7 free digital marketing tools you need to start using
You’ve opened your business, and to make it grow you have to start marketing it, but your budget is already stretched pretty thin. You know that digital marketing is by far the most cost-effective way to raise awareness to your brand, and reach thousands of potential customers. You certainly want your business to thrive, but as a small-business owner, you just don’t have the funds to invest in all the tools and apps required to get the job done.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money. There are plenty of awesome free tools out there that can help you to plan, organize and execute your marketing strategy.
Here are seven free tools that can make your digital marketing efforts a little easier, and you can start using them immediately to drive results for your business. Some of the tools offer paid enhanced features, but the basic free features are probably enough for you at this stage.
1_ Google Drive
Google Drive cloud office suite has made our lives so much easier by allowing us to get stuff done from anywhere in the world. You can get your work done from any device and at any time while being able to invite others to view, download, and collaborate on any file.
Google Drive offers 15GB of free online storage, and all you need is a Gmail email account to get started. You can keep your email, safely store and edit your documents, and are able to access them on any smartphone, tablet, or computer. You no longer have to worry about attaching a file to an email or storing it in a pen drive to have access to it. All you need to do is log in to your Gmail account, et voilá, all your files will be there.
Google Drive also comes with a suite of free apps similar to MS Office, but online. You can use Google Sheets to plan your social media content, analyze your performance reports and collaborate with your team in real time. Use Google Docs to write the content for your ads or blog posts, and Google Slides to put together a presentation for your business.
You can easily share these documents with anyone, defining the access permissions necessary to get the work done. You’re also able to comment, discuss in real time. and keep track of all the changes made to the document over time, and can revert back to an old version of the document if you need to.
Price: Premium starts at €1.99/month for 100 GB.
Good quality stock photography can elevate your brand’s appeal and make you stand out while setting the tone for your brand’s visual identity. Being able to access good quality royalty free stock photography at a price you can afford used to be a challenge, but not anymore. Unsplash is a website dedicated to sharing incredibly cool stock photography from over 110,000 contributing photographers with a growing library of over 810,000 photos. Unsplash is seen by many as The source for quality free photos, both for personal and commercial purposes.
Designing professional looking ads for your campaigns or developing images for social media, were only possible if done by a trained graphic designer, using expensive design apps. Canva is an amazing “freemium” graphic design tool that anyone can easily use. It helps you create attractive visuals for everything, from social media to banners, presentations and even business cards.
Canva offers ready to use layout templates that you can edit and customize, as well as access to a million photos, graphics and fonts. Designing consistently stunning graphics for your business, both for digital and print, couldn’t be simpler. The free account comes with 1GB of storage and allows access to up to 10 team members, from any device.
Price: Freemium. Premium starts at $12.95/month.
Despite the challenges that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), 59% of consumers stated in a recent DMA UK report that email is still the prefered channel to hear from brands, and 57% of people read more than half of the emails they receive.
It’s clear from these stats that email marketing is one of the most important aspects of your digital strategy. Completely free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month, MailChimp is the favourite email marketing tool of thousands of digital professionals across the world.
MailChimp is easy and fun to use, and one of the best options in the market for small businesses to get to grips with newsletters and email campaigns. The email campaign builder is intuitive and comes with a range of templates and built-in signup forms that are very easy to customise. Tracking features are included as a standard with some basic analytics reporting that will give you most, if not all the insights you need to start out.
Price: Free up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Premium starts from $10/month.
Hootsuite is a popular social media management tool that can help you manage all your social media accounts in one place. The free plan is perfect for individuals who want to manage their social media accounts, schedule content and engage with their audience. You can easily connect up to three social media accounts for free, and if you need to add more, you can always upgrade to one of the paid plans while also unlocking further features. It also allows you to track analytics for your social media and keep tabs on your competitors and influencers in your niche, by using keywords and hashtags via its ‘streams’ feature.
Hootsuite connects with over 35 popular social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest, etc.) and in the paid plans it also allows you to boost your best performing content directly from your dashboard.
Price: Free up to three social media accounts. Premium starts from €25/month (ex. VAT).
Grammarly is a powerful tool that automatically checks anything you write or publish in an Internet browser. Type away confidently on your browser and let Grammarly flag up potential issues with grammar, spelling, style, and tone. Grammarly helps you to get rid of embarrassing mistakes and find the perfect words to express yourself. It’s available via a browser extension for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. Grammarly is also available as an app for both iOS and Android.
Price: Freemium. Paid plans start from $11.66 / month and include enhanced checking features as well as a plagiarism checker.
7_ Google Alerts
There are plenty of paid tools to keep track of the brand mentions, however, Google alerts is a powerful and free tool that will allow you to be notified every time your brand or keywords are mentioned.
You can easily set up alerts for any mentions of your brand, competitors, industry-specific keywords, or campaign hashtags. It’s mainly based on analysis of sites and misses out on social media mentions but you can track those using Hootsuite Streams.
There was a time when you would have to spend thousands on software alone, but luckily for you, there are now plenty of free tools that can help you kick start your marketing.
Digital marketing is the most effective way to reach potential customers for your business, and having a small marketing budget or no budget at all is no longer an obstacle to reaching them. You should start taking advantage of these free tools straight away and go after your ideal customers.
Are you ready to spark up your business but need professional help to meet your ambitious goals? Contact us today so that we can discuss how we can help you.