We all love free stuff…especially if it’s valuable to us. And I would argue that small business owners and entrepreneurs love free, time saving tools most of all. Especially if those tools allow them to be more productive, efficient, and save money for their business. One of the most important areas of online marketing that many small businesses struggle with is content creation and management. There are actually a lot of high quality, time-saving, and free content management tools out there you can use to cut costs!
At Cazbah, the IMC (Internet Marketing Consultant) team is always working together to review and share the most useful digital marketing tools to help make our days even more productive and to better assist our clients. After testing the tools with our real-life tasks, only the best and most useful make the cut. Here’s a list of our top five favorite, free content management tools that I think every small business owner should know about.
1. Google Drive
Google Drive is a cloud based file sharing and storage system. You need a Google account to take advantage of Drive and all the other helpful tools Google provides as well. If you don’t have a Google account, I encourage you to create one right now! Google Drive allows users to access their files on the go from any device – smartphone, tablet, or computer. It also allows you to share and edit files with other users.
Google Drive helps you to collaborate easily with employees, co-workers, and clients. You can share specific documents with other users, create folders to organize your documents, and store up to 15 GB of data for free. If you’re working on an article with multiple writers, creating reference documents you want verified by experts in your company, putting together user generated content from customers etc., Google Drive is a convenient system to help you manage all your content.
Google Drive is ideal if you work on the go or out of your store/office. Because Drive is a cloud based storage system, you can access your files anywhere from any device (just make sure you remember your login info)!
Even though this point is just about Google Drive, I would encourage you to check out all the other free tools that comes with your Google account as well! Working remotely and sharing documents has never been easier or more affordable!
Pixlr is a web-based photo editing tool. No need to be a Photoshop expert, Pixlr is a great tool for beginners to make quick changes to images for online use. Many times small businesses don’t have the money or know how to buy or create stunning visuals for either their websites, blog articles, and marketing materials. This free tool allows you to access a variety of high quality (stock) images, so small businesses can produce captivating content.
Using Pixlr you can crop, resize, rotate, fix red eye, add text, and apply filters to your images. Using the tools provided by Pixlr can help to save the time on your website development and with your design team. If you have specifics for what you want a particular image to look like, you can make those changes yourself!
This is also a great tool to use when adding images to blog posts as well! Your blog articles need to have eye-catching, high quality photos to help keep your readers’ attention on your page.
3. Go to Meeting
Go to Meeting has a free option for your online video conferencing needs. If you have any sort of interaction with either co-workers or clients where you can’t meet in person, but you want to show and discuss information online, this is the tool for you! Meeting in person isn’t always convenient and if you need to share important content, trying to find a system to fit your needs can be challenging. But with this tool, you can easily get everyone on the same page (literally) by sharing your screen.
If you need to review important paperwork with a client, collaborate on a website web page with a co-worker, prep for an important meeting with your team, or whatever it is, Go to Meeting makes it a little bit easier!
The most basic level for Go to Meeting is free, but there are four other levels of different costs that you can check out too.
Buffer is a social media post scheduling system that helps you track and manage all of your social networks in one place. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, and Pinterest can all be accessed from one platform, which will save you so much time and effort from uploading your posts manually. Buffer is a great content management system for small businesses who have several different social media pages or profiles and need a way to streamline their content posting.
Another huge plus about Buffer is that it allows you to quickly pull analytics metrics such as your most popular posts (detailing the number of likes and comments) and your least popular posts.
In the Buffer free account, you can add up to eight different social media accounts. You can also add multiple different accounts from one platform as well. For example, if you want to automate posts to your LinkedIn account and the LinkedIn account of one of your salespeople, you can do that!
We’ve seen more and more online searchers prefer to consume information in another form besides text based content. Video clips, images, slideshow pages, and infographics are on the rise more than ever! If you want to stay on top you need a reliable method to produce and manage engaging visual content.
Easel.ly is a free, infographic creator that you can use to create useful visuals for your website audience to better comprehend your content. Easel.ly lets you create your own infographics from the ground up or use templates already created to help get you started. This platform may take a little getting used to, but once you do, you’ll be able to create amazing infographics that look great!
Check out these Cazbah infographics that were created using Easel.ly so you can get a better idea of what you’re working with:
Using these five, free content management tools will help you better manage your daily content workload, communicate more effectively with your co-workers and clients, and more easily manage your small business content marketing plans too! If you’re looking for some great content marketing tools to help you cut costs without compromising quality, check out the list and options listed above.