12 Free Online Marketing Tools for Small Business

As a small business owner, you’re constantly bombarded with new marketing ideas and techniques. But sorting through the clutter can be hard. That’s why we’ve gone ahead and curated this list of the most useful online marketing tools available to small businesses. We’ve included products that will help you build and grow your audience, products that will help you analyze the performance of your campaigns, and those that will simply make it easier to get your job done.

1. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a search engine that helps you find the most talked about content on social media. The concept is simple – search for the most popular terms used in relation to your products and services and you’ll see a list of articles that have recently gained a lot of digital attention.

In order to use Buzzsumo, enter your keywords in the search bar and press enter. You’ll then see a list of results that match your query. From here, you can click through to read the article or dive into a brief summary if you want.

You can also track the performance of your keywords using the Buzzsumo WebAnalyzer. To access this tool, click on the profile icon at the top of the search bar and select the Performance tab. Here, you can see the results of your search queries along with details on how many people are interacting with your content (Likes, Shares, and Comments).

2. Clixsense

With Clixsense, you can create and manage content that will appear in both your blog and social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Publishing to multiple channels makes it easy for your target audience to find and follow you.

To create a piece of content, simply click on the big orange “Create New” button at the top of the dashboard. You’ll then see a form populated with content suggestions that match the niche and voice of your blog or brand. Once published, you can monitor and engage with your audience using the dashboard.

If you want to use the content on your blog, simply click on the “Use with Blog” button to the right of the post’s URL. After clicking this button, you’ll be taken to a configuration screen where you can choose the platforms that will host and promote your content.

Further down on the left side of the page, you’ll see a section for the content’s tweets. Here, you can click on the “Tweet this content” button and the content will be published to your Twitter platform.

3. HubSpot

HubSpot is the #1 CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software used by over 200,000 businesses across the world. The software offers all the necessary features you need to effectively run your business, from marketing to sales to service to support.

However, what sets HubSpot apart from other software solutions is its approach to marketing. Most other software solutions for marketing and sales fall into one of two camps: they either force you to focus on lead generation (i.e. get as many leads as possible), or they focus on lead management (i.e. follow up with leads after they’ve been generated). These solutions assume that you have the resources to acquire more leads than you need and that you can pick up the phone and call them all yourself.

With HubSpot, marketing should be a focus from the beginning to the end. The software connects all the dots for you so that you can simply follow the processes that lead to a sale.

To start, you’ll want to create a new lead by choosing the type of contact you have (i.e. individual, company, or organization). Then, you can input the first name, last name, email address, and phone number.

After creating the lead, you can connect all your other accounts (i.e. social media, phone, etc.) and start creating content or setting up automated email campaigns based on the information you have about your lead.

You can also use the software to create and send email campaigns, blogs, and videos to your subscribers and engaged customers using a mix of automation and manual communication. Setting up automated emails is as easy as dragging and dropping emails from your in-box onto a send dates schedule. Then, you can monitor the performance of your email campaigns and optimize them over time to increase click-through rates and conversion.

The best part about HubSpot is how easy it is to use. No technical knowledge is required to get up and running – even marketing beginners can use the software and start generating leads.

What’s more is that you don’t need to be limited by the software’s functionalities – it offers a basic version that’s free and open-source, and advanced features can be purchased individually.

4. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is the #1 social media dashboard used worldwide, handling over 500 million monthly active users and counting. The platform simplifies your life as a digital marketer by allowing you to manage all your social platforms from one location.

This tool can be especially useful for small businesses since it makes it easier to maintain a social media presence across all your platforms (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram). You can also use Hootsuite to engage with your audiences, determine the popularity of your content, and find the best times to post to maximize your reach.

To utilize Hootsuite, you’ll first want to log in using your email address and password. From here, you can click on the three horizontal tabs at the top of the screen to access your account settings, manage your content, and track the performance of your content.

The options available in the Content tab allow you to upload content to multiple platforms, specify how you want the content to be displayed (i.e. by day or week), and enable you to schedule posts in advance.

To create a new post on your Instagram account, click on the green “Publish” button at the top of the page. You’ll then be taken to a configuration screen where you can choose the details of the post (e.g. the caption and location). Once you’ve published the post, you can engage with your audience by liking and commenting on other people’s content.

The best part about Hootsuite is its ease of use. Anyone can figure out how to use it and get up and running quickly. So, if you find yourself struggling with the concept of social media or just want to save time for more important things, Hootsuite is a perfect solution.

5. Mention

Mention is a Twitter tool that helps you find and engage with influencers and big names in your industry. Once you’ve created an account with this tool, you can choose the type of content you want to track (i.e. mentions of your product, service, or brand), set the location of your Tweets (i.e. world map or national map), and choose how you want your tweets to be displayed (i.e. list style or grid style).

You can then begin to discover popular topics, influential people, and most importantly, content that your audience is interested in – all from the convenience of your Twitter account.

To best understand the benefits of this tool, let’s pretend that you’re an entrepreneur with an interest in fashion. Using the tool, you can enter the keyword “fashion” into the search bar, click on the blue “Explore” button, and you’ll discover a wealth of content created by both prominent individuals and everyday people just like you.

On the left side of the screen, you’ll see a list of influencers whose tweets have been mentioned in relation to the topic of fashion. You can click on an individual’s name to see their latest Tweets.

Further down on the left side of the page, you’ll see a section for the content’s retweets. Here, you can click on the “Retweet this content” button to have the tweet displayed on your timeline.

The best part about Mention is its convenience. When you want to find content that’s related to your area of expertise, you can use this tool to easily discover popular topics and individuals who’ve mentioned your brand or product. Plus, you can always find people to follow and get inspired by.

6. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a social media marketing tool that allows you to create a profile, set goals and KPIs, and engage with your audience using multiple platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. If you want to create content for your blog or social media channels, Sprout Social provides you with all the necessary functionality including a place to build your audience.