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Marketing Resources
For very small Businesses 

You Need Marketing, But Just Don't Have The Budget Yet?
Here are some great low-cost resources you can manage on your own. 

While we specialize in marketing for small, growing businesses--we do recognize that there are VERY small companies that need marketing, but just don't have the resources to work with a consultant. 

When choosing marketing tools for a very small, but growing company, start by determining exactly what you need each tool to do. Then look for tools that do only that and nothing more. You don’t want to pay for cool things that you will never use or make marketing more complex than it needs to be. Then compare price, eliminate everything that doesn’t offer a free trial and decide on a tool. Here are some suggestions (as we run across new cost-effective tools, we'll keep adding to this page--so check back often): 


Simple Content Creation

To create content without having to start from scratch (very time-consuming), pull content you like from a competitor’s site and run it through a rewriting/paraphrasing tool.  Most of these tools are not great, the resulting content will be unusable. The only tool we've found that works well is QuillBot. Even so, you will want to make the rewrite your own.


Tool: QuillBot


Cost: $19.95 for a single month; $13.33/month with a 6-month commitment; and $8.33/month with an annual commitment.


Lead ID

Despite what they promise (and what they cost), nearly all website visitor ID tools do the same thing: identify the company that was on your website and note which pages they visited. Each one of these visitor ID tools has a proprietary algorithm they use to identify, what they think are, quality leads. VisitorQueue tends to identify more leads than some of the other tools in this price range.  Another option is LeadFeeder, which is less costly, but misses good leads.


Tool: VisitorQueue


Cost: $49 for single month or $39/month with an annual commitment


Search Optimization (in addition to Google Analytics)

If you are paying for Google Ads, which if you are a very small business you probably aren't, you will get much of this info free. If not, Mangools is a good alternative that's easy to use and will give you quite a bit of traffic-driving data. 


Tool: Mangools


Cost: $37/month 


Social Media Poster

We don’t have any firsthand experience with these tools, since we use Semrush for social media posting.  We have had clients that like HootSuite and especially Sprout Social.  For the functionality they offer, I would say that it’s not worth the price if you, like most companies your size, will not post more than 1x/week. So instead of opting for one of these now, determine which social media sites are actually valuable for you, create a single post each week and then copy and paste it into each platform.


Website Usability

It's eye-opening to see exactly how users are navigating the individual pages on your website. It's not just fun, it's very useful for designing and optimizing pages. There are a number of good tools that do this, most are not expensive, but Microsoft Clarity is free. That said, you will be able to get information on more visitors with StatCounter. 

Tool: Microsoft Clarity


Cost: Free

Tool: StatCounter


Cost: $18/month


Basic email tools are generally not expensive. Other than a more robust CRM , there are really 2 choices: MailChimp and Constant Contact.  Most people opt for MailChimp since it is slightly less expensive. However, MailChimp is more complex to use than Constant Contact and creating emails is more time-consuming.  Constant Contact is more intuitive and will give you the metrics you need, along with recommendations for follow up. Another thing we like about Constant Contact is their customer support.

Tool: Constant Contact


Cost: $35/month for up to 2,500 contacts and unlimited emails.

Stock Graphics

Good quality, compelling images are very important for emails, social posts and webpages. It’s getting difficult to find good quality free images in Google Images.  The other caveat is that some Google images have viruses attached to them.The 2 primary stock image sites are Shutterstock and iStock.  Both have a large assortment of high quality images.  iStock is the less expensive of the 2. So if you sign up for a one month subscription, you will be able to download 10 good quality (not premium) images.  The most cost-effective strategy is to sign up for one month.  Download 10  images you may need in the near future and then cancel. Otherwise, although your unused credits will rollover from month-to-month, you will still have to keep paying the monthly $29 fee to retain them—and you can always resubscribe at any time.


Tool: iStock


Cost:$29/month for 10 downloads

In the end...

Someone needs to manage all this. If you have a talented and motivated admin, this shouldn't be a problem.  However what tends to happen is that once the initial enthusiasm has passed, even these simple marketing activities get sidelined. Marketing success is very dependent on consistency--over years, not weeks. What you don't want to happen is a flurry of activity followed by a void. Anyone that goes to your social media platforms and sees a few posts and then nothing or that goes to your website and sees that your last media release went out six months ago, is going to think your business is not doing well. Better to hold off on marketing until you have reason to believe your efforts will be consistent.

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