Yet in a lot of organizations, marketers are being asked to navigate these trends and meet increasingly ambitious goals with less budget. For marketers who are looking to meet those goals and conserve those dollars where they can, the right tools can mean the difference between success and wasted resources.
That's why my team and I are always on the lookout for various tools that can boost productivity, make our lives easier, and empower us to get the most out of our investment. To help you do the same, here are seven free marketing tools that can help you maximize your resources and do more for your goals:
1. Audience Research: Typeform
In marketing, you have to know your audience. It's good for marketers to coordinate with their sales and client service teams to hear what questions, objections, concerns, and successes are popping up in their interactions with prospects and customers. But another great way to gain insights is to just ask your audience directly.
That's where Typeform comes in. Typeform makes surveying people really simple, both for you and the customer. It can be used to collect insights and create contact forms and quizzes, and it also integrates with many of the tools you probably already use, like MailChimp or Zapier (a past client of ours).
2. Content Strategy: Content Strategy Checklist
Marketing is constantly changing, and one of the best ways to keep up with content marketing trends while staying accountable to your goals is through a documented strategy. In fact, 62 percent of the most successful B2B marketers and 59 percent of their peers on the B2C side say they have a documented content strategy.
An interactive strategy checklist like this allows marketers to create a custom, actionable plan for their content--one that outlines goals, tactics, and metrics for measuring performance to help hold your team and your content accountable.
3. Better Writing: Grammarly
Few things are as off-putting to your audience as badly written content you didn't bother to review. When you're trying to get people to trust you and become your customers or brand advocates, blatant spelling mistakes and grammar issues can be a huge barrier.
Grammarly can help you avoid those critical mistakes. You can use it as a browser extension to review copy you're writing online (as in an email, a post on Twitter, or an online text editor) and you can also download it to use if you're writing in Microsoft Office programs.
4. Press Opportunities: HARO
HARO, or Help a Reporter Out, was created to connect journalists and sources for news stories, but it's useful for much more than just seeking out the occasional quote. When you're subscribed as a source, you'll receive emails with requests for expert sources within specific industries. Replying to these requests and sharing your expertise can allow you to build relationships with journalists and reporters, contribute to reputable publications, and establish your brand as a leader in your space.
5. Topic Inspiration: BuzzSumo
While HARO might be the best place to find timely content and PR opportunities, BuzzSumo is the place to find topics that are already performing well--which can be helpful to inspire new ideas and angles of your own.
BuzzSumo shows you the most popular content by topic, industry, publication, and so on. Just search, and BuzzSumo shows you what's getting engagement. You can see what kinds of topics work on what platforms and tailor your own content for specific audiences.
6. Headline Optimization: CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
Headlines are what pull readers into your content from social media, search engine results pages, ads, email newsletters, etc. If your headlines don't draw readers in, you may as well not even write content at all. CoSchedule, a company my team and I have worked with in the past, offers one of my favorite tools for making headlines better.
All you do is write a potential headline, and this tool analyzes it, giving you a score and showing you what it looks like on a search engine results page. It analyzes the length, tone, and SEO-readiness, plus you can use it an unlimited number of times, so you can craft just the right headline.
7. Social-Media Management: Buffer
The original premise of Buffer was simple: Schedule your social-media posts. What started as a simple tool has evolved into one of the most popular, comprehensive tools for social-media managers out there. You can create and schedule posts for just about every social account you manage, see stats on your social-media engagement, and get analysis and recommendations on ways to improve.
These are just a few of the great free marketing tools available today. If you're a busy marketer on a budget, these tools can make your job easier and improve your marketing performance.