We all know the adage, “you get what you pay for.” But when you’re a small team with a limited budget, you can’t always drop top dollar for a product that promises to live up to the price. 

The good news is that the quality of free offerings has improved dramatically over the past decade. The binary of “good but expensive” vs. “free but low-quality” has been replaced with a range of options for a range of budgets.

A simple Google search will show you that there are tons of free trials and plans out there for you to consider. Gone are the days when your marketing budget held you back from utilizing tools that created efficiencies, provided analysis, and offered direction for a better strategy. 

With all these free options, it can be hard to spot the ones that are most beneficial. So, here are some of our favorites that we think you should check out.


Lately, it seems like every brand under the sun has clean, easy-on-the-eyes graphics to accompany their social media posts. Some of these brands utilize a designer or a team of designers to crank these visuals out. However, others are flexing their design skills by using various tools, like Canva. 

Canva is a user-friendly graphic design tool with an extensive free version, in addition to their more flexible pro version. With Canva, creating high-quality graphics no longer requires paying a designer or learning the ropes of complicated, expensive tools like InDesign and Photoshop. Canva is perfect for small teams looking to keep their budgets lean while still wanting to give their social campaigns, blog posts, or other marketing materials an edge.  


It’s common knowledge that adding images to your content can improve audience engagement, but what if you can’t afford to build up a library of your own images or pay for a stock photo membership? That’s where Pixabay comes in. 

With over a million free images across various styles and subjects, you’re sure to find a great pic for your blog or newsletter. All you have to do is search for the image using certain key terms, and up pops tons of free images for you to choose from. Pixabay is a quick and easy photo resource when creating your own just isn’t an option. 


A CRM is essential for an effective marketing and sales strategy. It provides you with detailed information on your prospects so you can send them personalized outreach catered to their needs, easing them through the funnel and closer to a sale. Pair that with marketing automation, and you’re unstoppable. 

Marketing automation helps teams streamline their campaigns, target their qualified leads, track engagement with their content, and create efficiencies. Finding a solution that’s all-in-one is crucial, but finding one that’s free is almost too good to be true. 

Our free plan includes an intelligent CRM system that updates in real-time and humanizes contacts with profile photos, so you can put a face to every name and send them consistent nurture campaigns


SEO may not be your thing, but you need to be mindful of how it affects your content and your site visibility. Luckily there are tools out there that can do the SEO heavy lifting for you, like Moz. 

Moz has been around for ages, but they’re keeping up with changes to the SEO scene. With their free Link Explorer, you can get up-to-the-minute metrics on any site, plus SEO and SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) analysis. Their Pro account offers further options, including advanced suggested keywords, but the free version is a great place to start. 


Becoming a guest contributor and submitting content to websites that cater to your audience is a great marketing tactic. It gets your brand in front of a new, engaged audience and it earns you third-party credibility from high-quality sites. But, getting published on websites other than your own is no easy feat. 

Medium makes guest contributing easy. In recent years, it has become a favorite platform for journalists, bloggers, and publications to post compelling stories and engage with readers – but did you know it’s a great marketing tool as well? The free, user-friendly software makes it almost impossible to publish ‘ugly’ content, and Medium’s algorithm highlights the best content on the home page, getting it in front of more readers.

Plus, if you can afford the $50 a year membership, they recently announced the option for custom domains. So, if it’s within your budget, you can link it directly to your website’s URL.


As more and more consumers rely on social media for brand updates and insights, maintaining an active social presence has never been more important for businesses. However, with all the other items necessary to maintain a healthy brand, posting on social can often be the last thing you get to, if at all. 

Social media management doesn’t need to be a timesuck. In fact, most marketing teams schedule posts weeks in advance to free up their focus for other tasks. Buffer’s free account allows one person to schedule up to 10 posts across three social channels each month from their user-friendly dashboard, and if you need more users, posts, or channels, they offer that with paid upgrades.


If your social media strategy is heavily focused on Twitter, you might consider using Tweetdeck, which is Twitter’s free, built-in management dashboard. The vertical-column layout makes it easy to see all the conversations you’re engaging in via your Twitter handle, whether they’re replies in the feed, retweets, or direct messages. You can also follow hashtags without leaving your main view.

For smaller teams that are managing a bunch of tasks and strategies, having a simple way to digest your Twitter behavior and interactions can make a huge difference.  

Marketing is like anything else: you get out what you put in. But that doesn’t have to mean buckets of money – time and energy count too. These free tools are a great place to start building and implementing your efficient marketing strategy without breaking the bank.