15 Free Tools to Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategy
It can be difficult getting your brand message out to your target audience when you’re a small business owner and can’t afford a big marketing budget. While digital marketing is fantastic because you can use social media and your website to get your content out there for free when you’re not using the right tools you could be making things harder for yourself.
I’ve experimented with quite a few of the apps that are out there for digital marketing, and here are my recommendations of the best free tools to manage your digital marketing.
Content marketing tools
These are the tools that will help you create content more effectively and promote it your target audience. From correcting your spelling and grammar to helping you organise your notes and test your blog headlines, these are the best free tools for the job
Grammarly is, as the name suggests, a grammar and spelling checker that you can use online, or as a Microsoft Word add-in. It’s a powerful little tool that can catch those grammar errors you’re always confused about and ensure that your content is good to go with none of those embarrassing spelling mistakes.
The average reading age of an internet reader is just 12 years old, so short and simple sentences are often considered to work best. This app helps you understand how simple your content is and highlights sections that could be difficult to read.
If you have lots of ideas that crop up while you’re busy on other tasks, having an Evernote window open on your laptop is an excellent way to braindump those thoughts and safely store them for later. Evernote is an app that helps you manage your notes, to-do lists and more.
Your blog headlines have to work pretty hard at encouraging your target audience to click through and give the actual blog a read, but it can be tricky to know what will resonate with your audience best. This tool will help you assess the headline for the emotional and powerful words you use to measure how well it’ll make an impact with your audience.
Canva is my go-to tool when I need to create graphics for myself or my clients. From social media and blog graphics to event flyers and business cards, Canva has a fantastic range of free templates where you can drag and drop your photos and images, change the colours and add your branding for some very impressive graphics you can download and use straight away.
Social media marketing tools
Social media is one of the best forms of digital marketing. Not only is it free to get started in most cases, but social media is also a fantastic way of interacting and engaging with your target audience on a real-time basis. Here are some of my favourite tools for the job.
Buffer is a scheduling tool for all social media channels that comes with a handy Google Chrome plugin. It’s the plugin that makes this tool so useful, as any article or blog you come across online that you think will be great for your audience can easily be added to your scheduling queue at the click of a button.
One of the best Twitter tools available and owned by Twitter itself, this app is great for scheduling content to your Twitter feed. It has a range of features to make your Twitter marketing easier than ever, and it’s entirely free too.
If This, Then That is all about automation and making it easier for you to manage your social media tasks. It’s essentially a list of tasks you can choose from that work on an ‘If x happens do y’ principle, for example, every time a photo is uploaded to my Instagram feed IFTT can pin it to a board on Pinterest. It’s great for repetitive tasks that can be streamlined to save you time.
If you have a Facebook page for your business, then you need to be using Facebook insights to check how well things are going. It’s a free tool that you’ll find in your page settings that shows you how well your posts have performed in terms of reach and engagement, page likes, followers and it even suggests some recommendations to make your Facebook marketing more effective.
10. Social Mention
It can be challenging to keep track of how often your business is talked about on social media, if you’re not tagged directly into a post, searching is often the only way. Social Mention takes care of that searching for you and monitors the strength of your brand according to how social users respond and react to it.
Analytics and measurement tools
Your digital marketing can only be effective if you monitor the results and evaluate what’s working, and what isn’t. These tools will help you see the wood for the trees and improve your digital marketing strategy.
11. Google Analytics
There’s no doubt that Google Analytics is the tool you should be using to understand how well your digital marketing and website are performing. You can get plugins for your WordPress website to see at a glance information for the last month or so, but it is worth delving into your Google Analytics account once in a while to dig deep and see what’s really going on.
This is a useful tool for checking out what your competitors are up to. It allows you to compare traffic between your website and theirs, so you can see what’s happening and look at their digital media strategy at a whole to work out what’s different and the impact that’s having. I’d never suggest copying anyone’s strategy, but it is a useful way of getting some ideas and seeing how your target audience is responding to things.
Ok, this one isn’t a measurement tool as such, but as I recently experienced someone plagiarising my website and blog, I think it’s a must-have tool. Just put in the URL of the content you want to check, and it’ll scour the internet for any duplicates.
If your website is struggling to convert, this handy tool can help you discover the reasons why. Using heat maps to track the parts of your website that are actually looked at (and what isn’t), along with interaction data and analytics, this tool gives you some clues on how to improve your website and make your digital marketing strategy more effective.
This is an all-in-one dashboard that lets you monitor different websites, social media channels and analytics at the same time, and it includes a wide variety of information. You can add widgets from Google Analytics, Social Media Channels, MailChimp, WordPress, and many more, so you have an at a glance dashboard. It’s great for planning your digital marketing strategy and having everything in one place.
There you have it, my 15 recommended free tools to help you manage and improve your digital marketing efforts. I hope I’ve given you some new apps to consider along with reminders of tools you’ve probably signed up to before and forgotten about!