Hey there! I’m here to share with you the best free marketing tools for small businesses. We all know that small businesses are changing the world in which we live. This is an exciting thing to consider because what 21st century would be complete without them? This article will be about the best marketing tools out there for even the most minor of businesses or startup companies.
Everyone wants to make the world’s best marketing strategy for their business; however, sometimes it can be difficult when you are working on a limited budget. This is why when I came across the list of free marketing tools for small businesses, I knew I had to share it with my readers.
Small Business Tools for Analytics
Price: Free for the standard version, $150,000 for Google Analytics 360
Analytics is a free service offered by Google that allows you to track and analyze customer data. It’s the most ubiquitous analytics tool on the web, and for good reason — it’s simple to use, but it’s also powerful and highly customizable.
The KISSmetrics platform is perfect for SaaS businesses, allowing you to find out where your prospects are coming from, and map their journey on your website from prospect to customer. KISSmetrics gives you the important data you need to optimize your marketing channels, attract more customers, and get them to convert once they reach your website.
CrazyEgg’s heat-mapping capabilities will give you insight into what visitors are doing on your website. It tells you where they’re scrolling, clicking, and more importantly, what they’re not clicking. With CrazyEgg, you can optimize your landing pages to make sure you keep visitors engaged and help them down the sales funnel.
Hotjar is an all-in-one analytics and heatmap tool that integrates with tons of tools like WordPress, Instapage, and Unbounce. Hotjar’s setup is incredibly easy AND you can record web visits to see where your customers are clicking and focusing on your website.
Intercom is a customer messaging platform that allows you to see where your customers are getting tripped up and to send them targeted messages to solve their problems. The tool gives insight into areas of improvement on both your website and within your platform if you’re a Saas company. By automating customer service and triggering live chat, you can keep customers engaged and prevent costly churn.
Pendo acts as an extension of your product so that you can capture all user behavior, gather feedback, and provide contextual help to your users. It provides robust reporting on-page and feature usage to help you improve your product.
GoodData is a business intelligence and data visualization tool. It’s more suited for enterprise businesses, but it’s an incredibly powerful tool that can benefit any business. Rather than using your limited resources to build and maintain BI infrastructure, GoodData lets you focus on turning your information into insight across your business.
ChartMogul is another fantastic business intelligence tool. The platform integrates with many other tools you’re probably using (Zapier, Zendesk, Slack, etc) so you can calculate your key metrics in real-time. Say goodbye to Excel spreadsheets!
Small Business Tools for Content Marketing
According to their website, WordPress powers 27% of the internet. And there’s a reason for it. WordPress is the easiest content management system out there (in our humble opinion) and is super reasonably priced. It’s free for personal use, but the best package for small businesses starts at $8.25/month.
Content curation can be incredibly time-consuming when building a social presence. That’s where Feedly comes in to help you search, organize and share relevant content. Feedly also integrates with several project management tools such as Slack and Trello.
Can’t afford to hire a copy editor to review your blogs before you post them? Grammarly can save you from embarrassing errors. Use it in combination with your spell checker, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many typos you avoid. If you spring for the premium version, Grammarly also offers a plagiarism checker.
Content headlines are crucial. They determine whether or not readers click on your content. On top of their cohesive content marketing calendar, CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer tool will give your headlines numeric scores AND suggestions to make them stronger.
Price: Paid plans start at $79 per month
BuzzSumo connects influencers with companies looking the partner with them. This tool is great for companies who are unsure of how to reach their target demographic. The user can search the database of top influencers in their field of expertise, and then reach out to form affiliations.
BuzzSumo also gives you the ability to view past trending topics and mentions. The analytics feature can give you a peek at what you should be monitoring, as well as areas you can improve.
Finally, you can use the tool to analyze the content most shared and referenced. Who is linking to it and sharing it, what do their follower counts look like, and how can you get on their radar? BuzzSumo helps you answer this.
Not only does Contently allow you to schedule and optimize content, but the platform also offers freelance writers to help your business create full-length articles and blog posts. While Contently is geared toward more enterprise customers, you can’t make a ‘best of the list without mentioning the platform.
ClearVoice is a content creation and management platform. The collaboration tool gives you access to freelance writers and editors to create professional content. ClearVoice most likely isn’t the right choice for small businesses just starting (they require an annual subscription), but it’s a great one to keep in mind when you’re ready to step up your content marketing game.
Video marketing is all the hype this year and is an important piece of the content marketing puzzle. Wistia is our absolute favorite video tool. Like many social and content tools, Wistia offers analytics, automation, and a place to host your videos. We love using Wistia to see which videos are performing the best on our site. The call-to-action features are also clutch for sending traffic to your site no matter where your Wistia video is posted on the web.
Small Business Tools for Lead Capture
Their simple lead capture forms are an easy way to serve up irresistible resources to your audience, growing your list. OptinMonster allows you to A/B test your forms to see what’s working and what isn’t so you’ll understand why your visitors are staying and going.
Unbounce is an easy-to-use landing page builder. They have beautiful pre-designed templates that will allow you to get your pages up and running without the help of code or professional web design. Plans start at $49/month, and Unbounce offers a free 30-day trial.
LeadPages offers pre-designed landing page templates, pop-up forms, and the ability to send SMS opt-in codes. They boast tons of easy integrations and their Pro Plan starts at $48/month.
Instapage is another helpful landing page builder. The platform offers PPC compatibility, many integrations, and helpful A/B testing capabilities. The basic package starts at $29/month (paid annually).
HelloBar adds a non-intrusive lead capture bar to your website so you can turn website visitors into email subscribers into customers. The tool allows you to promote your social content and easily A/B test your messaging.
Qualaroo allows you to optimize your site by providing targeted website surveys to capture customer insight. With Qualaroo you can target questions to visitors anywhere on your website, in your product, or your conversion funnel. Their startup package starts at $199/month billed annually.
LiveChat does just what the name says. This simple tool allows you to get engage customers on your website, capture visitor information and provide more personalized, immediate customer service. The LiveChat starter package starts at $19/month. This is a great way to capture prospects from your website who might otherwise bounce.
Small Business Tools for SEO & PPC
Not only does WordStream have a phenomenal team and company culture, but they’re absolute bosses when it comes to all things PPC and paid advertising. Their free AdWords grader is a surefire way to know where your small business can make improvements.
Yoast is the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress. The tool works easily to optimize your content and landing pages to make sure your site is set up for success. With features like a readability checker and keyword optimizer, Yoast will make sure your content is optimized for the right eyes.
Google AdWords may seem intimidating to small businesses, but the easy-to-use platform is incredibly important. They offer search, display, and video advertising to help you reach your customers where they’re searching. AdWords will require an investment to be successful, but it’s worth it for your business to drive more traffic to your website.
Not only does Moz have an amazing blog (including Whiteboard Fridays, which rocks), they help with SEO optimization, keyword research, and backlink research. They also offer local search help to make your business more visible in your area.
Small Business Tools for Email Marketing & Automation
Hatchbuck is an all-in-one CRM and marketing automation tool created specifically for small businesses. Our easy-to-use platform helps you to organize your contacts, automate marketing activities and drive higher response rates and sales through personalized prospect communication every step of the way.
IFTTT is a powerful automation tool that’s incredibly easy to use. You create or pick ‘Applets’ (formerly ‘recipes’) to automate specific tasks on Facebook, Twitter, and any other business app imaginable. Remember to share the wealth, IFTTT can also help your non-marketing team members.
Price: Free, or up to $3,200 per month for enterprise, depending on your plan
HubSpot is a full-stack growth software that includes marketing, sales, and customer service tools to improve all facets of your business. With HubSpot, you’ll have everything you need to grow your business and increase conversion rates.
Several of HubSpot’s products start free. You can set up lead capture forms, send kickback emails, and get basic analytics reports for free. Additionally, you can track emails, schedule sales meetings, and live chat with visitors. You can even set up a help desk and ticketing system on the freemium plan, and then pipe everything into the free CRM to get a full view of your customer.
Of course, things get more sophisticated from there with Starter, Professional, and Enterprise tiers. And if you work with other marketing technology products (such as others in this list), you’ll likely be able to integrate and use them with HubSpot.
Price: Tiered pricing, free to $199
MailChimp is a popular email marketing tool and offers several key features:
- Website traffic tracking
- Email templates
- Drip campaign design
- Widespread software integrations
- It’s free for small companies
MailChimp automates your emails and makes campaign design a breeze. It’s a simple tool to use, although some of their marketing automation features are a bit limited. If you want something more robust, you might want to consider a tool such as Autopilot or HubSpot. But if you’re just starting, MailChimp is great.
Small Business Tools for Design
Choosing the right images for your blog and social media posts is essential. Many people respond to photos more quickly than to a headline. Pexels is our favorite stock site. They offer millions of free stock photos for commercial use without attribution. Can’t beat free.
Price: Plans start free, $12.95 per month for teams, or custom pricing for enterprise
Canva is a subscription service for people who need the web design to be easy and might not have the budget for a full-time graphic designer. Optimized for mobile, Canva makes design easy for amateurs with its visually appealing drag-and-drop features.
You can create shapes, logos, charts, graphs, and your presentations with custom fonts using the design tools available in Canva. If you’re an employer, you can also check on the status of projects assigned to your employees on a deadline.
It has millions of images in its library and access to them is right at your fingertips.
Formerly Creative Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud offers all the tools a small business needs to create professional, engaging images to pair with content. There’s a definite learning curve with Creative Cloud, but once mastered, the possibilities are endless.
Piktochart is a stellar resource for small businesses that don’t have a design guru on staff. The easy-to-use tool allows you to easily create reports and infographics on the fly. They also have simple social media sharing options so you can share your creations once they’re complete.
Easel.ly is another chart and infographic design tool. It has less of the bells and whistles of some of the other tools, but you can sign up for free and get the job done.
Infogr. am boasts some big-name clients including MSN, POLITICO, and Fast Company. Their infographic and chart templates are more data-focused and perfect for more small businesses with more a data-driven approach. Their business plan will cost you though. It starts at $67/month and is billed annually.
Small Business Tools for Project Management
We (like millions of other businesses) l-o-v-e Slack. The platform helps teams organize projects by bringing communication into one place, sharing and commenting on files, and integrating with other apps to get more done in less time. Not to mention the Giphy feature is loads of fun during team chats. Oh, and it’s free for almost all businesses (unless you need an upgraded account).
We use Skype for Business here at Hatchbuck mainly for the video conferencing feature. The tool provides high-quality video with up to 250 people at a time and starts at $5/user per month.
Evernote makes it simple to create notes and categorize tasks into project-specific notebooks. You can even scan in paper docs to make keeping track of project documents a breeze.
Trello gets good reviews from small business owners because of its seamless setup and ease of use. The main interface functions almost like a whiteboard. They offer a free package for small teams and their business accounts start at $10/month.
Basecamp is a killer project management software that will help keep your team organized for any project and to see your entire task list through to completion. Basecamp will also ensure that no assignment is left incomplete
Asana gives you a holistic overview of personal or professional to-dos. It’s a great option for teams and individuals alike. It also has important integrations that will help you or your team improve workflow.
If you’re just diving into project management, Google Drive is a simple way to share and collaborate on documents, see the revision history, and let team members leave & resolve comments. Drive offers a plethora of business tools including documents, spreadsheets, and presentation slides. Plus, it’s free.
Freedcamp’s project management platform is another great option for balancing personal and professional tasks. They have a robust calendar that allows you to see daily or monthly schedules at a glance along with a helpful mobile app.
Small Business Tools for Social Media
We know social media can be a major time suck. Lucky for you, Buffer’s incredibly easy scheduling tool, content library, and robust analytics make it easier to reach more people while saving you time.
Like Buffer, Hootsuite is an incredibly robust tool that can save you time in your social media efforts. Our favorite features? The amazing reporting and the filters allow you to monitor mentions of your brand across social. Pricing starts at $15/month for one user (but you’ll need to upgrade for the real deal analytics).
Agorapulse is a cross between a social media monitoring/scheduling tool and a social media CRM. This tool focuses more specifically on Facebook engagement, and pricing starts at $49/month for one user.
Bitly is the most popular link management available. Users can shorten, manage and measure shared links across the web giving greater insight into an engagement. Best news? Bitly is free (unless you want branded links and an enterprise account).
Do you own a small business? Are you looking for marketing tools or techniques? Small businesses can produce some great results with less money. The problem is that they have no access to the same resources as big companies. The good news is that there are still a lot of free tools and resources available which could help improve your online presence and business traffic.