You know the saying: You have to spend money to make money. Years ago, that might’ve meant spending money in advertising in order to bring in new customers. Today, however, digital marketing is king. And in order to make an impact in our techno-heavy world, you need a little help from your friends. Enter- the digital marketing strategy.

More specifically, you need to turn to digital marketing tools that’ll help you reach your audience, tell your story, and get more sales.

We’ve broken down the top digital marketing tools available today by their specific focus and strategy. While it’s likely you won’t have the time or budget to invest in every one of these tools (although may offer free versions), use this as a guide as you employ different strategies throughout the year.

Organic Social Media:

The top three tools you can turn to for organic social media include:

  • Sprout Social – Perhaps the priciest of social tools, Sprout Social offers the most bank for its buck. It delivers a ton of analytics as part of its offering and allows you to schedule posts and connect with audiences.
  • Buffer – This highly popular tool is a favorite among social marketers, even though its narrowed focus (as a scheduler) frustrates many.
  • Hootsuite – Hootsuite continues to be the most popular tool in this field, perhaps because of its price point. It can post like Buffer (though not as fluidly) and offers analytics (though you have to pay extra for many reports). It’s best feature is its ability to monitor conversations and mentions.

Email Marketing Tools:

“For 69.7% of US internet users, email is the preferred method of communicating with businesses.” – eMarketer

If you want to succeed in digital marketing, sooner or later you’ll have to turn to email marketing – it delivers the best ROI of all potential marketing channels.

But which tool is best for you?

  • MailChimp – Like Buffer, MailChimp is a little guy that’s made a huge splash. More than 8 million people use this tool now (daily). One of the reasons why it’s so popular is if you don’t have a ton of subscribers, and don’t need extra bells and whistles (yet) like autoresponders, then you can enjoy MailChimp’s simplistic platform structure absolutely free.
  • Emma – Emma offers something that MailChimp (particularly the free version) can be lacking in from time to time – a killer customer service team. Emma has everything you’ll need in an email platform and is growing in popularity.

Retargeting Tools:

Retargeting is a must-have tool in your marketing tools box. With retargeting, you can reach out to folks on the web who’ve visited your website. This type of approach will surely increase your ROI. Here are a few tools to help you make that happen:

  • AdRoll – It’s likely the most widely known names in retargeting, and offers a self-service platform.
  • Chango – Don’t forget about Chango though – an award-winning display advertising platform that allows you to combine your own retargeting information with audience intent data accumulated by the software. This adds a second layer of targeting to each of your campaigns.

Video Hosting Sites:

“Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.” – Brightcove

Oh, didn’t you know that video is marketing in 2016? Video allows your audience to consumer a ton of information in a short amount of time. Here’s the problem – video consumes a ton of space, and, if not posted properly, can be an issue when viewed on certain devices. That’s why it’s best to host your video elsewhere, such as these fine platforms:

  • Wistia – Wistia doesn’t get the public love that other sites get, but is ideal for businesses looking to host videos that they want to share across the web. You can even add a custom CTA to the end of each video – one of the many reasons businesses choose this platform over others.
  • Vimeo – YouTube gets a ton of traffic, but so much of its content is lacking in quality. If YouTube is like a boxed wine, Vimeo is like that special bottle you bring out for the VIPs. Vimeo’s goal is to get folks to upload high-quality content, so if you think your video passes the muster, it’s a great platform to use.

Content Creation Tools:

One of the integral parts of your marketing strategy is the content. How can you create compelling content that doesn’t take you a ton of time to produce and share? These tools will help:

  • Canva – Canva gives you the power to make anything from powerful social image posts to more complex infographics. Many people benefit from just the free version of the tool; but if you want to use some of Canva’s own imagery, you might have to invest (usually $1 per image/graphic).
  • Visual.ly – This is a bit more of a complex tool, in that you’re not creating your own content. Rather, you’ll be matched up with someone who can create the content on your behalf. This is great for some of those more complex projects such as an infographic, eBook, or video.

Content Curation Tools:

Sure, you know creating content is important, but how do you come up with new ideas on a regular basis? That’s where content curation comes into play. Tons of content is already being produced out there that can be used to inspire you on your own marketing ventures. These tools make it easy for you to find the type of content you know your audiences will love:

  • Feedly – Perhaps the king of feed sites, Feedly is extremely user friendly and works with other tools such as Sprout Social and Buffer, thus making it easy for you to share impactful content with your audiences.
  • Scoop.it – Scoop.it makes it easy for you to find and share content to your social networks, blogs and more.

SEO Tools:

You can’t talk about digital marketing without bringing up SEO. The thing is, SEO is extremely complicated, which is why you absolutely need to enlist the help of professional, or use one of these tools (fun fact: when you hire an SEO pro, more often than not they’re using one of these tools to get the job done):

  • Moz – Specifically, Moz Pro and Moz Local, are the flagship products that allow you to track rankings, track link-building efforts, and offer insight into your content marketing campaigns.
  • SEMRush is great for both paid search experts and SEOs looking to track and improve their rankings. Many marketers turn to SEMRush for their unique “track your competitor” tool, which allows you to pull your competitors’ backlinks, monitor their rankings and conduct a full competitive analysis.

Wrapping it up – get a little help with your digital marketing

No one should be expected to take on DIGITAL MARKETING all by him or herself. That’d be a huge undertaking. If you actually want to make any headway in this world, you have to rely on existing tools in the marketplace that will allow you to maximize your time and ROI.

These tools should help you get a little bit more out of your digital marketing, without having to lose a ton of man-hours or dollars.