November 10, 2014 | Growth and Expansion

5 Marketing Tools I’m Grateful For

In honor of Thanksgiving this month, I wanted to share the marketing tools I’m loving right now. These are tools that you should check out, since they’re free or extremely affordable, and help you do more in less time.

1. Canva

If you’re like me, you’re not visually talented. I can’t design an infographic to save my life. Nor do I have the budget to pay a designer to design one. I’m thrilled that I stumbled onto Canva. I assure you: you don’t need a drop of designer’s blood to create appealing images for blog posts, social media, your site, email, or whatever. To the left is an example I created for a client. Most images are free, but some are $1 each. Pretty impressive for 10 minutes and $1, eh?

2. Social Buzz Club

I’m lucky in that I meet a lot of people in the marketing industry. I was fortunate enough to meet Laura Rubinstein a few years ago. She’s the co-founder of Social Buzz Club, and once you hear about it, you’ll want access.

When I write content for me or my clients, I want it to get the widest exposure possible. So I log into Social Buzz Club and post a link. Other members can then get points for posting my content. But here’s why it works so well: I can only ask others to post my content if I post theirs and I have enough points. So it’s this amazing community of likeminded social influencers sharing one another’s content.

To this day, Social Buzz Club remains one of the top referrers of traffic to my site. There’s a free Basic account, but I spring for the Premium account for $197 a year. For that, I get more social accounts I can share with, and unlimited shares.

3. MailChimp

I like simple email marketing, and MailChimp delivers. Because I manage several accounts, including Egg’s and clients’, I like the fact that I can log in and then select which account I want to manage. The templates are easy to manage and update, and you can view how your email will look before sending it off.

I used to only use the free account, but upgraded recently so that I could get autoresponders set up for my free ebook download. I think I’m paying $20 a month (it’s based on the number of subscribers you have).

4. Google Drive

While not technically a marketing tool, I wouldn’t be able to survive without Google Drive. This is where I write posts for clients, and then share them for review. I work with a team of writers who can share their work and let me edit it online. I always hated emailing documents and then trying to keep track of which document was the most recently updated.

I got a new computer recently, and I made a conscious decision to keep nothing on my desktop. So I installed Drive for my computer and house all my documents there!

5. PRWeb

While I’ve gotten away from distributing as many press releases as I once did, I still love my old standby, PRWeb. The company, now owned by Vocus, makes sending press releases out a breeze. You can select what cities you want to focus your distribution in, as well as the industries. This targets which websites get your release, and helps your release get more reads. I also love the social sharing features on the release itself: anyone can click to share my releases on social sites lke Twitter and LinkedIn.

So these are the marketing tools I’m grateful for. What would you add to this list?

<a href="" target="_self">Susan Payton</a>

Susan Payton

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management, as well as the founder of She’s written three business books: How to Get More Customers with Press Releases, 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, AllBusiness, CorpNet, Small Business Trends, Chamber of Commerce and BizLaunch. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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