30 of the Best, Free Marketing Tools when you have to DIY it
With the COVID-19 pandemic reaching its 1 year mark, times are tough and many smaller Cannabis | CBD businesses have turned to DIY’ing their marketing.
And although it’s not great for companies like ours, we thought we’ll lend a helping hand anyway, and tell you about 30 free marketing tools you can use to market you Cannabis | CBD business.
30 of the Best (Free) Marketing Tools
At a glance, the pack of free marketing tools are:
- Answer the Public
- Blog Topic Generator
- Content Idea Generator
- Hemingway editor
- After the Deadline
- Readability Test Tool
- Keyword Tool
- Google Trends
- Open Site Explorer
- Keyword Tool
- Keyword Shitter
Social media is one of the most obvious and cheapest content marketing tools you have available to you. You can use it to publish, share and promote your content to get online exposure, especially if it is incorporated into a coherent content marketing strategy.
But, although we all agree that social media is important, the where, why and what can sometimes be much more difficult to figure out – especially if you have limited time and resources at your disposal.
My favorite is Instagram, but it might not be the best for you. Here you can read more about choosing the best social media platforms for your Cannabis | CBD business.
Blogging is at the heart of any good content marketing strategy, and we’re pretty sure that your website has its own blog.
But many startups kick off and / or promote their blog via Medium. When using Medium, you can enjoy the benefit of an already present, built-in audience from the get-go as well as all the networking tools to help your content spread. For free. And recently, Medium also launched a new feature where you can automatically get in touch with people who follow you by sharing your latest articles via their email newsletter.
Great content starts with great topics. But one of the toughest things to do when creating regular content (and you should) is to come up with fresh, interesting and relevant things to write about. In fact, when it comes to generating content ideas, the struggle is so real that research showed that “57% of B2B marketers say that producing content consistently is their biggest struggle.”
When you start this process off on the wrong foot, all that time and resources you invested in creating bad content is a waste. Not to mention running the risk of boring, or even turning off you audience. But getting it right means that not only do YOU get through the content creation process with a smile on your face, but most importantly, you keep a smile on the faces of your readers and fans, making them come back for more.
Answer the Public is one of my favourite free marketing tools as it listens in on the autocomplete data from search engines like Google and then cranks out every useful phrase and question people are asking around your keyword. All you need to do is enter a keyword into the search bar, and it will generate a bunch of topics you can use as blog topics and content ideas.
Spelling + Grammar
Sometimes it’s important to through out the rule book and write in the language of the audience you want to reach. But it is never okay to neglect spelling and grammar when creating content – no matter how much of a renegade you want to be.
The first issue with faulty spelling and grammar is the way it changes the way people view your company – often interpreting it as sloppiness and reducing the worth of both your Cannabis | CBD brand and your product.
But, there are other issues with faulty spelling and grammar that is often overlooked. And that is that will firstly, slow down your reader, often confusing them, and secondly, muddle the meaning of your content and message.
Hemingway editor is a favourite among almost all content creators as it makes your writing bold and clear. The app highlights lengthy, complex sentences and common errors; if you see a yellow sentence, shorten or split it. And it is all online – no downloads necessary. Simply copy and paste your text into the app.
The same as with spelling and grammar, readability is vital to getting your message across clearly, concisely and effectively. It is also important in keeping your readers engaged. If they have to wade through superfluous language or words they simply don’t understand, the are going to move on.
My favorite is Readability Test Tool because you can either simply copy and paste your text via the Direct Input tab, or enter your blog post’s URL using the Test by URL tab.
Social Media Marketing Tools
Social media scheduling tools lets you plan and schedule your social media content and are super helpful in managing your content calendar and posting schedule. It takes a ton of work off your plate and streamlines the whole process for you. It is also a great time saver.
My favourite is Later and we actually use it ourselves. The free version includes one social set (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter + Pinterest) with 30 posts per social profile. You also get analytics, a link in your bio and a very nifty visual monthly layout for Instagram.
Social Media Analytics + Performance
Where social media scheduling tools does your posting for you, social media analytics tools are let’s you see how you are doing. In other words, analytics help you measure your performance and fine tune your strategy.
Nothing can really beat the native analytics + dashboards (e.g., Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights, Twitter Analytics, Pinterest Analytics, LinkedIn Analytics, YouTube Analytics, etc.) that come with the social media platform. They are simply by far the easiest and best way to get insights into how you are doing on that platform.
Although well-written content is vital to your content marketing strategy, visuals are just as important. Good graphics not only helps with social sharing, but it also boosts engagement. For instance, tweets that feature a picture generate 150 percent more Retweets than those that stick to plain text while Facebook posts with an image yield 2.3 times more engagement.
Gimp is a great Photoshop alternative while Canva is probably the most well known of all the free online design tools available. And for good reason. Once you’ve created a profile, you can choose from hundreds or templates, images and designs to create high-quality and beautiful content – from infographics and blog headers, to social media posts and presentations.
take home message
If you’re currently DIY’ing creating and executing your own content marketing strategy, tap into these free marketing tools for a cost-effective way to drive more traffic to your site and turn more visitors into customers. These free content marketing tool suggestions are guaranteed to help make your marketing a little bit easier. Many of these we use ourselves so we can attest to this.
If you’ve found any of them useful, I’d love to hear from you. Drop your comments below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lieze Boshoff (B.Psych, M.Sc (HCN)) is the founder of LBC3 Marketing + LBC3 Academy a leading Cannabis Marketing agency + training academy for the CBD | Cannabis Industry. Additional work experience includes working as an account manager and then a corporate training and development manager in London, and a university lecturer + researcher in Germany and The Netherlands.
Her areas of expertise encompass all aspects of Cannabis Marketing, including Content Creation, Copywriting, Email Marketing, and Lead Generation. As a specialist in her field, she helps small to medium sized CBD | Cannabis businesses with her work as Cannabis Marketing professional, educator and mentor.