4 Free Tools To Create An Actionable Marketing Plan
Looking to increase your odds of running a successful business? One of the ways to differentiate your brand and cut out the competition is with an actionable marketing plan. But to execute multiple campaigns across a multitude of channels, you’re going to need a few savvy tools to get the job done.
We’ve got four tools that can put your marketing plan into action. The best part? They are all free!
1. HubSpot’s Free Tools
Buyer Persona Template: Though it’s probably easiest to start with yourself, a smarter place to start with your marketing plan is with your audience. Who are you trying to attract with your marketing messaging?
HubSpot’s template will allow you to easily create detailed buyer personas to help your marketing plan by identifying customers, influencers, prospects and referrals.
Website Grader: Now that you’ve focused on the lifeblood of your business (the customer) you can turn the attention back to you. These days your website is not only your calling card, it’s also your salesperson. According to Google nearly 60 percent of the buying process is completed before a consumer reaches out to buy from you.
This cool tool will generate a free report that tells you how your website is performing when it comes to marketing online.
HubSpot’s CRM: Once your marketing plan starts funneling leads into your sales pipeline, you’ll need a place where you can keep track of prospects, contacts and customers. This CRM — which stands for customer relationship management — tool is an excellent way to graduate from clunky Excel sheets and use more sophisticated ways to align marketing with sales.
2. Google’s Free Tools
Keyword Planner: Whether HubSpot’s free report tells you that your search engine optimization (SEO) needs work, you’re updating your LinkedIn page with your industry keywords or you are crafting content for your blog or social sites, you will definitely want your customers to find you based on the keyword phrases you’re using.
For instance, if you own a beauty shop, words like “hair coloring” or “hair styling” or “best place for a haircut in New York” might be phrases your potential clients would search for in Google.
If your website, blog and other content use these keywords often enough, you may be one of the top listed sites when Google returns the search results.
Google’s Keyword Planner can help you understand what terms are being searched for your industry, or in your local area so that you can use current and most-searched keyword terms versus using what you think will work.
Google Analytics: Google Analytics is the powerhouse of free tools for small businesses when it comes to marketing. With one dashboard and report, you can scope out website metrics like keywords used to land on your site, website traffic and traffic sources and, the most popular pages/content, which are all pivotal to your online marketing success.
Not only will it help you understand where you’ve been with your past marketing initiatives, it will help you see where you should go next.
Project management software can be expensive, but email chains with the team can be annoying, time-consuming, and unorganized. What’s a business owner to do?
Try Trello. Trello’s free version is robust enough to handle your team tasks, to-dos and other project management items. Even if you’re a solopreneur, Trello will allow you to keep up with marketing initiatives as they go from concept to complete.
4. One-Page Marketing Plan
And there’s no better way to stay organized than with a one-page marketing plan.
Not sure how to create one? Small Business Trends has you covered with not one, but two one-page marketing templates.
Both are in Word documents and are free to download.
Put Your Marketing Plan to Work
If you’ve checked out these free tools you’ll notice a reoccurring theme: marketing research matters! That, and staying organized.
No matter how you decide to define success for your small business, using these free tools to design an actionable marketing plan will surely set you apart from the competition.
About the Author
Brooke Ballard is an in-the-trenches digital marketer & owner at B Squared Media, blossoming blogger, and part-time lecturer at Baruch College. Her marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout in the social sphere.