Free Marketing Tools You Should Be Using

We walked away from this year's Internet Summit in Raleigh, NC with a brain full of ideas and a Moleskin full of new tools, strategies and solutions to supercharge our marketing efforts. The Oak City's "Definitive Digital Gathering" offered multiple opportunities to learn from current thought leaders and visionaries from Facebook, Moz, The Onion, Salesforce & more, and even more opportunities to interact with like-minded digital marketers.

Here are the Top 5 free marketing tools for small businesses that were brought up multiple times by multiple speakers at the conference. If you're already using these marketing tools, then you're ahead of the game. If not, be sure to start implementing them in your daily routine:
 

1. Snip.ly

This freemium tool (Up to 1000 monthly clicks) lets you create a custom call-to-action and branded message to any link you share, helping drive conversions through other people's content on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Of course, original content on your website is your best bet in driving conversions, but if you share another company's blog post or page, be sure to snip it first with Sniply.

 
Sniply call-to-action
 
 

2. PageSpeed Insights

Google's free web performance tool has been around for a while, so if you're using it, perfect. If not, start scanning your website(s) now. Google's new algorithmic signal is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed. That's why they've been pushing for Accelerate Mobile Pages (AMP) to play a bigger part in how you search and navigate the web. Bottom line is, site speed is important. Pages with higher rankings have quicker load times. 

Scan each page of your website (At least the important ones: Homepage, Shop, etc.) with PageSpeed Insights and it'll generate suggestions on what you can do to make that page faster. Most of the render-blocking suggestions you won't be able to correct without a Web Developer, but you can dramatically speed up that page by optimizing the images. PageSpeed Insights even allows you to download a .zip file with optimized images, JavaScript, and CSS resources for that page. An easy fix for speedier results.

Update: Google changes all the time. After we wrote this blog, they released something new. As of Nov 30th, PageSpeed Insights will be moving the User Experience test for mobile pages into a Mobile Friendly Tester, try it out here. Another move from Google that prioritizes mobile-first.

 
PageSpeed Tools Insights
 
 

3. ClickToTweet

ClickToTweet offers an extremely easy (and free) way for readers and website visitors to promote your content on Twitter. Instead of embedding custom code, ClickToTweet lets you write a message and then generates a custom link that you can share in your blog. Here's an example of how it works ::

Check out Chair 8 Media's latest video storytelling from Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer. Man, I wish I could go back to camp! (Click to Tweet!)

The dashboard allows you to manage all your links, view stats, create folders and organize by campaigns, view analytics, see where people are clicking on your links from around the world, and suggest users every time someone tweets your custom ClickToTweet link. It's easy, clean and powerful. If you found this blog post helpful, CLICK HERE to share it! ;)

 
clicktotweet
 
 

4. Answer The Public

This is a must-use free tool for any marketing team in today's content-first world. Whether you're generating content for a blog, working on improving your SEO, or writing a PR piece, Answer The Public helps build visualizations of data around a keyword or phrase to help you answer your customer better. If you're looking for content creation topics, this is a great tool to help steer you in the right direction. 

After you've typed in a keyword or phrase, the first data graphic you see will be a set of eight question modifiers prefixed to the beginning of your keyword or phrase -- Who, What, Where, When, Why, Are, Which & How -- followed by the Google search suggestion. For example, we plugged in "social media" and our results included the following topics:

  • Who regulates social media?
  • What social media uses hashtags?
  • Where is social media headed in the future?
  • When does social media become antisocial?
  • Why is social media important for small businesses?
  • Are social media photos public domain?
  • Which social media site should I use in 2016?
  • How is social media reshaping the news?

The second data graphic centers itself around preposition based keywords -- Without, For, Like, Near, To, Versus & With. Our "social media" query included the following topics:

  • Social media without censorship
  • Social media for beginners
  • Social media like reddit
  • Social media classes near me
  • Social media to promote your business
  • Social media versus privacy
  • Social media with e-commerce 

Answer The Public is a beautiful and useful way to get relative content ideas in seconds in the form of questions and prepositional phrases. Get your creative juices flowing. Go ahead, ask the Seeker!

 

5. Pure Chat

Chat is the new way to chat. Companies that offer a live chat software on their website provide their customers with a more effective and personal online experience. It's customer service in a snap.

Pure Chat is a freemium software (1 operator, 15 chats per month) that's clean, sleek and beautifully simple. It's an ideal free marketing tool for websites to capture more leads, give instant customer service answers, answer pre-sales questions from anywhere on their mobile app, and provide a better experience for your customer.