Free apps for small business marketing
Small business owners are notoriously time and resource poor, which means we’re always on the look out for apps to make our life easier.
Marketing is a particular small business challenge that can be simplified with apps.
The great news is there are literally thousands of small business apps out there – the problem is, there are so many to choose from.
Here is our list of the 5 best free apps for small business marketing
1. Hootsuite – Social Media
Hootsuite is the most widely used platform for managing multiple social media accounts. The app manages all of your business social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube) all from the one easy to use interface.
The app allows you to write, post, send, schedule and track posts across your different accounts from the one screen. This makes it much easier to keep track of all your social media accounts.
Hootsuite is available over 3 plans.
- The free version limits you to 3 social media profiles and basic analytic reports. This is a great way to test the waters and see if Hootsuite is right for you and also for small businesses who don’t have a lot of social media profiles).
- The pro version costs around $10 per month and gives you access to premium apps, enhanced analytics reports and up to 50 social profiles.
Buffer is also a great alternative that offers almost identical functions. The dashboard is clean and intuitive and it has a free plan available. It comes down to personal preference, so check out both Hootsuite and Buffer and decide which one best meets your needs.
2. Canva – design
Canva is simple to use graphic design software that has a free plan available.
While it’s always preferable to use a professional designer, sometimes small business owners need to design their own marketing materials and Canva is the perfect option for them.
Canva comes loaded with professionally-designed templates, images and fonts for creating social media posts, flyers, posters, resumes…almost anything you can think of.
Pre-loaded templates can be tweaked as needed, but are set up for the exact dimensions required. You can upload your own images and even create a custom sized design.
Once your design is completed you can download it as an image or pdf file.
Features include drag and drop design and collaboration with team members.
3. MailChimp – e-newsletters
MailChimp is an email marketing platform that enables you to create and send e-newsletters or bulk emails.
You can build and manage lists of email recipients and manage subscribes and unsubscribes.
You can also create specific campaigns and track open and delivery rates.
The free version of MailChimp gives you access to plenty of beautifully designed enewsletter templates but places a limit on the number of recipients and emails you can send before upgrading. The free version is sufficient though for most small businesses starting out.
You can also create opt-in forms on your website or social media using MailChimp integrations and integrate it with loads of other marketing and sales software.
4. Pexels – free images
Pexels is an image library (so technically not an app) but is awesome for finding great photos that you can use everywhere for free.
It’s a great resource for designing social media posts, blog posts and marketing materials.
All photos on Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means you can use them for free for any personal and commercial purpose. Though you should check out the full license agreement on their website to check exact useage rights.
5. Evernote – marketing organisation
Evernote is an essential tool for note taking, organising information and keeping all of your marketing ideas, images and background info in the one place.
You can use it as a daily diary, for audio record meetings, recipes, to do lists, notes, photos and access it anywhere that has an Internet connection.
Evernote uses manually added tags as well as geotags, which makes it easy to locate notes from a business trip or minutes from advertising meetings. Evernote also allows you to chat and collaborate with your colleagues in real time about shared files.
Additionally you can use an Evernote Clipper browser extension that lets you ‘clip’ articles or content from any website and save it in Evernote, with one click.
Evernote is available in a free version, a paid version, a business version and a premium version. On the free version you can run the app and sync it between two devices but there is a limit on the amount of data you use each month.