I’d like to start this blog with a general disclaimer; I am in no way a marketing maestro or social media specialist. One thing I can vouch for however, and something that has taken me by surprise during my foray into the world of marketing at Robertson Scannell, is the range of free online tools that can help educate and empower the everyday business owner to boost their brand awareness and grow their business.

This blog in no way aims to discredit the validity and expertise of marketing agencies and qualified professionals. But if, for whatever reason, you’ve decided to go it alone, I’d like to share with you some tools that I’ve stumbled across which have made my work in marketing both easier and a lot more fun!

  1. Mailchimp
    Think email database mixed with DIY graphic design and real-time analytics. Mailchimp allows you to (easily) collate a database of subscribers, reach out to them with impressively designed email campaigns and track your progress through reports and analytics that show you just how many people opened, clicked and shared your info. Impressive!
  2. Canva
    Ever wondered who’s generating those eye-catching images and personalised graphics you see in your Facebook feed? The crew at Canva has created an online emporium of graphic design tools for even the most un-artistic marketing beginner, allowing you to put together unique and relevant images that get your message across and reflect your brand. From Facebook banners to blog images, this site houses heaps of cool templates, fonts and graphics to get your creative juices flowing!
  3. Hootsuite
    Social media can become a total black hole of productivity if you’re not smart about time management. Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts and content for multiple social media channels such as twitter, facebook and google+, all from the one, easy to use interface. That means you’re only logging into one site in order to post great, engaging content across all your social media channels!
  4. Fiverr
    So it’s not completely free (sorry!), but for $5 a pop this site works as a kind of yellow pages for creative entrepreneurs, allowing you to quickly (and cost effectively) outsource all those pesky creative jobs that you just don’t have time to master. From logo design to voiceovers and video production, the folks at Fiverr have some serious skills and the user rating system allows you to tell who’s a top rated seller so you know your work is in good hands.
  5. Hubspot Marketing Blog
    With so many marketing blogs out there (and I mean A LOT) it’s refreshing to find a site that puts all the marketing mumbo jumbo into language you can actually understand and apply to what you’re doing. This blog has HEAPS of relevant and easy to implement marketing advice that’s relevant to businesses of any size and industry. The best part? While Hubspot offer a range of software and services, their blog isn’t packed with shameless plugs for their products. It’s practical, no-nonsense info that you can use to better your marketing efforts and educate your whole team.

As a small business looking to grow, you need your brand to speak BIG and having the time and tools to optimize your marketing efforts are essential. So if you’re ready to dip your toes into the ocean of marketing, I hope these 5 awesome resources provide a great place to start. Enjoy!

By Adam Marjoribanks

Posted in Blog