21 Free Marketing Tools Every Entrepreneur Should Know
Having a small business is no excuse to stay that way. Growth is vital and represents an indicator of whether to continue or call it quits.
One of the ways you can make progress or stay ahead is through digital marketing. It levels the playing field for other businesses.
To help you full advantage of marketing, there are tools to help you. You can have an incredible product concept. But without tools to execute your plans, things become more complex.
Now, there are tons of affordable and user-friendly tools to help you reach new audiences and market your brand.
Many marketing tools don’t need a multimillion-dollar marketing budget.
Such tools are free and often make a difference in growing your customer base. The fact is a digital marketing and other subtle means offer a high ROI.
With countless free marketing tools out there, you still have to choose the best ones.
That’s why we have come up with this article to help you get things done on a shoestring budget.
Without taking your time, here are free marketing tools for any small business to use:
1) Google Analytics
Google Analytics is completely free software and one of your best bets to market effectively.
It provides valuable insights into who is visiting your website and how they engage with it.
To get the best results, you can pair it with Google Search Console, another free digital marketing tool.
The Console helps you to identify any problems on your site and optimize it for traffic.
There are many data points that Google Analytics makes available to you.
- The number of visitors to your site by day, month, or period you prefer.
- Where these visitors are coming from such as referrals from another website, organic search, ads, social, or directly.
- The keywords people use via Google to get to your site
- The demographics and other interests of your users
- How long each user takes on your site and the pages they visit
With this interesting information, you can go ahead to optimize your marketing campaigns. That also includes information vital to your website.
Analytics help you notice the kind of free traffic you have going through your website and essential keywords you can use to your advantage.
With that, you can go ahead to write a blog post optimized for those keywords. Your traffic and engagement levels will increase.
If you’re willing to grow your small business, you’ll need visuals to keep your audience engaged.
Visuals go a long way because instead of reading alone, your audience has something they can follow with their eyes.
For example, you can make do with quality photos or motivating quote graphics.
Canva is an excellent tool that adds a visually appealing look to your content.
You can get things done in a few minutes, thanks to more graphics tools. Create infographics, marketing posters, business cards, and much more.
Thanks to the free plans and templates, you can:
- Use photos already feature on the website
- Upload and work on your own images
- Go ahead to create brand new ones
Another thing you get with Canva?
Well, you don’t need to be called a graphic design expert to create high-quality graphics.
It features an easy-to-use drag and drops features. Canva arms you with a wide range of photo editing options, including color palettes, font combinations, effects, and custom images.
HubSpot offers a free service or you can decide to take up other options at cheap rates.
As a small business, you’d prefer the former option because it means less money spent.
HubSpot is a full-stack growth software and tool that includes marketing, sales, and customer service tools.
These tools will help to improve all facets of your business.
Besides that, with HubSpot, you’ll have everything you need to grow your business and increase conversion rates.
Some of HubSpot’s products start on an accessible mode from the beginning.
As such, you can set up lead capture forms, send kickback emails, and get basic analytics reports without paying.
Moreover, you keep track of emails, schedule sales meetings, and conduct a live chat with visitors.
Other benefits you stand to gain include setting up a help desk and ticketing system on the freemium plan.
When you do that, you can channel everything into the free CRM to get a complete view of your customer.
It’s all basic stuff with the free mode, but you can expect more sophisticated features on the Starter, Professional, and Enterprise tiers.
Also, it’s possible to integrate HubSpot’s features with other marketing technology products.
4) Using Spaces’ free logo Maker
Branding is one of the essential steps when marketing your small business.
Thankfully, Using Spaces free lover maker will give you the perfect platform for that.
Over time, marketers have come to realize logo is arguably the most important part of your branding.
For example, over 90% of the global population recognize the iconic Coca-Cola logo.
Create an Impact
Research shows that the human brain can process images 60,000X faster than words.
In line with that, many businesses select visual branded logos.
You can take full advantage of Using Spaces’ library of hundreds of icons, frames, and front classes.
You can always create an excellent logo that expresses your brand identity.
Besides, you can do that without any design training and without spending any money.
Slack is a collaborative messaging tool that works perfectly for small teams.
To do that effectively, it runs “#channels,” which can be separated by topics.
That way, important conversations on business topics aren’t interrupted by discussions during team bonding activities.
You can get creative with all the themed options on this platform to make the best impression.
Moreover, themed slack groups have excellent networking potential.
When you create, you can always share your new content with relevant, influential players in your industry.
For ease of use, you’ve got a straightforward online marketing tool. Sure, you get to see advanced features, but it’s still free.
For example, you can use the slack app for anything you want to accomplish. Thanks to Slack’s strong developer network.
Build your app
Building your Slack app isn’t difficult as well. Perhaps all you want is to notify your teams of transactions, anomalies, or results from online experiments.
Designing a Slack app might be a good solution for that.
LinkedIn is another powerful free tool for small businesses. It’ll make a whole lot of sense for B2B companies.
Stats also show that LinkedIn has over 700 million members and is the most trusted social media network in the United States.
What are you waiting for?
It’s only normal to take advantage of the endless possibilities LinkedIn offers.
More than 55 million companies are currently on LinkedIn, so it’s a great tool to help your small business grow.
Creating a profile on this platform is very easy. Get going so that you can start networking with other professionals.
Getting on various social media platforms gives you a voice. As positive as the results are, it’s a time-consuming process, particularly for businesses.
As such, you need a suitable social media scheduler to help you manage your business.
Buffer makes that possible with its forever-free plan. That way, you can use social media to your advantage on time.
For example, if your customers have come to expect your post at certain times, Buffer can help you keep to it.
On the free plan, you’re allowed to add three separate social media channels to your account.
For example, you can have a mix of the top platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Buffer will help you schedule up to 10 posts per week.
8) Sniply for Growth Hacking
The fact a handful of businesses can stand alone. That’s why cooperation is vital, especially among small businesses looking to thrive.
If social media marketing appeals to you, it makes sense to regularly share content from reputable experts.
Industry experts know their way around. As such, sharing their content will build trust with your audience.
A great tool to help you is Sniply. It’s a powerful tool that lets you include a call-to-action on every piece of content you share.
Since the content you share lives on a website that you don’t control, there’s a slim chance that any user visits your site after reading the article.
Give way for action
That’s where Sniply comes in. It lets you put an inbound button or CTA into a frame that the article sits inside.
You then gain some control of the platform and ensuing traffic from the non-affiliated content.
9) Help a Reporter Out
Help a Reporter Out, or HARO is a proven way to market your business for free.
It’s an invaluable resource that links journalists to qualified sources. That makes it a great avenue to gain some free publicity.
You can get someone on your line of business quoted as a source in a popular publication.
Another purpose you can put HARO includes using it to generate backlinks to your website.
That way, stand a better chance of getting higher in Google searches.
Building a robust email list is one huge advantage for your small business. Social media is equally important, but you don’t genuinely own followers on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
For mailing, it’s all a different ball game. That’s because you have complete control over your email list.
One tool that strengthens your control over your email list is Mailchimp. Not only is it popular, but it’s also free for up to 2,000 subscribers.
In line with that, it is a desirable option for small businesses just getting started with email marketing.
You can do a plethora of things with it, including sending surveys, creating tags, and doing basic audience segmentation.
11) Hotjar Analytics
This platform comes free but offers good, paid options if you can swing it. You’re not alone in trying to anticipate your customer’s moves or knowing what they’re doing.
You can learn things like where they click, how far they scroll, and how often they open their emails.
Hotjar will help you do all the above through innovative heatmaps, click maps, scroll maps, and visitor recordings.
This tool can also analyze your funnel and insert messages and surveys to your visitors.
Armed with all that information Hotjar lets you have, you can design your posts in a more precise way.
It would help if you had simple solutions to take your business to the next level. If you run a website or blog with WordPress, you’ll have a platform to improve your chances.
That’s because it presents a straightforward way to create a new landing page. The content you create falls into Posts.
As such, the static content for landing pages like “Sign up for our webinar” or others .can be made easily via Pages.
Using WordPress isn’t a tricky thing. We already mentioned you could build a new landing page and use this as the focal point of your social media ad campaign.
It can also be used for your social media updates.
You combine specific plug-ins with WordPress. For example, WooDojo can hide the content you create in your sidebar for particular pages.
That way, you get to minimize the look of your page.
Medium is an excellent platform, especially if you can hack the paid option after using the free version.
While many people do not think of Medium as a tool, it’s great for starting a new blog as quickly as possible. In fact, it’s challenging to find a platform that comes closer to Medium.
Many burgeoning startups start their blog at Medium. In line with that, they enjoy a built-in audience from the start and have networking tools to help their content spread.
Another thing is Medium’s newest feature which is an email newsletter.
This newsletter lets you automatically get in touch with people who follow you by sharing your latest articles.
With SEMrush, you get a fantastic tool that allows businesses to track how visible their websites are on Google.
It’s a viable tool that also lets you do competitor research. As such, it’s possible to get information on what the competition is doing better than you.
When you get that kind of information, you can decide where to improve your business online.
Perhaps you’ll find that you have to spend more in certain areas to generate more leads.
Whether you believe it or not, there are many fantastic video-creating tools out there.
One of them is Wistia which is great for sharing videos on social media or via your website.
Wistia comes tailored for creating marketers’ videos. That’s because the player keeps visitors on your page or sends them precisely where you want them to go next.
It’s all great, considering the sheer number of content you can share.
To get started on Wistia, you can upload your video and hit the settings button to add other stuff like a call-to-action button.
You can also email capture forms at the end of the video. Wistia is another tool that also makes it easy to view heatmaps and viewing trends of your videos.
That way, you get to learn how far most people get through your video, when they pause or click, etc.
Whatever the tool you settle for, you’re going to need one that is optimized-friendly and user testing.
As such, Peek is the go-to name because, like others, it helps you figure out how people are using your website.
That includes A/B testing and other methods to give you some analytics.
There are other fantastic options to give you insight into your business. You’ll get pointers on how to plan and strategize for better growth.
Also, when you see and hear a five-minute video of a natural person using your website, there’s so much to learn about where you stand.
You may need some help here. Ask a person to go through your website or blog from the home page.
Much later, you can also ask someone to test out a specific flow via your website on the landing page.
The tests take about three days. Thankfully, you’re allowed three Peek tests every month.
Right after its parent company, Google, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world.
It’s gotten to a stage where many people would rather watch a short video than read about a company.
Perhaps they can only imagine the vast number of pages to flip through.
Get into it
Stats show that YouTube is also the second most used social media platform after Facebook.
The fact is that more people have taken to YouTube, and people watch more than 1 billion hours of video every single day.
As a small business, you can create 10 to 15 videos answering FAQs about your business. To make the videos well-known, you can syndicate and transpose them.
If you do it well enough, you’ll take over a lot of space to establish yourself as an expert.
This free marketing tool won’t put debt in your pockets. SoundCloud is another social media site where you can upload and share audio clips.
While it’s true a big part of the community is made up of musicians, business podcasts are growing on the platform.
You can take advantage of this to create eye-catching content.
Perhaps, you’re already using audio content to attract your target audience. You can consider distributing your podcasts on SoundCloud as well.
While Snapchat is not as popular as other social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook, it plays a significant role in marketing.
However, many businesses choose to neglect its great features. For example, you can use Snapchat’s “My Story” to give your audience an inside look at your company culture.
You can also get feedback from your audience by asking them to screenshot parts of your “story” as a form of voting.
The name sounds like something out of an excellent martial arts movie. Perhaps the actions it performs are that tough.
Well, sometimes, all you want is a little knowledge about what your competitors are doing differently.
That’s where SpyFu comes in. It can provide you with more knowledge into how your competitors work.
You get to learn:
- What your competitors are willing to speed or spent on campaigns.
- What they do to achieve higher rankings on Google
You can always use this insight to pick out top performers and copy their campaigns.
Trello is yet another free tool that lets you organize anything by creating “boards” and then adding “cards” to those boards. You can add absolutely anything to these boards.
Trello helps you to plan and organize everything from a company blog to events and different agendas.
Referrals are good old ways to let people know about your product and services. If you think it’s not quite the “tool,” think again.
The fact is you need people to let others know just how good your products are.
Ask your contacts and existing audience to help you out, and make it easy for them to make referrals.
While some tools and apps make marketing easy, the ones outlined here will go a long way to help your small business grow.
Like Snapchat and YouTube, some here are well known by consumers and give you a free platform for sharing your company culture.
Other tools like SEMrush and Google Analytics will help you track brand visibility and website traffic.
That way, it’s easier to evaluate your online presence. Others will help you get your mail list together or put your marketing plans in place.
Either way, they’re all essential tools you can master at the initial stages of your business. The best part? They don’t cost a thing!