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  8 free digital marketing tools for startups

8 free digital marketing tools for startups

 In Blog

Seeing that you’re here reading this article, we can make a calculated guess that you’re working in a startup. We know how challenging it can be working on a tight budget, but we’ve got good news for you: there are hundreds of free tools you can use to get your digital marketing campaigns rolling.                   

There’s tools for staying on top of trends in your industry, to understanding your customer’s behavior online to where they live as well.

In this article, we’re going to run through 8 digital marketing tools every startup should know about.

#1 Free news and updates tool

Google Alerts

Many marketers have sworn by Google Alerts. This amazing tool is not only free, but it comes in handy when you want relevant, targeted and credible news. While this tool broadly provides information, where it has significantly impacted digital marketers is in the way this information is curated.

You simply have to type the name of yours or the competitor’s brand and voila! You have all the information you need about the brand.

The main use of Google Alerts is to monitor information about a brand, an industry or a niche that maybe relevant to you.

Everything relevant to your search term will be sent to your inbox.

Let me show you quite simply, how it works:

Google Alerts- Free Digital Marketing Tools for Startups

From the image above, you can see the information provided when the search term ‘Apple Inc.’ is typed.

You can specify the frequency of these alerts - every hour, daily or even as-it-happens.

#2 Free trends tool

Google Trends

Yet another free tool at your disposal is Google Trends. This is a particularly interesting tool because it analyses how often specific keywords or subject phrases have been asked. The tool works by analysing a portion of Google searches and computes how many times that query has been searched for.

The ‘Explore’ feature gives you an insight into the most popular search queries. However, you can type your own query and obtain insights of trends for that specific query.

Google Trends- Free Digital Marketing Tools for StartupsYou can even specify a geographical boundary (E.g., India), a time frame (E.g., Past hour to a year), a particular category (E.g., Arts & Entertainment, Business & Industrial) of results and even where the search term was typed (E.g., Google Search, YouTube Search).  

For example, you can only explore for search queries on Google, typed by users in India, within the last 7 days, in the context of business.

#3 Free infographics tool


Want a quick fix when it comes to designing some infographics to go along with your content or simply to share on social media? Canva is your new best friend! Many startups may not have a designated graphic designer and often look for alternative ways to produce quality creatives.

Canva- Free Digital Marketing Tools for Startups

This easy, drag-and-drop infographic creator for non-professional designers has a user-friendly interface, making it easy to design infographics for your business.

#4 Free grammar check tool


I think all of us have days where writing content is harder than it otherwise is. And when we finally get around to creating the content in a hotchpotch manner, Grammarly is there to save the day.

Grammarly - Free Digital Marketing Tools for Startups

Just install the tool as a plugin to your browser (compatible with both Windows and MacOS) or to Microsoft Word and you’re good to go. This free, digital marketing tool assists with proofreading and word recommendations. Every writer’s dream.

#5 Free keyword research tool

Google Keyword Planner

Keyword research is one of the most crucial parts of the digital marketing cycle. Online marketers spend a significant amount of time researching for relevant keywords. In fact, much of the success of online campaigns heavily depend on the keywords you choose to invest in, which should actually have have some volume, in terms of search frequency.

Google’s very own Keyword Planner is one of the best tools to get you started. Yes, it may primarily cater to creating online advertisements (since it’s a feature of Google AdWords), but it also helps generate some credible keyword research, without breaking the bank.

Using it is quite simple too. Simply enter your product or service that you offer, your competitor’s URL or product category and the keyword planner generates a whole list of keywords.

Google Keyword Planner- Digital Marketing Tools for StartupsIt doesn’t end there. With this tool you can not only look for keywords, but also obtain metrics on the search volume of each keyword, get traffic forecasts for a list of keywords, as well multiplying keyword lists to get more keywords.

What’s more interesting is that Google Keyword Planner will not provide a list of keywords, it also provides negative keywords that you should consider avoiding.

#6 Free social media analytics tool


Having a social media presence is absolutely important. Not only does it allow you to post content for your customers, it also allows you to garner engagement with them.

That’s all well and good. But how can we, as digital marketers, measure the success of certain posts or videos on our social media pages? There’s a tool for that.

Keyhole is a free social media analytics tool that provides powerful and high-precision tracking information. The tool provides a wealth of information on the reach of posts; posts that do exceptionally well, shares on posts, those that garner high engagement, etc. Keyhole also provides performance metrics of tweets on Twitter, posts on Instagram and videos on YouTube.

Keyhole- Free Digital Marketing Tools for Startups

 What’s more, the tool also allows you to check up on your competitor’s social media campaign performance. It makes for a perfect platform for market research, as a result.

 The simple, user-friendly interface has made this tool an all-time favorite.

 #7 Free email marketing tool


Communicating with your customers is paramount, in order to stay current. While social media has its own role to play, digital marketers cannot discount the power of a good email marketing plan.

MailChimp has been my all-time personal favorite for sending mass emails. Simply choose from a wide variety of templates- (from sales to event invitations), that matches the tone of email you’d like to send.

What’s more, you can even create lists of customers (new customers, old customers, remarketing). Sending curated emails to individual lists of customers for specific purposes has never been easier.

The tool also provides performance metrics, in terms of time frames of when your customers look at their emails, subject lines that lead to email opens and emails that direct traffic to your website.

MailChimp is easy to learn and adaptable to most email marketing campaign requirements.

#8 Free website tracking tool

Google Analytics

So you’ve set up your website; added some content and it’s gone live. You’ve even started some basic SEO to increase the visibility of your brand. Now it’s time to check-up on how well your website is doing.

Google Analytics, yup, yet another free tool from Google is one of the most useful tools for measuring the performance of your website. Simply create an account and you’re good to go.

This free web analytics tool provides in-depth analyses of who your visitors are, what they’re doing on your website, how they found your website and where they’re going after visiting your website.  

Based on these performance metrics, online marketers find it easy to then make changes to the website.

Digital marketing is already the next best thing. Learning the ins and outs of digital marketing is a priceless skill to have. Learn from the industry’s best and get certified with a 60-hour Digital Marketing Certificate Course and get your online marketing campaigns started with confidence!

Beulah Pereira

About Beulah Pereira

Beulah Pereira is a Master of Marketing graduate from Curtin University, Australia. She has worked in several digital marketing agencies in Australia and is now part of the digital marketing team at SPICE. She also lectures at SPICE, and is the unit coordinator of Digital Marketing Certificate Course. Beulah is an active academic researcher, with one conference paper and three journal articles under-review in notable marketing journals.

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