As a business owner these days, you have access to a huge variety of different online, digital and social channels for sharing your marketing message. And that’s great news for spreading the word about your brand.
But if you’re a small business without access to a full marketing and design team, how do you make your content look great – and give it that professional look?
Today’s business app stores have a wide range of tools for improving your design, photography, video content and your email marketing. And many of these marketing-focused apps are well within the budget of the average small business or startup – some are even free!
Here are 6 ideas to get you started:
- Canva or Crello for graphics, design and logos – making your content and marketing collateral look great is all part of giving your brand a professional edge. And with Canva and Crello you don’t need to be a design whizz to achieve great results. Both platforms offer free design tools and easy-to-use templates for creating high-quality graphics. It’s no replacement for using a talented professional designer, but when your budget is tight you can quickly produce well-designed content that definitely looks the part.
- Unsplash for free stock photos – having great photos for your website and marketing materials is a must. But buying expensive stock photos can really eat into your marketing budget. Unsplash is a stock photo site with a difference – professional and amateur photographers share royalty free photos for you to use in your marketing. All that the site asks is that you credit the original photographers in your content or in the metadata – helping to raise their profile.
- Pixlr for photo editing and image manipulation – it’s important to edit and save your photos in the right sizes and formats for social media and web usage. If you’re doing the editing yourself then Pixlr is a real godsend. It’s a free online photo editing tool that works like a cut-down version of the ubiquitous Adobe Photoshop. Load up your shots and quickly crop, resize, edit and polish your photos to achieve the very best results.
- WordPress or SquareSpace for websites – a good website is crucial to marketing your business. It’s your shop window, your content hub and the place where most potential customers will go to check out your brand. WordPress and SquareSpace both offer hassle-free, template-driven ways to set up a great-looking website for your business. If you want to start customising the site and adding specific bells and whistles, then working with a web developer is a good idea – but you can easily set up a basic, functional website on your own with very minimal time and effort.
- Adobe Spark or Biteable for editing video – video is fast becoming the channel of choice for content marketing, so making your business videos look good is important. Adobe Spark Video and Biteable both offer templates, fonts, transitions and ways to personalise your video content. If you’re shooting on a budget and using your mobile device, some careful use of these editing tools can turn out some top-notch videos for brightening up your website, content marketing or social media posts.
- MailChimp or Constant Contact for email campaigns – Email marketing solutions, like MailChimp or Constant Contact give you the foundations for sending out well-designed, professional marketing emails and newsletters. Just set up your branding, add in the content and manage the campaign through the provided tools. Email marketing helps you keep in touch with your loyal customers and followers.
Making your business and your brands stand out is a challenge in the crowded small business market. We hope these tools can help with your marketing.
We can help with your business planning and knowing your numbers!