Marketing can get expensive, but there are some great free content marketing tools out there.
All this to say, good content marketing that gets results costs money. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some free workarounds. There are plenty of free online tools that are a godsend to marketers on a tight budget. Here’s a list of our favourite free content marketing tools:
This may seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve seen businesses completely ignore LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and other mediums that would have gotten their message out for free. Let’s not forget that almost half of the world’s population uses social media for about 2 and a half hours a day (according to research from Global WebIndex). Knowing your market, what to post, how to post it, and which hashtags to use can lead to conversions without having to touch your content marketing budget.
Now, if you do have the money, sponsored posts will help get more eyes on you, but even a free social media campaign is miles better than none at all.
This is my favourite content marketing tool. And it’s totally free!
Canva is a graphic design tool that allows you to create anything from pamphlets and social posts to infographics and business cards. You can design from scratch or use one of many templates. They even have icons, pictures and various elements you can explore, along with a free design school for beginners, filled with online tutorials.
While there’s a “Pro” version of Canva that gives you access to more of these elements (and allows you to re-size posts to automatically fit a platform’s required dimensions, the free version works great for simple projects. All our social posts and infographics are created on Canva. If you are willing to spend the money, the pro version also has a social media scheduler.
We found this tool after struggling with making revision notes while on a call. We had just finished a website and needed to make notes in real-time about the live site while demo-ing it to the client. Markup allows you to do just that. With Markup, you can add comments directly on top of a website, PDF or image.
Simply enter the URL of the site and you’ll be able to add comments anywhere on the page. Not only does this make the revision process easier, it also ensures we don’t miss a comment or suggestion from the client. Once a comment is resolved, you’ll be able to mark it as such.
This is perfect for businesses that need simple photo-editing but don’t have money for Adobe Photoshop. Pixlr allows you to edit your photos for free right in your browser without having to download software. Depending on your skillset, you can choose between Pixlr X, a simple and easy version, or Pixlr E, a Photoshop-dupe that allows you to do more.
Pixlr lets you open most images, including PSD (photoshop), PXZ, JPEG, and PNG, and includes templates for easy graphic design. This tool is great for resizing and retouching photos while on a budget.
Speaking of photos, they’re not always cheap. If stock photography fees are hurting your budget, there are other options. Pixabay, Pexels and Unsplash are all free sites that allow you to download high-quality, royalty-free images for commercial use.
All of these options have great search functions and allow you to download images in various qualities (from high-quality to web quality, which is often lower). Pro tip: if you like a photo but it’s not quite right, see if it’s part of a series. You’ll often get your perfect shot that way.
If you’ve ever wasted hours transcribing interviews, this tool is a game-changer. Otter.ai will transcribe interviews and audio files for you, saving marketers hours at a time.
This tool can also make Zoom or Google meetings a lot less stressful. There’s an option to record a calendar event and automatically share notes with everyone attending the meeting. This way, you’ll be able to focus on the meeting itself without having to worry about taking notes.
You’ll get 40 minutes of notes for free per meeting before you have to upgrade. Otter.ai’s free option gives you 560 minutes of recording per month.
The bottom line
Subscription fees don’t have to eat up your whole budget. From free photos and photo editors, to design tools and free transcription, savvy content marketers can use a variety of free content marketing tools to save both money and time.