There are free tools to save time and money while promoting your small business online.Marketing can get pricey when you are promoting your small business. Time is an expense factor many new small businesses overlook but the investment in advertising is often overwhelming. Fortunately, there are tools available to help. Here are 7 free online resources you may be missing out on that can save you time and money.
- Social Media
From Facebook to LinkedIn, social media platforms are free. Find the one where your customers gather and use it to directly engage. No matter which platform you choose, social media is an excellent tool to market your products and services. Moreover, you can get a feeling of what customers are saying about your business.
There are a number of social media management tool that lets users schedule and post content to multiple social media profiles at the same time from one place. When you are pressed for time, tools like Hootsuite can be a life saver. Hootsuite can be used to do more than scheduling. With it you can track analytics, and reply to your followers. This tool is free for managing up to three social media platforms.
- Your Blog
Your blog is an excellent way to share unique, high-quality content that also supports not only your social media initiatives but also educating customers on your product or services.. A blog can be a website or web page and there are several free platforms to put it on.
Email is an effective way of communicating with your customer base. To avoid challenges as a spammer, always get approval for the reader to be on your list. Mail Chimp is a useful free tool you can use to mail up to 2000 people a month. This free software gives you the ability to design and save templates of all your marketing emails and newsletters and send them to existing and potential customers. You will even have some analytics to guide you, such as who opened the email, when and how many times.
- Your Website
Your website is the central point of your business in the digital world. On your website you tell the world who you are and what you do. It may include pricing structures but most importantly it can be a collector of information through analytics programs, the most popular is Google Analytics. Google can tell you where people are coming from, where they are going and a lot about what they did while on your site. It is always helpful to know if your advertising dollars are giving you a good return on investment. The analytics portion is free and a must for a website or a blog.
- Keyword Planners
Google offers a Keyword Planner at no cost. This tool can assist you in brainstorming keywords to boost an ad campaign's performance. It can also assist in providing keywords for your website. Your website is all about content but the keywords are all about people finding your website.
- Free Images
Images are a must because people are visual. Where possible, use your own but otherwise there are online photo libraries where you can choose from thousands of stock images for use in your content marketing and social media posts. Some of these are free and others have a cost associated. Just make sure photos are licensed for re-use so you won't have to worry about copyright violations.