Ever heard of TANSTAAFL? There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch — and in most cases this is a true statement. However, there are some killer content marketing options that are (gasp!) really, truly free. This is great news, because content marketing can be expensive: between writers, designers to build an infographic and find compelling images, strategists to create an editorial calendar and then someone to post the content in all the various locations and create extensions and teases for social media and advertising . . . whew. Exhausted just thinking about it! Thank goodness there are some free tools available that make your life as a content marketer easier and less stressful — and that let you save your budget for that next Facebook boost.
1. Google Trends
Google has tons of great tools, many of which are free, but Google Trends can be a content marketers best friend. Neil Patel states it best: while the keyword planner can give you hundreds of keywords, finding just the right topic for your next piece of content can be challenging when you’re in full-on brainstorming mode. Check out Googles “stories trending now” to gain insight on what others in your industry are discussing (or what customers are looking for!)
2. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer
Savvy marketers know that most customers simply skim their material and don’t have time for an in-depth review unless something catches their eye. There comes the million dollar question: how do you make people stop scrolling? CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer does the heavy lifting for you, providing you with immediate scores on your headline variations as well as helpful feedback that can help you balance length, sentiment and keywords.
3. Click to Tweet
One of the best ways to spread the word about your brand is to ensure that your customers can share the word with their friends. Have a great tweetable statement in your latest content piece? Consider adding Click to Tweet, a free tool that embeds a clickable link directly to Twitter inside your blog of white paper. The beauty of this tool is that if the reader is already logged into Twitter there is very little friction involved in creating a tweet and continuing to read — making your reader that much more likely to take advantage of the opportunity to give you some free advertising.
It’s no secret that graphics are more engaging than pages and pages of text, so why not add a compelling infographic to your next content piece? Visual.ly provides a massive collection of infographics that you can leverage for inspiration to create your own, or you can find (paid) talent to craft a visual to match your message.
5. Creative Commons
This list couldn’t be complete without a mention of Creative Commons and all of the amazing (and free!) visual content available on the platform. Generous content creators offer millions of pieces of licensed media for any type of project you can imagine — all downloadable on the spot. This American non-profit is devoted to expanding the audience for valuable pieces of content.
6. Google Analytics
Yes, another Google tool, but this one is a doozy. How can you tell which piece of content hit and which fell flat? Google Analytics, that’s how. Whether you’re tracking unique visits, bounces time on site or other metrics, Google Analytics is the gold standard. Quickly view your top content pieces or topics, track downloads and create a sales funnel — all without paying a dime.