Keen to get started with your digital marketing for your business but not sure where to start?
Helpfully, loads of digital marketing tool creators have focussed on SEO, so a Google around the topic throws up loads of results, written by the makers themselves. This makes it difficult sometimes to work out which one is right for you, and before you know it you’ve signed up to hundreds of free trials! There are also tons of blogs just like this that profess to tell you which is best, which might have had some financial help (by way of sponsored posts or affiliate links) along the way too.
Not this one however, I can 100% state I’m not linked to with any of the providers listed here, my aim is to pass on my own opinion of what I’ve personally found useful to get my own business started, and to help clients out when budgets and time are tight.
Not all marketing tools are created equal, and what might be the best-in-class market might not be best for your business (read, many SaaS providers are interested in enterprise level use, so their monthly fees are pretty high for what you might actually use it for).
The balance needs to be in finding the mix of best tools for you, that help you get the right level of analytics, get you where you need to be and as much as possible don’t eat into your (already limited) time you have devoted to spending on digital marketing.
A great tool like this should:
Have a simple layout so you can do what you want to do first time
Keep you coming back!
As much as possible you will want to find the best free tools to save you time with your digital marketing. From analytics to specific tools that help with SEO and your Social Media.
There's no one tool that will do everything, but the best use of time is to consolidate as much as possible, so your digital marketing efforts are going to perform the best they can. It's possible to do many things manually, but at the outset of your digital marketing, you want to use your time as efficiently as possible.
Here is my overview of some of the best tools I have found really useful, and hopefully you will be able to use them for your marketing too:
A fantastic resource for beautiful, aspirational stock photos perfect for digital marketing campaigns that are totally free. From locations, to people to images of laptops, they've got it all. You can credit the photographer in your captions or posts, to help them recognise their own work. Use these on Facebook and across social channels to give you a boost.
An app and website that allows you to create digital designs quickly, while on the move. An added benefit that they already have social media sizes saved in the platform, so you can just choose the size you want and off you go. You can also utilise their templates to create beautifully branded Facebook and Instagram stories, posts, banners, posters and many more.
If Instagram is your core digital marketing channel, then a little help with visually planning your grid via Planoly really helps. If you want to post an Instagram Grid Mosaic, then their handy Splitter Tool helps you manage these beautifully and effortlessly. You can use Planoly to automatically post and measure all of your analytics, so if you want to use this instead of Instagram, the tools are built in to do so.
A great way to compile Google alerts and particular news sources into one place. Useful for yourself and your team to stay ahead of what's emerging in your industry, and to curate for your followers too. If you're a B2B business particularly, being able to repost links to useful insights and then offer your own take or insight is a great way to stay front of mind with your clients and prospects. Set up a search term for topics around your niche, and also use this to inform possible SEO research too.
If your product isn't live yet and you want to create some early buzz, then Kickoff labs is a great way to easily create landing pages and capture data. They have a feature for virality too, to encourage sharing via Twitter and Facebook which gets those who have signed up additional ‘points' which can grant them early access to your product. Particularly useful for tech companies when paired with a killer content strategy. The tool also has build in analytics so you can track your conversion rates and performance of any paid campaigns such as Facebook. A word of warning, this is where being really honest with yourself matters, what is it that people get really excited about and want to share with their friends. If you’re a tech platform dealing with insurance for example, you might want to make sure the prize for early entry is pretty exciting, as last I checked, by and large people don’t queue around the block waiting for the newest insurance premium…
Create professional looking surveys to send to your network to gather some early insight into what they think and feel about your industry, niche or brand. Far more engaging than some traditional survey formats, the site is great for design led and visual brands, as well as offering a great user experience. Great for capturing data and insight to inform future innovation and developments in your brand.
Social Scheduling Tools
Hootsuite, SproutSocial and Buffer are great social tools (with varying levels or pricing depending on how many accounts you connect). Each tool has varying control levels and intuitiveness within them, and are slightly better suited to certain social channels.
Hootsuite is pretty ubiquitous and is free to a point but you will need to take out a paid subscription to unlock some of the more advanced tools.
SproutSocial offers a free trial and then a more expensive paid subscription, but also allows for smart analytics such as tracking of competitors and advanced features.
Buffer is totally free and is great to get started with your social media marketing, to allow your scheduling to be done in one place. I'd wager that a full run down of each of these could turn into another blogpost, so I'll pause here for now.
If you'd like any more information about the above and ideas about how they might be used to help digital marketing for your business, do just get in touch.