Whether you’re marketing for an established company, or just trying to get a new business up and running, growing your marketing is crucial.
Unless you can spread your brand awareness and business presence, you’ll never achieve the sales you’re after.
But, while the simple answer is to simply say, “Let’s advertise more,” it’s often easier said than done.
After all, you’ve got a limited budget to work with, and advertising isn’t getting any cheaper.
Even before the pandemic, consumer buying habits were shifting towards online. With quarantines, lockdowns, and social distancing initiatives, the trend accelerated.
Marketers were quick to join suit, embracing the online push.
However, like any supply-and-demand business, online advertising costs began to soar.
By July 2021, Facebook and Instagram cost per mille (CPM for short, the cost to serve your ad to 1,000 people) rose 89%. YouTube’s CPM more than doubled – up 108%.
With costs on the rise, you need some alternative solutions. But where do you turn?
Fortunately, there are some great free marketing tools at your disposal.
Let’s take a look at some of the ones that can make a big difference in your marketing today.
Social Media: Getting the Word Out
Social media is a fast and reliable way to connect with friends and family.
But, as you’ve probably seen, it’s capable of so much more. As far as free marketing tools go, it needs to be at the top of your list.
In 2022, nearly 4 billion people use some form of social media, a number projected to increase substantially over the next several years.
People are also spending more time on it than ever before, averaging two and a half hours per day.
Signing up for Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Instagram, etc., is a simple and effective way to reach out to potential customers. And it’s a completely free marketing tool you need to use.
These platforms serve to begin the building of your brand, and really engage your customer base.
If you aren’t using them yet, it’s time to start. From promoting your content and sharing customer stories, to publishing engaging graphics and product information – your social media accounts serve as a gateway to your brand and its voice.
Though you can certainly choose to pay for boosted posts or advertisements, at their core, they’re completely free marketing tools – and the first place you should start.
Google Analytics: Tracking Your Data
Google Analytics is another free marketing tool you can use to track all sorts of data from your website.
This program allows you to track how long visitors stayed on your webpages, what devices they used to access it, how long they spent, and much more.
Further, this program allows you to see the genders, age groups, and other demographics to help you reach your target audience.
Use it to find out which pages spark the most engagement, while also tracking where people go after landing on one of your pages.
Most importantly, you can determine whether or not they actually turn into conversions (complete a form, download content, etc.).
Google Analytics might seem intimidating at first, but it provides a wealth of information.
And, if you’re a newcomer to the platform, they even offer free courses for beginners.
Google Trends is a Free Marketing Tool on the Rise
As far as free marketing tools go, Google Trends is indispensable when you’re researching for keywords or phrases for your content and website.
But it’s not just about which words to use, it’s also about when to use them.
Here, you can see that the term “winter boots” far outranks “winter shoes”. So, you might opt for “winter boots” as your keyword focus, rather than “winter shoes”.
Additionally, you see these search terms rise dramatically starting in mid-August, reaching their peak in November/early December.
If you’re marketing for any sort of seasonal or cyclical business, you need to know when people are looking for you.
With Google Trends, you’ll know (for free).
Bitly: A Link to Success
Bitly is a free marketing tool that not only shortens your website links, but also shows you which links are getting the most results.
The way it works is simple: you enter the URL you want your audience to visit, and Bitly converts it into a much shorter link. Just copy and paste on social media, emails, etc., and voilà.
But why go through the trouble? Simple.
Bitly keeps track of links you use, tracking the results. Need to know which content is generating the most clicks? Bitly can do that.
This little gem of a tool shows you the time of day you get the clicks, the geographic location they came from, and how viewers arrived at your page (Facebook, Twitter, Google searches, etc.).
It’s great to see which content pieces people are actually clicking on and checking out.
Once you see what’s working and what’s not, you can steer your valuable (and limited) time in the right directions.
HubSpot – Keeping the Leads Alive
As far as free marketing tools go, HubSpot is another one you don’t want to miss out on.
This dynamic customer management system (CMS) tracks your customer’s journey, letting you know if people clicked and read your emails.
Additionally, Hubspot keeps tabs of all of your customers, allows you to segment them, and tracks sales.
But what we really like about HubSpot, beyond your standard CMS tools, is that it connects to your website forms.
What does this mean? In the event your website forms fail to send information to your email (hey, things happen), Hubspot still sends confirmation that the form was completed – so you don’t lose the lead.
And, it adds both the company name and customer name to your database while showing you where they went on your website and eventually converted.
HubSpot also manages content and improve customer service.
The best part? The free version does all of that!
Canva – Design Your Brand
Whether you’re looking to create business cards, logos, social media images, or any other graphic design, but don’t have the access or know-how for Adobe programs, Canva is a must.
With easy-to-use interfaces and hundreds of templates available, even those with limited design backgrounds can make beautiful and eye-catching graphics in minutes.
It’s one of the easiest graphic design programs out there – and it’s free.
You can upload your own images, or use stock photos Canva provides.
Upload them directly to social media, or use in any number of ways you want.
Webpushr, Notifying Your Customers
Webpushr delivers notifications to customers any time new content is distributed.
This free marketing tool provides the option for your online visitors to “opt-in” for alerts and notifications any time new material is distributed.
Sure, most visitors are probably going to ignore it. BUT, if even a small fraction choose to follow you, you’ll automatically be put in touch with them.
And, because they’re the people most interested in what your brand is doing, this is exactly the demographic you want to target.
When used in combination with email campaigns and other regularly distributed content, you’ll know you’re hitting the right target base.
Mailchimp Delivers – For Free
At some point, you’re probably going to need to start sending out emails. Lots of emails.
Coupons, newsletters, product offerings, fresh content… the list goes on.
Mailchimp offers a convenient way to reach out to thousands of people at once, delivering your message right to their inbox.
Though there are lots of ways to send emails, using the right delivery system actually makes a big impact.
Experiments show that using a marketing platform like Mailchimp lowers messages sent to spam, and increases the likelihood your target audience actually receive your message.
Although Mailchimp charges for their more specialized services, they also offer a fantastic entry-level option — mailing lists up to 2,000 people and up to 10,000 emails per month — for free.
Free Marketing Tools Work Better Together
These free marketing tools are great ways to engage and interact with your target audience.
From spreading the word, getting customer feedback, and managing your advertising, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get the results you’re after.
Alone, each of these free marketing tools play only a small role. But, when used in combination, they become powerful enough to boost traffic and increase leads.
If you’re looking for an edge in your marketing, there’s no harm in the simple phrase: “If it’s free, it’s for me.”
If you like what you read and want to learn more, check out the Content Marketing Pro course.
We’re offering a free mini course, showing you how to structure your website for lead generation, and how to build your brand on social media.
Also, make sure to check out the full course if you want to take your business’s marketing to the next level!
Learn everything you need to become a marketer – without financing your future with an expensive degree. From SEO to graphic design, we teach small business owners and freelancers to actually earn money with their marketing.
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