Ready to bring your brand to the next level? Without blowing the budget, brands, businesses, and solo-preneurs at every stage of growth can leverage some of the best free online digital marketing tools to help better connect with their audience and solidify their place in the market.
If you’re new to marketing–not to worry. We’ve covered some of the industry-standard, basic digital marketing tools below. Experienced in marketing? You may be familiar with a few of these tools–but we highly recommend looking for cost-saving versions and subscriptions wherever possible. (To bring that CAC down!)
If you’re interested in hacking your digital marketing and business growth, follow along with the Edge Marketing team. Each week, we deep dive into trending topics, marketing platforms, best practices, and more. From the basics and beginner-friendly to more advanced topics that can upskill your team, we’re one of Australia’s expert teams when it comes to knowing and leveraging some of the best digital marketing tools online.
Why Use Digital Marketing Tools
First things first–if you’re just starting out or haven’t started regularly taking advantage of the plethora of online marketing tools, we highly recommend starting to digitise, automate, and regularly publish ongoing marketing pieces. Why bring in digital tools? Among the many reasons, modern marketing methods can help:
- Action Your Digital Marketing Strategy
If you’ve been relying on traditional marketing methods to connect with your audience, you may be missing out on widening and growing your potential customer market. From SEO tools and keyword research that can drive more traffic to your website to better understanding the language that your audience knows and understands, leveraging free online tools to action your digital marketing strategies can help you more deeply understand your customers and better position your brand in the market.
What does this mean for you? Better, more authentic, and more effective digital marketing as well as a better understanding of your business’ market position and how you can continue to get a leg up on competitors.
- Scale Your Digital Marketing Reach
Interested in growing? Whether you’re moving past the 1-to-1 customer-to-business owner model or want to lower your cost of customer-acquisition, scaling your digital marketing reach can help both increase your targeted audience and bring down the cost of each new lead.
Sounds confusing? It doesn’t have to be. In short, most small business owners will get to a point where they need to focus on growing the business–instead of ‘in’ the business–and growth marketing tactics can help with that. Instead of working on client or customer facing work each day, we recommend leverage online digital marketing tools to widen your net of potentially new customers and increase your brand awareness.
If this seems expensive, consider this: every new lead that comes into your business could be a potentially new customer. Every potentially new customer could turn into a sale. In time, averaging the cost of your increased marketing tasks over more leads and more paying customers lowers your CAC–otherwise known as the Cost of Acquisition for each new customer. While there could be some upfront costs associated with actioning a campaign, we’ll deep dive into free tools you can use below.
- Social media marketing Automation Tools
Running out of time? Whether you’re a small business owner or a Digital Marketing Manager at a multinational organisation, we appreciate the never-ending To Do list and how some marketing tasks never seem to get finished. Instead of tying up much needed time each day, most free, online social media marketing platforms allow marketers to draft, schedule, and publish regularly without being directly involved. If you want to better optimise your schedule and automate your To Do list, updating and using some of the leading digital marketing platforms listed below will help you free up your hands and focus on other tasks.
Ready to uplift your brand marketing and anchor your place in the market? Read on to learn more about our top recommended free online digital marketing tools that you’ll want to leverage in 2023.
The Top Digital Marketing Tools
If you’ve decided to kickstart (or restart) your online marketing tasks, here are some of the top trending tools and platforms we reckon will only increase in popularity across 2023.
How you connect with your audience online comes down to three pivotal things: where you find them (on what platforms), the visuals you use to represent your brand (graphic design files), and the copy and language you use to make a call to action.
Canva can help out with the second step–visual design process. With an excellent Freemium online model, you can self-design everything from social media posts to LinkedIn banners, and posters. With templates available for those just getting used to the platform, you can quickly pull together eye-catching visuals that give your brand a professional look and create a cohesive brand appearance across each marketing platform.
- Social Media Platforms
This is where the first step will come into play–knowing where to connect with your audience is crucial to an effective online marketing campaign. While it can seem like the number of available platforms to directly engage with your audience grows each day, we recommend starting out with 2 targeted platforms where you’re most likely to find your direct audience. (Eg. where they hang out and find new brands or solve problems online.) From Instagram to Pinterest, different social media collateral will be needed to target different potential customers–fortunately, most social media platforms offer a schedule-and-forget feature so you can preemptively publish social media posts without hanging out online each day.
(That said–we do recommend regularly following up with customer comments and engaging directly with your customers on social media platforms. Not only will it help you better understand the common questions asked by your community, it can also help create a personalised, 1-to-1 experience for potential buyers.)
Among the most commonly used social media platforms Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest all offer freemium models.
- Content Marketing Strategy Tools
Interested in long form content? This is where content marketing, with the support of content marketing strategy tools, can come in. If you’re new to content marketing, a good summary overview describes this tactic as:
- Creating, publishing, and distributing content ‘about’ your brand, products, or services that offer customers more insight into areas of interest that relate to your brand.
From blog posts to video blogs, published articles, short form video content, and How To guides, there is an endless array of content marketing forms to choose from. (We recommend picking 1-2 that would most likely connect with your audience and is within your teams’ capabilities to design and publish well.)
A content marketing strategy tool will help organised, ideate, publish, and track produced content. Whole HubSpot has a great CMS (Content Management System) feature, it can be relatively pricey. We recommended publishing your first content marketing pieces on your website (like Wix) or YouTube–both offer built-in analytics so you can track the effectiveness of your efforts going forward. (For free!)
Why bother? Real-time data will give you more refined insights into what resonates with your audience–and what doesn’t. While your first attempts at marketing may feel like ‘a shot in the dark’, you can follow your content analytics to better define and produce more targeted, engaging content going forward.
- Google Analytics
Regardless of your website host, we recommend turning on Google’s free Google Analytics tracker.
Why? From your number of overall website visitors to individual website page bounce rates, you can gain keen insights into your online presence from Google Analytics in real time, from real customers and leads. (For free!)
Better yet–you can track the overall impact and effectiveness of your other online marketing projects by tracking where visitors are accessing your website from. (Social media platforms, live campaigns, etc.) Much like the content marketing analytics above, it can take some time to collect meaningful, real-time data from your website visitors–but is absolutely worth it in regards to refining your marketing for a better ROI going forward.
Interested in a freebie CRM? A customer relationship management platform can help bring together a lot of the above information and marketing tactics into one integrated tool–as well as help you track the life cycle and level of engagement each potential or paying customer has with your brand.
From tracking customer email marketing deliveries and support requests to website traffic and how well a customer is moving down the sales funnel, HubSpots free CRM platform is an excellent way to organise your customer-facing activities.
With opportunities to upgrade to premium, paid features as your business grows, we recommend kickstarting your free version of a HubSpot account as soon as you start to dive into digital marketing. Why? Because you can leverage the free tools HubSpot has available from day one–knowing you’ll have real-time data collected from all of your free efforts that can inform paid features when the time comes to upgrade.
How to Decide Which Free Digital Marketing Strategy Tools to Use
We appreciate that’s a lot of information–and if you’re just transitioning from traditional marketing to digital marketing campaigns (or starting any marketing efforts for the first time!) it can feel overwhelming to navigate through the countless digital marketing channels in the market.
To streamline the decision making process and help decide which top digital marketing tools you should invest in, we recommend:
- Confirming your budget–in both money and time.
Some platforms will take longer to set up than others before you can start actioning free digital marketing tools–others will need less than 5 minutes to get up and go. Further still, we appreciate needing to work with a zero-dollar budget; if you are interested in spending small amounts of money, we recommend confirming that amount before diving in.
- Review your current, or ideal, customer market.
If you’re targeting B2C customers who frequently use Instagram in their spare time, it wouldn’t make sense to only use LinkedIn’s free digital marketing tool. Go where the people are–be it social media platforms or blogs. While you can venture out into further unknown territory in the future, we recommend starting with only 1-2 free marketing tools that will directly engage with your current customers while you begin to test the waters.
- Prepare to track your marketing efforts’ impact.
Regardless of which platform you decide to use, determine a means to track the effectiveness of your first marketing efforts. Whether it’s additional followers gained on a social media platform, post engagements from select hashtags, or new website visitors, one of the most important things to include with every marketing campaign is a means to track its effectiveness.
Like we said above–the first attempt can feel like a shot in the dark; fortunately, you can refine your efforts for a more targeted strategy and better ROI as time goes on.
Learn More About the Best Digital Marketing Tools
Diving into the world of online marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming–especially when you have the team behind Edge Marketing on your side.
Regularly publishing articles that deep dive into all things digital marketing, PPC, search engine optimisation, social media management, and web design, we’re one of Australia’s leading teams when it comes to anchoring your brand online.
With in-house experts that know all things online marketing, website development, and brand strategy, we can help you leverage both free version and paid tools to better connect with your audience. Whether you’re interested in outsourcing and scaling up your marketing projects or need to learn from a well-known marketing provider so you can hack email marketing projects on your own, you’ve come to the right place. Stay tuned for more articles like this one to learn how you can continue to grow and hack your presence online.