Over the past few years, I have used a lot of marketing tools (paid and free) than I can keep count of. Sometimes 5 different tools that do the same job. I have loved few, absolutely hated some them and with some, it is a love-hate relationship.
But there a few free marketing tools I love and I have recommended them to every client of mine. These make marketing so much easier without spending a dollar. And for small businesses, it is absolutely a game changer. When I was volunteering as a marketing consultant for small businesses and could not afford any fancy marketing tools these were the only ones that I relied on.
I like all the following applications equally and I am not associated in any kind of affiliate marketing with the following brands.
This is one of the easiest image creation/editing tool ever and the best part is, most of its features are free. You can create absolutely stunning images without any knowledge of graphic design. Also, it has 1000’s of free templates that you could use. You also get to have your own account where you could save your designs and work on them later or reuse them.
It works splendidly for creating images for the web. But, I would not recommend it for print versions. I have found the resolution pretty low and sometimes the images are blurry. So hire a graphic designer when you need high-quality images for print or branding.But, if you want to spice up your Instagram feed or create an infographic for your blog, Canva is the place.
2. Google Analytics
Google analytics is one of my most favourites. It has every data you need about your website. That could also be the reason why it becomes overwhelming to a new user. One important thing to understand is you need the insight, not the data. So learn to see what matters and ignore the rest.
This is one tool you cannot ignore. If you have a website you should at least know the basics of google analytics. Google Academy offers great online courses that will help you master Google Analytics. I would recommend you spend at least one hour every week analysing you website’s data.
For any small or medium business with a limited budget, MailChimp’s free email marketing is a lifesaver. You can have up to 2000 subscribers and send 12000 emails a month in their free plan. I personally like their automation features that are included in their free package. Integrating MailChimp to your website is a breeze and you can do it yourself. They also have good tutorials about automation and e-mail marketing.
One problem is the limited pre-built templates. So I would recommend you build your own template based on your brand guidelines. They have a drag and drop builder that is really easy to use or play around with HTML if are comfortable.
4. Keyword Planner
The first thing I do before I starting writing anything is to do some good keyword research on keyword planner. I have heard writers say good writing should be free-flowing and not influenced but when you are writing for your business it is a different story.
You could be writing content for your website or for your blog or creating an infographic and you want search engines to be able to find you. Do a simple keyword research, find the keywords that best suit you based on the traffic and relevance and use them. Using good keywords help you boost your search engine ranking and drives organic traffic to your site. I can’t stress it enough, use keyword planner.
To be able to use keyword planner, you need to set up Adwords account. Google now automatically redirects you Adwords express which makes it hard to access keyword planner. Just give a call to google business customer care and they should be able to switch you to old Adwords interface.
When I started my career as a digital marketer right after my graduation, I was completely blown away by the data I got from Quantcast. And since then I have always been a bit sentimentally partial to this tool. But, nonetheless, it is pretty good at what it does. If Google analytics tells you what your visitors are doing on your site, Quantcast measure tells you who they are.
You can find out who exactly is your audience. You can get insights about their educational background, age, average income, media interests, how many children they have, what they like to eat, where they shop and much more.
Imagine what you could do if you could really understand who is your customer and what they like. You can craft content they like, create specials and deals to suit them, target the right segment in advertising and much more. The best part, it is free.
I discovered Pexels quite recently and I have been wondering ever since how I did not know about this site for this long. You can download any number of good quality fully licensed images for free. Yes, you heard me right!
I do have an expensive stock subscription but I always exhaust it very early in the month. After I discovered Pexels it been such a relief. The collection is not as extensive as iStock or other paid stock database but as a small business, it has everything you need.
So the next time you go on an image hunt for your social posts or website, stop at Pexels first.
Zopim is a live chat software that lets you chat with your customers real time. Just like the ones on my page(say hi). The customizations are really good and the dashboard is very easy to understand. Integration to most websites is pretty straightforward and you can also sync it to your CRM’s or Google Analytics.
When you are logged into Zopim you can see everything that is happening on your website. If you think a visitor is stumbling or having difficulty around the website you can ping them directly and assist them. Having this chat options takes the customer experience to the next level. It gives you an opportunity to connect with your visitors before they come to you.
It is free for one agent, i.e only one person could have access to the dashboard at any point in time and that should be sufficient for a B2B, or a small business.
These are some tools I have used and found helpful. If you know a better alternative or any other good free tools feel free to add them to the comments below.
Also if you have any questions regarding the above-mentioned tools leave a comment or send me a message and I would be happy to answer them.