Five free marketing tools that every small business should know about
No budget, no problem! There are so many great, free, tools out there to help small businesses with their marketing. You just have to know where to look.
1. Canva is a free tool that enables people with no graphic design experience to create professional looking graphics. I use this daily for social media because it provides templates to ensure your graphics are the correct size for posting to your site and allows you to add text or create grid images. I frequently use this for instagram, facebook and linkedin, but also created my own logo, business cards and blog post images using this tool. It’s also good for creating menus, posters, invitations and flyers and for creating infographics.
There are a number of scheduling tools for social media posts. I picked Buffer because it’s the one that I’m used to using. I often post Instagram pics and stories on the fly but, when I want to schedule posts, Buffer is my go to tool. On the free version you can schedule for any 3 channels e.g Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. You can add images and links, and the long URL that you add will be shortened to a more manageable size. However, you can only post one image at a time to Instagram using Buffer so if you want to add a series of images to your Instagram post then you’ll need to add this directly.
To maintain a GDPR compliant mailing list, send professional templated emails and automate campaigns, I am a fan of Mailchimp. It’s free to use for lists of up to 2000 subscribers. The templates are easy ‘drag and drop’ style formats and you can configure them with your logo, brand colours and fonts. I integrated it with my website and it was very straightforward, so now sign ups on my website go straight to my mailchimp list. You can schedule your mailing list and there’s good reporting features to see how many emails have been opened, how many links have been clicked and if anyone has unsubscribed.
If you are regularly sending emails, sharing blog posts or using social media then you’ll probably need access to strong images to make these all shine. There are a number of sites that offer free images but my two favourites are Pexels and Pixabay. They offer photographic images and illustrations (the one for this post is from Pixabay) that will give your marketing a much more polished and professional look. I’ve used them on my website too.
If you are regularly sharing content to boost your SEO and build authority, you will know that it takes a lot of time to create. Another way to keep your audience engaged is to ‘curate’ content from other sources and share this too. Find content that’s relevant to your business and your audience and share information that is valuable and interesting. Two sites which I use for content curation are Feedly and Flipboard. Search the topics you are interested in and the sites you’d like to follow, and set up a regular feed. Here’s a snip of my ‘Interior Design’ feed from today on Feedly.
I'm a marketing consultant providing creative marketing services for small and medium sized businesses in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and the surrounding area, on a project or freelance basis. Contact me at the email or number below for more information