Who’s the first person you call when you have a busted pipe? Maybe your dad. Maybe your spouse. Most likely a plumber.
Imagine that plumber walking into your home without his toolkit. He gives you a charming grin, stands in the Superman pose, and tells you that everything will be okay. That’s not comforting to you because you know that the busted pipe won’t be fixed without his tools.
Your digital marketing team can’t do their jobs effectively without the right tools. Like a plumber, your team can only make all the elements of digital marketing come together with the best digital marketing tools.
This article describes 13 of the best digital marketing tools to help your agency thrive. But first, let’s look at what makes a digital marketing tool great and the six categories these tools fall into.
What makes a digital marketing agency tool great?
You face many challenges as a digital marketer — chief of them being differentiating your agency from the 68,000+ other digital marketing agencies in the world. And what's the best way to do that? By consistently winning more clients — and equipping your team with the tools they need to do it. Thankfully, there are tools that will help your talented team produce great work, but the best marketing agency software has the four fundamental qualities described below.
Helps automate tedious processes
Efficiency is the name of the game when running a digital marketing agency. You need systems in place that make project management easier, provide the data you need to execute result-oriented marketing strategies, effectively handle client communication, and make it easier to bill clients. The best tools accomplish all or a combination of those tasks by transforming tedious processes into efficient ones.
Seamlessly qualifies or generates leads
There continues to be a lot of competition in the digital marketing agency space. Amping up your inbound and outbound marketing initiatives to meet this challenge is great, but are the leads you’re generating matching the criteria for your ideal customer? There are apps and tools that can help you sort your list of leads so that only those who match your criteria move to the next stage of your process.
Easy to use dashboards and simple onboarding
The best digital marketing agency tools are intuitive. You and your team don’t have time to play a detective, trying to figure out how things work. Any tool your team adopts should be easy to use and provide all the resources and support you’d need during the onboarding process.
Honest pricing options
Your digital marketing tools impact your budgets and project pricing. This is why these tools need to be upfront about their pricing — no beating around the bush and bamboozling you into requesting a demo just to find out more about pricing.
Types of digital marketing tools
The digital marketing tools we'll discuss in this article fall into five categories. They’ll help you manage each aspect of the digital marketing process so you can track the right marketing metrics and deliver results for your clients.
1) Communication tools
Your digital marketing agency uses one of three business models: hybrid, 100% remote, or 100% on-site. In a remote work model, a lot of communication happens asynchronously, and there has to be a high level of trust among the team.
As Buffer’s State Of Remote Work study shows, 69% of employees work in companies that encourage asynchronous communication. But asynchronous communication can become chaotic and overwhelming pretty easily. This is why your digital marketing agency needs tools that streamline communication so your teams can organize and complete projects efficiently.
2) Social media marketing tools
Most marketers say they post on social media platformsfour to six times a week. Imagine doing this for 10+ clients each month — that’s 160 to 240 posts! Trying to create all of this social media content on a daily basis leads to things falling through the cracks and content that probably doesn’t truly reflect the brand’s strategy.
Social media management tools help you create and manage your social media calendar so that posting flows smoothly. They also help you track the analytics on your social media posts so you can make informed decisions, and most allow you to view and respond to comments and DMs from one dashboard.
3) Graphic design marketing tools
It’s always great to have a graphic designer on your team, but the reality is that your digital marketing agency probably has multiple departments that need graphics simultaneously. That’s a lot of pressure for one designer. Thankfully, there are graphic design marketing tools anyone can use to create attractive graphics without needing a graphic designer. So, your graphic designer can spend more time on larger projects while your team members create simple (yet stunning) graphics using your graphic design marketing tool.
4) Analytical and reporting tools
Fifty-four percent of organizations state data quality and completeness are the biggest challenges with data-driven marketing. You need the right analytical and reporting tools to provide useful data to help you make decisions — and achieve great results for your clients.
5) Content marketing tools
Content marketing is multi-faceted. It ranges from blog articles, guides, and whitepapers to videos, podcasts, and even webinars. But one of the areas of content marketing that continues to receive a high investment is SEO content writing. In fact, 43% of marketers have said that search rankings have contributed to their B2B content marketing success. You need content marketing tools to help you capitalize on SEO opportunities so your clients can get more visibility in the SERPs.
6) Email marketing tools
Email marketing tools are the third most popular technology for B2B content marketing, topped only by analytics tools and social media publishing tools. Email marketing continues to play a pivotal role in not only distributing content but also using content as a way to nurture prospects. This is why your digital marketing agency should invest in tools that make it easy to manage the email marketing process.
13 best digital marketing agency tools
Now that you know more about the different types of tools at your disposal, let's jump into some of the best on the market within each category.
Best communication marketing agency tools
Communication marketing tools help you streamline communication with your team and, in some instances, your clients. But the best communication marketing tools do more than allow you to send messages and files; they’re productivity hubs that increase team efficiency. Here are three tools that make communication easier, increase productivity, and help your team operate like a well-oiled machine.
Teamwork is a leading asynchronous communication tool for digital marketing agencies. This platform is designed with creatives in mind, and boasts a long list of integrations that keep marketing teams connected and productive — even when working remotely.
This feature-rich app is ideal for streamlining all your marketing tasks, from tracking time to identifying bottlenecks. Visualize your projects in depth at a glance with color-coded tasks and dependencies, and make changes easily with the intuitive drag-and-drop editor. Keep your marketing team connected through better asynchronous communication: Sign up for free today.
Visualize all aspects of your project progress with Kanban boards
Track time on tasks to see where your team spends the most time.
See daily details and high-level views of your project portfolio for better day-to-day and long-range resource management.
It may take some time to get used to the interface, and some users report a slight learning curve.
Some users report occasional slow loading times, however, Teamwork provides real-time status updates for all services to keep users as up to date as possible.
Microsoft Teams is a one-stop-shop collaboration platform that delivers. It’s a popular choice for many digital marketing teams that are already using other Microsoft products, as it’s already part of the Office 365 suite. Digital marketers can use this communication tool to message, chat, video conference, build and share files, and more.
Teams integrates with all other Microsoft Office tools.
The interface is user-friendly and there’s minimal learning curve for those already familiar with Microsoft products.
Teams offers ample cloud storage, which is ideal for marketing teams that need to collaborate on large project files.
The file storage system is clunky at best, making it difficult to find files once they’ve been shared.
Video conferencing features like background effects are limited compared to competitors.
Slack is a team communication tool that makes it easier to keep track of conversations in one place — no more sifting through countless emails and email threads. Over 10 million people use Slack to connect in various formats (voice messages, text messages, and quick meetings called "huddles") and organize conversations, so nothing gets lost.
It’s easy to share company updates and get quick responses from clients.
Slack reminder notifications help team members execute urgent tasks.
Users can edit messages — even if they were sent hours prior.
There are over 2,400 appintegrations that help you manage tasks, sales, workflows, and several things your team needs to thrive.
Some third-party appintegrations don’t work well.
It’s not easy to see a channel’s description and resources without pinning specific messages.
Some users report having issues with making video calls from the app.
Best social media marketing tools
No marketing strategy is complete without a clear social marketing plan since social media is a powerful marketing channel for distributing content and paid ads to a receptive audience. But social media management can be time-consuming and overwhelming if you don’t have the right tools to support you. Below are two social media management tools that will help you save time and create a more efficient workflow for your social media marketing plan.
Buffer is one of the best social media management tools for small businesses. With Buffer, you can schedule social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, keep track of post analytics, and even create a “link in bio” landing page for your digital marketing agency.
It’s budget-friendly, with the free plan offering 10 scheduled posts and three social media accounts. Even the plan for marketing agencies that manage multiple accounts priced at $100 is cheaper than what some other social media marketing tools provide.
Team collaboration is seamless.
Buffer’s Start Page feature allows small businesses to bring all their best content and links into one place. It’s similar to LinkTree and functions like a microsite for showcasing what matters most to a brand’s customers on their social media pages.
The app sometimes slows down when multiple accounts are in automatic management.
Glitches sometimes arise when uploading multiple images to the app simultaneously.
It’s not easy to group accounts which can be frustrating if you’re managing multiple social media accounts for multiple clients.
Hootsuite dominates the social media management niche with over 18 million users, including 800+ Fortune 1000 companies. With Hootsuite, you get all-in-onesocial media management for a digital marketing agency. You can plan and schedule posts, manage incoming messages from multiple social media channels, keep abreast with market trends and what’s happening with competitors, manage paid social media ads, and measure the success of your social media efforts.
Hootsuite integrates seamlessly with over 250 popular marketing apps, including Canva and Adobe.
Insights from Hootsuite’s analytics feature are great for planning social media strategies.
Connects with over 20 social media networks
Some third-party apps don’t integrate seamlessly, making it tedious to connect and work with some functionalities.
The tool can become costly if you manage multiple accounts and run several ads a month.
Some users have indicated that the layout isn’t as user-friendly as other social media management platforms.
Best graphic design marketing tools
When considering graphic design tools, Canva is often the first option that comes to mind. But other easy-to-use options can help you create attractive marketing assets in minutes. We describe two of them below.
Adobe Creative Cloud Express
Adobe Creative Cloud Express, formerly called Adobe Spark, is a design tool with thousands of templates that make attractive graphic design quick and easy. It’s an all-in-one design platform that allows you to edit photos, add animations, and make marketing material from social media posts and banners to flyers and posters.
There are many helpful tutorials for first-time users who are new to graphic design.
The Libraries and Managed Brands features help ensure brand consistency.
Adobe has several creative design template options for different kinds of media.
Drag-and-dropfunctionality is intuitive and easy to use.
There are frequent app updates that change the interface. Some users explain that these changes lead to learning curves.
There’s no desktop app, so all work has to be done in areas with internet access.
There aren’t any measuring tools for creating printed ads.
Pixlr is a comprehensive design app that makes photo editing, graphic design, and the creation of visual assets easier. Choose from thousands of attractive templates, bring designs to life with engaging animations, and add filters and effects to photos that help them stand out.
Learning how to use the tool to create amazing designs is easy.
Despite having similar features, it doesn’t take up as much storage space as Adobe Photoshop.
It easily integrates with Adobe Photoshop for experienced designers who want highly advanced editing.
Ads on the free version are sometimes intrusive.
The color grading and balancing features could be better.
Photo exposures are limited.
Best reporting and analytical tools
The best reporting and analytical tools provide the data you need to make informed decisions about the marketing strategies you’re executing. Below, we discuss two tools that can be particularly useful to your team.
Google Analytics provides a breadth of in-depth website insights that help marketing teams evaluate their strategies and improve the performance of content, Google PPC ads, and A/B testing. The data that Google Analytics provides helps brands give website visitors a better user experience, which leads to meaningful conversions.
Marketers can track website performance in real time.
Users can compare data over various time periods.
Reports are customizable.
The interface is changing to Google Analytics 4, which isn’t as user-friendly as the current version of Google Analytics.
It’s not as precise as some other analytics tools.
Your job as a digital marketing agency owner is to market your clients’ products in a way that matters to their customers. Mixpanel helps you find the data your clients need to build better digital products. You’ll see how and why people engage and convert on a website and identify gaps in their user experience that need to be filled.
Get a detailed overview of where website visitors come from, the web pages they view, and the buttons they click.
Easily create relevant data reports.
Visualize insights using funnels.
Set up your calendar so you can prioritize tasks.
More integrations are needed so that users can do all their website analysis in one place.
They recently retired their customer engagement tools, so there’s now no way to communicate automatically with users when certain actions are triggered.
It can seem a bit complicated for first-time users.
Best content marketing/SEO tools
SEO is essential for increasing the visibility of content marketing efforts. That’s why you need the best tools to help you find the right keywords, assess competitors, and write articles based on search intent. The two options described below help you do that and more.
Ahrefs is an all-in-oneSEO tool that facilitates competitor analysis, keyword analysis, and backlink analysis while providing critical data on a website’s SEO health. It’s trusted by many digital marketing teams to support marketing strategies that drive leads and increase sales.
Ahrefs provides the most accurate keyword research data compared to similar tools.
Track a website's performance for specific keywords over time using the rank tracker.
Run content audits to optimize your historical content.
The keyword research tool provides data from 10 popular search engines, including Google, YouTube, Bing, and Yahoo. You can choose the search engine you want to focus on for your keyword research and build your SEO strategy from there.
It’s one of the pricier SEO tools.
There isn’t a local SEO tool.
Clearscope is an SEO content optimization tool that helps you write content that’s highly relevant to what people are searching for. It provides a seamless way to match your live article drafts against competitors so that your article comes out on top when published.
It’s straightforward about the best keywords to use for an article. It also includes pages that are already ranking for those keywords.
Better keyword usage ultimately increases website traffic.
Easily share links with content writers so they can write their articles directly in the tool.
Each article gets a content grade based on keyword usage.
The content grade can be improved by keyword stuffing. Therefore, article quality is still dependent on the content writer and editor.
The platform isn’t designed for editing and collaboration. Users can sync articles to Google Docs, but any changes made to the Google Docs file must be made manually in Clearscope — which can make the editing process tedious.
Content is more than keywords, so this tool only helps with one part of the content creation and content strategy processes.
Best email marketing tools
A great email marketing tool should help you connect with your target audience. Below, we’ve highlighted two email marketing tools that do far more than provide templates and send emails.
Mailchimp is best known as one of the leading email marketing software, but it’s far more than that: It helps small business owners create attractive websites and landing pages that complete their sales funnels.
Mailchimp is free for up to 2,000 email subscribers.
Create pop-ups and sequences in minutes.
Marketers can create email newsletters with ease.
The templates could be more customizable.
The platform seems to be oriented more towards broadcast campaigns than automated flows.
Some users have expressed that there are issues with the BigCommerce integration.
It doesn’t support multi-channel marketing that involves multiple integrations, logic sequences, highly detailed segmenting, and automatic reports.
HubSpot’s marketing hub is a CRM that provides all the tools and data you need to run successful inbound marketing campaigns. It’s a great tool for email marketing automation that nurtures leads and creates better marketing and sales alignment. But, like Mailchimp, it also offers far more: landing pages, live chat, content optimization, ad tracking and management, social media management, and much more.
Marketing emails are easy to customize and send via workflows.
Multi-channel programs are easy to execute because of the numerous integrations available.
Hubspot makes it easier to see the buyer’s journey clearly.
Some reports aren’t easy to customize if the property you need to use for reporting doesn’t match Hubspot’s defaults.
There could be more data related to attribution and lead scoring.
It’s not a highly intuitive platform. You’ll have to spend some time going through the resources they provide to use it to its full potential.
Keep your digital marketing agency organized with Teamwork
Equip your team with the tools they need to thrive. Otherwise, they’ll be like the plumber trying to fix a busted pipe without his tools — highly ineffective. Get them the tools (and training) they need to collaborate, create, execute, analyze, and improve. That’s how you’ll ensure your digital marketing agency consistently produces results for your clients.
Teamwork is here to help your team collaborate and communicate better. Our platform offers all the flexibility that remote teams need with the structure and functionality to keep your marketing team productive and effective. Get started with Teamwork today for free.