Best 5 Paid Digital Marketing Tools Of 2021

This post was written by April Campos

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Why pay for marketing tools? Paid digital marketing tools are an important arrow in the marketing quiver.

What advantages do subscriptions have over free?

As an agency, we use paid and free marketing tools every day. So, here is a list of our absolute favorite marketing tools for which we pay.

1. Semrush

What Is SEMrush?

Semrush is an online visibility management and content marketing SaaS platform.” In other words, SEMRush allows us to see not only information about our clients but also their competitors. We are able to perform keyword research, pull organic insights, and see social media performance. In addition to these features, we are able to create projects for each one of our clients. This enables us to keep track of the ongoing SEO efforts through position tracking, link building, and a daily site audit. Having the ability to dive deep into a client’s competitors’ online performance and activity is immensely beneficial. We are able to identify trends that occur within any industry. We combine that with our own organic research and experience to create advertising that converts and develops an SEO strategy that puts our clients at the top of their industry.  

Why We Pay For SEMRush

As a marketing agency, we know that you get what you pay for. In this instance, there’s no better program than Semrush when it comes to digital marketing research. We use Semrush on a daily basis to ensure we are always staying on top of our client’s performance online.

What Does SEMRush Cost?

When you sign up for Semrush, you start off with a 14-day free trial and then move on to a paid membership. Monthly memberships start from $99.95, while annual memberships start from $999.40.


What Is Planable?

Planable is an end-to-end workflow tool that makes content collaboration fast and painless.” This is a social media development and distribution platform that allows us to load all content, for specific social media channels, into a project for a specific client. We are able to tag that client that content is ready for review. Within the platform, we can then communicate directly with the client until all of the content is to their liking. Once we have approval from the client, we are then able to schedule and publish the content directly to the client’s preferred social media channels. Planable can distribute content to Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, and now Google My Business. 

Why We Pay For Planable

We are an agency with dozens of clients. We need a space to be able to keep our clients’ social media channels organized and on schedule. 

What Does Planable Cost?

Planable has a similar pricing structure to most other content calendars. It is based on the number of workspaces and the amount of users that you want to have access. It starts off for free and goes up to custom pricing for large agencies. For more information on pricing, visit them at

3. Teamwork

What Is Teamwork?

Teamwork is an “easy-to-use project management software” that is powerful, simple, and large enough to handle complex projects. As an agency, we rely on Teamwork to help us manage every client’s project. Whether we have a client for 12 months or 12 years, Teamwork helps us to break down every task. We are then able to track the progress of each task as well as the project as a whole. Teamwork not only allows for interoffice communication on each task and project but allows for communication with every client. We are able to set due dates, recurring tasks, time tracking for better time management, and reporting. Our project managers utilize Teamwork to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. 

Why We Pay For Teamwork

Paying for Teamwork is a no-brainer for us. We need to be able to manage our team member’s time, track our overall progress for each client, and ensure we deliver to our clients. 

What Does Teamwork Cost?

If you are a small business, there is a free option. For every other business size, it’s still reasonably priced. Starting at just $10 per month, it can increase to more than $20 per month. For more information regarding their pricing, visit them at

4. Adobe Suite

What Is The Adobe Suite?

Adobe Creative Cloud is a set of applications and services from Adobe Inc. that gives subscribers access to a collection of software used for graphic design, video editing, web development, photography, along with a set of mobile applications and also some optional cloud services.”* Adobe’s entire suite is used by our content developers to create and edit graphics and videos. We use Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, and After Effects the most out of all of the platforms. We’re able to create stunning graphics and engaging gifs and videos. 

Why We Pay For The Adobe Suite

Being a marketing agency means we need to be able to deliver the best to our clients. We consider Adobe to be the best, especially for the price point. We’re able to create infographics, social media content, and even youtube videos. 

What Does The Adobe Suite Cost?

The costs for the entire Adobe Creative Cloud can be found HERE. The pricing ranges from $19 to $80 per month depending on what type of organization you are.

5. Zoho CRM

What Is Zoho?

Zoho CRM is a “unique and powerful suite of software to run your entire business…” Zoho has a lot of applications within its software such as Zoho SalesIQ, Zoho Campaign, and Zoho Social. Our agency mainly uses the software for the CRM. We are able to input and track every PNC (potential new client), and view the status of emails sent to them (i.e. opened, delivered, bounced). Zoho CRM also allows us to reach out to inbound leads via email and phone to those who fill out a contact form on our website or give us a call. 

Why We Pay For Zoho

Having a CRM is invaluable to any company. A great CRM allows you to keep track of all of your advertising and marketing efforts in one neat place. We choose to pay for Zoho because of the size of our company, how many clients we have, and the number of applications we need to integrate with our website and marketing efforts. 

What Does Zoho Cost?

Zoho CRM offers four options suitable for all different businesses. For small businesses, Standard starts at $18 per month, and Professional starts at $30 per month. Enterprise, the most popular option, is $45 per month. Their final option, Ultimate, starts at $55 per month. If you prefer to get billed annually, all four pricing options go down by 20%. Zoho CRM also offers a “flexible free trial” and they allow users to cancel or switch plans anytime. More information on Zoho CRM’s pricing can be found HERE

April Campos

April Campos is the Emerald Digital operations manager and digital marketing expert. April has been managing digital campaigns for nearly a decade and is a client favorite.

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