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Our List of the Top Essential Digital Marketing Tools for 2021 [Updated]

Amber Rhodes
Last Updated April 28, 2021

In this post:

Marketing matters. If you’re reading this, you already know how important effective marketing can be. That’s step one to building a growth system for your business. Let’s talk steps 2 through infinity (and it really is infinite—marketing requires ongoing active management to work well). 

As you expand your marketing efforts, you’ll notice that there are more and more things that need to get done, and an ever-expanding list of software, platforms, and tools you could be using. The list is nearly endless! As much as we love tools for making our work easier, at what point are we using so many tools that our work lives are becoming overly complicated? That’s what we’re trying to help business owners avoid: running out of the bandwidth they need to head up a successful business. 

Gif of Mark Cuban taking notes

Digital marketing is a huge umbrella term, so let’s break it down a little bit. I like to think of marketing in different “buckets” of responsibilities. Each bucket requires different skills and focuses to reach success. So while it’s really hard to put together one master list of absolutely every tool you need to “do marketing,” it’s less overwhelming and more manageable when you think about marketing in these buckets. 

Tools To Stay on Top of Content Marketing

Content marketing is a roll of the dice. Well, not really...but sometimes it feels like that, doesn’t it?

We spend hours doing research, writing, editing, and publishing content hoping it’ll bring people to our website and increase conversions. Well in reality, content marketing can be a huge boon to your business, albeit a bit of a slog sometimes. It’s incredibly important to create valuable content for your audience. Not only does it help bring in new visitors, it can also contribute to customer retention. 

Plus there’s the added benefit of the positives compounding over time. Content that attracts organic traffic will continue to do so for an extended period of time, and for a much lower cost than running paid traffic. 

Let’s take a look at essential tools for content marketing in 2021.

Search Engine Optimization

Competitive Research 

Copywriting & Editing

Video and Graphics

Top Social Media Marketing Tools and Services 

Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. On top of that, social media users aren’t chained down to their desktops and laptops. These folks are literally going mobile. 

There are approximately 3.7 billion active mobile social media users globally. Your audience is in that 3.7 billion! Are you ready to meet them where they’re at? The rise of social media, and mobile social media especially, means agile marketers need to figure out how organic social media fits into their overall marketing strategy in a way that adds value, not just extra work.

Advertisers have to adapt their content to both their audience and the platforms they’re using. Basically, you can’t post the same content across every single social media platform and expect good results. You have to be smart about tailoring your content to the platforms you’re using. Or better yet, only use the platforms that best match their marketing objectives. Whether you’re using one platform or five, you’ll want to check out these tools for streamlining your work. 

Social Media Management

Social Listening

Best Tools for Optimizing Your Website

Social media and mobile apps are huge...but websites still form the foundation of a business’ marketing efforts. If you hear about a business, you expect that business to have a website. And on that website, you expect to find helpful information about that business. The website is a powerful resource for converting audiences into buying customers. 

How do you make your website stand out? Well first of all, it has to work smoothly. Loading speed and user friendliness are key. Then there are smaller changes you can make that turn your website into a visitor conversion machine. Landing pages, CTAs, email captures, chatbots, oh my! The options are nearly endless. We’ve pulled together some tools and platforms every digital marketer should check out for optimizing their website. 

Landing Page Creation and Testing

Visitor Engagement

User Experience

You Need These Tools for Marketing Tracking

Marketing means you have a million things going on at once. We know this problem intimately! So when you have a million things happening at once, how do you keep track of what you did, what you’re doing, and how all of it contributes to successful marketing initiatives?

The EmberTribe motto is (unofficially) ABT—always be testing. That means that our growth specialists are always juggling multiple campaigns, analyzing their experiments, and optimizing winners. Testing and tracking without tools would be chaos! Some folks can get it all done with humble spreadsheets and other lo-fi solutions. More power to them! But as marketing expectations grow to become more data-driven, many marketers are seeking tools to pull together all their disparate data and information into one central location. 

Marketing Dashboards

Marketing Project Planners

Email Automation: What Tools Should You Use?

Do you really want to spend all of your time coming up with new emails and sending them over and over again? Especially when you know that a large portion of your email list probably won’t even pay attention to them? If you spend all your time typing emails, you don't get to speak with business partners, hire new employees, create high-converting ads, or in general have time to expand your business. 

Email automation can help you generate drip campaigns, respond more quickly, and funnel potential prospects to personalized landing pages, reaching thousands of warm audiences with just the simple click of the “send” button. 

If you take advantage of email automation, you have an instant line of communication with countless potential paying customers, as most people have email capabilities on their phones. And when they’re not staring at their phones, they’re probably sitting in front of a laptop screen...not that we know anything about that 👀

How can you choose the right email marketing tool to meet your needs? What tools are professional marketers using today? Some of the top options include: 

  • Hubspot is the best option for B2B service companies.
  • ConvertKit is one of the top options for those who are monetizing a blog.
  • Autopilot is one of the top email tools for marketing automation.
  • Drip is one of the top email marketing tools for small e-commerce businesses.
  • Benchmark is the best email automation option for agencies.
  • Omnisend is one of the top email marketing tools for large eCommerce businesses.

Email is an outstanding marketing tool because prospects don’t view it as invasive—in part because they gave you their email in the first place, and also because they can open your messages whenever they would like. In conclusion, don’t sleep on automating your email marketing process with these helpful tools! They can help you remain one step ahead of your competitors.

📣 This list is going to be ever-changing, as marketing is always changing, so check back for updates to our list of essential digital marketing tools for 2021. If you have suggestions or recommendations for our list, go ahead and drop them in the comments below.

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