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Free Marketing Tools That Will Help Grow Your Business

Marketing is one of those things that most small business owners shy away from.

And I get it.

It’s often viewed as an annoying chore that needs to be done.

But if you put aside some time each week, it doesn’t have to be a difficult task.

Here are some free marketing tools to get your started.

Email Marketing

Mailchimp is hands-down the best one to start with since it’s free to businesses that have less than 2,000 subscribers.

Mailchimp logo free marketing tools
Logo courtesy of Mailchimp


It’s also fairly intuitive, and if you run into problems, the company’s chat service is fast and effective.

Once you have your contacts in a “List,” there are lots of templates to choose from in the “Templates” section. That is where you will design and send out your campaigns/e-newsletters.

You can also set up your newsletter through MailChimp’s RSS feature, which means that when you update your blog (given that you have one), the update will automatically be part of your newsletter’s content.  I have my e-newsletter scheduled to go out once a week through this RSS service. I may change this down the road, but for now, it suits my needs.

Know that your e-newsletter will not go out via RSS feed if you don’t have any blog updates that particular week.

Design Tools

Canva is my number one go-to tool when I want to create a design for a Facebook post, a cover for a publication, an infographic, or even a multi-page document like a lead magnet that I want to create to gain more subscribers to my blog.

girl with cup of tea at computer free marketing toolsCanva is easy to use and over the last two years, it has improved immensely. It is now available on mobile devices. If you want to learn more about Canva, I suggest that you subscribe to Jess Creatives. Jess creates great tutorials that are easy to implement.

While you can do a lot with the free version of Canva, I’m sure there are extra bells and whistles with the paid version. You can pay $12.95 a month if you have a team of fewer than 30 people.

Piktochart is another free tool that is particularly useful if you’re creating infographics, presentations, reports, flyers and more, as is Venngage, a free infographic maker.

After providing the URL to your website, Venngage will gather together your brand colors, as well as your logo. It will ask you to like as many of their templates as you want before creating your infographic. The tool is fairly intuitive, so don’t worry if you feel that you have no design skills. Have fun with it instead!

Social Media

If you’re not on social media by now, you are missing out. I know that social media gets a bad rap these days, and some of it is warranted.

Posting consistently will do a lot for your brand and your social media presence. A free tool I like to use is called Buffer.

a smartphone with blocks of letters beside it free marketing toolsYou can schedule future posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Make sure you set aside a few hours each week to work on your social media strategy. Once you’ve lined up your posts, Buffer will do the rest.

To get more traction, it’s a good idea at some stage to make use of the advertising tools that social media platforms offer. That means spending some cash, however.

Facebook and Instagram are the top two, in my opinion. Facebook attracts older consumers, while Instagram is more popular with younger people, although that is changing.

To advertise on Facebook or Instagram, you must have a business account. Since Facebook owns Instagram, once you set up a page and gather a decent number of followers, you can switch your Instagram account to a business one. Your profile on both will then be connected.

I have advertised on Facebook, and I must say it is a bit of a learning curve at first. Stick with it and you will see results. Remember to choose your target audience carefully and don’t spend too much money your first time around. Set a budget at around $5 a day and monitor your ad to see how it’s doing.

I haven’t yet advertised on Instagram, but no doubt it works the same way and the same principles apply.

Google Alerts

I use this service a lot to keep an eye on certain trends that I want to write about later. It is especially helpful when looking for inspiration for my blog or other content. It’s also important to keeping an eye on my competition and managing my brand identity, among other things.

computer monitors free marketing toolsRemember, that when you’re creating a Google Alert, you should ideally put quotations around the words/phrase that you want to be alerted about. That way, Google will track that particular query when the exact words are strung together in order. Otherwise, you’ll get results that are not useful to you.

However, it’s also useful to track any mentions that your business may get. Suppose you write a blog post and you then set up an alert for the particular topic you’ve written about. There’s a chance that it could be republished on another site. To ensure that you get the proper credit and more importantly, valuable backlinks, you’ll want to know about that mention. Plus, it’s good for SEO rankings and provides you with a window into your online traffic.

It’s also a good idea to set up a Google Alert for your company name and any products that you produce, just in case they are mentioned in social media posts or blogs.

You could also create an alert or two for your competitors. The exercise is not to steal from them but to know what they are doing and then put your own spin on it.

Google Analytics

Anyone who has a website should be tracking its performance on Google Analytics. Once you have registered your website with this tool, you’ll need to copy a piece of code that allows Google to collect data from your website.

That includes the amount of traffic you are getting, where it is coming from, what pages are most viewed and clicked on, the times that visitors are going to your website, where they are from, and much more.

social media icons free marketing toolsYou’ll also get an idea of your audience demographics, including age, sex, and interests. All of these things can help you better optimize the content on your site.

What’s really neat about Google Analytics, though, is that you can get a snapshot of the behavior of your visitors and what pages they seem to prefer.

Google’s Bounce Rate is perhaps the most important metric the service provides. If your website has a high rate, that means that visitors are leaving your website after visiting only one page. That means they are not finding what they are looking for.

That should lead you to make some changes to the content of your site or offer different content on your blog based on what Google Analytics is telling you. If one blog topic seems to be performing well, then you may need to write something else on that topic.

Google Analytics also looks at the speed of your website. If it’s slow, Google will give you some suggestions to make it perform better through its PageSpeed Insights tool.

Google Keyword Planner

To make sure you are using the right keywords in your blog posts and throughout your website, you shouldn’t rely on guessing. Instead, Google’s Keyword Planner is the best alternative for your search engine optimization efforts.

Entering a keyword phrase will give you all sorts of results, not only on the phrase you just inputted but also on variations of that phrase.

an open book with words on pages free marketing toolsThe results will show you the volume of searches being done on that particular phrase, the CPC value (Cost Per Click), which refers to the actual price you’ll pay in your marketing campaigns, if you run any, the average monthly searches for that particular phrase, the competition, as well as the low and high range bids that advertisers have paid in the past for that keyword. Google bases all of this on your geographical location and search network settings.

Whether you use one or more of the above free tools is completely up to you, but it’s a good idea to test at least some them to see what works best for your business.

There’s really nothing to lose.

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