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Small businesses, especially startups, often face a conundrum: they need to market their brand to gain exposure, but don’t necessarily have the necessary budget to run an expensive advertising campaign. Fortunately, not all marketing efforts will eat into your budget. If you are just starting out in promoting your new business idea, here are 8 free marketing tools your start up can use right now.

1) Facebook

You don’t have to pay money to leverage the world’s largest social media network. Business pages are free, allowing you to build an follower base and post relevant content to those followers about your brand. Establishing an organic presence on Facebook takes time and strategy, as users will not interact with or follow brands that focus solely on promotion. But if you invest the time to build a strategic brand presence on the network, the resulting brand exposure can be significant.

2) Instagram

Instagram is similar to Facebook (and even owned by it), with two crucial difference: the network focuses on images and video over text and link-based content, and its audience tends to be younger. If your target audience matches that of the network, and if your startup relies on visuals to promote its brand, Instagram may just be the best choice for your efforts.

3) Hootsuite

Successful social media marketing relies not only on posting regular and relevant updates to your various networks, but also listening to and interacting with conversations your target audience has about your brand and industry. A tool like Hootsuite comes in particularly handy if you are looking to accomplish all of that on a single dashboard. The free version allows a single user to manage up to three individual social profiles, including social listening and post scheduling capabilities. 

4) MailChimp

You probably won’t be shocked to hear that email marketing has become an integral part of how small business market themselves online. Marketers widely consider it to be both the most effective and easiest to use digital marketing tool, making it a perfect fit for your startup. MailChimp, an email marketing tool that helps you both manage your email lists and create template-based emails that don’t require HTML knowledge, is free for up to 2,000 contacts and 12,000 total email sends per month.

5) Canva

Whether you rely on email, social media, or both to increase brand awareness, you won’t go far without compelling visuals. Canva allows you to create these visuals without cost or graphic design knowledge required, offering both easy photo editing tools and templates for any type of digital or printed marketing efforts. More than 10 million marketers now use the service to enhance their visual marketing efforts.

6) LeadIn

Increasingly, marketing experts are recommending inbound approaches to marketing, which focus on pulling your audience into your website and database rather than pushing purely promotional messages. Unfortunately, marketing automation software can get expensive, so especially startup marketers often stay away from it.

Enter LeadIn, a tool developed by marketing automation leader HubSpot designed to optimize your lead generation. Easily add sign-up forms to your website, and automatically feed them into your customer database or email tools like MailChimp.

7) Cyfe

Do you want to know how your marketing efforts are performing? If so, you may want to consider adding the business dashboard Cyfe to your arsenal of marketing tools. The dashboard enables you to track all of your business KPIs, from total sign ups to revenue gained, along with the ability to monitor all of your individual marketing efforts.

8) Google Analytics

Similar to Cyfe, Google Analytics is a perfect tool if you want to evaluate the success of your marketing efforts. By adding a few lines of code to your website, you can begin to track the success of your individual pages and gain insight on the types of visitors you attract. Added capabilities like tagged URLs, conversion tracking, and revenue goals help you determine which of your efforts have been successful, and improve your marketing efforts in the future.

Marketing your startup does not have to be expensive. The above tools help you reach your audience even on a small budget, and help determine the success of your individual efforts. To learn more about the effective ways in which your business can gain exposure, contact us.