Not everyone has deep pockets to splash out on an ever-growing list of marketing tools. Luckily, there are some free tools that do a great job in helping you market your hotel without massive subscription costs.
The tools listed here cover a variety of uses and needs, from content creation to emails and social media management. Many of them do have advanced, paid features, but the basics come at no cost! If you do feel they add value and make marketing simpler and more effective, opt for the paid version.
Here’s our pick of marketing tools every hotelier should have in their ‘try box’.
- Canva. Perfect for budding or professional designers, Canva has a wide range of templates that will make your blog posts, social posts … practically any design stand-out.
- Free stock images and videos. Unsplash.com, pixabay.com, gratisography.com and pexels.com.
- FilmoraGo. Easily one of the best high-quality video editing phone apps out there. It allows you to quickly trim a video clip, create subtitles and text, speed up the content, add filters and overlays.
- Grammarly. Not quite in the creative space, but a must for content creators. This handy editing tool automatically checks everything you write or publish to an internet browser.
- Headline Analyzer. The title of a story is what makes an impact. Test if what you’ve got out there is powerful enough with Headline Analyzer, which scores your current titles and provides tips to improve.
- Medium. Market to a built-in audience via this content-rich and easy -to-navigate content platform.
Social media management tools
- Composing, scheduling social posts and listening becomes easier with tools like Hootsuite and Buffer. One easy-to-use dashboard makes it easy to monitor and respond to comments. IFTTT and Later are also useful scheduling tools, particularly for Instagram.
- Social Mention. A handy tool that allows you to monitor four major metrics: strength, sentiment, passion and reach.
- Google Alerts. If it’s on the web, you can get alerted in a single email alert, set up free on Google.
Manage your emails
- Mailchimp is a winner by miles when it comes to email marketing. Manage your database, work with tested templates and measure success from this one easy to understand tool.
Measure your activities
- Google Analytics. It’s one of the best analytics tools out there and it’s totally free. You can find almost any data you want linked to your web properties and their performance. Reports can be customised with Google Data Studio making reporting into true storytelling.
- Hotjar. Great way to know what users are doing on your website, where they click, scroll, etc – information that will help you make your website perform better. The eye-tracking heatmaps of Inspectlet are next level for detailed understanding of user behaviour on site.
- Insights from your social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc). Every platform provides various levels of information about your user to help you improve reach and engagement. Use these to your advantage!
- Evernote. Organisation is critical to help you market better. Evernote does just that. Capture ideas as they come on Evernote and then access via phone, laptop or tablet.
- Trello. Project management made easy. Trello lets set and manage tasks on a Kanban board.
- Slack. Cut down inefficient communication and unnecessary emails with this powerful collaboration tool.
- Dropbox. Great to share and store files. Of course, there’s also Google Drive for this and more.
Techie tools for the enthusiastic
We’re not asking you to turn into developers, but some basic tech tools are important to aid your marketing efforts.
- Google Search Console (GSC). What are the keywords getting traffic to your sites, how Google search bots see your website and similar powerful site health questions can be answered via GSC? Screaming Frog is another handy tool to check your site health – broken links, speed, etc.
- Google Keyword Planner to help you find keywords that will help grow your website’s organic traffic. Keyword Tool and Uber Suggest are other tools to try when you’re planning your content.
- Optimizely and Peek. The first rule of digital marketing is test and learn. Meaningful improvements only come with thought-of testing. Optimizely and Peek so a great job of helping you run successful A/B tests.
Which of these tools are already in your kitty? Which ones would you explore further? Are there other tools that deserve a spot on this list? Tell us about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.