Marketing is an essential part of running a business, whether online or offline.

So, as a business owner, you’re probably always looking for ways to grow your business while minimizing cost and energy.

Well, there are loads of marketing tools out there that you can use to advertise your business.

The setback is that most of them require payments, and some of them may not perform to your satisfaction.

So, this article has a list of 10 free marketing tools you can use to grow your business spanning social media tools, email marketing tools, and so on. You should go through them and find the ones which work best for you.

Source: Replinfosys

Figure 1: Different aspects of digital/online marketing

Source: Replinfosys

WHY YOU NEED MARKETING TOOLS

Because, why not?

In 2018, the Data and Marketing Association reported that the Email marketing ROI came up to £32.28 from £30.03 for every £1 that was spent in just one year. Social media has changed the way the world sees marketing, and it commands a large chunk of the customers who are willing to patronize businesses.

The landscape has changed in many ways since the introduction of online marketing, so if you are not taking part in it, you’re losing a large chunk of the market. So, to do online marketing correctly, you need tools to help you optimize your resources and help you get better results.

The great thing about social media is that there are so many channels you can pursue to reach a good market.

Consequently, there are tools for all those channels, so you can find a great tool regardless of the marketing method you prefer.

10 FREE MARKETING TOOLS FOR ENTREPRENEURS

1. MailChimp

According to the Radicati Group, more than half of the population worldwide makes use of emails, and that number is projected to increase to more than 4.3 billion people by 2023. This makes email marketing one of the most effective marketing mediums in the world, so why don’t you give it a try?

MailChimp is also responsible for about 0.5% of the total number of emails sent per day, and this tool has a free version that lets you capitalize on this booming market.

Using a mailing service like this as an entrepreneur helps you to streamline your marketing strategy and get a high ROI.

Did you know that many marketing emails are marked as spam by Google and are not seen by the recipient?

Well, using MailChimp helps you to avoid ending up in the spam folder and gives you a higher chance of reaching your intended audience.

Another fantastic advantage MailChimp gives you is the ability to integrate the service with your e-stores and with third-party platforms, like Facebook.

This allows you to connect your marketing campaigns straight to your e-store.

You can also send better emails tailored to the wants of your audience. MailChimp also provides you with feedback and progress reports.

Source: Business2community

Figure 2: Graph showing email ROI in 2018

Source: Business2community

2. Hub Spot

One area many entrepreneurs, including yourself, tend to overlook is customer care and relations, and this can gravely impact the success of your business.

Plus, you may not have the extra time to check up on and engage your customers, so that is why you should give Hub Spot a try.

This customer relationship management (CRM) tool is what you need to keep track of your important customers so you can provide them with personalized treatment and services.

With Hub Spot, you can manage your contacts, track repeat customers, sales, etc.

The Hub Spot dashboard is also very interactive and easy to understand, and there is a detailed guide that does the hard work for you.

You can keep data collections, manage emails, view tasks, and so on. With this tool, you can integrate your business with a lot of lead generation platforms, and it also allows you to import and export contacts across different platforms.

Hub Spot is primarily into customer relationships, but they also have marketing services, analytics, email tracking, sales automation, and general marketing and sales software, which will be useful for the growth of your business as an entrepreneur.

You can get the free version to test-run your business and see this result before you opt-in for a paid version.

3. Canva

When building a network of clients for your brand, you need to project a good image to get them interested immediately.

Potential customers are only drawn to creative posts that grab their attention in seconds, and this helps increase your social media engagements.

This is why tools like Canva are incredibly essential to the growth of your brand. Canva is specifically for you, especially if you have no designing background.

Admittedly, you can create fantastic designs and posts to boost your social media presence, and you don’t have to pay for any of it. It’s a win-win situation for you!

Canva is cloud-based, and you can use it without previous training, as it is user-friendly.

You can make all kinds of posts from logos to brochures, posters, and event flyers. This service comes in a free plan that you can access by creating an account and logging in.

Additionally, you can access over 8,000 templates and over 100 design options to make your brand more unique with helpful posts.

There are also a lot of free images and graphics you can use, so you have a variety of choices. Its paid plans come with extra features like Brand kits, custom templates, unrestricted space, and collaborative work for members.

4. Buffer

As you probably know, social media is fast replacing print media because of its widespread popularity and ease of use. Nowadays, once you turn on your phone, you see advertisements popping up.

Has this occurred to you before? These ads are everywhere, and the brands that have gotten into the trend are getting huge ROIs that are rising every day.

So, you can use this app to manage all your social media accounts yourself, thereby relieving you of some stress.

Why not use a tool that handles all these functions for you?

Buffer is one social media management tool that integrates all your social media accounts into one platform. With Buffer, you can manage your engagements much more easily and maximize your social media presence.

Buffer helps you schedule and send your social media posts across all platforms. You can gather content and statistics from different areas, use other third-party social automation tools, provide analytics, and share all these with other members of your team.

Using Buffer, you can create custom posts for each of your business social media account, and you can do everything in sync with the rest of your team.

To make things even easier, Buffer has a mobile app that you can use on the go. With its free plan, you have limited features, but they are good enough for a start.

Source: Amber Creative

Figure 3: Infographic showing the impact of social media platforms in 2018

Source: Amber Creative

5. WhiteSpark review Generator

With everything you do in marketing, you cannot be sure of your success or progress without getting feedback and reviews.

Reviews tell you what our customers think about your product, and some of them have helpful tips on how you can improve it.

Also, potential customers go through your reviews to gauge your product’s quality. This can either boost your sales or hinder them, so it is important to get as many reviews as possible.

With the WhiteSpark review generator, you can craft a customized review template that you can send round to your customers for their reviews.

As an entrepreneur, it is tough to get reviews, much less reviews that are detailed enough to give you the information you want. So, the WhiteSpark tool helps you design the perfect review template that asks all the questions you need them to answer.

You can even make a URL that you can send to your customers through texts, emails, and social media posts.

This tool helps you track down which devices your customers use when they review other products, so you know where to send your review handouts. This tool is entirely free for use, and it is available on both Android and iOS devices.

6. Hootsuite

Social Media has changed the marketing game over the years and has become the most effective marketing medium out there.

Even old and established brands are jumping onto the social media wave, so you as an entrepreneur should up your social media game.

Managing your various social media accounts is a full-time job on its own and requires a lot of time and dedication. Luckily, using Hootsuite to manage your social media presence cuts down the time and energy you’d normally spend on posting and remove the need for a social media manager.

Hootsuite can integrate with your social media platform to control and improve your brand’s social media presence. With Hootsuite, you can engage with your customers and potential customers seamlessly across your platforms with ease.

Hootsuite lets you post on your various social media accounts instantly, and you can program your posts beforehand to get the most engagements and monitor your feeds at the same time. All these functions are on one dashboard where you can chat, post, and like posts from 3 different accounts.

It also has a third party integration feature and shows you some basic analytics to help you track your progress. This tool has other advanced features that you can only access after paying, but its free features are enough to handle most brands.

7. Smylelytics

Have you ever tried to look at a bunch of statistics and figures and make sense out of them? It can be pretty tiring, especially if you’re not a ‘number’ person.

However, if you run a website, you can’t escape this part of the job. You need to examine these stats regularly to learn things like the number of visitors you have on your website, where they are from, and how certain posts affect your website’s growth.

So, you need a handy tool like Smylelytics that will do all the statistics you need and send you a brief and detailed report twice a month.

Smylelytics is a useful data analyzer, and with it, you can find out more information that can help boost your performance, as well as avoid things that may hold your website back.

The best thing about using Smylelytics is that it helps you compresses all those statistics that may look scary and confusing into easy to read charts and pictures.

It shows a lot of performance indicators, like page visits, bounce rates, and even goal conversion rates.

The images will show you areas that are doing well or poorly at a glance with fun color-coded graphs.

You also get brief reports sent to your email to accompany the picture reports. You do have to own a Google Analytics account installed before you can use Smylelytics because they work hand-in-hand.

To use this service, you also need your email address and the URL of your website.

Source: Pinterest

Figure 4: Graph showing the ROI of different social media platforms in 2016

Source: Pinterest

8. Optimizely

One reason why brands and businesses use a lot of online marketing strategies is that you can keep up with your campaign every step of the way.

When running an online campaign, you need to monitor the changes and progress of your campaign, so you know what works and what needs to change.

There are ways to get data on impressions, engagements, and clicks that can let you know if you’ve been successful. All these are needed for you to optimize your marketing strategy, which is exactly what Optimizely does for you.

Optimizely offers you real-time methods to optimize your strategies and make the most out of whatever strategy you decide to use. If you’ve ever attempted online marketing, then you most likely know about A/B testing.

A/B testing involves running 2 different versions of the same app or webpage simultaneously to find out which one is better. This method of testing is so popular because it allows you to gather data on both versions that can help to inform your decision, rather than to depend on one version. It also gives you a lot of room for changes if one version happens to malfunction.

Admittedly, Optimizely provides you with the right tools to properly conduct A/B testing using real-life data from real customers. Optimizely works better for websites and apps with high traffic so you can get precise results.

This tool makes experience optimization easy, and it is a popular choice for many entrepreneurs. Optimizely has a free version with limited features that can be accessed when you create an account.

9. SurveyMonkey

Online marketing and advertising are dependent on customer feedback, which lets you know what you’re doing right or wrong. Getting feedback and reviews is not always easy, as many customers don’t feel the need to review a product.

But, with SurveyMonkey, you can create a customized survey for your business.

You can put whatever questions you need on your survey that will get you the most details and send them to customers to remind or prompt them to leave a review for you.

You can also use this free tool to gather information about consumers, which can help you optimize your business approach. These reviews can also reveal trends that your customers follow and their preferences and needs.

Reviews are also essential for potential customers to see and know what kind of services you offer.

When you get all the needed information, SurveyMonkey helps you to make sense of the data and analyze them in ways you’d better understand.

SurveyMonkey is incredibly easy to use, and it takes only a short time to construct and publish your survey for your consumers.

This tool is has a simple interface that can be used by anyone, and it is entirely free to use.

Source: IceCube Digital

Figure 5: Chart showing the effects of reviews in marketing

Source: IceCube Digital

10. Trello

In marketing, one vital aspect you should not overlook is project management. Imagine getting all your plans in order and ready to launch, and then at the last minute, everything falls through because something was mismanaged or a deadline was missed.

Do you want that to happen to you? To avoid that unfortunate scenario, you need to have an efficient project management method that you can set goals, manage tasks, and communicate effectively with your team.

Emailing used to be the method of choice for many businesses, but nowadays with online marketing and everything moving so fast, emails have lost some of their appeal.

You need a project management tool like Trello. Although it has features that are only available when you pay, like most marketing tools, still, it has a free version that contains all the necessary features you need.

Trello keeps track of all your projects, tasks, and deadlines and makes them available to you in a flash. The interface is user-friendly and displays all the information in easy to understand boards that have smaller cards and checklists.

This tool also has third party integration, with one card integrating with one app at a time. You can organize your tasks into different categories, so you don’t get confused, and it has a drag and drop feature for rearranging various tasks.

It also allows you to upload files quickly and set deadline reminders and email notifications. Trello has data encryption for the security of your data, and you can track your activity in the activity log.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Online marketing is an effective way to promote and grow your business as an entrepreneur.

These tools are available to minimize the time and effort you may need to spend in monitoring marketing trends so you can invest those resources in other channels.

You can find a variety of tools that will help you in different aspects of your marketing, and you don’t have to pay a dime. The knowledge is out there. It’s just left for you to take advantage of it and grow.

10 Free Marketing Tools Every Entrepreneur Should Know About

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