9 Frugal Marketing Tools For Remote Working
By Nicc Lewis - CEO of Expozive Marketing & Marcom
Even before the Coronavirus pandemic, I have been running a remote based agency. Sometimes I am the remote person and I also manage a remote team. I am also a “frugal” person by nature. So how to control, operate efficiently and all on a limited budget? Here are some of my favorite tools for Marketing, Marcom and Operations. I limited the list to 9 because I have a short attention span myself and smaller lists are easier to digest, but I also included other worthwhile mentions in each one.
How does this come top of the list for Marketing? We create content that needs to be shared with collaboration with team members and clients. Unlike Microsoft Office, not only is it free, but collaboration is built in. You can easily share access to documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drives. From day one, two or more people can work on files simultaneously and being web based, everyone has access. Not only that, but Hangouts gives all the benefits of some payed web conferencing - so GSuite comes in at number 1.
When it came to finding a social media scheduler I did a lot of research. Other than having an easy web based UX, the chrome extension makes it easy to add web pages to the queue. By setting up teams I can give my clients access to their queues only, allowing them to be able to approve and see what is going on.
There are some downsides. It is not free, but it is reasonable. Missing from the tool, unlike Crowdfire, is auto responses and auto follow back on Twitter. Overall, it is a powerful tool.
Price: $99 per month
Freepik.com is an excellent alternative to Shutterstock, and it is free. There is a good library of photos and vectors. There are premium files and a large stock of free images. Incidentally you can also find free images that are license free or licensed for use with alterations in Google image searches in the tools filters. You can also look at Pixabay and Bensounds (for audio) for free resources.
Freepik also has a sister site for icons, Flaticon.com, also excellent and free.
In keeping with the free alternatives to Shutterstock, Unsplash.com has a growing stock library of beautiful photos. The quality is so good it deserves its own mention.
I have to say that I do pay $179 per month for BuzzSumo in order to find trending articles, influencers and topics for content. However, I also use Flipboard for content curation a lot as well and it is free. By searching topics I get a good overview of good content that either can be used for inspiration or for sharing on social media. I cannot find influencers on Flipboard, but like all cost cutting measures, there is always a work around - the simple one here is using Twitter & Instagram searches directly.
Most of my picks are Marketing tools, Trello is Operations. Creating, sharing and following up on tasks is free and web based. This is an ongoing life saver for me. I found the key is keeping the lists simple. I use three main categories: Current, Queue and Done (which I archive after 2 or 3 months). For some clients I also add an extra tab for approvals pending. Priorities are set by dragging the cards into order with most pressing at the top of the pile. You can add notes, comments and files for a truly collaborative tool for staff and clients alike.
This is my big splurge at around 50 Euros a month. I have tried all the free alternatives like GIMP for Photoshop and Shotcut for Premiere Pro, but for sheer power and comfort Adobe really is king and I personally use one or more programs daily. With so many online tips and tutorials available I am limited by my imagination only when it comes to creating images, templates or videos.
Price: €50 per month
If you are on Twitter and trying to build up followers for yourself or your client you need tools to manage your followers. With the number of people you can follow, you need to constantly trimm who you follow in order to follow new people. Unfollowerstats.com has a premium and free version. The free version gives you up to 50 unfollows per 24 hours. Where this one beats other unfollow tools is that you can see the date you followed them, the number people who they follow and the number of people who follow them. You can also see who has unfollowed you. In this way you can choose who you want to unfollow armed with knowledge.
Worth mentioning here is Untweep.com - where you can list stale Twitter accounts by the number of days since their last post. This also has a free and premium version, the free version gives you 3 searches per month.
Price: Starts from Free
Again this is not free, at $99 per month it is also not cheap. If you are looking for stats on advertising especially on competitors or companies in a field you are interested in, then SEMRush has an amazing amount of information. It will cut down your time of optimization of keywords as you get insights into keywords that are already working for others. You can also discover good media and partner sites by looking at the referring traffic. With SEO and other advertising added, it is fast becoming a one stop shop of information.
AdClarity and AHREFS both deserve a mention too. AHREFS in particular started from SEO and is now showing advertising stats. As a research tool for SEO, Media or PPC you need SEMRush and/or AHREFS.
If you do not have the budget, then you can perform limited numbers of queries on SEMRush on trial and use the free version of Similarweb with more limited capabilities.
Price: $99 per month (or Free)
Other worthy mentions - all for free
If you are looking for a new domain, I love Namemesh. Input some words and get lists of available domains. Entity Explorer is a fun tool that lets you explore phrases around a central phrase of linked words. Rhymezone is cool for content, I use it a bunch for similes in particular. TunnelBear VPN gives you views from different global locations.
I could go on and I am sure there are other tools some should say could have been mentioned. I would be happy to hear about them…
Price of sharing knowledge: Free
The benefits: Priceless