Cockrum’s Free Marketing Tools and Resources
In his book, Free Marketing: 101 Low and No-Cost Ways to Grow Your Business Online and Off, Jim Cockrum offers 102 chapters of marketing tips. When I picked up the book for the first time, I expected the author to list 101 free marketing tools and resources and explain the finer tips for each one in each chapter. For example, I thought that one chapter might be about Facebook and another about Twitter, and that the Facebook chapter would have advice such as making sure you have about 3 posts a week to stay competitive. The book isn’t exactly organized that way, so I had to sift through it to find the exact tools and resources. If you’re interested in a complete summary of the book, read Part I, Part II and Part III here on this blog. If you’re looking for the exact tools, like I was, here they are categorized and in alphabetical order. Not all of them are free.
Local Business Directories:
- Angie’s List (Now called Angi)- A local business directory where you can get a free listing. While your listing is free, the potential customers who search Angie’s List must be paying members.
- Bing Local – Get a local listing on the Bing Search Engine. (This is now called Bing Places for Business)
- CitySearch.com – Another local business directory where you can get a free listing.
- FourSquare.com – listed as a social network for local businesses, but it’s also a local business directory
- Google Maps – When listing a business, this is now part of Google My Business
- Google Places – Get your local listing on Google. This is now called Google My Business.
- Local.com – Another local business directory where you can get a free listing.
- MerchantCircle.com – Another local business directory where you can get a free listing.
- Yahoo! Local – Get a local lising on the Yahoo search engine.
- Yellow Pages Online – Another local business directory where you can get a free listing.
- Yelp.com – Get a free local listing where your customers can give you public reviews.
Social Networking Sites:
- Facebook – The most popular social network.
- LinkedIn – a social network for professionals
- Ning.com – Use to create a social network for your customers or employees. It was free when the book was written but now only comes with a free trial. (Ning has moved to paid-only model since the book and this page were written)
- Twitter – A free microblogging platform and one of the most popular social networks.
Social Media Tools:
- Fangager.com – start a rewards program for the fans and followers that interact with you
- Hyperalerts.no – get an email alert when a new post is added to your facebook page
- Twitdom.com – twitter tools
- Twitpic.com – upload pictures to Twitter
- Search.twitter.com – Twitter search engine, you can use it to create alerts
Find individuals with greatest social media influence (try to form partnerships or when they’re your customers treat them special):
Reputation Monitoring/Trend Research:
- Google Alerts – get email alerts from Google when new content is posted online about you, people you’re associated with or competitors.
Google Follow Finder (followfinder.googlelabs.com)– No longer active.
- Naymz.com – free and paid service to defend online reputation
- Newstimeline.googlelabs.com – use for tracking news trends (this is now Google News).
- ReputationDefender.com – Paid service to defend online reputation (when this site was tested a blank screen came up on our end)
- TweetBeep.com – Monitor your reputation on Twitter, It’s like Google Alerts for Twitter
- TwitScoop.com – Monitor trends on Twitter (this site was down when it was tested)
Website and Blogging Tools:
- Tumblr.com – Create a free blog.
- GoDaddy.com – Register a domain name and host a website (not free)
- WordPress – Create a website and blog. Has free and paid options.
- WP-Touch – A WordPress plugin used to create mobile sites for WordPress
Keyword Research/Website Optimization/SEO:
- Google.com/addurl – Add your site to Google.
- Google’s Keyword Tool – Use this to do keyword research for your website. (This is now part of Google Webmaster Tools)
- Google PageRank Toolbar – use it to see how your site ranks on Google and other sites too.
- Market Samurai – SEO tool (not Free)
- Micro Niche Finder – Keyword research tool (not free)
- YouTube’s keyword tool – Use this to do keyword research for your YouTube videos.
Business Printing Tools:
- Bit.ly – free URL shortening service, they also provide QR codes
- CafePress.com – Use for printing materials that are branded with your company logo. (Not free, but you can also earn money on CafePress by submitting designs and getting paid royalties.)
- GoQR.me – create QR codes for free
Text Content Tools:
- Copyscape.com – to check the internet for copied or plagiarized content
- DocumentSecurityAlliance.com – protecting documents
- Google Docs – Google’s free office suite that is hosted online, create docs, spreadsheets and presentations that can be edited by anyone with internet access and access permission to the document itself.
- Dragon Naturally Speaking – voice recording software (not free)
- InternetTranscribers.com – record yourself talking and give them the recording for them to transcribe, helps with writing a book. (not free)
- OpenOffice – open source (free) office software suite for documents, spreadsheets and presentations
Book and Ebook Tools:
- Amazon.com – Sell books and ebooks
- Createspace.com – to print your book
- Clickbank.com – a place to sell your book through an affiliate marketing sales force (small set-up fee then no other up-front costs, affiliates are paid by commission per sale)
- Lulu.com – sell your book via print-on-demand
Image Content Tools:
- 99Designs.com – Crowdsourced (outsourcing to a crowd) graphic art work, includes logos, book cover art, and other graphic art
- DigitalWatermarketingAlliance.org – add watermarks to your images
Audio Content Tools/Teleseminars:
- Audacity – free audio recording and audio editing software
- Blubrry.com – automate the process of adding new audio blog posts as content that is also sent directly to iTunes and other directories
- FreeConferenceCall.com – Get an audio recording of phone calls, use to capture testimonials, interview other experts, and create easy audio content.
- ID3 editor – edit your ID3 tags on your audio file
- Animoto.com – Tool to create videos with music and pictures. (Not free, but inexpensive)
- Camtasia – Screen capture software, use in combination with Power Point or any of the presentation software listed with the office suites/text content tools above for video presentations. (MAC alternative is Keynote and Screen Capture)
- Easy Video Player (There are multiple products with this name and there is no URL in the book)
- EZS3.com – suggested tool for larger videos
- Jing – screen capture and recording tool
- Kunaki.com – CD and DVD publishing and distribution company, at affordable rates with no up-front costs they’ll publish-on-demand your CD and DVD content, they’ll dropship to your customers.
- Sony Vegas Software – video editing software (not free)
- YouTube.com – Free video hosting, has many social features, one of the most popular and under-recognized search engines.
- Do a google search for “royalty-free music”
Webinar and Video Conferencing:
- Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro
- Instant Customer – webinar tool for automating customer capture
- Microsoft’s Office Live Meeting
- Verizon Web (uncertain which product the author was referring to)
Email Tools/Email Marketing:
- Aweber – email marketing/management tool
- Gmail – Google’s free email service, probably the best free email there is.
- Jott.com – turn voice and memo into an email (no longer supported)
Press Release Submission Sites:
- BusinessWire.com (not free)
- GlobeNewsWire.com (not free)
- MarketWire.com (may not be free)
- PRnewswire.com (may not be free)
- PRweb.com (not free)
Outsourcing, Crowdsourcing, Find Freelancers (the tools to find these people are free, you’ll have to pay these people for the tasks they perform):
- 99Designs (previously mentioned above)
- Elance.com – Find freelancers
- Fiverr.com – outsource tasks starting at $5
- Mturk.com – Crowdsource tasks
- Odesk.com – Find freelancers
- Vworker.com – Find freelancers (Now Freelancer.com)
- Dropbox.com – file storage and sharing
- EbayClassifieds.com – Post free classified ads online.
- Federal Trade Commission – Consult the FTC for rules on posting testimonials.
- Groupme.com – send group texts
- SendOutCards.com – card-sending service (birthday cards, reminder cards, etc. Not free.)
- SkipMcGrath.com – ebay mentor, some free tips and content, some paid content
- SurveyMonkey.com – create surveys and ask customers for feedback
For the record, that’s about 112 resources. However, some no longer exist, they are no longer free, or they were combined (ex. Google Places and Google Maps). The author mentions several corporate examples who are applying the exact same tips he gives in his book. For example, he lists Zappos.com as an example of a company with “irrationally generous” customer service. The author mentions several examples of his students who applied his tips with success. For example, he lists www.LibertyJanePatterns.com as a business who added digital goods and “exposed secrets” to their product line and increased their income. The author also includes multiple shameless plugs for his other products and services. The only one I’ll mention here is www.101FreeMarketing.com which is the contact capture page and resource page for the book. He lists additional chapters, resources and updates on that page.