What tools do you use to get your online marketing work done?
Can you do all the same work of a digital marketer, and do it for free?
The list of tools you use—often referred to as a marketing stack—probably covers a variety of different uses and needs, everything from social media marketing to content to email and lots more.
Is it possible to have all these great tools without paying a cent?
It was a fun challenge to come up with a way to build a $0 marketing portfolio, to find free alternatives to popular paid tools and services. I’m grateful for all the amazing companies out there that offer such value for so little. Here’s the list I came up with for free alternatives to paid tools. I’d love to know what you think!
What’s in the stack?
The $0 Marketing Tools: Free Alternatives to Paid Tools
For a quick overview, here are the tools I found that seemed to be great, free options for some popular paid services.
- Google Analytics
- Blog Topic Generator
- Website Grader
1.Design : Canva
Over 2 million people trust Canva to help with creating images for social media, blog posts, and practically any other use you can imagine.
How we use Canva: The optimized sizes and built-in templates make it fast and easy to create tall pictures for Pinterest, rectangular ones for Twitter, square for Facebook or Instagram, and any size in between. We find Pablo (another free alternative) to be great for Twitter-sized images of 1,024 pixels by 512 pixels, and Canva to work really well for all else.
2.Real-time Analytics: Google Analytics
Google Analytics does pretty much everything in terms of tracking the traffic to your website. It’s a huge, monstrous amount of info, generously given away for free.
How we use Google Analytics: As a social media marketing team, we appreciate the ease with which we can see traffic from the different networks (Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals). We can check the engaged reading time by looking at Time on Page. And for the real-time stats of who’s on our site right now, we can simply click on Real-Time > Overview.
3.Landing Pages: WordPress
For those who are running their website or blog via WordPress, perhaps the fastest and easiest way to set up a landing page is simply to create a new page. If you blog with WordPress, the blog content you create falls into Posts. The static content for landing pages—“Download our ebook,” “Sign up for our webinar,” etc.—can be made quite easily via Pages.
How to use WordPress: Build a new landing page in WordPress, and use this as the focal point of your social media ad campaign or your social media updates. Certain plugins like WooDojo even let you hide the content in your sidebar for particular pages, which could be a great option for minimizing the look of your page.
- Unbounce free plan (includes Unbounce branding)
4.Twitter management: Crowdfire
Twitter has been so generous to open up its app to developers to make some really great tools. Sure, you can manage your Twitter profile directly via Twitter (an always free option), or you can try out tools like Just Unfollow, which allows for bulk sorting and filtering of your followers, along with insights into the demographics of the people in your audience.
How to use Just Unfollow: One way that many experts recommend to keep your Twitter following count in line with your Twitter follower count is to routinely check to see which accounts are following you back and to remove the ones that aren’t. With Just Unfollow, you can do this quickly and easily all from one page—and even whitelist the unfollowers whom you’d like to keep following.
5.Blog Topic Generator
Stumped for ideas? Give HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator a few nouns that describe your content areas and it’ll spit out a week’s worth of post ideas.
6.Website optimization: Hotjar
Let’s say you’re curious how your visitors are actually using your website—where they click, how far they scroll, etc. Tools like Hotjar can show you exactly what your visitors are doing, via heatmaps, clickmaps, scrollmaps, and visitor recordings. Hotjar also has options to analyze your funnel and to insert messages and surveys to your visitors.
How we use Hotjar: User research can be incredibly powerful stuff. I find great value in seeing how someone interacts with blog posts. How much of the post do they read? Where do they pause? What do they click? Seeing all this information helps me design my posts in a clearer way.
The Average Person Can SAVE Over $1,000 PER MONTH When They Start Using ClickFunnels
- Website Hosting
- Landing Page Software
- Email Autoresponder Software
- Split Testing Software
- Plus A Bunch More…
Clickfunnels has brought everything to the table and integrated it all into one system. That is easy to use and simply to setup. No need to be tech Guru. Anyone can use clickfunnels. This is a online tool that will boost any business no matter what your business is you can use clickfunnels with it.
8. Blogging: Medium
It feels a bit funny to list Medium as a tool (it’s really more of a network or social media site), but when it comes to starting a new blog as cheaply and quickly as possible, Medium can’t be beat.
How to use Medium: Many young startups kick off their blog at Medium, where they enjoy a built-in audience from the start and have networking tools to help their content spread. Plus, one of Medium’s newest features is an email newsletter where you can automatically get in touch with people who follow you by sharing your latest articles.
9. Testing: Peek
When it comes to understanding how people are using your website—A/B testing, user testing, that sort of thing—there are some really fantastic paid options that can give you lots of insights. There’s also Peek, a free tool from User Testing that lets you see and hear a five-minute video of a real person using your website.
How to use Peek: For first-time insights, you may wish to have a person go through your website or blog from the home page. Later on, you might ask for someone to test out a certain flow through your website by starting someone on a landing page. The tests take about 2-3 days to complete, and you can run three Peek tests every month.
10. Website Grader
HubSpot’s Website Grader gives you the overall performance and “grade” of your website based on mobile factors, SEO, security, speed, and performance, plus tips on how to improve your website…