5 Free Marketing Tools for SMEs
May 17, 2017
As a small business, it can be difficult to find the time and resources to manage your online presence in-house. However, with these tools, you can go a long way. These 5 marketing tools will enable you to complete a range of marketing tasks from design to social media scheduling, all for free!
Regardless of your industry, at some point in time, every business will be looking to produce high-quality, slick designs to market their business for print and the web. Canva allows you to do just that and is perfect for design novices. This intuitive platform enables users to create a range of designs from fully customisable templates, or from scratch, and then download them, print-ready and in high-resolution for free.
Simply choose your template, or your design size and get started with the drag-and-drop style interface. Users can also choose to define HEX colours to match company branding and upload their own images and logos to use in their designs. Canva also has a range of royalty and accreditation free images and illustrations that can be used in your designs. There is also the option to add other team members to your account, and share designs in group folders. Simply put, Canva is beautiful and effective, and when utilised to its full potential can produce outstanding designs. Whilst it is no rival to Photoshop in terms of capability, Canva is high-quality graphic design for novices.
2. Pablo – by Buffer
If you’ve dabbled with social media management before, chances are you will have heard of Buffer. However, much less heard of, and extremely useful and free is Buffer’s nifty little tool, Pablo. Functioning as a combination of stock photo website and social media post design tool, Pablo enables users to search and choose from millions of royalty and accreditation free stock images. Whilst its library is not the most extensive out there, it has a very good selection for use in the odd social media post or blog article. There are also a few customisation options, including the ability to overlay text on the image and add filters. Handily, you can push your finished design out to your social media pages using Buffer, or alternatively, can download and save your design for later.
3. TweetDeck & Twitter Analytics
For Twitter scheduling, look no further than Twitter’s own free scheduling platform TweetDeck, and in-house analytics platform Twitter Analytics.
TweetDeck is a fairly well-known tool and allows its users to configure their own real-time dashboard, displaying anything from their timeline tweets to hashtags and trends around topics of interest. The ‘Deck’ is fully customisable and enables users to view a huge number of tweets and schedule their own, all in one place. If you’re not using TweetDeck to keep track of user mentions, trends and topics, you’re missing out on a trick.
Similarly, Twitter Analytics is Twitter’s own free analytics platform. Users can view a variety of metrics including engagements, impressions and a range of audience statistics. Link your Twitter Analytics to your website via Twitter tags to track your conversion rates as well.
Whilst some of Buffer’s best features do come at a price, you can use Buffer for scheduling purposes. Link up your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts and you’re away. Buffer also works well in tandem with its partner tool, Pablo, and is intuitive and easy-to-learn. Buffer is a great marketing platform to use for coordinating content across multiple social media channels.
Hootsuite is one of the most popular content management tools out there, and for good reason. Whilst you may well find its free features are limited, basic scheduling and analytics can be used without having to pay. New users will find Hootsuite’s platform simple and easy-to-use. Much like TweetDeck, Hootsuite allows users to set up and customise a control panel for your social media accounts. Whilst analytics tools are quite limited under the free version, the platform is popular for good reason. If you are so inclined in the future, it is worth considering spending some money to unlock Hootsuite’s business features in order to be able to create customised analytics reports across your online marketing presence.