Sometimes people associate the word “free” with “lousy.”
I mean, if it's so great, why aren't they charging for it? Psychologically, “free” doesn't feel very valuable.
But that's not always the case.
As marketers, we know the importance of creating valuable content and giving it away for free. It's a great way to build trust. It causes people to think, “if their free stuff is this good, I've GOT to have (insert: your not free stuff).”
But when it comes to free stuff, these folks have gone above and beyond.
I was absolutely shocked to find this great article from HubSpot that features these five free game-changing tools:
1) HubSpot CRM
You can’t build a skyscraper without a solid foundation. A CRM (Customer Relationship Management tool) is just that — it acts as the base layer of growth where all your business functions’ information is organized and can be easily analyzed. In all honesty, it's impossible to grow and scale your business without a CRM.
Your CRM is the software that sits at the core of your digital system. It tracks every interaction your sales team has, stores all your marketing leads and customer data, and improves communication across your organization. The more you grow, the more important this becomes.
I'm a big fan of visualizing progress. Growth teams tend to have a lot of ideas, a lot of projects, and a lot of experiments going on at the same time. We've found Trello to be the best tool for tracking that progress. Each idea, project, and experiment can live on its own card, which teams can use to take notes, assign tasks, set due dates, and so on.
Data beats intuition. You can't really know what your audience wants without getting inside the heads of the people who already regularly visit your site to find out why they visit your site, and Hotjar's tools are perfect for just that.
These guys are on the cutting edge of helping people figure out what drives people to different parts of their website. They're making it possible for people to build and grow their website in a way that actually resonates with people. We actually just launched an integration with Hotjar that shows Hotjar poll responses in HubSpot users' contact timelines.
The Heat Maps and Visitor Recordings are my favorite parts of the tool, though, and here’s why: They visualize what people are doing when they get to your site by showing clicks, taps, and scrolling behavior. This is so important for a business because each of these actions shows what people do and care about on your site. It'll also help you find the biggest opportunities for improvement and testing. (And you should always be testing.)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key to growing traffic, which is a big driver of business growth in the online age. Simply put, you need to do it, and you need to do it well. If you want more people to find you on Google, you'll need a keyword tool to help you prioritize which keywords to focus on.
There are a few good keyword tools out there, but Google Keyword Planner is a great starting point for narrowing down the right keywords, gauging competition around each one, and learning how many people are searching for them.
Tools that make creating visual content easier are important for growth, especially for a business with limited design resources. Being able to create great images in a short amount of time will help make your website, your emails, your social media posts, and every other marketing asset more engaging and attractive to your audience. Simply put, better visuals = more engagement = more traffic = business growth.
Canva makes it easy and fast for people who aren't designers by trade (like me, as my team knows well) to create visual content quickly.