10 Free Tools For Budding Marketers
An updating list of free tools that will boost your marketing game
Marketing is a vast and confusing field of numbers, mind games, and research. Despite this, no marketer is left to their own devices thanks to the internet. There is a plethora of tools available to any level of marketer and many of them are free, or at least offer a free trial to test their services and research the return on investment or ROI.
In this ocean of free resources and tools, there are 10 that are most useful to any marketer, but especially to budding marketers just getting their hands dirty in the fast-moving field of marketing.
Canva has been a critical tool in many modern marketers toolbox. It is cloud-based, has an app, and while simple to use, it can be used to create complex graphic design work. While it certainly can’t compete with the Adobe Suite for completing advanced designs or advertising work, it gets the job done nicely. Canva has evolved immensely since its beginnings, allowing more complex graphics to be created. What really puts Canva on the list is that it is so simple to use and has thousands of templates that can be used when the imagination is just stretched to thin and you need a quick fix. The free version is powerful, but the premium subscription allows marketers to establish a brand kit, setting up a color palette, logos, and fonts that can be used on the fly to customize any template.
Much of marketing is external communication — or mail and emails. While Mailchimp doesn’t help with snail mail, digital marketers will find great value within Mailchimp’s platform. It can be used to create and design emails, newsletters, and landing pages for marketing campaigns. The free plan is powerful as it is, but having a premium account opens up more tools and resources for marketers. It’s definitely worth the investment but check your ROI versus your goals and objectives as a marketer.
The platform that you’re reading this on — most likely. Medium is a great platform for creating original content such as articles. Writing articles is a great way to establish trust with clients and with the internet community. By offering free information you give readers a chance to pick your brain and to see how you work, and to show the world that you are an expert in the field. Once you’ve established trust, you can start selling. Best of all is creators on Medium can get paid for their work while still allowing the article to be read for free.
Audio content is a huge market and many businesses are not taking advantage of this. The world is busy, but podcasts allow listeners to consume media while working on other things, unlike other traditional medias. TV, movies, and books all require your direct attention whereas most podcasts can be listened to while cleaning the house or driving. Podcasts are a great way to establish a personal brand and to demonstrate your expertise in the field. Anchor is a great free tool for marketers to use to voice their expertise and to talk about ongoing topics in the field. The Anchor app and website both provide a whole slew of creation tools that allow even those unexperienced in audio work to create and publish a podcast easily. Anchor takes the guesswork out of publishing podcasts to services like Spotify and Apple Podcasts by doing the publishing for you. Of course, Anchor also allows monetization of content through sponsorships, meaning that marketers can make money through their work.
While there are many social media management tools out there, Buffer has always seemed like the easiest to use. The minimalistic design and simple user interface make this easy for budding marketers. While Buffer is a free tool, upgrading to premium opens up more possibilities for scheduling posts to multiple social media channels and managing analytics from those feeds — making sure that you are getting your ROI from social posts.
A classic, and for a good reason. Google Analytics allows marketers to monitor statistics on their website. Things like time, location, age, and other valuable data are at the hands of marketers using this tool paired with their website or landing page. There is a lot of data here, all of which can be used to better improve your website and make sure that you are meeting your KPI’s and investments.
With all of the graphic design work, writing, and other types of media that you’ll be creating — you might want a website to hold it all. That’s where Wix comes in. Using drag and drop website building technology and thousands of templates, anyone can build a website that looks great. Building a website through Wix is free and can be a great tool for establishing a brand, be it commercial or personal. Wix offers standard websites for free with a subdomain. By upgrading, you open up custom domain names, ecommerce, and hundreds of apps that will take your website to the next level.
Once you’ve established a brand, you’ll want to know what and where people are talking about it on the internet. That’s where Google Trends fits in. By creating tags, you can get emails or notifications when your brand, company, or name is mentioned anywhere on the internet. This is a great way to make sure that you are resolving issues quickly if they arise, or just to keep track of certain events or keywords.
If you’re unorganized like most creatives, Trello is a great place to lasso everything in. Trello works on a card system. With a free account, you get a workspace and a bunch of spaces for “cards”. These cards can be labelled anything. The staff at Antics Media use Trello to progress ideas from beginning to end using cards such as “ideas” all the way to “published”. This is a great collaboration tool but can also be used by solo agencies to figure out a workflow and establish a content calendar.
LinkedIn isn’t what it used to be. It’s better. At one point, LinkedIn used to be the website you would go to to search for a job. While it still offers this function, LinkedIn is the holy grail for B2B businesses and marketing companies. Without any followers, marketers can quickly voice their opinions, updates, and ideas to LinkedIn and be seen organically by others in similar fields as well as by clients. LinkedIn offers accounts and posting for free, by upgrading you open the doors to LinkedIn Learning which is a great tool for learning new skills such as SEO, or copywriting.
Well, there you have it — a short list of the tools that budding marketers will find useful. While some of these may not be useful to marketers at the moment, bookmark the page and come back to it if the need arises or if you forgot the name of a program or website.