SOURCE: DIGITAL TRENDS

For small com­pa­nies, mar­ket­ing as a con­cept is all over the map and heav­i­ly depends on what sort of busi­ness you run. Small busi­ness mar­ket­ing has evolved over time and con­tin­ues to trans­form the com­mer­cial land­scape in unpre­dictable ways. But one con­stant is the need for fresh strate­gies and cam­paigns to attract and retain cus­tomers and get your voice heard above the clam­or. Part of that strat­e­gy is the judi­cious use of mobile apps.

Regard­less of plat­form, apps are now instru­men­tal in all types of mar­ket­ing efforts. That’s for­tu­nate because apps are gen­er­al­ly free or cheap, and the only invest­ment you need to make is the time to use them to their best advan­tage. Apps can pro­vide rich, detailed infor­ma­tion, insights on trends, cus­tomer response to prod­ucts or ser­vices, and peer-to-peer exchanges of best prac­tices. The rest — main­tain­ing high stan­dards, treat­ing your employ­ees and cus­tomers with respect, pro­mot­ing hon­esty and integri­ty in trans­ac­tions, and man­ag­ing com­pa­ny growth wise­ly for the long term — is up to you. Below are some of the best mar­ket­ing apps for small busi­ness­es that can give you a hand along the way. And, if you need addi­tion­al resources on gen­er­al apps for small com­pa­nies, we’ve got you cov­ered there too.

Buffer

Like it or not, social media has become the bedrock pub­lic­i­ty tool of small busi­ness­es world­wide. But shar­ing on social media can be a time-con­sum­ing chore. Buffer’s inte­gra­tion with social media sites like Face­book, Insta­gram, Twit­ter, Pin­ter­est, and LinkedIn lets you access accounts from a sin­gle place to auto­mat­i­cal­ly sched­ule the con­tent you want to share — at spe­cif­ic times and inter­vals and in what­ev­er way you want. You can set cus­tomized mes­sages to hit fol­low­ers at the same time or stag­ger and refine con­tent to appeal to dif­fer­ent audi­ences. Depend­ing on busi­ness size, you can choose the free plan, or the paid pro or small busi­ness plan for $150 or $1,000 per year, respec­tive­ly.

IOS   ANDROID

Bitly

You know all those long code-like text links? Get rid of them with Bit­ly. The app lets you short­en and brand your links to increase clicks while also track­ing who clicks what and when. View chan­nel data, dis­cov­er social met­rics, under­stand when and where your audi­ence is most engaged — all from one dash­board. Con­nect your social net­works for easy shar­ing through Bit­ly across social, SMS, dis­play, and oth­er chan­nels. The app lets you col­lect insights on your per­for­mance and opti­mize your efforts to fit your audi­ence needs. Bit­ly Enter­prise users can also get more data out of their account by switch­ing between groups and man­ag­ing user per­mis­sions, all from their phone.

IOS  ANDROID

Canva

With web mar­ket­ing, graph­ics is often the name of the game and a great illus­tra­tion, pro­to­type, or info­graph­ic can gen­er­ate a huge amount of inter­est in your com­pa­ny. Can­va facil­i­tates cre­ation of any kind of visu­al graph­ic art you want, all on your phone, while the app lets you post your images to social media plat­forms. It fea­tures a full edi­tor, Insta­gram sto­ry mak­er, video mak­er, video edi­tor, logo mak­er, poster mak­er, book cre­ator, and mood board cre­ator. Crank out every­thing from social media cov­er images to logos and ban­ners for Face­book, Pin­ter­est, and Twit­ter.

IOS  ANDROID

Yelp for Business

This app is specif­i­cal­ly tar­get­ed to busi­ness own­ers to man­age their Yelp pages. Yelp has become a uni­ver­sal small busi­ness barom­e­ter, field­ing mil­lions of queries each month, and hosts busi­ness reviews with rank­ings that are con­tin­u­al­ly being updat­ed. There’s pow­er in those stars. With the Yelp for Busi­ness app, you can adjust your busi­ness pro­file, view your busi­ness rat­ing in real-time, track vis­i­tor engage­ment and cus­tomer leads, read reviews and respond to cus­tomer ques­tions pub­licly or pri­vate­ly, man­age busi­ness pho­tos, view reports on ad clicks, and report reviews and mes­sages.

IOS   ANDROID

Yelp for Business

Mention

Are your ears burn­ing yet?  They should be when­ev­er any­one has some­thing to say about your com­pa­ny online. Men­tion lets you mon­i­tor your online rep so you can get the most up-to-date infor­ma­tion about your busi­ness or your com­peti­tors. Men­tion alerts you each time some­one says some­thing about your com­pa­ny, and lets you respond to ques­tions, counter neg­a­tive com­ments, and show cus­tomer appre­ci­a­tion. Cre­ate alerts around your com­pa­ny name, brand, com­peti­tors, and online men­tions. The app is also use­ful for gath­er­ing sta­tis­tics and col­lab­o­rat­ing with your team. Not only can you mon­i­tor men­tions in real-time, you can use the app’s “anti-noise” tech­nol­o­gy, sen­ti­ment analy­sis, and pri­or­i­ty inbox to fil­ter out irrel­e­vant mate­r­i­al and con­cen­trate on using social media to respond appro­pri­ate­ly to mean­ing­ful feed­back. You can also retweet a pos­i­tive men­tion or share arti­cles on Face­book. Var­i­ous lev­els of free and paid plans are avail­able.

IOS   ANDROID

Clover

Buy 12 get one free: It’s the old­est mar­ket­ing trick in the book to get peo­ple com­ing back for your prod­uct or ser­vice — whether it’s a free piz­za or a free fid­get spin­ner — because every­one loves some­thing for free. With par­tic­i­pat­ing ven­dors, Clover pro­pels the old-fash­ioned wal­let punch card into dig­i­tal for­mat and works great for sav­ing points to earn cash­back rewards. It’s much eas­i­er to track than a frag­ile card in the wal­let that can get lost or destroyed. Clover helps cus­tomers keep track of how many items they buy in order to get that free thing. When your cus­tomer checks into one of your spots, Clover lets you track their pur­chase.

IOS   ANDROID

GetResponse

The GetRe­sponse mobile app works in con­junc­tion with the GetRe­sponse email mar­ket­ing plat­form while you’re on the go. It lets you man­age your email mar­ket­ing cam­paigns, col­lect leads, and keep up to date on your stats. You can cre­ate and send emails, man­age your list, fol­low up on the results of your most recent email pro­mo­tion, view a dash­board with stats, and ana­lyze click-through ratios. The app lets you view indi­vid­ual emails in an autore­spon­der series, as well as past emails.

IOS   ANDROID

Hootsuite

With Hoot­Suite, you get a com­pre­hen­sive social media man­age­ment app that lets you cre­ate and main­tain your company’s social media pro­files across var­i­ous net­works. You can man­age mul­ti­ple social net­work accounts on Face­book, Insta­gram, Twit­ter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, sched­ule numer­ous posts for var­i­ous times, sched­ule mes­sages to auto­mat­i­cal­ly post, mon­i­tor your brand on Twit­ter and Face­book, get noti­fied if your brand is men­tioned, short­en links with Ow.ly, and track click-through stats.

IOS   ANDROID