A comprehensive list of the top digital marketing tools for small businesses without a budget: tools for website building, content creation, marketing, and more!
Whilst Hootsuite makes a fantastic social media management tool and Ahrefs can help improve your SEO rankings, not every company can justify the expenditure on these paid digital marketing tools.
You may be new to marketing and want to keep costs low, or maybe you just want to try out some free digital marketing tools before you commit to monthly payments. Whatever your case may be, below are some of the best free digital marketing tools out there right now:
*some of the below mentioned tools are a freemium model (free, with options to upgrade to premium), in which case only the features available at no cost will be considered
What it’s good for: Social Media Scheduling
Buffer’s free plan is great for businesses getting started with social media. It gives you the ability to schedule up to 10 posts per social media channel on up to 3 channels, including Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
You’ll save a wealth of time by creating all your social posts in one batch and setting your posting schedule for the week. Not to mention the relief you’ll have of not worrying about manually publishing your posts every day at a certain time.
What it’s good for: Website Creation
One of the most sought out content management systems is WordPress. It makes creating and managing your website easy, regardless of your experience in web development. Whilst you will still need to find a web hosting provider to host your website, the installation and use of WordPress is free.
With this reliable and flexible tool, you’ll have a secure website that is SEO-friendly and optimised for speed. Landing pages for your PPC and Social Media campaigns are extremely easy to create with WordPress, and there are over 59,000 plugins that can be added to your website for free to change its design and functionality.
What it’s good for: Graphic Design
A free alternative to Photoshop, Canva makes designing images easy for everyone. Whether you want to create pictures for your Facebook or images for your blog post, you can choose from the many built-in templates that Canva has to offer, selecting the correct dimensions for your platform.
Gain access to hundreds of thousands of designs and graphics that can be used for your projects, with 5GB of cloud storage at your disposal. Although Canva doesn’t provide as much flexibility and raw power as Photoshop, those who aren’t well versed in graphic design will find the platform very intuitive and easy to use.
What it’s good for: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Google Search Central, formerly known as Google Webmasters, can be used to improve your website’s overall visibility on Google Search to the audience you are trying to reach. From here, you can access Google Search Console, which shows you all the search data for the last 12 months, including the keywords used to find your website. The keywords used and the number of search impressions received, for each of your blog posts help you understand which content type your audience is finding useful and give you guidance on what to be focusing on for future projects.
You’ll be able to see any health issues that may be present on your website with Google Search Console, as well as having the option to submit your sitemap and pages to Google, improving your site’s indexing and helping with your SEO campaigns.
What it’s good for: SEO keyword research
Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest has many different keyword research options. This free tool for digital marketers will provide you insights on all the keywords that your competitors are ranking for, and get keyword suggestions based on questions, comparisons, and prepositions. It also shows you the average number of backlinks that are contained in the top 10 pages ranking for the specific keyword, giving you a better idea of how many links you need to build to rank highly.
Additional features include the ability to see the search volume of keywords during the last 12 months, which makes it easier to spot for any seasonality. You may also find the site audit very useful in determining any gaps in your SEO strategy.
What it’s good for: Website Analytics
You could do all the SEO in the world; but without analysing the data, you’ll struggle to understand where your audience is coming from and how they are reacting with your website. Google Analytics can provide you with the data of who actually visits your website including your visitors’ demographics, their behaviour on your site, and where they entered your website from, among many other metrics.
Also available for free on Google Analytics is their real-time reports, which show you the activity and behaviour of users who are currently on your website. You can view the device they are using (desktop, mobile, tablet), what part of the world they are in, and how long they are spending on each page.
What it’s good for: User Experience (UX) Testing
Whether you think your website is easy to navigate or you’re struggling to understand why your audience isn’t converting, watching how someone interacts with your site will provide you with many useful insights.
UserTesting provides a set of user experience solutions allowing you to listen and watch how a real person actually interacts with your website. Here, you can test your early designs, messaging, or the full website to understand how your future customers might react with your business.
What it’s good for: Researching Trends
Google Trends lets you explore what the world is currently searching for on Google. You can view the search volumes of individual keywords to see if your industry is facing any seasonality or an overall downward trend of searches. Comparisons between the search volume trends of two different keywords may also help you understand the relationship between them, and if one factor is resulting in a change of demand for your products or services.
What’s great about this digital marketing tool is that you are able to segment your data into individual countries or cities, which can be very useful if you only operate in a certain locale and want to view the demand of your target audience. Trending topics and queries related to your search are also shown, allowing you to capitalise on areas of increased interest within your audience.
What it’s good for: Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
HubSpot’s free CRM software has free tools for everyone on your team, from Sales Leaders and Salespeople to Marketers and Business Owners. Features include email templates and tracking, meeting scheduling, live chats, among many others. This can help you provide your customers with the best experience and maximise your results.
You’ll have access to reporting and can opt-in to receive alerts the instant a prospect opens your email for a timely follow-up. You can even set up your own chatbots to automate conversations with your site visitors especially if a 24/7 customer service representative is not available at your disposal – no coding experience is required.
What it’s good for: Social Media Management
Another great tool for managing your social media accounts, Crowdfire allows you to schedule 10 posts per account on up to 3 accounts (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram). You are also given access to unlimited article and image curation, hashtag recommendations, and analytics for the past 24 hours. All for a price of £0.
What it’s good for: Video and Podcasts
After creating your own marketing video to share on your website or social media, you need somewhere to put it. Whilst you can upload it to YouTube and embed it that way, this gives you less control over the video and can show some irrelevant ads or suggestions to your viewers, distracting from the overall message of your video. One free alternative option is to use Wistia.
Wistia’s video player sends your viewers directly where you want them to go next, whether that’s to remain on the page they’re currently on or to a specific landing page to complete the conversion. You have the option to add features to your videos, such as call-to-action buttons or email capture forms, which can help you guide your audience through the sales funnel. Wistia also shows you how your viewers react with your videos, and at what points they pause or stop watching.
What it’s good for: Email Marketing
With Sumo’s free plan, you are able to grow and contact email lists. This tool allows you to create fully customisable email opt-in forms that can be included on your website to capture leads for your business. Automatic welcome emails can then be set up whenever a visitor signs up.
Even if you don’t go for the paid plan, you still receive 1-on-1 onboarding to introduce you to the platform. Email lists can grow to an unlimited number of subscribers and you can send out up to 10,000 emails every month at no cost. The analytics provided will help you determine which ones are being received well by subscribers.
What it’s good for: Website Loading Speed
46% percent of users don’t revisit poorly performing websites. With this in mind, it’s clear to see the importance of having a fast website. Tiny PNG is a useful tool for compressing your website images without compromising on their quality. High quality images are a key contributor to the reduction in website load speeds, and an extra second of waiting for your website to load can be the difference between a sale and a lost customer.
What it’s good for: Stock Photos and Videos
Speaking about images, Pexels is a great tool to find stock photos and videos that you can use on your website for free. Thousands of images are available at your disposal, ranging from office workers to agriculture farms and everything in between. Small businesses that don’t have their own photographers, or just want something generic, will find this very convenient to use.
What it’s good for: Proofreading and Plagiarism Checking
Your sentences can be elegant, fluent, and compelling; but having them riddled with spelling mistakes and plagiarised content will do more harm than good. That’s where Grammarly comes in.
This free tool analyses your written content for spelling and grammar mistakes. Installing the Grammarly plug-in for your browser allows it to automatically proofread everything you type online, from emails to blog posts. Explanations on the reasons for the errors will provide you with detail, helping you to understand the reasoning. This is also useful in determining if the tool is correcting you based on American grammar, in which case you can switch to British English.
Distribute Digital Marketing Agency Birmingham
There are numerous free digital marketing tools for small businesses to grow their business with, and the number continues to grow every week. This blog post mentioned some of the best digital marketing tools that you can get started with regardless of what industry your business is operating in. From managing your social media accounts to creating the optimal website, these tools will help improve your overall digital marketing efforts.
Launching a digital marketing campaign especially if you’re not experienced in this field, can be quite a challenge and unproductive. Partnering up with a digital marketing agency may be the best option for you to avoid costly mistakes and dissatisfying marketing campaigns.
Distribute Digital specialise in providing small businesses with digital marketing that drives results. Our services include web design, Google Ads, paid social media, and SEO.
Book a 30-minute free consultation with us to find out how we can help you.