Easy ways to build your marketing stack for free

What tools do you employ to do your web marketing tasks?

Is it possible to do all of the work of a digital marketer for free?

The tools you use—often referred to as a marketing stack—are likely to span a wide range of purposes and requirements, including everything from social media marketing to content creation to email and much more.

Is it possible to get all of these fantastic tools for free?

Finding a means to construct a $0 marketing stack, as well as free alternatives to popular commercial products and services, was a great task. I’m grateful for all of the incredible businesses that provide so much for so little.

Here’s a list of free alternatives to paid tools that I came up with. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

What’s on the stack, exactly?

Free Alternatives to Paid Tools: The $0 Marketing Stack

Here’s a quick rundown of the tools I discovered that appeared to be terrific, free alternatives to several popular paying services:

  1. Buffer
  2. Canva
  3. Google Analytics
  4. Hotjar
  5. Simply Measured
  6. Open Site Explorer
  7. Charlie
  8. HubSpot Email Marketing and HubSpot CRM
  9. WordPress
  10. Crowdfire
  11. Medium
  12. Wistia
  13. SumoMe
  14. Segment
  15. Peek
  16. Google Scholar
  17. Google Trends
  18. Blog Topic Generator
  19. Content Idea Generator
  20. Readability
  21. Hemingway
  22. Onpage Optimization Tool
  23. After the Deadline
  24. Readability Test Tool
  25. Save Publishing
  26. Followerwonk
  27. Latest.is
  28. Tweriod
  29. Must Be Present
  30. Conversation Score
  31. Wolfram Alpha Facebook report
  32. LikeAlyzer
  33. Fanpage Karma
  34. Facebook Page Barometer
  35. Quicksprout
  36. Website Grader
  37. SharedCount
  38. Newsle
  39. Rapportive
  40. MentionMapp
  41. Down For Everyone Or Just Me?

  1. Buffer for social media scheduling

Scheduling posts for your social networks ahead of time is maybe our finest time-saving strategy for social media marketing. The following steps can be used to batch the social media marketing process: Do all of your curating and writing in one sitting, then spread out your updates throughout the next day or week.

Buffer’s lifelong free plan allows you to link a profile from each network (one from Facebook, one from Twitter, and so on) and schedule 10 posts in advance for each network. If you share three posts per day, you’ll always be three days ahead of schedule.

  1. Canva for  design

Canva is used by over 2 million individuals to create images for social networking, blog posts, and almost any other purpose.

Canva as a tool: The optimum sizes and built-in templates enable creating tall images for Pinterest, rectangular images for Twitter, square images for Facebook or Instagram, and any size in between quick and easy. We use Pablo (another free alternative) for photos that are 1,024 pixels by 512 pixels in size for Twitter, and Canva for everything else.

Also available for free:

  • Gimp 
  • Pic Monkey 
  • Pablo

  1. Google Analytics for  real-time analytics

When it comes to tracking the traffic to your website, Google Analytics handles pretty much everything. It’s a massive, tremendous amount of information that’s been kindly shared for free.

The ease with which we can see traffic from different networks (Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals) is something we value as a social media marketing team. Time on Page can be used to determine the amount of time spent engaged in reading. We may also see real-time statistics about who is currently on our site by going to Real-Time > Overview.

Also available for free:

  • Square it up! (free for the first 100 visitors and 1,000 data points)
  • MixPanel is a panel that allows you to mix and match different (free for 25,000 events per month)

  1. Hotjar for website optimization

Let’s imagine you’re interested in learning more about how your visitors interact with your website—where they click, how far they scroll, and so on. Using heatmaps, clickmaps, scrollmaps, and visitor recordings, tools like Hotjar can show you exactly what your visitors are doing. Hotjar also includes features that allow you to examine your funnel and send messages and surveys to your visitors.

How we use Hotjar: User research is really useful information. I find it fascinating to observe how people respond to blog entries. What percentage of the article do they read? Where do they come to a halt? What do they do when they click? Having all of this material in front of me makes it easier for me to plan out my writings.

Also available for free:

  • Observant (free for 100 recorded sessions)
  • Content Analytics by SumoMe

  1. Simply Measured for Reports

Simply Measured provides huge brands and their social media activities with enterprise-level analytics and administration. It also includes a large number of free tools for the rest of us.

These are some of the Simply Measured reports:

  • Report on Twitter Followers
  • Analysis of Twitter’s Customer Service
  • Report on the Facebook Fan Page
  • Content Analysis on Facebook
  • Analysis on Facebook’s Competition
  • Report on Facebook Insights
  • Report on an Instagram user
  • Report on Social Traffic
  • Report on Traffic Sources
  • Report on the Google+ Page
  • Analyse the Vine
  • Phew! That’s a large number of reports!

How to use Simply Measured: Each of these reports is free, but in exchange for the report, Simply Measured will ask for a Twitter follow or a Facebook mention. When you’re trying to figure out where your social media efforts have been lately, you may save a lot of time by getting reports from this one place. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest are among the six major social networks they cover.

Also available for free:

  • SumAll’s free version 
  • Followerwonk

  1. Open Site Explorer for SEO

Open Site Explorer is a fantastic free tool for determining your domain and page authority, as well as how many and from which sources you are receiving connections. You can also keep an eye on your rivals. However, the free version only allows you to generate three reports every day. When you sign up, you’ll get limitless reporting on all of your links, keywords, and competitors.

How to use Open Site Explorer: Enter the URL of your blog into Open Site Explorer to see high-level statistics such as page authority and incoming links. You may also go to the Just-Discovered tab to see recently discovered links, and Top Pages to see which pages on your site are getting the most links.

Also available for free:

  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider
  • SEO Book 
  • Keyword Tool

  1. Charlie for CRM

Many of the greatest CRM (Customer Relationship Management) products assist you in keeping track of your current and potential customers. Consider a futuristic phone book. The greatest are jam-packed with features and data. Charlie is a quick-and-dirty way to get to know someone thoroughly.

Use Charlie in the following ways: Charlie looks at your future schedule or runs an email address to give you a comprehensive run-down on a person—social media profiles, biography, interests, important news, and so on—as a tool to help you prepare for meeting new people. If you’re looking for information on a certain person, just type their email address into Charlie and they’ll tell you everything you need to know.

Also available for free:

  • Norbert
  • HubSpot’s Free CRM

  1. HubSpot Marketing and HubSpot CRM for Lead generation and pop up too

HubSpot Marketing Free is a free pop-up solution that helps marketers to easily create email leads from their website.

How to utilise HubSpot Marketing Free: HubSpot Marketing Free can provide you with a wealth of information on your leads. This pop-up tool instantly collects email addresses from your website and gives critical information such as your leads’ employer and the pages they visited. It can also assist you in determining which pages are converting at higher rates than others.

Also available for free:

  • SumoMe 
  • Hello Bar

  1. WordPress for Landing Pages

If you’re using WordPress to manage your website or blog, the quickest and easiest approach to set up a landing page is to simply create a new page. If you use WordPress to blog, your blog content is organised into Posts. Pages can be used to create static content for landing pages, such as “Download our ebook,” “Sign up for our webinar,” and so on.

How to get started with WordPress: Create a new landing page in WordPress and use it to highlight your social media ad campaign or social media updates. Certain plugins, such as WooDojo, even allow you to conceal items in your sidebar for specific pages, which might be a wonderful way to keep your page’s appearance minimal.

Also available for free:

  • Unbounce free plan (includes Unbounce branding)

  1. Crowdfire for Twitter management 

Twitter has been so gracious in allowing developers to create some truly amazing solutions using its app. Sure, you can manage your Twitter profile directly through Twitter (which is always free), or you can use programmes like Just Unfollow, which allows you to bulk sort and filter your followers while also providing demographic information about the people in your audience.

How to utilise Just Unfollow: Many experts recommend checking to see which accounts are following you back and removing the ones that aren’t on a regular basis to keep your Twitter following count in line with your Twitter follower count. You can accomplish all of this fast and effortlessly using Just Unfollow, and you can even whitelist the unfollowers you want to remain following.

Also available for free:

  • Manage Flitter 
  • Tweepi

  1. Medium for Blogging

It’s a little strange to put Medium as a tool (it’s really more of a network or social networking site), but when it comes to getting a new blog up and running as cheaply and rapidly as possible, Medium is unbeatable.

How to utilise Medium: Many fledgling entrepreneurs start their blogs on Medium, where they have an audience waiting for them right away and networking tools to help their content become viral. Furthermore, one of Medium’s newest features is an email newsletter, which allows you to automatically contact people who follow you by sharing your most recent articles with them.

Also available for free:

  • WordPress.com
  • Blogger

  1. Wistia for video

What will you do with your fantastic video once you’ve shared it on social media or on your website? YouTube appears to be the default, which is quick and simple but comes with less control and the possibility of unrelated adverts or suggestions. Because the Wistia player keeps viewers on your page—or directs them exactly where you want them to go next—ideal for marketers’ films.

After you’ve uploaded your movie, go into the settings and add things like call-to-action buttons or email capture forms at the conclusion. Wistia also allows you to see heatmaps and viewing trends for your videos, such as how far most people watch them, when they pause or click, and so on.

Also available for free:

  • YouTube 
  • Vimeo

  1. SumoMe for Share buttons

SumoMe is responsible for many of the share buttons you see on the side of blog entries. The SumoMe suite of website products includes the any-website buttons (you don’t have to operate a WordPress blog to use them). If you don’t mind some SumoMe branding, you may put the buttons to any page for free and adjust the default networks.

How to use SumoMe Share: You have a lot of flexibility over the look of the share buttons, both in terms of which buttons appear and where they appear on the page. One of the best things about them is that they look excellent on mobile devices, so you can keep encouraging sharing no matter where your audience is reading.

Also available for free:

  • Flare
  • Digg Digg (what we use on the Buffer blog)

  1. Segment for analytics

Segment has been referred to as “the only interface you’ll ever need for all your third-party apps.” And I’ve seen it suggested quite a bit. According to what I’ve seen, Segment makes it simple for anyone—engineer or not—to link additional software to your website; after the Segment snippet is installed, you can join other programmes like MailChimp, Google Analytics, and others simply by navigating your Segment dashboard. Segment is in charge of all visitor data.

How to use Segment: Rob Sobers put forth a great explanation on how he set up Segment for his SaaS company.

  1. Peek for testing

There are some really wonderful paid solutions that may provide you a lot of information when it comes to knowing how people use your website—A/B testing, user testing, that type of thing. Peek, a free tool from User Testing, allows you to watch and hear a five-minute video of a real person using your website.

How to utilise Peek: If you’re looking for first-time insights, have someone go through your website or blog from the beginning. You may later request that someone test a certain flow via your website by placing them on a landing page. The tests take roughly 2-3 days to complete, and you are allowed to take three Peek tests per month.

Also available for free:

  • Free plan from Optimizely

More Free Marketing Resources!

We went on the hunt for even more of the best free marketing tools in a variety of categories. These quick hits – all of which are simple to use – cover everything from research and writing to benchmarking and analysis.

Tools for Market Research that are Free

We’ll begin with the basics: exploring subjects, websites, and ideas.

  1. Google Scholar

I’m not sure why more people aren’t talking about Google Scholar, but it’s one of my favourite tools for researching science-related publications and looking into new research. It restricts your search to academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and other websites for articles, theses, books, abstracts, and court opinions. Combine it with a Google Alert to receive cutting-edge research on your chosen topics straight to your inbox.

  1. Google Trends 

With Google Trends, you can see what the rest of the world is searching for and how interest in concepts has changed over time. For example, I’ve recently become aware of the terms “growth hacker” and “growth hacking.” Are you one of them? I typed those terms into Google Trends, and it appears that the concept has sparked a new wave of interest.

  1. Topic Generator for Blogs

Are you at a loss on what to do? Give HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator a few nouns that characterise your content areas, and it’ll come up with a week’s worth of post ideas.

  1. Idea Generator for Content

Portent’s Content Idea Generator will offer a humorous, irreverent topic based on your keyword.

Tools for reading and writing for free

These programmes can assist with readability, keyword density, spelling, and grammar.

  1. Readability

To transform any site text into a basic, easy-to-read format with an estimate of how long it will take you, drag the Readability bookmarklet to your toolbar. Other bookmarklet alternatives can be found here, including one that delivers longer content to your Kindle for later reading.

  1. Hemingway

We all strive for simple, clear writing. With Hemingway, you can get some support. If you paste a piece into the programme, it will analyse it for you, highlighting unnecessarily dense sentences, superfluous adverbs, and other issues.

  1. Tool for Onpage Optimization

This free onpage optimization tool from Internet Marketing Ninjas gives you a quick overview of what’s going on with a certain page of your website. Enter a URL to get information on keyword density, internal and external links, and other metrics.

  1. After the Deadline

After the Deadline is a Chrome plugin that checks spelling, style, and grammar anywhere you go on the internet.

  1. Readability Checker

For an easy-to-understand review of your material, enter a web link or a block of text into the Readability Test Tool. This tool calculates a variety of distinct readability scores and explains each one in detail.

Twitter Marketing Resources for Free

From timing to sharing to analysis, these tools can help you make the most of your Twitter presence.

  1. Save Publishing

Save Publishing, a simple bookmarklet that highlights tweetable parts on your screen, allows you to identify passages under 140 characters in seconds. With only one click, you can post to Twitter (or Buffer simply by highlighting a passage and clicking the Buffer extension)

  1. Followerwonk

We hope you’re familiar with Followerwonk, one of Buffer’s numerous social media data partners. In addition to providing a wealth of important information on Twitter timing, Followerwonk also includes some other cool Twitter features, such as the ability to compare the followers of different accounts.

  1. latest.is 

This isn’t a breaking story. It isn’t a bunch of nonsense hashtags. Latest.is is a Twitter-based service that surfaces intriguing links based on an algorithm that prioritises “the people who always tweet the best links — first” (no, it doesn’t tell you who they are).

  1. Tweriod

Tweriod examines your account to determine the optimum times to tweet for maximum visibility and response. Bonus: You can sync your Buffer account with your peak times once you’ve determined them.

  1. Must Be Present

Must Be Present, a free tool from Sprout Social, evaluates how frequently and promptly you respond to comments and inquiries on Twitter (in exchange for your email address and a bit of other info).

Facebook Marketing Tools for Free

These apps examine one or more Facebook pages in order to provide an analysis or report on your actions – which is especially crucial given how frequently Facebook changes.

  1. Conversation Score

With Conversation Score, you can find out about any Facebook Page’s influence, engagement, and performance.

  1. Facebook report via Wolfram Alpha

Try Wolfram Alpha’s Facebook report to study your own Facebook account and discover tonnes of interesting statistics about your connection, the language you speak, the times of day you post, and more.

  1. LikeAlyzer

Based on parameters such as presence, discussion, action, and information, LikeAlyzer provides you with recommendations and feedback on your company’s Facebook presence.

  1. Fanpage Karma 

It’s all about competitiveness on Fanpage Karma. Compare two fan pages by typing in their names or IDs to see which one wins.

  1. Facebook Page Barometer 

The Facebook Page Barometer from AgoraPulse compares your Facebook performance to the average performance of 6,000+ pages.

Website Analyzers for Free

These tools provide you with a comprehensive overview of many different aspects of your website or marketing strategy.

  1. QuickSprout

Quicksprout is a one-stop shop for a website audit, social media research, and competitor report.

  1. Website Grader

HubSpot’s Website Grader assesses your website’s overall performance and assigns a “rating” based on mobile aspects, SEO, security, speed, and performance, as well as recommendations for how to improve it…

  1. SharedCount 

Do you want to know how your material (or anyone else’s) has moved over the internet? Simply paste the web link into SharedCount for sites that don’t display social media share button numbers. Alternatively, you may use the multi-URL dashboard to enter a large number of different site addresses and generate a rapid report.

Relationship Tools for Free

These tools are designed to help you meet new people and deepen current ones.

  1. Newsle 

Do you want to keep up with certain industry thought leaders or influencers? When you sign up for Newsle using Facebook or LinkedIn, it will keep track of your Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections, and email contacts and notify you when they are mentioned in the news.

  1. Rapportive

Install Rapportive, a Chrome extension that lets you get to know your contacts better by displaying their photo, job, company, LinkedIn profile, and recent tweets in your email.

  1. MentionMapp

MentionMapp makes all your connections visual and easy to comprehend and explore, so you can see how each Twitter user is connected to others.

Miscellaneous Tools for Free

  1. Is It Down For Everyone Or Just Me?

Is it just your Internet connection, or is your site (or the site of someone you’re attempting to contact) actually down? Use this simple website to find out. Simply type the following into your browser:

Now it’s your turn

Which of your favourite tools do you think should be included in this list?

Have you come across any new ones that you think are worth trying?

I’d love to hear about the free tools you’ve found most useful, as well as how you’ve used them. Please feel free to offer any more opinions in the comments section below. I’m excited to talk with you!

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