Digital marketing is tough. You have to run a website, manage social media, run paid ads, organise your people… There’s a lot to do.
But there’s a silver lining. Marketing apps and automations can save you time and energy while increasing your ROI. They can automate content creation, data analysis, and more.
As Australia’s #1 marketing agency, we use many of these apps ourselves. That’s why we made this list of the best marketing apps for SMBs in ‘22 and beyond. It includes apps for…
- Creating content
- Tracking marketing performance
- Social media marketing tools (ads and organic content)
- Video marketing
- Team communications
- And more
We’ll start with…
Content creation marketing apps
These apps help you make better content faster. They cover visual content, blog posts, and more. First on our list is…
1. Canva – best for visual content & social media
Modern businesses need lots of visual content for websites, ads, social media, and other channels. Most don’t have the budget – or the time – to create quality images from scratch.
Enter Canva: a visual design app that lets you create and edit images using a drag-and-drop interface.
Canva is easy to use. You need no visual design experience to get started with it. And the app’s assets – hundreds of templates and over 1,000,000 free images – mean you can produce loads of beautiful content easily.
Once you figure the app out, you can also create and save your own customised templates. This is helpful for split-testing or producing same-type visuals at scale, e.g. for daily Instagram posts.
Pricing – Free (basic version), $119.99/year (premium version for one person), $149.90/year (premium version for the first 5 people).
2. Frase – best for SEO content production
For your website to rank highly on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), it needs content. You need to research, plan, and use the right keywords. Frase automates a lot of this work, helping you produce pages that rank quickly and easily.
It does this by…
- Analysing high-ranking content to see what people want to read when Googling a keyword
- Giving you keyword suggestions about topics as you write
- Using A.I. to generate outlines, blog title ideas, and more to help you save time
One cool thing about Frase is that you can use it to optimise content for any country’s version of Google. There are many SEO content tools on the market, but only Frase will specifically analyse SERPs from Google Australia!
Pricing – $14.99/month (solo), $44.99/month (basic), $114.99/month (team, 3 user seats).
3. Market Muse – best Frase alternative
Frase not for you? Consider Market Muse, a strong Frase alternative. Market Muse digs deep into topics, processing hundreds of pages to give keyword and topic suggestions.
The difference is that Market Muse is more focused on key features like keyword planning. It doesn’t help optimise for Australian SERPs, but it’s more straightforward to use than Frase.
Pricing – free (basic), $7,200/year (standart), $12,000/year (premium).
4. Ripl – best mobile app for visual content
Ripl works a lot like Canva. You get hundreds of templates and images that you can use to create marketing materials. You can use these to create branded content from your mobile device.
A major difference is that Ripl works from your mobile and produces more types of content. You can use it to create videos, images, slideshows, and more. If you’re an SMB owner or employee who’s on the go a lot, Ripl is perfect for you.
Users love watching videos. The tools below will help you keep up.
Pricing – $13.75/month (premium), $8.33/month (basic).
5. YouTube Studio – best free video editor
YouTube Studio makes it easy to create professional-quality videos. This app lets you add music, effects, and more to create YouTube videos that engage viewers. It then lets you upload the videos directly to your YouTube channel with no extra effort required.
In addition to helping you create videos, YouTube Studio also helps you market them. It gives you valuable data on how different videos are performing. It’s a free, easy-to-use, cloud-based alternative to more complex video editing tools.
Pricing – free.
6. InShot – best combo photo and video editing tool
If you want to make high-quality videos with stylish effects and filters, check out InShot. This popular app lets you trim, split, and merge your videos. It requires no expert knowledge to use and produces high-quality video content quickly and easily.
InShot’s wide range of filters and effects give your videos that professional touch. You can also use InShot to import photos, edit them, or create beautiful collages.
Pricing – free (basic), offers in-app purchases.
Best marketing analytics apps
In the marketing world, analytics involves companies analysing data to make observations. The more data you have on what you’re doing, the more you can improve results over time and reach your goals.
Here are the best apps to help you do that!
1. Google Analytics – best website analytics app
Google Analytics collects data across apps, websites, and social media pages – then gives you actionable insights based on that data. It shows you…
- Where traffic comes from
- How much traffic websites, pages, and apps receive
- Which content drives the most traffic and leads
- Audience demographics
- And more
Google Analytics can track data from Google ads and Search – as well as Facebook, WordPress, and Shopify. This makes it the perfect basecamp for all your analytics efforts. If you’re only going to use one app to see and analyse data, make it Google Analytics.
Pricing – free (basic).
2. Hyros – best marketing tracking app
When Apple launched iOS 14, tracking users across apps and websites became a huge problem. Enter Hyros.
Hyros is a powerful tracking app that tells you how users engage with you across multiple touch points. It helps you understand customer behavior, retarget customers and see which marketing messages someone saw before making a purchase.
In layman’s terms, Hyros lets you market to prospects the same way you would before iOS 14. This helps maximise the ROI of your marketing efforts across all channels.
Pricing – starts from $199/month.
3. HotJar – best heat map
HotJar is a heat map app that tells you how users behave on your website or app pages. This includes which pages they visit, which ones they avoid, and which pages they react to (with clicks, hovers, etc).
In addition to being a heat map app, HotJar records anonymised user sessions. After someone visits your website, you can anonymously view their entire visit with the app.
Of course, HotJar blurs out all of a visitor’s personal information… But you can still learn a lot from seeing how people behave.
Pricing – free (basic), €32/month (plus plan, observe for small teams, more traffic and tools), €80/month (business plan for growing companies).
4. Black Crow AI – best machine learning app
Black Crow AI uses machine learning and predictive tools to determine the value of your leads before they spend a single dollar.
This does a few things for you. First
1. It helps you focus initial marketing efforts on people most likely to buy
2. It helps you retarget users with the highest profit potential
3. It helps you prospect by instantly showing you who’s likely to become a customer
Black Crow AI can also look at your current traffic streams, letting you know which ones bring you the most traffic or highest-value leads. This is a nice value-add feature, especially if you’re not sure which channels work (and don’t) for your business.
Pricing – 30-day free trial, the price is driven by the volume of your visitor traffic.
5. Shield – best for LinkedIn analytics
LinkedIn’s analytics platform is very basic. Shield gives you more data with a wide range of exclusive metrics LinkedIn users don’t usually get. You might know about Shield from Justin Welsh, who wrote the proverbial book on LinkedIn marketing (it’s actually a video course).
Shield helps increase engagement and actions from organic LinkedIn marketing efforts. It gives you…
- Advanced metrics that tell you if your LinkedIn content engages with people or turns them away.
- Audience data that lets you know who’s watching your content and engaging with it.
- Performance analytics that tell you how well each piece of content is performing compared to past posts.
If you want to leverage LinkedIn for your business, you need Shield.
Pricing – $8/month (starter), $16/month (creator), $25/month (influencer).
6. ClickCease – best PPC security app
Running paid ads can get expensive when ads go to non-interested people or bots instead of potential customers.
ClickCease helps prevent bots or sneaky competitors from clicking your ads and draining your PPC budget. Plus, ClickCease integrates with both Google and Facebook’s ad networks.
Helpful if you think your ad spend is being wasted on the wrong things.
Pricing – $69/month (standard, 5k monthly protected visits), $89/month (pro, 10k monthly protected visits), $109/month (advanced, 10k monthly protected visits, best for agencies).
It seems like new social networks launch each month. Have an easier time managing your social accounts and building an online following with these apps.
1. Buffer – best for small businesses
Buffer helps you schedule and post content on multiple social media platforms. It has a few core features, all of which are helpful for SMM.
1. Buffer saves you from having to remember log-in information for each social account. Just connect it to your social networks and get to work from one place.
2. Buffer’s calendar makes it easy to plan your social media content weeks or months ahead.
3. Buffer’s easy-to-use analytics tools let you know how your social content performs. You can see how many likes, shares, and other engagement metrics your posts receive.
Buffer makes life easier, and your content – more effective. We’re fans.
Pricing – free (up to three channels), $6/month per channel (essentials, planning & publishing tools), $12/month per channel (team), $120/month for 10 channels (agencies).
2. Hootsuite – best Buffer alternative
While Buffer is amazing, it’s not perfect. If you need an app that posts to more social media platforms than Buffer, check out Hootsuite. Hootsuite also lets you manage paid ads, which Buffer currently can’t do.
Pricing – $49/month (professional: 1 user, 10 social accounts), $179/month (team: 3 users, 20 social accounts), $739/month (business: 5 users, 35 social accounts), custom price for enterprise.
3. Sprout Social – best for social media management
Sprout Social lets you schedule and create posts across multiple social networks. But unlike Hootsuite and Buffer, the focus here is more on messaging customers directly from one place.
With Sprout Social’s all-in-one inbox, you can easily manage relationships with users across many social platforms. The tool also monitors what other people say about your business and its products or services.
Pricing – $99/month per user (standart), $169/month per user (professional), $249/month per user (advanced).
4. REP – best influencer marketing platform
REP is an app that lets companies connect with influencers from all walks of life. You can view influencer profiles and message them through REP.
You can also host raffles that get your SMB’s product or service in front of thousands of eager influencers. This is perfect if you want to get user-generated content for your marketing efforts.
Pricing – free.
Best apps for marketing operations
The best and most effective marketing campaigns are anything but “set it and forget it.” Thankfully, the following marketing apps can help you easily manage any campaign – including complex ones.
1. IFTTT – best app for team automation
Interested in marketing automation? With IFTTT (If This Then That), you can automate tasks in virtually any app you can think of. Even better, you can create cross-app automations; for example, send an email from your Gmail account each time a new AirTable entry is made.
If you can think of a task, IFTTT can probably help you automate it. Can’t think of tasks to automate? IFTTT has a huge library of pre-made automation templates.
Best of all? No coding knowledge required!
Pricing – free (basic, 5 applets), $2.5/month (pro, 20 applets), $5/month (pro+, unlimited applets).
2. Asana – best for project management
Asana is a project management app that makes it easy to manage projects and teams. With this app, you can break down work by projects, tasks, and sub-tasks.
You can also set times and dates for when projects must begin or end, keeping everyone on your team accountable.
Asana features custom timelines, allowing you to see what everyone’s working on in real-time.
Pricing – free (basic), $10.99/month per user (premium), $24.99/month per user (business).
3. Trello – best Asana alternative
Trello transforms bland workflows into visual Kanban boards. You can store files, create checklists, and automate certain tasks with Trello’s help.
Compared to Asana, Trello is about 50% cheaper. But if you need to share content and assignments across large teams, you’re probably better off with Asana.
Pricing – free (basic), $5/month per user (premium), $10/month per user (premium), $17.50/month per user (enterprise).
4. Slack – best app for communicating with teams
Slack is the B2B comms app for remote, hybrid, and in-office teams. Your team can use Slack’s channels to organise discussions and tasks. It also has a convenient 1-on-1 chat feature for users inside and outside your organisation.
Slack seamlessly integrates with a fast-growing list of over 2,200 programs. It’s available on all popular mobile devices and operating systems, as well as inside web browsers.
Pricing – free (basic), $7.25/month (pro), $12.50/month per user (business+).
Best native marketing apps
All the apps we recommended above were made by third-party developers. The apps below come directly from platform owners like Meta, Google, and LinkedIn. They’re simple, powerful, and – most importantly – native to their environment.
You’ll likely be using these apps even if you use the third-party tools we recommend above.
1. Google Ads – best for paid ad campaigns
The Google Ads app lets you create and manage paid ad campaigns. Google Ads also has a ton of customisation and layout options.
Google Ads’ intuitive bidding interface helps you optimise your Google AdWords account to avoid overspending.
Google Ads doesn’t only run advertisements on its signature search engine. Paid Google ads also run on:
- Google Play Store
- Google Maps
- Google Display Network – includes YouTube, Blogger, and many other websites
You can manage all these channels (and then some) from the app.
Pricing – the amount of budget is entirely up to you.
2. Instagram – best sharing social media service
Even if you use apps like Buffer or Hootsuite, it’s good to have the OG Instagram app on your phone. The main reason to have the app is to view your content as users do, rather than through 3rd-party scheduling and publishing tools.
Pricing – free.
3. TikTok – best short-form video hosting service
With over one billion users each month, the TikTok takeover is in full swing. As with Instagram, having the native app is a good way to see your content the same way users do. It’s also a helpful way to see how the platform evolves and changes over time.
Pricing – free.
4. Snapchat – best multimedia instant messaging app
Snapchat isn’t as popular as it used to be. That being said, it’s also less competitive than TikTok and Instagram. As with the above two apps, there’s a lot of value in having the native app installed on your phone.
Pricing – free.
5. LinkedIn – best professional community
Alongside Google, LinkedIn is one of two top platforms for generating B2B leads. Having the app lets you see your content the same way many of your target audience members do: via your mobile phone.
It’s also a useful way to stay on top of important chats and relationships if you’re busy and on the go a lot.
Pricing – free (basic), $29.99/month (career), $59.99 (business).
6. Meta Business Suite
Meta Business Suite lets users create and schedule posts on company Facebook pages. You can also view or reply to messages and comments on these business pages from other Facebook users.
Pricing – free.
7. Ads Manager
If you want your paid ads to run on Facebook, you’ll need to use Facebook’s Ads Manager. This app lets you create and launch ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Ads Manager also shows you how your paid social posts perform over time.
Pricing – you set your budget.
Incredible marketing results without apps
Want an easier way to market your business? Like, something that doesn’t require messing with a bunch of apps?
Consider talking to Megaphone, Australia’s #1 ranked digital marketing agency. We’ll give you a free consultation and $600 in free Google Ads credit if you end up giving our services a try.