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6 Content marketing tools that are SO good I’m amazed they’re free!

As solo-workers we’re always looking for ways to make our lives easier and more efficient so we can squeeze an extra hour or two into our working day. We’re also shrewd boot strappers, always on the hunt for a bargain and you can’t get much better than FREE!

There are some tools I use regularly that hit the sweet spot: Make my life easier, keep me efficient, help me create a bigger impact while saving me time and bundles of money so I can get on with what I’m here to do: Help my clients create buzz on the internet about their awesomeness.

In fact, they are SO good that I’m AMAZED these tools are free (just don’t tell them I said it)…

Without further ado, here are 6 (and a half) of my favourite tools that I rely on like a bee making honey.

Your back pocket graphic designer

Visual marketing (when you use visuals to enhance your messaging) is the buzzword of 2013 thanks to social sharing websites like Pinterest. Using images is THE way to make an impression with your audience so that you stand out.

Did you know that on Facebook, images generate 53% more likes than the average post and 104% more comments than the average post? (Source: hubspot)

Enter Picmonkey. Quite possibly the easiest image creating tool on the planet. You can quickly create banners, visual quotes, and pictures that capture the imagination of your ideal audience to enhance your blog posts, email updates, and social media updates without the need of an expensive designer.

www.picmonkey.com

Give better social media (without feeding your addiction)

If you want to make the most of social media marketing without it taking over your entire life, a scheduling tool like Buffer is the answer to your prayers.

Connect your Twitter, Facebook Page, Linkedin and Google+ accounts to Buffer to seamlessly drip your updates out on your social media profiles over time. It’s quick and easy making it a dream to use. With Buffer you’ll reach more of the people you’re looking to connect with without feeding your own social media addiction.

www.Bufferapp.com

Give your social media marketing the professional edge

Like Buffer, Hootsuite enables you to schedule your social media updates in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

Unlike Buffer, it does a whole lot more…

Hootsuite will show you both sides of your social media communications – something Buffer can’t. From a single dashboard you can post and receive updates so you can quickly and easily develop relationships with key contacts. You can manage multiple accounts at once, delegate actions to team members – it will even determine when to post so your update reaches more of your peeps.

www.Hootsuite.com

A content writer’s bestest browser buddy

Content missing a little pizzazz? Need to spiff it up but can’t think of the perfect word that will do the trick?

Hello Thesaurus.com! When I’m writing content – whether it’s a blog like this one, an email to my subscribers, an event page or a series of social media updates this clever fella is my ‘bestest’ browser buddy. I can rely on him to always comes up trumps with the word I’m looking for.

And, if you’re not sure how to spell something – meet his big brother, Dictionary.com

http://thesaurus.com/

http://dictionary.com

Wave goodbye to boring stock images!

A social media site in it’s own right, Instagram is a photo sharing app for smartphones that cleverly enhances your snaps with frames and filters giving them a professional edge.

Haven’t got time to use yet another social media site? No worries, it has other uses…

Such as automatically posting your enhanced Instagram pics to Twitter and Facebook, making the social sites you DO use a whole lot more interesting.

Plus you can use your enhanced images to jazz up other content like blog posts and newsletters with a totally unique and personally owned photo.

http://instagram.com/

The easy way to solicit Twitter shares (and send your stuff viral)

Want a no brainer way to get your content shared? Add a click to tweet to your blog post and watch the shares roll in!

Got a special something you want to promote? Share a click to tweet with your besties so they can easily share your message to their Twitter communities.

If you’re not sure what I mean, click the button below and see just how easy it is to share a click to tweet.

I’m reading about 6 amazing free tools – thanks @AbsoluteAlicia and @Women_Unlimited!

You can create your own Click to tweet message in seconds right here: ClickToTweet http://clicktotweet.com/

Your turn!

Do you have a wickedly good social media tool that’s so good you’re amazed it’s free? Share your good stuff in the comments below!

Share this article if you found it useful! And leave a comment in the box below. We hope to connect with you soon.

About Alicia Cowan

Alicia Cowan is a social media strategist, consultant and trainer for small businesses with entrepreneurial spirit, and creator of Twitter Brilliance the online Twitter marketing training school. Alicia combines her love of systems and marketing with straight talking clarity. Finding simple ways for her clients to attract more business using social media, blogging and email marketing in an authentic and practical way is what she gets excited about. In 2013, TopRank named her one of the UK’s top 50 online marketing influencers and bloggers. She is regularly invited to present to audiences on the benefits of using social media marketing for business. You can sign up for her bitesize marketing tips here (they’re free!)

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4 comments

  1. Great list Alicia, and I love them all. I was recently introduced to Pixlr for creating images. It’s more techy and advanced than picmonkey and takes longer to get your head round but has been brilliant for me to create my own images without a graphic designer. I wouldn’t be without it now and it’s completely free!

  2. Hi Alicia- love the list. How about MailChimp for newsletters and list management? Super friendly and easy way to create newsletters – and great stats too. All free – they do have paid for features like auto-responders but the free offering has more than enough to get started with.

  3. Great list of tools. I love http://www.picmonkey.com/. How about ASANA for project task management. Easy to use. Lots of features for collaboration. And Free for life.

  4. Thanks Alicia! Productivity tools are a fab way to time manage the day. I’m going to have a look at the picmonkey one right now.

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