Thanks to technology and the internet, small businesses now have access to an amazing selection of online tools that they can use for marketing. Here are 8 of our favourites that you can use for little to no money!
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Hootsuite allows you to manage all of your social media from one dashboard. There are a few similar services such as Buffer and Social Pilot (and several others) although from experience we have found that Hootsuite is the best. At first glance it can be a bit confusing (especially compared to Buffer's very simple layout), although once you get the hang of it, it offers some great services and much more functionality than other platforms that we've used. You also get to manage 3 platforms for free, which for most of you may be enough, meaning you can use the entire website and app for zero cost!
This is easily in our top 3 online tools in general. If you've never used it, it will change your life! For those not sufficient with Photoshop or other complex design platforms, Canva allows you to easily create beautiful designs. Whether you're designing posters, Facebook covers, business cards, YouTube thumbnails or basically anything else, this canva makes it a breeze! It's so easy to use and there are great templates available with endless possibilities. If you combine this with a service like Adobe Stock to get high quality pictures, your design game will be on a new level. Whilst it's free, we highly recommend upgrading and getting Canva for Work. It's only $13 or so a month and offers way more options, custom dimensions, transparent backgrounds and more.
Mailchimp is certainly our favourite platform for email marketing. It allows you to design beautiful emails, import contacts collected from your website, automate welcome emails, create customer segments, view analytics and more. Their free plan allows you to get started for no money, although we do recommend upgrading to a paid plan. It's still really cheap and it unlocks more features, the best of which is automation. This is the perfect way to send a welcome email after someone opts in to your newsletter, or using it as a lead generation tool for getting people to sign up and receive a free gift like an eBook or discount coupon.
SumoMe offers a suite of tools to grow your website traffic, and they work on any website. Some people can seriously undervalue the power of analytics, but with these tools you'll become a conversion wizard. They offer great services like Share: (makes it super easy for visit to share your content), Heatmaps (shows you exactly where people are clicking on your site) List Builder (a pop up to collect emails) Google Analytics (summarises the most important analytics info) and Content Analytics (shows you how much content visitors are actually reading).
They have free options available based on the services and also your amount of traffic, although the paid plans are pretty epic. Simply copy and paste their code onto your website and you're on your way!
This is a great free tool that you can use to collect and organize information big & small with. Whether you're collecting client information or conducting a survey, there are endless uses for Google Forms. We use it as our questionnaire to collect the most important info from new clients that are creating a website. It's handy!
Long and ugly URLs aren't cool. Bitly is a free URL shortening service that makes them look much cleaner. This is particularly important for social media, a huge link will ruin a good looking post. It's critical on Twitter which only allows 140 characters (although if you're using Hootsuite they also offer a link shortening service). Bitly is free although if you upgrade you get personally branded and fully customisable links (which looks quite nice) and some heavier analytics.
This tool allows you to download your competitors' most profitable keywords and ads for paid and organic search. It basically exposes the search marketing secret formula of your most successful competitors. You can search for any domain and see every place they've shown up on Google: every keyword they've bought on Adwords, every organic rank, and every ad variation in the last 9 years. Wow!
If you're on Instagram (which you should be) then your life just became a lot easier after reading this! WordSwag allows you to combine pictures and text to make beautiful layouts that would normally take ages in just a tap. It's very easy to use, and they allow you direct access to Pixabay so you can find nice background images. Although for the best results, we recommend using Pinterest to find powerful imagery and then using a simple font like 20,000 Leagues to make it look amazing. We use this daily!
--> Read A Guide to Instagram for Business Here <--
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Time to jump on these! With the tools above you can take your marketing to the next level and save a lot of time. Don't forget you can check out the rest of our marketing articles on the blog here. Enjoy!