Craft the best digital marketing strategy with these 6 free tools
To have an effective presence online, in addition to having a marketing plan, target audience, platforms, and other aspects, there’s another fundamental part: the tools. Exploring them is what companies most commonly spend their time on, and they really shouldn’t.
The tools are the technical aspect of the project. To achieve a perfect administration, it takes time and lots of practice, skills that many employers do not have. So you should consider hiring someone that takes care of this!
The following tools are all free and they work very well, if used correctly. With these tools you can start building your digital strategy right away.
1. Google Trends
Besides being a platform, this is a powerful tool that allows you to know the trends of what people are looking for in the world. You can set filters by country, city, year and see what proportion of people are looking for certain keywords. You can use this tool in the research stage of your plan. Anyone can access it.
2. Google Keyword Planner
The planner Google keywords is part of Google Trends. This tool is also used in the research stage and it helps us know how many people are looking for a specific keyword, plus the competition and approximate cost per click.
To get accurate data and input do your research, you must have a Gmail or Google AdWords account, and go to http://adwords.google.com/keywordplanner
3. Landing page
A landing page -or persuasive scenario- is the first page a visitor will find after clicking on an advertisement or email link. This page should not be the homepage of your website, nor your Facebook profile. It should be a page with certain components that can encourage a conversion and allow you to calculate a return on investment.
While a landing page can be done on the same website, it is advisable to make an exclusive one for each one of the actions that you intend your visitors to perform.
Here’s a couple of tools that can help you create landing pages:
It is a tool developed by Google that allows you to create free websites. With this application you can create a very good landing page with the necessary elements. You can even create forms with Google Docs to gather information. You can create your own by entering going to https://sites.google.com/
Another good alternative is Wix, a renowned portal to create free websites, with which you can make your landing page and include photos, videos, texts, forms, and it even has an HTML5 editor.
4. Attracting subscribers
Attracting subscribers to your newsletter and obtain conversions on your website are key aspects in the process of finding customers. To achieve this and increase the size of your database, we recommend a plugin for WordPress sites that integrates directly with MailChimp, the email sending tool. It is easy to install and configure. To use this plugin, you must have an account in MailChimp, create a list and link it to your site. It is free and you can download it here http://wordpress.org/plugins/mailchimp-for-wp/
The chatroom is an element of conversation that allows you to be closer to your visitors, answer their questions and gather data about them. Here are two tools that we use to chat and work very well.
It’s free for a single user. It allows you to see each visitor, use an administration panel and it can integrate with other platforms. If you use WordPress, it has plugin that can be downloaded here: https://www.zopim.com/
It also works as a WordPress plugin and it has almost the same features as Zopim. You can download it here: https://www.clickdesk.com/
6. Platform email
The email platform is one of the key tools in the process of a digital marketing strategy. Knowing how to use email marketing to sell is key in the process to do things right and avoid wasting your time and money.
We recommend MailChimp, a platform that runs in the cloud, it can send free emails to 2,000 subscribers, create multiple lists, HTML5 newsletters, statistics, and it’s designed with mobile devices in mind. Create your account and start sending emails here: http://mailchimp.com/
As you can see, these are the basic tools that are necessary to create a successful Internet marketing strategy, they are completely free and work very well. If you want other functionalities and your project requires more professionalism, you can purchase the paid versions of each or opt for other alternatives.
And another tip: just because these tools are free, that does not mean that your project will be successful. You must know the model and know when and how to use them. It also requires a little effort to configure and integrate them with other platforms, though you do not necessarily have to know or do this yourself. You can consider hiring someone to help you out with the most technical issues.