Got big plans for your small business, but only a tiny marketing budget? You’re not alone. According to the Wasp Barcode Small Business Report, 42% of small businesses invest 3% or less of their revenue into marketing.
But maybe that isn’t such a big problem. With these small business marketing tools, you could practically promote your business for free.
So take a look at the list below. Maybe you can save some money.
Buffer lets you schedule social media posts. Their free plan works for up to three social media accounts. You can schedule up to ten posts for each account.
HootSuite is another popular social media scheduling tool. You don’t need this and Buffer, but it’s smart to try both out and see which one you like best.
Nope – you don’t need programming skills to build a chatbot. And while there are plenty of free tools to create Chatbots, Chatfuel is one of the better ones.
Once you get the hang of this, you’ll be able to make animated gifs in five minutes or less.
There are dozens of free meme generator tools, but you only need one.
It’s 2018, and we all need to be making videos now. Loom makes it painless.
Send up to 12,000 emails a month to up to 2,000 subscribers. This is one of the best free deals in online marketing.
Your email signature is that text that appears at the bottom of every email you send. It’s a great way to add contact information and promote your business.
See social media and other information about anyone you send or receive an email from.
Canva is the gold standard for image creation, but as with other tools here, there are dozens of other options, too.
- Need photos for your social media images? Check out UnSplash, which has a vast library of spectacular, high-res completely free photos.
Got a photo, but you don’t know where it came from online? Or maybe you want to use an image for something important, and want to make sure it hasn’t been used elsewhere? TinEye to the rescue. This free tool will find all instances of any image online.
There are probably a dozen or more free logo makers, but this one lets you download a high-quality version of your logo.
This browser plugin will scan any copy and find typos, grammar mistakes and any other writing no-no’s. It’s a fast, free way to avoid embarrassment.
This is one of the best free deals anywhere online. But it’s got a secret feature more people should know about: backups. You can install Google drive on your computer at home, sync it to your account, and then work on your files anywhere. No more thumb drives!
Another great feature of Google docs: Voice typing. If you’re just not a writer, try turning this on and just talking like you would to a customer. You’ll be surprised how fast you get to 500 words.
Headlines are critically important to any piece of content you write. Use this to get a score for your headline variations. It’s not perfect, but it’s a pretty good guideline.
Planning / Productivity / Organization
Trello lets you organize anything by creating “boards”, and then adding “cards” to those boards. And I do mean anything – you could plan and organize everything from a company blog to a wedding to a family move with this free tool.
This widely-used note taking and idea capture and organization tool has a free version.
This incredibly powerful database tool can help you organize information in truly elegant ways. The free version is plenty powerful enough to get value from.
- Dropbox – to store and share large files.
At some point in your marketing work, you’ll need to share a file that’s too big to send as an email attachment. That’s where Dropbox comes in.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Console was previously called Google Webmaster Tools. It’s a collection of tools – including the Mobile-Friendly Test and Google PageSpeed Insights – that can tell you a tremendous amount about how your site performs.
Almost everyone has heard of Google’s web analytics tool. Hopefully you have too – and you’ve already installed it on your site.
Want to see which sites rank for a which keywords? What keywords your competitors’ are bidding on? That’s just the beginning of what SpyFu can do – even “just” the free version.
Get a free diagnostic on your site – and on your competitors’ websites.
This is the go-to keyword tool for most professional search engine optimizers, but it’s easy enough to use for mere mortals, too. Also check out Moz’s other free tools, particularly, “Check My Business Listing” if you’re a local business.
This is “inside” the Google AdWords interface, but it is free to use if you have an account. Just take what it tells you with a grain of salt – the search estimates are usually off by at least a little.
If you want to do keyword research, also look in Google’s “people also asked” feature, autofill and the “people also searched for” section of search results pages.
Want to know the most-shared content for a given keyword or website? Want to know who shared that content? That’s just part of what BuzzSumo can tell you.
This is similar to Neil Patel’s tool, but it’s another excellent, fast, free way to gauge how your site is performing.
Are you following the best practices of content marketing? This tool can tell you.
Want to track clicks from an advertisement, or a paid link, or anything else? This URL builder can create a trackable link for you that will perfectly populate your Google Analytics reports.
Want to track clicks to a link that’s not on your site (like links on social media, or in a PDF, or in a Kindle book?) Bit.ly is the tool you need.
Don’t make life hard. Just use WordPress to build your website with. 29% of the entire internet runs on WordPress.
If you could only have one plugin to optimize your site with, this should be it.
You don’t want to waste money, so you’re going to use tracking code. To do that, you’ll be asked to add code to the headers or footers of your site. Which is terrifying if you’re not a coder – unless you’ve got this plugin. Then, you just copy and paste and get on with your life.
So you don’t get buried in comment spam.
So your customers can contact you.
So you can add sharing buttons to your site. There are many other free sharing buttons plugins, but this one is particularly easy to use.
This one free plugin does so many good things that I don’t have room to list them all. But it’s basically awesome for site security and site speed.
Get More Business
This is the free tool that lets you control how your business appears for Google listings. Think of it as your second website.
- Schedule appointments on your site with YouCanBook.me’s free plan.
Want to get feedback from your customers? Use this.
The online reviews for your business are really important. This is a quick, free way to see what you can do to represent your business better, or just to check in on what people are saying about you.
Back To You
Know of a great free small business marketing tool we haven’t included here? Give it a shout-out in the comments.