One of the single most difficult thing for many small business owners is producing quality marketing collateral. Whether you're trying to put out social media posts, print new brochures, or sending out email newsletters, the sheer volume of design expertise required just to keep up can be overwhelming to say the least. No wonder so many business owners just stick with their old brochures, avoid social media, and wait 10 years to update their websites. It's hard.
But, over the last few years there has been a revolution in new tools that make it incredibly easy to create and distribute well-designed marketing content.
Here are just a few:
Probably one of the most impressive new digital tools is Canva. Simply put, Canva makes it possible for non-designers to produce, distribute, and print virtually any type of marketing collateral you need. And with a massive library of gorgeous templates, most of the time all you have to do is just plug your information in and voila, you're done! And the best part? Canva is totally free!
2. Photoshop Express
Sure, Instagram has a ton of amazing filters for making your boring photos really pop online, but IG is an unwieldy way of editing your pics if you're not planning on posting to IG. This is where Photoshop Express comes in handy. It's free, easy to use, and has waaaay more filters and editing options than IG. So snap a pic of your store, edit it in PSE, and then post anywhere you want, all right from your phone.
Building a good looking, functional website is time consuming to say the least. Designing one can be even harder, which is why WiX and Squarespace are such valuable tools for the small business owner. With drag and drop functionality, and tons of great looking templates, both of these platforms make it super easy to launch a new website. I'm partial to WiX because I find it to have a lot more features and templates. It also has customer relationship manager features, which allow you to directly email new clients, and live chat with them right through your phone.
Mailchimp started as email newsletter platform, but has steadily grown into an all-in-one marketing platform for small business owners. It's still the best email platform out there, but it also has landing page features, pop-up email collection widgets, and you can even turn your email newsletters into Facebook ads right through Mailchimp.
There are a lot of social media management services out there, but few makes posting to multiple social channels at once quite as simple as Buffer. With a sleek interface and fool proof instructions, Buffer is one of the most user-friendly social media management apps on the planet. Its free account should be sufficient for most small business owners, and it works with the most popular social media platforms.