Marketing your business online doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it doesn’t have to cost at all! These tools are absolutely free to use, and there are many others that are cheap as well.
If you’re looking for an easy way to manage your social media accounts, try Hootsuite. With the free version, you can manage up to five social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, WordPress and others. You can preschedule updates to go out when you need them to, monitor hashtags and track keywords.
The paid version ($5.99 US a month) gives you unlimited profile management and additional reports.
What’s neat about it: You can create visually pleasing reports on number of clicks your social posts are getting, as well as where the traffic is coming from. It’s very impressive for your clients or your boss!
If you’re not blogging yet, now’s the time. WordPress is a free tool that lets you set up a blog in minutes. And there are literally thousands of templates you can customize for your blog (most are free, but some charge a nominal fee) to make it stand out.
What’s neat about it: Once you get your blog set up, you can add all kinds of plugins and widgets that let you track traffic, help your readers share your posts, and suggest other posts they might like.
Now that you’re blogging successfully, you’ll want people to read your posts. BizSugar is a social bookmarking site for entrepreneurs. You share your link and others can vote on it. It’s a great way to increase visibility to your site.
What’s neat about it: You can find other great articles as well. Just search by category or check under recently submitted links to see what you can learn about.
4. Google Docs
This is more of an admin freebie, but I can’t live without Google Docs. And most of my clients use it too, which makes it easy to share and collaborate on documents and spreadsheets. You can leave comments on a doc for others to read and respond to.
What’s neat about it: I really hated drafting a document and sending it to a client, then her sending it back, et cetera. This keeps it easy to manage revisions and not get updated versions mixed up.
5. Google Insights for Search
This tool isn’t publicized (my husband had to help me find it), but it’s a great research tool. Google Insights helps you figure out who’s searching for what online. In the example below, I searched for products worldwide under the Food & Drink Category:
The results could help me decide what products to push during what months:
What’s neat about it: Having insight (haha pun) into what people are looking for is ammunition against your competitors!
We’re seeing more and more free marketing tools every day. Make sure and join us for our webinar, How to Use Free Online Tools and Apps to Grow Your Business, on April 4, 2012.
Photo credit: ba1969