More than ever, digital marketers are expected to bring a varied toolkit of skills and abilities, especially in content creation. Here are 10 free or low-cost tools to supercharge your marketing.
Whether your creating organic social media content, paid ads, email newsletters or blog articles it can seem like we digital marketers are expected to do a lot of very different things. But fortunately, recent years have seen an explosion in sophisticated online tools that bring down the barrier to producing high-quality creative output for your business.
These are the ten apps and services I couldn’t personally live without, and they all have some sort of free version, with all of them being low-cost even with a paid subscription.
Bring your brand closer to your preferred audience by creating engaging, stand-out content to catch the attention of your audience. According to Statista, it is estimated that 4.6billion people worldwide use the internet, with one-third of those regularly using YouTube, with Wordstream stating that more than 500million hours of video consumed every day.
So, it makes sense to utilise your content and deliver it in the most appealing way possible, right?
When we watch videos, about 95% of the information is absorbed and resonates with us, compared to just 10% when reading text. Biteable offers the perfect solution for marketers who wish to up their content game without having years of extensive video-making and editing experience.
The platform offers 3 user packages:
With all three packages, you get unlimited exports and exclusive access to over 1.8million photographs, video clips and animations.
The ’Plus’ package is aimed at individual creatives, making it perfect for freelance digital marketers, content creators or anybody who wishes to cut their teeth with high-quality editing tools with the bonus of commercial usage rights.
The ‘Ultimate’ package is aimed at professionals with the ability to include unlimited team members on the account. The perfect solution for a busy marketing manager who wishes to encourage their team’s creative abilities. This package includes the right to resell the content as well as being able to share editing and projects within the team.
Lumen5 is another powerful piece of software which enables you to enhance your video marketing. But the killer feature here is the ability to turn your blog posts into animated, informative videos with ease. You can also cut, merge, compress and resize videos using their user-friendly interface. This also includes presets for Facebook, Instagram, and the like.
The website also offers a learning hub, making it even more accessible for the user to make the most out of the valuable tools at their fingertips. While bearing in mind that the AI technology used enables marketing professionals, teams, or newbies to focus on the story while the software takes care of the rest.
Do you have your own podcast and want to make it more easily discoverable?
Accelerate your podcast marketing with the easy-to-use Headliner. By turning your podcast into a shareable video you’re automatically increasing your chances of being seen on the web. Headliner is specifically for podcasts, allowing you to create waveform videos manually or automatically for your audio.
Headliners best features include the freedom to create as many videos as you like while offering a wide range of nicely designed templates to give you the best opportunity to catch your audience's attention. You can export your videos in the optimal size for each social network, giving sustainability to your content and ensuring it performs across all platforms as expected.
If you’re busy managing multiple social and search ad campaigns, you’ll appreciate a platform which helps you optimise and organise.
AdEspresso supports Facebook, Instagram and Google ad campaign creation, allowing you to better utilise your time by housing these in the one place.
The feature that keeps me coming back is the multivariate testing capabilities, where you input variations on copy, creative, audience and the like so that AdEspresso can create every possible permutation of those variants. It feels like a more scientific way to do ads, but also their simple interface is a lot easier to use than Facebook Ads manager.
Powered by Hootsuite, AdEspresso offers in-depth analysis of your campaigns which are easily customisable and downloadable. You can also build reports to your own preference using the wide variety of templates available. Easily view aggregate statistics for your reporting with the tagging functionality while generating reports which show tangible results for your business.
Though they do not offer a free or lite version of any of their packages, you have the option to avail of a free 14-day trial should you wish to test the water. Ultimately, AdEspresso can help you revolutionise your online advertising, while enabling you to work more efficiently, save money, and generate more leads. What’s not to love? Check it out, here.
Until relatively recently, there was no way to schedule Instagram content. Once that changed, a slew of offerings came to the fore, with Later winning out against the rest with its simple interface and handy features.
Later’s visual planner allows you to easily drop content into your calendar while giving you in-depth personalised insights into what content is working for your brand. If you’re stuck for content ideas, you have access to a range of on-brand content as well as hashtag tools which you can easily share on your social channels.
By using linkin.bio, you’re making it even easier for your audience to view your products and services, as well as linking to blogs, articles and other websites of interest. You can then use your insights to track the clicks and views on specific posts, allowing you to determine specific revenue generated from each post.
Arguably one of the best things about Later, is that you can access most of the platform’s best features for free. For example, your free Later account will give you access to one social set (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) with 30 posts allowed to be scheduled per profile, per month. Alongside the ‘Free’ tier, you can access the paid packages, known as ‘Starter’, ‘Growth’ and ‘Advanced’, which are easily applicable to your workload and team-size. Take a look at the packages, here.
Like any busy marketer, you’ll understand the importance of customer relationship management whether it’s for your own business or a brand you’re representing. CRM tools can effectively help you understand data relating to your audience to deliver your marketing in a smarter, more optimised way.
With HubSpot’s free CRM tools, you can easily manage your contacts, website activity and tasks from one organised hub. This has a strong focus on sales and marketing while acting as a helpful tool for combining pieces of information while enabling you to present your metrics in a straight-forward fashion.
You can easily integrate HubSpot’s free CRM tools with your Gmail, G Suite, and many versions of Outlook as well as gaining access to Hubspot’s community for support as you venture on your CRM journey.
In short, using customer relationship management software like HubSpot Free Tools will allow you to manage your inbound marketing while acting as a sales platform which will enable you to attract your ideal audience, convert leads and generate revenue. This ensures you’re better equipped to manage your marketing tasks with greater efficiency.
Zapier is the perfect automation tool for helping you with tedious repetitive tasks, allow it to ‘Zap’ your tasks while you spend your time on more worthy investments. By focusing on automation between productivity apps, you’re giving yourself and your team the best tools for working smarter, not harder.
For instance, do you have to manually add new customers to your newsletter? Do you wish you kept track of social posts in a spreadsheet? Things like this and lots more can be set up automatically with Zapier.
Zapier offers 5 pricing tiers, starting with its Free offering. With the Free tier, you get access to the powerful automation software with 100 free tasks a month, as well as 5 free ‘Zaps’ and a 15minute update time. This means Zapier will check for new data from your nominated app or ‘trigger’ every 15 minutes to establish a workflow. As you climb the tiers you have an option to pay monthly or annually, with all growing tiers improving their offerings. Take a look, here.
As a busy marketer in 2021, a year where we are spending more time online than ever consuming endless amounts of information, it can be easy to draw a blank when coming up with fresh content ideas. This is where Answer The Public comes into play, an online search listening tool which will tell you the exact questions people are asking about your subject or keyword and provides data in two ways: spider diagrams and lists.
The best way to utilise this tool is to keep it simple, run a few related keywords through the search function and collect your reports. Then, explore the variations around your topics of interest and think about it from your audience’s point of view and specifically what they’re looking for. By using this correctly, you can work on your long-tail keywords and in turn improve that precious SEO ranking.
Quik by GoPro is a free video editing mobile app that is possibly the easiest of all to use. You can upload up to 75 pieces of media to your album, then instantly create high-quality videos with your chosen themes, transitions, text overlays… basically all the customisations you would expect from an expensive piece of video editing software.
Quik is all about creating eye-catching videos, fast. You can auto-sync clips and music or take full advantage of the manual editing tools. Once you’ve customised your video in a flash, you can assure you won’t ever be stuck for attention-grabbing content for your digital marketing plan.
This is a great app for beginners or for any marketers who wish to build experience with video-editing software. Equally, it’s fantastic for the more experienced editor who needs a fast, reliable, high-quality editing suite in their pocket. As well as having basic editing controls such as speeding up or slowing down footage, you can also render your files for a wide variety of platforms, allowing you to easily optimise your content for each platform.
Unlike other tools mentioned above, Quik does not offer paid versions, every function on the app is free. It might be important to note that you’ll also have access to over 100 free songs from GoPro’s content library, as well as the ability to use your own songs or import music from cloud storage. You also do not need to shoot your footage on a GoPro for this to work - you can work with any footage recorded on anything from a phone to a full-frame camera.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Ubersuggest, a free/low-cost SEO tool which can help you grow your ranking with its helpful keyword suggestions, competitor tracking and rank tracking.
Identify how your keywords are being explored on the internet, as well as suggesting helpful relative terms which can contribute to your own keyword planning. Ubersuggest works with Google’s Suggest feature, so the keyword suggestion feature uses the same algorithm as google search.
As well as keyword research, you can use Ubersuggest for rich data on domains, top SEO pages, content ideas and valuable backlink data. For example, with reports from the data in the Top SEO Pages, you can view which keywords your competitors use. You can then use this information to test what works for you, to investigate which keywords are worth utilising and using in your content. This also includes popular search terms and organic keywords which are performing well with sites such as Facebook and Pinterest.
Regardless of your intent with keyword research, it’s safe to assume that the suggestions from Ubersuggest will be a valuable arrow in your marketing bow this year. The cherry on top? It is a well-designed, user-friendly website which is easy to navigate whether you’re a fresh-faced marketer or a seasoned professional looking for a quick and reliable source of information.
In conclusion, there has never been a better time to start exploring new marketing tools to take your work up a notch. We really are living through a golden age of accessible apps that employ AI and more powerful computing in general to deliver functionality that just a few years ago was a distant dream.
Will Francis is an educator, speaker, and podcast host - all about marketing and technology. You can find out more about him and get in touch at willfrancis.com