11 (Free) Online Tools Every Entrepreneur Should Use in Their Marketing Stack
When you’re running your own business, you know how important is to have the right tools to get the job done. You’re probably also aware of just how important marketing is for the success of your business.
But you can’t say ‘business’ without ‘budget’ and sometimes, an entrepreneur must learn to use the tools they have at their disposal.
Lucky for us, we live in a time where there are ample digital marketing tools available — for free. It’s totally possible to have a solid marketing stack for $0.
Since analysis paralysis can be a major roadblock, I’ve rounded up some of my favourite free digital marketing tools that every small business owner should know about!
Email Marketing: Mailchimp
In the SMB marketing world, there is no bigger mantra than “grow your list”. And, when it comes to email marketing I can’t think of a more SMB friendly tool than Mailchimp. It’s free plan (which allows up to 2000 subscribers) is good for those who are looking to get started with email marketing without all the fuss. Heaps of great learning materials, third-party integrations and extensive analytics make the Forever Free plan worth trying out.
Social Media Scheduling: Buffer
There’s no digital marketing strategy without a social media component. You’ll be hardpressed to find a marketing stack roundup that doesn’t include Buffer—its super clean and user-friendly interface make scheduling for social media a breeze (even for the likes of me). The free plan lets you connect one profile from each network, and you can schedule up to 10 posts per network at a time.
Social Media Management: Hootsuite
If you’re looking for something more robust to monitor and manage your social media profiles, then check out Hootsuite. On top of scheduling capabilities, you can manage multiple streams in one dashboard, cross post content and even monitor mentions, replies or direct messages from your audiences.
Content Discovery: Feedly
Curating content is a pillar of social media marketing. Since the shutdown of Google Reader, many have turned to Feedly for their content discovery. Why? Because the interface is clean and familiar (similar to Google Reader) and it integrates nicely with third-party apps (Hootsuite, Buffer, Evernote to name a few).
Content Creation: Medium
When you’re just starting out with online marketing, growing an audience is the overarching goal. But it can be deflating to constantly create content that gets no love. Medium, a blogging community with a built-in audience, helps solve that problem—you can create and share content with fellow peers while driving traffic to your website. You can also follow other industry blogs to boost curation and connect with other creators in your niche.
Social Media Conversion: Snip.ly
The downside to curating content is that you’re constantly sending people to someone else’s website. What if there was a way for you to direct some of that traffic back to your homepage? With Snip.ly, you can. It’s a simple tool that allows you to overlay a call-to-action to any link that you share, so readers know where to go next.
Web Tracking: Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a treasure trove of data, all for free. It pretty much tracks everything in terms of traffic to your website. It can seem overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will have a ton of information at your disposal.
Web Reporting: Quill Engage
If getting the hang of Google Analytics is something you don’t have time for right now, Quill Engage can extract the valuable pieces of information and deliver it to your inbox in a super simple, easy-to-read report. Yes, it’s that easy.
Social Analytics and Reporting: Simply Measured
I’m a sucker for free reports and Simply Measured has a stack that takes the cake. They offer free enterprise-level social analytics across the spectrum of networks that can help you see how your brand’s performance is doing. These reports are also good for doing competitive research too!
Customer Engagement: SurveyMonkey
SurveyMonkey’s free plan packs a lot of power—lots of ready-made tools, a drag and drop survey builder with social media sharing options. Collecting customer feedback and doing market research doesn’t have to be painful. Bonus points for its clear and easy to understand interface.
User Testing: Peek
Launching a website is no easy feat. You’ve toiled away at the design, copy and everything in between so while you may think it’s easy to navigate and understand, others may not. If you want to know how users view your website, try Peek. Plug in your URL and email address to get a five minute video of a real person using your website sent to your inbox. Feedback is a gift and understanding how people view your website is super valuable.
Which of your favourite digital marketing tools would you add to the list? Which tool are you most excited to use from this list? Let us know in a comment below!
Featured image via Shutterstock