To be successful in marketing and brand management, companies need to rely on appropriate tools to support them in their daily work and activities.
However, as these tools are often designed for large companies and are, therefore, quite expensive, small to medium-sized companies are often faced with the challenge of how they can afford such enormous costs.
Well, we have good news for you: There are great, free marketing tools with which you can control and organize your marketing activities — all without overburdening your finance department.
We've put together an overview of our favorite tools, most of which are free (at least for the basic version). Hopefully, these tools will help you take your marketing strategy — from data analysis to project management to design — to the next level.
Track & Analyze Campaign Performance
Analytics tools help you target your audience more efficiently, improve your content, and measure the success of your marketing and SEO campaigns — which all leads to better conversion rates.
Let's discuss our first tool.
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics allows you to perform continuous analysis and statistical evaluation of your website by including a tracking code in the code of your page.
The basic version of this analysis tool is free and it's one of the most used web analysis tools in the world. With Google Analytics, you can collect the following important data:
Session duration: How long do users spend on your website?
Bounce rate: How many users come to your website and leave without interacting?
Behavioral flow: How do visitors navigate your website?
Target group: What region do your visitors come from, what gender are they, or what is their age?
Of course, there is plenty more data that GA provides — all of which can help you better analyze your brand campaign performance.
Manage & Organize Projects
The success of many projects is determined in the planning phase, but can also be influenced by monitoring your progress on the way to meeting your goals.
Therefore, it makes sense for freelancers and larger teams to use high-quality software solutions in order to maintain a good overview of their work.
Let's consider the following cost-effective options:
Asana is a comprehensive project management tool with a pleasing user interface. However, Asana isn't only pretty to look at — it provides a wide range of functionality: project lists, kanban boards (great for editorial planning), calendar view, team communication, overviews of task progress, and more.
Tasks can be assigned to team members, as well as given a due date, description, tags, and subtasks. Asana is free for up to 15 team members, making it a great choice for mid-sized teams. However, certain functionalities are limited in the free version, such as task dependencies and advanced search functions.
Monday.com is a project management tool that is particularly useful for more complex team projects.
With this tool, users can create projects with tasks, assign them to team members, create deadlines and reminders, sort tasks by labels, and assign priorities.
It also allows users to display tasks in a list and sort them according to various criteria — such as deadlines. Additionally, users can check the calendar to see which tasks are due next. Monday.com offers a free 14-day trial version, so teams can test it out to see if it's the right fit.
Try Out Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great way to remain in regular contact with prospects, website visitors, and potential customers.
A 2020 survey by MarketingSherpa found that around 91% of respondents would like to receive promotional emails at least occasionally. And for the majority of Millennials, email is the preferred channel for communicating with brands.
68% of respondents confirm that they have already made purchase decisions based on promotional emails. If that doesn't convince you, we don't know what will!
So, here are some cost-effective and recommended email marketing tools:
rapidmail is an inexpensive and easy-to-use tool for small brands who don't want to be distracted by too many options. "Select, edit, send" — that's how this tool advertizes on its homepage — and that's exactly how its newsletter tool works.
Some templates are responsive and available for free — though this mainly covers seasonal emails. In some areas, such as segmentation, the newsletter tool is a little clunky. Plus, there are other limitations you have to live with. However, the low price does make up for this.
Want to stay in touch with your customers? Then try setting up a newsletter that leaves a positive impression through smart frequency and a personal approach with CleverReach.
This tool is easy to use, and you'll be off to a good start with the free 250 recipients and 1000 monthly emails it offers. If you need more recipients or emails in the future, the prices for an extension are reasonable.
Optimize Website SEO
Conscientiously conducted keyword research forms the basis for all successful content. Keeping this fact in mind, there are numerous free tools that make it easier for you to work with the right search terms.
Here are some good options:
6. Google Trends
Google Trends is a free online marketing tool that allows you to discover which search terms have been used — both how often and over what period of time.
It's also possible to compare several terms and observe trends over time. For example, if you want to create a blog post, social media post, or newsletter and are looking for suitable keywords — Google Trends can help.
Ubersuggset is a free keyword tool that allows you to make full use of all the Google Suggest functions.
Once you've entered the desired search term, this tool determines all the keyword suggestions created by Google. Additionally, Ubersuggest expands the entered search term using numbers and letters in order to generate further possible suggestions.
This tool is especially helpful if you want to gain a quick overview of a topic. However, information such as search volume, trends, etc. is missing. You'll be more likely to find this kind of data with paid SEO tools, where keyword research is usually only part of the more extensive toolbox.
Enhance Social Media Marketing
Brands these days know that social media marketing means work. Keeping up with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is not something you just do on the side.
You need to create content and conduct research. Without the right tools to support you in the daily madness of social media, you can quickly become overwhelmed.
Let's discuss some free or inexpensive social media tools that can help you succeed:
Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media management tools around — and rightly so. In the free version, you can create up to 3 social media profiles, with optimal posting times already preset.
Additionally, there are dozens of apps that you can integrate with to make Hootsuite even more useful — for example, you can also schedule Pinterest pins with the Tailwind plugin.
Buffer tracks follower activity and recommends when it's best to post. This tool offers a free image editor and a user-friendly interface, which makes it easy for you to publish your content.
Even in the free "Basic" version, Buffer provides a user-friendly dashboard through which users can schedule and post content. In addition, Buffer provides users with a far better overview of social channel statistics than Facebook or Twitter do themselves.
Buzzsumo is ideal for keeping up with all the hot trends on social media. Wnt to know which topics are currently abuzz in your industry? Buzzsumo provides everything you need to know, so you don't miss a beat.
This tool allows you to discover the most popular content in your niche and identify who's sharing it. You can also search for influencers using keywords or hashtags and filter the results by type — such as bloggers, journalists, or companies.
Buzzsumo also provides you with statistics on posts and supports you with regular webinars on its functions. Its free test account runs for 14 days, and paid packages start at $79.
Level Up Your Images & Graphics
There are a surprisingly large number of very good free online services in the field of graphics and image processing — which often save you from having to install software on your computer.
And of course, they run independently of your computer and operating system, so you can work with the same software everywhere.
Let's dig into a few.
You've probably been confronted with the need to design images for social media, blog graphics, newsletters, or cards for your next customer event.
Whether you just want to place text on an image or design an elaborate invitation card — the free online marketing tool Canva makes this possible with their simple interface.
Canva offers a very large number of templates, images, stickers, and shapes to help you design whatever content you need.
Pixabay provides free stock photos that you can also use for advertising purposes.
Truth be told, there are quite a few of these free image platforms you can choose from. Pixabay is included in this list because it not only offers a large selection, but also a great search function.
With Piktochart, you can create infographics online quickly and easily — which is especially useful if you have little experience with graphic design.
In the free version, users have access to many templates, but higher-quality templates are only available in the paid "Pro" version.
In this day and age, there are many useful marketing tools to choose from.
As you can see, most options can be accessed for free or for a low cost to support brand managers of all business size in consumer insights.
We hope this article has served as an introduction to some useful new marketing tools. And, in the best case scenario, you've found a tool that will support your marketing activities and future growth.