By Bailey Drury
Did you know that 1 in 10 small businesses don’t invest in any kind of marketing and 50% of small businesses do not have a strategic marketing plan? The world of public relations and marketing can seem daunting for an outsider but it is an absolute must to help gain audience insight, form lasting relationships with customers and build multi-channel approaches to boost conversions and ROI.
Data shows that time investment as low as five percent can influence your company’s revenue growth. Whether you are an entrepreneur bootstrapping marketing, an in-house marketing manager or seasoned PR pro, PRESS has compiled a list of free, user-friendly resources that everyone should consider tapping into to elevate their PR and marketing strategy.
PR TOOLS TO TELL YOUR STORY
Is spelling and grammar not your strong suit? Grammarly offers a free, online writing app that acts as your own AI-powered writing assistant. Whether you are drafting an email to a client or creating a social media post on LinkedIn, Grammarly is there to help you compose mistake-free content.
A daily email sent straight to your inbox, HARO connects journalists seeking expertise in a topic with businesses that are looking for potential media opportunities. Please remember, when reaching out to the media, it is important to always make sure to respect the journalist and stay authentic to your brand and company values.
Public relations and earned media software companies can be extremely pricey. Signing up for Google Alerts and inserting keywords that relate to your company is a good way to monitor the web for mentions of your business and keep track of any media coverage you may receive.
Our agency created a free how-to communication and public relations guide to equip your business with the tools to succeed in media relations. From basic terms of the trade to media alert formats and call outs, this toolkit has all the information you need to help position your organization as an expert in your field.
DIGITAL MARKETING TO DRIVE ROI
Who is visiting your website? What pages are they visiting? How long are they staying on each page? Gain insights that will help drive results by utilizing Google’s free analytic software to analyze data for your business all in one place.
Email marketing is an important marketing tool to help your company expand its reach. While it may take some time to learn the software, Mailchimp‘s all-in-one marketing platform makes it easy to manage mailing lists, automate email campaigns, create landing pages and much more while providing you the resources to build your brand. It is important to note that no HTML or coding knowledge is needed as they have a wide variety of predesigned templates for companies to choose from and make their own.
Starting a blog is an extremely low-cost way to communicate your industry expertise to potential clients. PRESS hosts our company blog on WordPress where we communicate ideas about the PR + Marketing industry while also utilizing it to boost SEO, generate client leads and connect with our community.
LET’S TALK SOCIAL
For those with little to no graphic design experience, Canva is one of the best design platforms that allows you to create anything from brochures and business cards to Instagram advertisements and stories. The best part? The app is available on your laptop and phone for easy accessibility. While the app is free, for a small fee you can upgrade your account to pro which will give you access to over 20,000 premium templates and allows users to save your brand color codes and fonts to make sure your branding stays consistent across designs.
This mobile application makes video editing and exporting a breeze. Create professional-looking marketing videos in minutes with a simple tap of the phone or iPad to adjust video speed, apply a transition, edit brightness and much more. As Splice states, “it’s never been easier to edit like a pro on the go.”
With free and premium subscription options, VSCO is a photo editing app that includes presets as well as standard editing tools. A free seven-day trial is available for the premium subscription
Later is a social media scheduling platform that is designed to save time for content creators by allowing users to plan and schedule social media content. Some of our favorite features include the Instagram feed preview, hashtag suggestions and the conversations feed which allows users to easily reply to customer comments and messages through Later instead of having to visit the social media platform itself. While Later provides analytics for Instagram, please note that they do not provide analytics for Facebook at this moment in time.
Don’t have high-quality photos to use for marketing materials? Unsplash is a great internet resource to download free photos that can be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
A personal PRESS favorite, Asana allows for you to organize all of your individual and team tasks and projects to make sure you are strategically hitting deadlines and achieving results. Create project boards that allow you to easily assign tasks to coworkers and keep track of progress.
With the current pandemic and a large percent of companies working remotely, this video communication platform allows for companies to seamlessly host weekly team meetings, conference calls and webinars. Zoom’s free subscription allows businesses to host video conferencing up to 40 minutes in length.
Different than the video platform of Zoom, Slack is a communications platform that allows you to share information and tools via a chat messenger. It provides an easy channel for team members to share project successes, pose questions and stay in the know regarding any company updates.
BE IN THE KNOW
Our industry is constantly evolving, especially in our current world. To ensure you’re covering all your bases, consciously diversify your media consumption and sign up for regular news updates. At PRESS, we tend to schedule out the first 15–30 minutes of each day to brief ourselves on the latest trends and topics. Here are our go-to’s:
Social media: Later Blog
Marketing: The Daily Carnage
General News: The Skimm
Tech: The Daily Crunch
Podcasts: Social Media Marketing Podcast