I’m really thrilled to welcome Ruth Buckingham from Kandu Marketing to my blog this week. Ruth offers jargon-free content marketing support for small business owners. Here, she has some brilliant tips to improve your productivity:
When budgets are tight and you
are managing your marketing yourself, any tools that can help improve your
productivity or increase engagement with your blog posts can be beneficial.
Below are the top 6 free tools
that I am working with on a daily basis for different client needs.
- Toggl – Take your
timesheets to the next level
As my business has started to
grow I have moved on from a timesheet approach to tracking time that I spend on
different activities and clients using Toggl.
Toggl is a simple to use, free time-tracker tool that also provides
reports as and when needed.
I can ensure that my precious part-time
working hours are well-spent. I also
have a record of how much time various activities require on a regular
basis. This can help me when preparing
quotes for customers so that I can be accurate in budgeting.
- Buffer – social scheduling covering LinkedIn,
Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Facebook
I use this tool for my own
accounts as well as my clients for scheduling social media posts. Prior to
discovering Canva I also used to love the Pablo extension which has a range of free
images which can be customised for my needs or you can upload your own and edit
with logos, quotes etc.
Once the posts have been
published you can also go back and view analytics on engagement at a basic
level. By scheduling batches of social
media messages in advance it allows us to be active on multiple platforms but
still have time free to focus on core business activities.
A note on images – I always like
to use my own but on the occasions I am sourcing images for client or for a
specific image, another two great free picture resource sites are Pixabay and UnSplash. Always credit the photographer if you can,
even if it’s not required on these sites, I think it is good etiquette!
I also use Later for my Instagram
scheduling. I probably will combine them
at some point but for now I’m happy to keep them separate as I do use the
platforms differently and Later shows you a lovely graphical view of your posts
to check that everything flows nicely.
Recently, Instagram updated its
platform so it is now possible to auto-publish to your account, rather than get
a notification on your smartphone to post.
- Co-schedule headline analyser
If you are writing your own blogs
or email campaigns you might find this one useful. I love this tool, it really does what it says
on the tin, by helping ensure the title of your blog will get more opens and
ultimately engagement. The teacher’s pet
in me loves getting a score of over 70 and a smiley face!
As an example, for this blog post
I started out with the basic topic “B2B blogging and social media tools” which
scored 44 points and used the headline analyser to refine it to “Useful social
media tools for small business” which got a whopping 71 points! On review I didn’t feel this accurately
reflected the content of the blog so have compromised on the title above – a score of 64 so not too bad!
A well-known plugin for
WordPress, Yoast is great to help you ensure you have your Search Engine Optimisation
(SEO) basics in place on your blog post and also to edit the post for
readability. I find this is a great last
sense-check before posting a blog. A
“virtual” second set of eyes so to speak.
As a copy-writer I find it quite
easy to come up with blog ideas for my clients, less so for myself!
However, you may feel a little
stuck sometimes. Perhaps further down your
blogging journey and have already covered why you started your business and key
trends in your industry. This little
generator can help spark your next great idea to think about what your
customers might want to read about and what ties into your own usps.
I hope you have found this round
up of tools useful! Most of the
companies I have recommended also have great blogs of their own that you can
follow for further marketing tips.
My name is Ruth, I
am a Freelance Marketing Consultant operating as Kandu Marketing. I provide jargon-free B2B marketing support. This usually starts with content strategy or
copy-writing but also covers a range of other marketing activities. www.kandumarketing.co.uk