This is the time of year, when small businesses and marketers alike review their 2012 marketing efforts and redefine where their focus needs to be in 2013. We wanted to share with you a couple of free marketing tools that business can use in 2013 to really streamline their marketing efforts.
1. A business operating system. Most small businesses are strapped for cash, and inefficient business management won’t help this situation. Thankfully, software like GreenRope, exists to help businesses streamline day to day operations making it easier than ever to efficiently and cost-effectively run a business. A business operating system should include a CRM, email marketing, analytics, event management, social media, accounting, project manager and more. Having all of these features housed under one roof, saves money and ensures the consistency of information shared across all departments. If you are looking for a software like this to help run your business in 2013, check out CRM HQ for information and stats on the systems that exist.
2. Google Alerts. If you haven’t discovered Google Alerts yet, then this is your year. Google Alerts are great for monitoring what is going on in your industry and with your company. Type in any keywords to track, and get alerts in your inbox everytime that keyword is mentioned on the web. Google Alerts are a free way for you to monitor your online reputation, as well as track any articles or mentions about your brand.
3. HARO. Help A Reporter Out is a fantastic tool for those businesses doing their own public relations. HARO is a community of journalists and reporters looking for stories. Each reporter or journalist releases a topic that they are writing about, and anyone can pitch their relevant story as long as it meets their requirements. This is one of the coolest tools out there, as it allows businesses to take charge of their own PR and gives them access to the media that was previously reserved for PR professionals. Sign up for their daily newsletters and start looking for media opportunities in your industry today!
4. Elance.com. So, you have a blog, you have social media sites, but no one to write content for them. This is where elance.com comes into play. Elance is a great place to find freelance writers to help you create content without having to hire someone in-house full time. Finding freelancers for website development, copywriting, blogging, social media, etc is a cost-effective and efficient way for any business looking to start pushing content out there. Of course, once you are able to do so, hiring someone in house is always the most effective as they know the ins and outs of the business, and have access to a consistent stream of new ideas for blogs, social media, websites, etc.
You do not need to be a marketing genius to market your own business, you just need to be efficient and practical. Making use of tools like these, instead of hiring a full-time PR agency, not only saves you money, but can be just as effective if executed properly.
Happy marketing in 2013.