As a boutique, up-and-coming agency ourselves, we understand the importance of being scrappy and getting results with a limited budget. With so many powerful tools available to marketers and business owners aiming to scale their marketing campaigns, we wanted to share some of our favorites that cost $0.
1. Content Creation
Content is king. Before you can execute any campaigns, you’ll need to have an arsenal of content to demonstrate your company’s expertise. Many companies will start with a blog, as it’s an easy way to get content up and running on their website (plus, there’s a huge SEO benefit).
If you’re strapped on resources and budget, but you need to develop some blog post topic ideas fast, this is a great tool that can help spark some ideas. Admittedly, it’s not 100% perfect and you’ll still need to make some calls on whether or not their recommendations make sense. It’s still a great tool for generating a high volume of topic ideas in a short amount of time.
Alternatively, you could just use Google. When thinking about blog post topics, it’s helpful to think about your audience’s pain points and what they care about. What are the types of questions or phrases they might be searching for to address their problem? The search results that appear can give you an idea of what type of content you should be writing for those search terms, as these search results may ultimately be competing with yours for your audience’s attention.
Is this a “meta” example? Yes, yes it is.
2. Creative Design
Don’t have Photoshop skills? Or more importantly, don’t have a pricey Photoshop license? Even if you don’t have a dedicated designer on your team, Canva is an excellent tool you can use to create beautifully designed graphics for your content. The user interface is extremely intuitive and beginner-friendly, with plenty of out-of-the-box templates to repurpose for all sorts of content.
Now if you do have a decent amount of experience with platforms such as Photoshop, we also recommend Gimp as a free alternative.
3. Social Media Management
Buffer will make you feel like you have a large, dedicated social media team—even if you don’t. If you’re struggling with trying to manage multiple social media channels, Buffer makes it incredibly easy. The platform centralizes all of your social media accounts into one place so that you spend less time logging in and out just to create a post. Buffer will also help you automatically determine the best time to post on each platform, as well as plan and schedule posts to deploy far in advance.
4. Email Marketing
In our post, How to Get Started with Email Marketing, we recommend Mailchimp as your free platform of choice when starting out. While Mailchimp will require you to sign on to their paid packages after you’ve scaled your business a fair amount, this is an excellent free tool for those just kicking off their email marketing programs.
This tool will allow you to effectively manage your audience data, grow your subscriber rate, send emails, A/B test, and track ROI in the early stages. In addition to email marketing, Mailchimp can also act as your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution.
5. Reporting and Analytics
Google Analytics is a staple tool in any marketer’s tech stack. There are limitations to the free version, but you can still get a remarkable amount of data around how users are interacting with your website. This tool can be instrumental in helping you understand how you need to improve your SEO and user experience. It will also provide detailed analysis into user demographics, as well as the different channels users are taking to reach your website.
Looking for help with jump starting your marketing campaigns? Get in touch for a free 15 minute consultation—we’d love to learn more about your business goals and how we can help.