If you are serious about growing your business or brand this year, there are so many great marketing tools online that can help you do just that, even for free. You just need to know which ones.
Because “free” is the price most people initially gravitate to, especially when they are first starting out, or have a limited budget, we’ve compiled a list of the best marketing tools available on the Web that have free plans you can use to get great exposure and grow your business steadily over time.
Most of these tools are so good, we use them ourselves. Try the tools today. You can achieve tremendous success by including the tools in your marketing arsenal.
Evernote is an incredibly useful app designed for note-taking, organizing ideas into a document form and archiving them for future access. A staple among those who love making notes for content or promotion ideas, Evernotes’ strength also lies in its ability to sync your documents across different devices.
BuzzSumo is another awesome tool with one simple aim: To help you find what articles people are sharing, and who is sharing them. From this simple start, you can gain a wealth of information to help you in your marketing efforts, including what type and length of content your audience really wants. With the free account, you can only get limited information, but definitely enough to find out what works and what doesn’t.
TinyLetter is an elegant, simple app that lets you create and distribute email newsletters, which are a great way to get your ideas into people’s inboxes each week, and start building a following. It even lets people sign up straight from Twitter. Alexis Madrigal, deputy editor at The Atlantic, says the app helped him grow his own newsletter to thousands and thousands of readers.
If you have hired someone to help you in your online works, then Asana is a powerful task assigner and manager designed just for you. You can use it to organize and track your workload among the people who you work with without having to constantly go back and forth over email. Asana also allows you to pre-determine the task you need your workforce to do and separate them per workspace.
A recent study found that 85 percent of small businesses get customers through word of mouth. If you don’t want to miss out on lots of new business, you can use ReferralSnip to set up your own referral program in under a minute. Just enter a few company details, design your snippet and your customers can start referring new customers to your business online.
Many of us are not Photoshop pros, but that does not mean you can’t create beautiful graphics for your marketing efforts. Canva helps even the most graphically-challenged among us to create everything from presentations to social-media images for free, within minutes. You can use its templates, store everything online and even access stock images to include in your work. Another great tool you can use to do minor photo editing if you aren’t familiar with using adobe Photoshop is PicMonkey.
Most businesses juggle several social media accounts at once, which can be problematic. BufferApp makes scheduling and sharing your content on various social media websites a breeze, all from one dashboard. We love it for its ease of use. An equally great tool for sharing your content on various social media websites you should consider is HootSuite. HootSuite also allows you to schedule your tweets, Facebook status updates, Google+ shares and various other awesome things from one dashboard.
BuzzBundle is an incredibly powerful social media tracking and management tool. You can use it to manage different types of social media activities, including monitoring conversation touching on your brand and competitors, creating different social media personas (up to three personas for the free plan) to join in on conversations touching on your business, and updating multiple social networks from one dashboard. The application is indispensable to brands and individuals engaged in brand management, social media marketing and market research.
If you’d like to grow your Twitter network and make sense of your Twitter account, Tweepi is a handy tool. With Tweepi you can add targeted Twitter users and unfollow the inactive ones. A similar tool that helps you manage your Twitter account is CrowdFireApp.
Speaking of making sense of your Twitter account, Social Rank groups your best Twitter followers, most engaged and most valuable. From this information, you can focus your attention and care on the more engaged, valuable customers. Social Rank generates a free report once you sign up.
This tool is a useful for those looking to drive more leads from Facebook, and those new to Facebook marketing in general. LikeAlyzer analyzes your Facebook pages and generates reports highlighting areas for improvement so you know how you stack up by industry standards and against similar brands.
PikToCart has a free version with dozens of features that allow you to create beautiful infographics without you having to know anything about graphic designing. Because images are often easier to comprehend than text, creating infographics can deliver your message powerfully, and “Take your visual communication to the next level, without hiring a professional designer.”
There is a high chance that you will want to advertise your products or services on the Internet. Google AdWords allows you to create online ads for thousands of channels (e.g. Google results page, other websites, mobile ads, etc.). You can start with a minimal budget and work your way up, but AdWords also has various promos allowing you to open an account and receive free credit of about $100 to $150. Look at their promos and you will surely find one, based on your geographical location.
Want to keep track of what people are saying about you and your competitors? Mention helps you track key phrases and brand names, in real time, so you never miss out on a conversation with current and potential customers.
Zapier integrates the many apps you use regularly and automates interactions between hundreds of other popular app, such as Evernote, Gmail, BufferApp, and more to make your life easier. For instance, you can add a new Twitter follower to a Google Docs spreadsheet or send a Wufoo form entry to Salesforce. The service is free up to 100 tasks and five zaps (app integrations), then rises to paid plans, depending on the amount of tasks, zaps and how often your zaps occur.
What other tools would you add to this list? Add them as a comment below!
See Also: 8 Tips to Nail Your Online Research
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by Hugh MacLeod
Ever wonder what it really takes to make a living as a creative person in today's complicated world?
MacLeod presents some witty keys for creative success, including "ignore everybody. Why should you "ignore everybody"?
Because, he writes, nobody else can tell you whether your idea is worthwhile. People can give you advice, but at the end of the day, it's your decision. The more original an idea, the less helpful the advice is going to be.
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