Nowadays, small business owners usually market their own products and services. It is easier yet more competitive to grab customers’ attention. However, if you use the right marketing tools, your product or service can get ahead of your competitor. There are tons of marketing tools at your disposal. We’ve compiled the best ones which also offer free services.
Our most successful clients use most of them. Many depend on them as they generate a significant number of leads. Here is a list of 17 free marketing tools every small business owner should know about.
1. Quora: This is a question and answer website. A user poses a question, and another user, who is often an expert, answers the question. How do you use Quora to market your small business? Only answer questions that are related to your business and make sure they’re high value. And if you have a blog post or other article that answers the question in more detail, write, “for more detailed information” then drop the link. If it’s a popular topic, people will click the link and visit your website. If your answers get many upvotes, Quora could also include them in its Quora Digest. Online publishers like Inc magazine syndicate answers on Quora.
2. Reddit: If used the right way, Reddit can be a powerful marketing tool for your small business. Reddit can drive a lot of traffic to your website, but you have to choose the right sub-Reddit group to join. Don’t be spammy because the members of Reddit can be very unforgiving. You can share links to your blog posts, but make sure you read the guidelines of each subReddit. Failing to adhere can have you blocked. Make sure that the title or headline of your post is catchy and relevant. Include an image in each post because some sub-Reddits pull through your image when you share a link.
3. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer: This is an excellent marketing tool that’s free. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer helps you to write headlines that drive traffic, shares and search results to your website content. Type in your headline and the systems grades and gives feedback. Target to have a grade of 70 and above.
4. Canva: It’s often been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. If you have a blog, make sure that you add an image to each post. Canva is a graphic design platform for non-graphic designers. It’s intuitive and easy to use. Blog posts that use images tend to get 94 percent more views. Add your logo to every image you create for branding.
5. Lumen5: Creating new and engaging content is vital for social media marketing. That’s why we recommend Lumen5 to help you create content seamlessly. Video is so important these days because they have a higher engagement rate than photos. Lumen5 is a great tool for creating high-quality videos within minutes. The platform is powered by A.I which makes it intuitive for everyone- even for those without a video editing/creation background. The starter package gives you access to over 15 million photos and video clips and can go up to over 160 million photos and videos from the marketplace.
6. BuzzSumo: Content marketing should be one of your long-term strategies to get more traffic to your website. You can use BuzzSumo to find trending topics relevant to your business. It helps you to find topics to write about or comment on. That can result in great marketing for your small business, especially if you want your content to go viral.
7. Keywords Everywhere: To get traffic to your website, you MUST write content that your readers want and that’s relevant to your business. Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension. It’s also an SEO tool that shows you related keywords and what people are also searching for. You’ll also find useful Google keyword search volume and cost per click data for multiple websites. Having this type of data can help you to rank on search engines.
8. Hemingway App: Content marketing is important for businesses. The Hemingway app helps you to write content that’s readable. It grades your content using a color-coded alert system. It’s an excellent tool to help you hone your written communication skills. How is this a marketing tool? If your communication is incoherent, no one will read it. Therefore, your marketing efforts will fail, even if you have the best products and services.
9. MailChimp: This is a well-known email marketing system that’s free for the first 2,000 people on your email list. You can use MailChimp to generate leads and run an email marketing campaign. To entice people to join your list, offer a freebie that’s valuable and takes less than a week to create. Ideas for a freebie include cheat sheet, tips booklet, e-book, checklist, and so on. But make sure that the freebie aligns with your business offering.
10. Hello Bar: This is a WordPress plugin that promotes your freebie in a non-intrusive way on your website. It’s also a fantastic way to help to grow your email list.
11. LinkedIn: Many savvy business owners use LinkedIn to generate leads. Most LinkedIn profiles have a person’s job title. The profile section is prime real estate, so use it to showcase the problem you solve. For example, “I provide small businesses with the funds they need to grow their operation. Ask me how!” You exclude people who are not your target audience. And “ask me how” starts a conversation. To grow your connections to have more of your prospective clients, do a search, using the criteria for your ideal client. Reach out to connect with about 20 people each day. This takes less than five minutes to do. Develop a relationship before you try to sell anything.
12. Zoom: After you have formed a relationship with your connections on LinkedIn, you can invite them to have a video chat. Zoom will facilitate that for you.
13. Help a Reporter out: This is a fantastic free marketing resource. Journalists put out a call for experts in specific areas. If you’re fit, reach out to the reporter. You’ll get featured on many reputable sites. That’s great free publicity for your small business.
14. Google My Business: This is a free service that allows you to control how your organization appears in Google’s listing. Signing up for Google My Business is also a great way to get local traffic to your website. Consider it as a second website.
15. Buffer: You’re busy running your business. So, it’s important to have tools to automate different aspects of it. To succeed, you must have a presence on social media. Buffer automates your social media efforts, like scheduling posts in advance. Buffer’s free plan works for up to three social media accounts. You can schedule up to ten posts for each account.
16. SurveyMonkey: This allows you to create surveys to find out what your customers and prospects need. This is a great way to gather feedback about your product offerings. SurveyMonkey also helps you to collect critical customer data that will help you to assess if your marketing efforts are working.
17. Sniply: We already mentioned that as a small business owner, you need to have a presence on social media. Sniply is a free marketing tool that adds your call-to-action to any web page. It uses content curation to drive targeted traffic to your website.
18. WiseStamp: This tool creates a professional looking email signature. WiseStamp allows you to create links to products and services that you sell. You can also include a link to your landing page for your freebie. This is another simple way to build your list. It’s very easy to set-up.
Review the 18 free marketing tools every small business owner should know about we’ve covered in this article. Choose a few that you can easily apply to your business. Over time, you’ll see the impact they have on your small business.
Is there any marketing tool you use as a business owner? Let us know in the comments below.
Want to learn more about how to run a small business. Check out our guides.