Five Marketing Tools to Boost Your Online Presence for Free
These days, in order for businesses to stand out in a crowded market, a strong online presence is imperative. However, it can often feel like an uphill battle to build an audience from scratch. Not to mention, it can be particularly difficult to determine where you should be directing your energy when it comes to investing in digital marketing. To make things just a bit easier for you, we have compiled a list of our favourite marketing tools that can help boost your online presence….better yet, they’re all free!
If you’re new to social media management, you might look around at other brands on Instagram and assume they’ve employed a graphic designer. We’re about to let you in on a little secret…their secret weapon is not a graphic designer, it’s Canva. And if they do have a graphic designer, sometimes they too are using Canva. Canva is a website that makes designing beautiful imagery easy. It’s so user-friendly that even people who struggle with technology will enjoy getting creative with it. Although there is a paid upgrade, the free version gives you access to all the features you need to create professional and branded content. Check out our blog post on how to make an aesthetically pleasing grid to learn more about achieving the perfect Instagram feed.
When growing a business, one of the most important things you can do is start building an email list on an email service provider or CRM. Why? Because it’s one of the only digital marketing tools that allows you to communicate with your audience without having to worry about algorithms. It’s also one of the OG digital marketing methods and we think it’s one of the most effective when done properly. When we use Instagram and Facebook we are at the mercy of those who run the platforms. They make all the decisions, and essentially we must follow their rules in order to be successful at our job. With email marketing there is no governing body that will constantly move the goalposts, which as a result makes this means of communication arguably more consistent and reliable.
Furthermore, marketing should always be multi-faceted. Email marketing can compliment your existing social media strategies and add to your marketing mix in a way where you can speak directly to your audience. Even though social media is incredibly valuable, it’s important to understand that sometimes things can go wrong if we rely on it too heavily. If you were to one day lose access to your accounts, an email marketing list is sort of like an insurance policy that will prevent you from losing all contact with your audience. Mailchimp is just one of the many email marketing platforms. Other platforms you could also look into include Klaviyo, Flowdesk, MyGuestlist and ConvertKit. However, we chose Mailchimp for the purpose of this article given you can use the tool for free for up to 2000 subscribers.
One of our favourite social media marketing tools is Later, an Instagram scheduling tool that allows you to plan out your content in advance. It offers a ‘set and forget’ approach to social media whereby you can organise your posts and the app will subsequently publish them for you. In order to boost your digital presence, it’s necessary to consistently ‘show up’ online. Later can help to ensure that you are regularly posting, whilst decreasing the likelihood of you experiencing what we call ‘Instagram fatigue’. Instagram fatigue is a state of social media burnout, where you become so overwhelmed with it all that you end up taking a step back all together. Another way Later can help with your social media management is by saving your hashtag strategies, making it much easier by providing suggestions to suit future posts. As a result, you can say goodbye to all that wasted time trying to think of 30 relevant hashtags!
SEO (a.k.a search engine optimisation) can be daunting to some, simply because it sounds like you would need to be super tech-savvy to understand it. But fear not, because tools like Yoast can make it much more manageable. It’s a plugin for your WordPress website that ensures your posts are all meeting SEO standards. Basically, it knows all the key ingredients to getting higher rankings on search engines and will point out if there’s something on your site that is working against this. Having an effective SEO strategy will ultimately allow more people to discover your website and thus, interact with your business. Nonetheless, it’s critical to understand that although this tool is a great online marketing tool, your rankings in Google are still determined by the quality (and to a degree, the quantity) of your content. So make sure you’re doing your research on how you can offer additional value to your audience. Once you know what’s valuable to your audience, you will then have a greater understanding of the questions they will be typing into google. This can therefore be used to inform the keywords you should be incorporating into your posts. In our previous blog post, we explain how to gain more exposure with search engine optimisation.
This tool allows you to access data about your online audiences. It provides information on:
-Age and gender of visitors to your website
-Location and interests of your audience
-Where your traffic is coming from i.e. which social media platforms
-What pages/posts are performing the best
-Your bounce rate
All of this information can influence subsequent digital marketing decisions. A blog post that is getting lots of traction indicates that this is a topic that interests your audience and that they are being responsive to this particular area of advice. The topic could therefore become a content pillar for your Instagram page. For example, if a post on your website about ‘how to create the perfect IG reel’ gained a lot of views, you could then repurpose this content and use snippets in your instagram captions for the next few weeks. Additionally, understanding the demographic that is being attracted to your website will influence who you might target for a paid advertising campaign (PPC or Paid Social Media). There are many tools that offer data analysis features, however, the best part about Google analytics is that it’s free and yet it is a very reliable and useful tool.
There are endless apps, plugins and tools that can help grow your presence online. The ones we’ve listed in this post are our all time favourite (free) ones. If you still need help with figuring out what the best online marketing tools are for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. Alternatively, if you’d like to fast forward the process of getting ahead of your competition, feel free to book in a time to chat with our Director, Nikki.