Remember the good old times when if you wanted to promote a new product or brand, you would just reach out to the newspaper or television networks and pay them to present your ad to as many people as possible?
Back then it seemed that the only essential tools you needed to market yourself and your company were a landline, a big stack of business cards, and an advertising budget.
In today’s age of the internet, things have changed.
Nowadays, if you want to market anything at all you’ll have to take into account social media platforms, search engines, keywords, trends and more if you’re looking to see results for your efforts.
Simply having money without a business plan is a recipe for running your business into the ground.
And chances are, if you’re just starting out, you won’t have either.
So to survive and thrive in the current digital world, you’ll need to be able to identify your target audience within your niche and cater your strategies to them.
Therefore, in order to not be one of the 80% of entrepreneurs whose businesses bite the dust within the first year and a half, you’re going to need as much help as you can get.
Below I am going to recommend 14 budget marketing tools aimed at taking advantage of social media and search engines that you can incorporate into your digital marketing campaign.
With around 330 million active monthly users, Twitter is an excellent platform to launch a marketing campaign.
Socialert.net is a tool that makes marketing on Twitter less of a guessing game and allows you to develop a plan of approach.
This tool displays the number of searches and impressions of a hashtag you want to target as well as informs you of the top influencers using that hashtag should you ever need to reach out.
With a couple of free searches and a monthly plan starting at $25 per month, Socialert.net is a worthwhile tool that allows you to pinpoint target audiences through hashtags and help you develop a strategy to dominate your niche on Twitter.
Hashtagify.me is another tool aimed at finding, tracking and analyzing trends on Twitter through hashtags. They have also expanded to include the same services for Instagram as well. Both of these tools are fairly similar, both offer free searches so you can try them out and decide for yourself which one is better suited to you.
This is an excellent tool if you plan on doing a decent bit of marketing on Twitter.
Followerwonk allows you to search Twitter for bios for certain keywords like job titles and location to seek out potential followers or influencers.
In addition, it allows you to compare different users on the platform based on their followers and who they follow.
Finally, it allows for you to identify which strategies or posts result in a gain or loss in followers so you can recognize what works and what doesn’t.
While you can pay for certain features, Followerwonk allows for up to 50 free profile searches a day making it a valuable addition to your online marketing toolkit.
One of the downsides to Followerwonk is that it is exclusive to Twitter which can be problematic if most of your target audience is on a different social media platform like Instagram.
But, do not worry. Tool #3 on this list is for just that situation.
Searchmy.bio is essentially Followerwonk but for Instagram. It is simple as that.
It allows for bio searches just like its Twitter counterpart and displays information like the number of followers and what percentage of their followers are actively engaging with them.
What’s better is that as of the writing of this article, this tool is completely free which makes it a must-have if you plan on spending some time and marketing effort on Instagram.
Another quick and helpful tool when it comes to marketing on Instagram or Twitter is the link shortener is.gd.
If you plan on writing posts on any social media platform that includes a link, is.gd may come in handy.
Let’s say that you’re cooking up a tweet that relates to a village in Britain with a link that looks like this:
Not only is that painful to look at (sorry Llanfairpwllgwyngyll), it's also going to eat up a lot of your precious character limit.
Instead, paste that link into is.gd and receive a shortened version that looks like:
In addition, this tool also tracks the clicks on that link and records information like number of visits, location, browser and more.
This free tool not only makes links easier to share, it also saves a lot of character spaces and provides tracking info making it a valuable marketing tool for any social media campaign.
If you are looking to launch a social marketing campaign spanning multiple platforms and scratching your head at the prospect of having to manage them all, look no further than Hootsuite. This tool allows you to keep track of up to 20+ social network accounts on a single easy-to-navigate dashboard.
It also allows you to write posts ahead of time and schedule a time for them to get published on each different platform. In addition, Hootsuite lets you prewrite responses which enables you to instantly respond to comments or mentions.
Think about all the effort it would take to log on to each platform separately each time you need to check comments or post something?
With this marketing tool, all of your profiles can be accessed at once eliminating the need to log on to them separately. Hootsuite offers a free 30 day trial so you can determine for yourself if this tool is a good fit for your marketing strategy.
Screenshot taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ztk6PXD1EjU&ab_channel=Hootsuite
If you have a brand that relies on or benefits from building relationships with customers, Hubspot’s free customer relationship management (CRM) software can make your life a whole lot easier.
Its free marketing toolkit includes:
- An email editor designed for automated or personalized marketing emails,
- A forms feature which incorporates fillable fields on your website to collect contact information from potential customers,
- A central dashboard featuring your marketing data making it easy to track which efforts are generating leads,
- A database for managing your interaction with your audience, and more.
With its seamless user experience and easy-to-learn nature, Hubspot’s free CRM software will keep track of the leads you generate and help you retain them.
Have you ever spent an unreasonable amount of time deciding which graphic to use for your landing page? Or whether your headline is best placed above or below your picture?
Instead of guessing, give Crazyegg a try.
It allows you to better understand the consumer journey as they land on your website through heat maps and mouse tracking.
It shows you where visitors are clicking, where they’re coming from, and whether they’re easily navigating your site or getting lost in broken links or duplicate content.
Here are some of its main features:
- Heat map showing where people click,
- Scroll map showing how far down people scroll on your page before they leave,
- Click overlay showing how many clicks each feature on your page receives,
- And referral tracking which displays where users arriving from other websites or platforms are clicking.
Crazyegg shows you what visitors to your site likes and what makes them leave before converting into a customer.
Regardless of whether you’re looking to run paid ads or organically rank for search terms using SEO, you will need an idea of what people are searching for.
It would be pretty pointless to have your content to show up when someone searches a particular keyword or phrase when absolutely nobody is searching for it.
It's important to know what your audience may be searching for as well as their intentions so you can present your content to someone who might actually find it useful.
Ubersuggest is a fantastic tool that helps you determine if the keywords that you are after have any traffic as well as displaying the top ranking pages for that keyword so you can get an idea of the searcher’s intentions.
This marketing tool also shows you what keywords your website naturally ranks for and provides you with word suggestions making it an essential tool for anyone looking to gain some traffic for their domains.
If you’re simply looking for some potential keywords to test the water a little without committing to a search tool just yet, KWfinder.com is another option.
Offering a free 10-day trial, this tool is a fantastic replacement for Ubersuggest if you’re not satisfied with its 3 free queries and want to do more research without having to spend your company’s valuable resources.
9. Google Analytics
You may already be familiar with this straightforward marketing tool. This free software by Google provides you with a breakdown of the incoming traffic to your website.
Google Analytics tells you what percentage of your traffic is from social media, referrals or search while also tracking the types of devices used to conduct the search and their countries of origin.
Say you launched a social media campaign and an SEO effort simultaneously. Through Google Analytics you see that after a period of time the percentage of traffic from organic search skyrockets while the traffic from social media remains steady.
You may then decide to focus more effort on organic search instead of social media or vice versa.
However, unlike Crazyegg, this tool fails to show why visitors don’t convert or what drives them to click away.
Although Google Analytics may simply be a traffic analyser, it can nevertheless provide valuable insights to improve your marketing results.
Whether you have a team of 2 or 200, Notion is a top-notch tool for tracking progress and productivity.
Want to coordinate meetings, set goals, assign tasks or share notes? This all-inclusive organizational tool has got you covered.
Its main functionalities include:
- A team wiki to post company policies, answers to frequently asked questions, Employee directories, budgets, goals and whatever else you want to address to your team,
- A projects and tasks dashboard that displays what has been completed and what needs to be accomplished. It also sorts tasks by priority and shows who’s working on what,
- And a documents & notes interface which allows you to easily share notes and tag team members to direct their attention to a task or document.
Notion is free for personal use or charges $8 per team member making it a more economic option than other productivity tools like Asana or Airtable.
Regardless of whether you’re coordinating a company or just trying to get your own thoughts in order, Notion is a tool that will make sure things get organized and done.
3 out of 4 people will read your headline and not the rest of your content.
It doesn’t matter if your brand will solve all of a visitor’s problems if they don’t stick around long enough to find out about it (link blog 1 article).
What I’m saying is that your headline is the door to salvation - that being the value you can provide. But they’re not going to find it if that door fails to make people interested enough to step inside.
Coschedule.com may be able to help you out with that.
This tool analyses the wording, length and sentiment of your headline. It provides suggestions on how to make improvements or tweaks to make your headline sound better than it did before using the app.
Although not all of the suggestions are completely viable, this free tool can be worth your time if you happen to be struggling to come up with a better headline.
This is an interesting marketing tool that may not be applicable to every marketing strategy but can nevertheless provide useful insights in certain situations.
Answerthepublic.com provides information on the way people conduct Google searches around a specific topic.
Here’s a quote from their page that sums up the idea behind it:
“There are 3 billion Google searches every day, and 20% of those have never been seen before. They’re like a direct line to your customers’ thoughts…”
That is 600 million never-before-seen searches on Google each day. You can potentially find out how people are searching the topics around your niche and address some of the concerns unknown to your competitors.
Although situational, this website may provide insights on topics you haven’t previously thought of.
With half the world’s population expected to be using emails by 2023 and nearly 90% of marketers already implementing email marketing as part of their campaigns, this is something you need to be considering if you want to keep up with the competition.
Offering their services for free to businesses with fewer than 2000 contacts, Mailchimp is an essential tool for smaller businesses wanting to gain leads through email marketing.
Hundreds of millions of emails have been sent through Mailchimp by millions of customers making it one of the top applications for conducting an online email campaign.
Some of its features consists of:
- Appealing and engaging email templates that you can tweak anyway you like down to the colour and size of the text,
- Information of audience demographic and click & open rates of your emails as well as how it compares to your peers in the same industry,
- A paid plan of $10 per month allows extra features like AB testing to see how different iterations of your emails perform against each other.
With email marketing becoming more prevalent, Mailchimp is a cost-effective tool that will help you gain leads and foster relationships through your emailing efforts.
Stop staring at your screen for hours every time you need new marketing content!
Whether it’s headlines or marketing emails, Simplymarketing.app lets you choose from hundreds of prewritten email and headline templates so you can test which ones work for your company.
If your headline or content isn’t quite delivering the results you’re looking for and you find yourself yet again in the writer’s pit of despair, Simplymarketing.app may be the rope that can haul you out.
Simply type in the fillable fields and this marketing tool will instantly present numerous iterations of content you can immediately put to use.
Pair this software with a testing tool like Crazyegg or Mailchimp to quickly evaluate what converts and what repels.
Priced at $7 per month or $49 for a lifetime, Simplymarketing.app can save you hours of time so you can finally direct your efforts at something other than coming up with content for once.
So there you have it, 14 budget-friendly tools that will ensure your online marketing efforts do not go to waste.
With the power and connectivity of the internet, you can now reach more people with your brand and message than ever before. But on the other side of the same coin, consumers are being bombarded with constant messages and advertisements.
Some of these tools will help you formulate the right messages and some of them will ensure you present them to the right people.
So test them out and see which ones deliver the insights and results you’re looking for.
I plan on adding to this list as time goes on so stay on top of your competition and stay tuned.