Little Red Marketing
Expert marketing help for small businesses

Marketing tips and insights for small businesses and start-ups.

Your DIY Marketing Tips

6 FREE Marketing Tools Every Small Business Needs Right Now

man using a mobile device


Most small businesses and start-ups have a very limited marketing budget—which means hiring a skilled and experienced marketing team is out of the question. Not only are they THE marketing team, they are also the sales team, the account managers, the customer reps, the delivery drivers, and the toilet cleaners.

Sound familiar? I know how it is. I've worked for a start-up for many years and keeping the candy jar full, the fridge stocked with Diet Coke, and the trash cans emptied are just a few of my many favorite jobs. 

Although there aren't apps (as far as I know) that will perform all of these extremely vital duties, there are others that make my job as a content marketer a lot easier. 

These tools also add significant value to the products and services my company offers, which leads to higher customer satisfaction and increased revenue and growth. And the best part? They're free!

You don't have to be the "Jack of all trades, master of none" to get the job done. You may still have to clean the bathroom toilets but at least you don't have to worry about becoming an expert designer, writer, AND photographer. How great is that?

These tools will make you look like a pro!

1) Google Alerts 

Why you need it: I love Google Alerts! This nifty tool helps you keep track of your competitors, interesting topics, and trends in your industry. After you indicate the topics, businesses, or people you'd like to follow, Google will send you an alert each time they're mentioned. Nothing, or no one, will fly under your radar again!

Bonus: "Understanding Google Alerts And 7 Interesting Ways To Use It"

2) Hootsuite

Why you need it: Hootsuite allows you to do more in less time, helping you manage multiple social networks on a single page. Services include message scheduling, ROI measurement tools, and B2B social selling. I've used this for years, and it's great!

Bonus: "The Beginner's Guide To Hootsuite"

3) Quora

Why you need it: Quora has been increasing in popularity over the last few years. This question/answer site gives businesses like you the opportunity to connect with other industry leaders as well as prospects, who are looking for solutions to their problems and answers to their questions. It's a great way to understand your customers' needs and connect with potential buyers.

Bonus: "10 Tips on Using Quora for Business"

4) Grammarly

Why you need it: I may have majored in English and write for a living, but that doesn't mean I haven't made egregious grammar mistakes—ones that have resulted in a five instead of two-can Diet Coke day. I downloaded this tool on my computer, and it checks every typo and grammatical error on all my online and offline documents. I can't tell you how many times Grammarly has saved by butt.

Bonus: "8 Writing Mistakes That Will Make You Pee Your Pants"

5) Unsplash

Why you need it: Oh my gosh, I love this site. There's no need to spend hundreds of dollars on one photo when you can get high quality ones for free! You can download any of their high-resolution photos and use them on one or all of your marketing materials: flyers, blogs, social media, sales sheets, websites, and more. 

Bonus: I also use Gratisography and Stocknap. 

6) Canva

Why you need it: Seriously, if there is one tool you start using today, it's this one. It gives you more bang for your buck because it's user-friendly (It makes non-designers like me look like a superstar!) and there are loads of free photos, fonts, designs, graphics, and page layouts. You can create almost everything here, ranging from presentations, landing pages, social media graphics, infographics, birthday cards, and a lot more. You have to check it out!

Bonus: "20 Reasons Good Design (Really) Matters To Your Business"

That's it for now! Any other tools you recommend? I am all ears!