes workflows as frictionless as possible and data easily accessible.
Zoho offers lower tier pricing options that are good for small to medium sized businesses. The upper tier plans are geared towards large companies with bigger needs and bigger budgets.
Email Marketing Tools
Email is still one of the most effective digital marketing tools. Marketers often use it to move prospects down the sales funnel with different email drip campaigns. It’s also effective in that it is not an intrusive digital marketing strategy, as leads can open the email at their leisure, clicking and sharing when it’s convenient for them.
But as digital marketers know, you can’t boil the ocean and expect to be both cost effective and successful. Email campaigns need to be strategic with the ability to schedule, monitor and adjust. That’s where you need an effective email marketing tool at the ready. Here are two that we use.
Again, Hubspot makes the list. Because it has so many capabilities as a CRM tool, it can also manage email buildouts, campaigns, and keep track of analytics for you. Hubspot email tools allow marketers to build customized emails that are optimized.
The best part is that email marketing capabilities are already built into Hubspot’s CRM database, so you get this feature with your subscription.
When people talk about email marketing platforms, Mailchimp is usually the first that’s mentioned. It’s got a reputation for being user friendly with all the convenient features easily accessible with just the right amount of customization needed.
While Mailchimp does offer a free version for under 2,000 email subscribers, anything beyond that does require a paid subscription. It’s for this reason, and its ease of use, that makes Mailchimp attractive to newer users and small-to-medium-sized businesses.
Both technical and on-page SEO is always a challenge for digital marketers. As SEO requirements can shift depending on user behaviours, keeping track of page performance can be a full-time job for some marketers. Having the right tools is crucial in these circumstances, particularly for A/B testing language, messaging, and keywords.
Here are two tools we’ve used over the years.
Yoast is a popular go-to SEO tool that a lot of marketers use to optimize pages, posts, and other digital marketing strategies. It’s a plugin that works for WordPress websites, and has built-in data collection, meta keyword and description analysis, and reporting of SEO performance.
While WordPress is inherently an SEO-friendly web hosting platform, SEO plugins like Yoast help fill in the SEO gaps that WordPress can’t. It helps with creating content, submitting sitemaps, managing keywords, using webmaster tools, and so forth.
Yoast is one of those plugins that has a freemium option, but of course, it’s more limited than a paid license subscription – mostly by way of lack of support. The free option is good enough for small businesses, but for larger companies, you’ll probably need the capabilities that the paid subscription offers. On the balance though, the yearly subscription rate isn’t that pricey.
6. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is one of the most popular SEO analytics tools out there. Simply because it’s connected with all Google SERPs and performance, which is the most widely used search engine and at the end of the day, ranking as high as possible on SERPs is the goal.
Google Search Console tools help you measure your site’s search traffic performance, alerts you to issues so you can fix them, and generally helps your site perform better.
The great part about Google Search Console? It’s a free service offered by Google.
Search engine marketing (SEM) is one of those tools that all digital marketers have in their back pockets. But not everyone is savvy with SEM, and in fact, it can take some finesse and training to become an effective SEM expert.
There are tools that SEM experts use to make sure that their efforts are not in vain. Here are two SEM tools that we’ve used in the past and found to be helpful.
Semrush is another one of those SEM household names that offers a plethora of tools for digital marketers. One of those tools is a swath of SEM tools. It’s a tool that helps marketers generate organic traffic leads, plan and execute marketing campaigns, and boost overall website engagement. It can be used for targeted campaigns, brand awareness, or any combination of marketing needs.
Semrush can be fairly expensive, mostly for small business marketers. Because of that, it might serve mid-size to larger companies better. Semrush has a 7 day free trial license, after which pricing can range from about $120 monthly and upwards, depending on the breadth of features.
Up next on the list is Ahrefs (pronounced A-H-Refs), which is another SEO/SEM tool that a lot of digital marketers use (including us). It’s a popular tool because unlike Semrush, there is a “lite” option that isn’t as expensive as Semrush. This makes it ideal for marketers of smaller businesses with tighter budgets. While the features will be lighter, this plan can service most needs of smaller business digital marketers.
But of course, the pricing options increase with more features, and can easily serve large company marketing needs.
Ahrefs is great for keyword research, backlink checking, and finding link building opportunities. While these are features that overlap with SEO optimization, they are also applicable to effective SEM strategies. Bonus: report generation is speedy-fast.
Conversion Optimization Tools
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of increasing conversion rates from websites or mobile apps. Basically, it measures the amount of leads or prospects who become buying customers.
CRO usually involves generating ideas for your website or app that can be altered based on A/B testing.
Of course, this only works as well as the tools you use. That’s where you need effective CRO tools. Luckily, we’ve done some legwork for you.
CrazyEgg is an online tool that monitors your individual pages for performance, demographics, and user behaviours. From this, it generates analytics which you can then analyze to use in your A/B testing strategies.
CrazyEgg offers a 30-day free trial, after which you’ll need to purchase a subscription. Plans span the gamut from entry-level at around $30 per month, upwards to the Enterprise plan, which is customizable and priced accordingly.
10. Google Optimize
Google Optimize is another tool in the Google suite of performance tools. It keeps track of which experiences on your website are the most engaging and which aren’t. This has a huge benefit for digital marketers as they can A/B test elements like copy, images, SEO keywords, and so forth.
Just like other tools Google offers digital marketers, Google Optimize is totally free.
Lead Capture Tools
Lead capture tools are software that gathers data about people or businesses who have potential interest in your brand or offerings. These tools then aggregate this data into a searchable database, helping digital marketing teams analyze the data so they can tailor their marketing decisions around what has the most potential.
And of course, we’ve got some insight into a few of these tools.
11. Gravity Forms
Gravity Forms is a WordPress plugin. It allows owners, admins and developers to create forms, quizzes, and surveys to collect information on their website, and then decide what to do with that data. This data is what’s called first-party data and with the impending end of third-party cookies, is a strategy digital marketers might want to adopt going forward.
Gravity Forms keeps pricing fairly simple and cost-effective. Currently, there are three tiers of licenses, ranging from around $60 CAD per year to around $260 CAD per year.
Hubspot also has a forms feature that, like Gravity, allows marketers to collect first-party data by way of forms, such as newsletter forms, quizzes, and so forth.
What attracts digital marketers to Hubspot forms feature is that it’s so easy to work with. But this also comes with drawbacks – the features can be limiting. Forms aren’t as customizable as other tools, but if you need step-by-step form building and customer list management, this is a good tool.
Hubspot has a few tiered plans to work with, that range from budget upwards to thousands of dollars a month for comprehensive and powerful features. It really depends on what your marketing needs are.
Analytics tools are software that help marketers track and forecast campaign performance. There are a multitude of metrics that marketers can keep track of, such as ROAS, ROMI, CPC, CPL, and aggregate marketing data from other channels.
With the right analytics tools, digital marketers can use time and resources more effectively by targeting specific demographics based on campaign messaging. Ultimately, the impact of performance can be measured.
Here are two of the most popular analytics tools.
13. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the most powerful analytics tools available … and it’s totally free. It works for both website and mobile apps, and gives marketers rich insights about behaviour use and website or app performance. It’s fairly easy to use with flexibility that meets most marketers’ needs.
The insight that Google Analytics gives marketers is Google-centric, meaning that reported data is behaviours based on Google’s data aggregation.
There really isn’t much Hubspot can’t do for marketers. (We promise we’re not affiliates, we just like it!) Its marketing analytics and dashboard software allow marketers to keep track of nearly everything. With the aggregate data, marketers can measure the performance of marketing campaigns, from email campaigns to forms to site analysis, Hubspot is pretty much a one-stop-shop.
Again, Hubspot lets you create a free “lite” account that gives you the basics. For more powerful features, you’ll have to purchase a subscription.
Website Performance Tools
Website performance is one of the most important technical aspects of SEO optimization. If your website is slow to load, has dead links, or doesn’t translate well to mobile, then you’re risking SERP performance.
That’s where website performance tools are important. They are software applications that can track various metrics related to your website’s performance, including page load and server response times and error rates.
As digital marketers with expertise in website development, hosting, and maintenance, keeping track of these metrics is crucial. Here are a few tools we’ve used.
GTmetrix is a website performance tool that looks at your website performance and gives you a list of actionable recommendations to improve it.
GTmetrix’s Report Page summarizes your website performance based on key indicators of page load speed. This report is completely free as it’s part of the Basic tier plan. For more robust features, GTmetrix has fairly inexpensive plans that are suitable for most web developers and maintenance experts.
16. WebPage Test
WebPage Test offers just about the same thing as GTmetrix, in that it measures key performance indicators of your website load speed.
WebPage Test has a freemium with a few basic features. For more comprehensive features, there’s WebPage Test Pro.
Social Media Tools
Particularly given that Google will be ending third-party cookies in 2024, now is the time to get on board with social media digital marketing (if you already haven’t). But with the expansiveness of social media and the potential it offers, getting the hang of social media marketing can be a bit tricky.
Plus, always making sure you’re posting relevant content and engaging with your audience can be a full-time job. That’s when social media tools can become a staple. Here’s what we’ve used.
17. Sprout Social
Sprout Social is a social media management tool that allows you to build, schedule and manage social media posts. It’s a one-stop platform for all your social media, from FaceBook to Twitter to Instagram and LinkedIn.
Sprout Social’s appeal is that it’s easy to use and comes with a plethora of data features. The UX and UI are user-friendly and gives users a broad overview of social media performance. It also has downloadable reports, which makes it particularly attractive for digital marketers.
It’s not the least costly tool however. Starting at around $90 CAD monthly for a basic plan, and going up from there, the cost can be a bit prohibitive for small businesses.
Graphic Creation Tools
It’s all about visuals now. Using a graphic to illustrate a point can go a long way in engagement while also setting your brand apart from the rest as a leading authority.
But without the right graphic creation tools, getting these graphics can be a struggle, and that’s time digital marketers can’t waste. Things move fast in the digital world, so here are two tools we’ve used.
19. Creatopy (formerly Bannersnack)
Creatopy is a graphic creation tool that is specifically designed for businesses and marketers. Because Creatopy is a powerful visual development medium, the graphics made with this program are high-quality and editable.
The UX/UI interface is visually appealing and easy to use, making graphic designs that much simpler. Plus, there are a plethora of templates to choose from. We’ve typically used it to create banner ads and easily resize them.
Pricing for Creatopy is pretty accessible given the powerful tool you’re getting. Plans start at just under $20 CAD and can range up to customizable pro plans.
Canva is pretty much a tried, tested, and true graphic creation tool that a lot of digital marketers and social media strategists use. One of the draws of Canva is that it has a freemium option, which works well for individuals or casual graphic designers. It is however pretty limited and for the price, the Pro option is usually a good way to go.
Like Creatopy, Canva has a vast array of templates to choose from, as well as images and graphic elements to use. But a lot of the elements can’t be accessed without a Pro plan.
Project Management Tools
Of course, all these tasks that digital marketing teams need to accomplish requires some project management savvy. That or a great project management tool to help your team keep on track.
Project management tools are collaborative software that allows for multiple users to build out projects, itemize tasks, assign, and communicate between team members.
Here are a few that we’ve used.
ClickUp is a cloud-based project management tool that is suitable for collaborative teams of all sizes. It has features that allow for communication, task assignment, statuses and alerts, and a task toolbar.
ClickUp’s pricing plans are quite flexible, ranging from free for personal use to an enterprise plan for large teams with many, multi-faceted projects on the go.
Similar to ClickUp, Asana is a cloud-based project management platform that’s designed to help teams organize, track, and manage their projects in a collaborative environment. One of Asana’s features is app integration, which allows users to keep all workflows in one place rather than bouncing between different apps.
Asana’s pricing plans are similar to ClickUp, but with less options. Unlike ClickUp, Asana has only three tiers, one of which is a freemium. The pricing however is on par with ClickUp.
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