Free Marketing Resources to Grow
Your Business During Covid-19 Lockdown
Free Marketing Resources
We know how important it is during this Covid era. We know how tight money might be. We have compiled these articles hoping that if you are looking for ways to grow your business and have little money to do it, this compilation will help!
Adapting to change is the way forward. Free online resources add value, promote business growth and improve marketing strategies during and after the pandemic.
The Coronavirus outbreak is changing life as we know it. As billions of people shelter in place, they’re spending even more time online. This is good and bad news for businesses.
The good news is that there are more consumers online, more of the time. The bad news is that they have time to be more discerning in their choices and that your rivals are looking to capitalize on this and grow their companies just as much as you are…
To ensure your business stays relevant in this strange new world, you’ll need to up your game. This involves interacting with customers in novel ways, creating attractive campaigns and special offers, and possibly pivoting the goods and services you offer to meet new consumer demands.
Digital marketing and SEO have always been cutthroat, and they’re even more so in the face of the COVID-19 lockdown. The changes you make to your company – to ensure it survives and even thrives during this time – may mean that your current marketing strategies are no longer optimal.
With all that in mind, updating your organization’s website and general online presence is crucial. Reviewing and refreshing these should always be a regular habit, but as the world’s economy and demands change so much, it’s essential right now.
Luckily, there are several resources to help you with such updates. Many of them cost money, but there are some excellent free options if you’re looking to cut back on expenses. Some of the top free tools that can perform tasks like checking if your pages are indexed by Google, analyzing onsite SEO efficiency, and evaluating content are listed below.
Search engines (Google included) increasingly give preferential treatment to sites that load content quickly and put them higher in their search results. GTmetrix analyzes sites’ load speeds, identifying the specific features that make a site too big, too slow, and satisfactorily fast. It also supplies a list of practical suggestions for you to speed up your load times.
Enter a URL into the tool, and you’ll get a thorough report highlighting the areas that need improvement.
As a big part of your site’s health and growth is impacted by Google crawling it, you need to stay on top of indexing. With this free index checker, you can determine whether a specific page or an entire domain is indexed. All you need to do is enter your URL, and Linkody alerts you about the current index status. Not indexed can indicate that Google hasn’t crawled a page or site yet, or that a page is considered low-quality or, even worse, a site as a whole is de-indexed. Indexing problems happen to the best of us (looking at you, Linkedin), so a basic check should be part of your SEO routine.
The video tutorials on Ahrefs Academy are informative and easy to understand, making them great resources. Blogging for Business is no exception and includes sections on everything from basic blogging principles to growing companies to creating content that promotes itself. Scroll down the site, watch all of the short videos in order, or jump to the section you’re interested in.
Marketing masterminds Harmon Brothers offers a free resource, a 14-day Video Script Challenge, where they’ll give you everything you need to write a video script that will successfully sell a product or service. The step-by-step instructions are scalable so they can be implemented no matter how big the business grows.
As part of Shopify’s COVID-19 response, the multinational eCommerce company offers several informative free webinars and gives new clients a free 90-day trial of its services. Businesses can sign up and create their virtual stores in just a few minutes, complete with attractive themes and customizable responses.
SEO Ruler is a free Chrome extension that provides over 25 tools in a single package. Link Tools, OnPage Copy Tools and SERP Page Tools help to maximize your SEO, while OnPage Viewer, Schema Viewer, and Quick Google options enhance user experiences so that they search for – and find – much more.
Search engines have also started to prioritize websites that look good across all platforms, regardless of their orientation or size. In other words, if your site is equally attractive on desktop, tablets and smartphones, you’ll rank higher on the SERPs.
Free tools to help you through the coronavirus pandemic
- Zoom: Free video conferencing tools for K-12 schools.
- RingCentral: Free video conferencing for educators (K-12 schools), healthcare providers, or non-profit.
- Google: Free, premium version of its workplace video chat tool until July, to help businesses and schools working remotely due to coronavirus. Those features include having up to 250 participants per call, live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain, and the ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive.
- Slack: Free upgrades to paid plans for teams working on coronavirus pandemic research, response, or mitigation. Interested teams can email a special address to get this setup and a consultation on how best to get started with remote collaboration.
- Comcast: Free Xfinity WiFi for everyone, with hotspots available to all, including non-Xfinity subscribers. To access the service, look for the “xfinitywifi” network name in a list of hotspots.
- LogMeIn: Free site-wide licensing for 3 months of its video conferencing solution, GoToMeeting, for eligible organizations (health care providers, educational institutions, municipalities and non-profits).
- Loom: Free video recording and sharing service for teachers and students at K-12 schools, universities and educational institutions. They have also removed the recording limit on free plans and have cut the price for Loom Pro in half.
- Intermedia: Free Video Conferencing for all of 2020, and Pro Video Conferencing until 2021.
- Vonage: Free 3 months of Vonage Business Communications services for educational, healthcare and non-profit organizations within the US, UK, and Australia.
- Vidyard: Free secure video messaging to enhance internal communications for all businesses.
- Discord: Free, enhanced Go Live streaming service to now support 50 simultaneous users rather than 10.
- Dialpad: Free two months of its cloud-based phone system, Dialpad Talk Pro. This also includes video conferences and UberConference Business.
- Panopto: Free three-month access to capture and distribute video content for businesses, universities, colleges and schools will enable employees and students to continue learning and working remotely.
- BlueJeans: Free access to video conference service to first responders and NGOs for 90-days.
- 8×8: Free video meetings to all users. Offers 80+ local dial-in numbers (11 toll-free) from 55+ countries and meetings of up to 50 participants without any time restrictions.
- Bloomz: Free premium version of its communication service to all schools through Jun. 30, 2020. The software allows users to communicate updates in real-time to parents and students; and share lessons, student work and feedback.
- EZTexting: Free emergency text alert services to schools. Receive 100,000 free outgoing text messages for six months, access to a set of coronavirus message templates, and one-on-one consulting.
- Lifesize: Free unlimited licenses for all organizations impacted by coronavirus worldwide are immediately eligible to use the company’s cloud-based video collaboration platform for six months.
- Ribbon Communications: Free Work@Home licenses are available until June 30, 2020. With Work@Home, enterprises that need to switch their operational model to an all-remote workforce have access to a complete Unified Communications and Collaboration solution.
- Yext: Free, new site search product, Yext Answers, for a 90-day period. Eligible businesses will transform their website into a search engine capable of answering consumers’ COVID-19 specific queries in real-time.
- Jamm: Free audio-visual communication tool used by remote and distributed teams. You can quickly record videos or do a live call with your team. Available for 3 months.
- ServiceNow: Free software to help organizations digitize workflows has rolled out several new applications. One developed in conjunction with the state of Washington State’s Department of Health manages incident-response workflows and is being made free to other agencies. The other applications, which are free for ServiceNow customers and can be accessed by non-customers too, including ones that help businesses deal with workflows associated with sharing COVID-19-related information and situations in which employees have to self-quarantine.
- Rev: Free, unlimited call recorder app on the iOS app store. Users can order a transcript of recordings directly through the app.
- Genesys: Free access to Genesys Cloud with deployment in just 48 hours, comprehensive training and support, and no premiums for volume spikes. Organizations must sign up by April 30, 2020.
Free Ways to Promote Your Small Business
Many small businesses are just trying to survive the lockdown, pivoting to sell to customers at home and re-allocating resources to support employees as much as possible. Luckily, advertising platforms and big companies are mobilizing in support of merchants across the country.
Here are some free resources available during COVID-19 if you’re looking for ways to expand your marketing and promote your business.
Operation Main Street and Support Local are two initiatives encouraging consumers to buy gift cards to support local businesses with an immediate cash flow injection. If you offer gift cards, list your small business in these directories to help customers find and support you. Customers can redeem gift cards once you re-open or at your online store if you’re still offering delivery or curbside pickup. There’s no cost to be listed on either Operation Main Street or Support Local.
Instagram is making it easier to promote your business with new stickers to add to your Stories and profile. Businesses can share gift cards, food orders and fundraiser stickers that users can tap to purchase. Fundraiser stickers will send a user to your Facebook page or a personal fundraising page set up for your company. Gift cards and food order stickers send users to complete their purchase through your company’s website.
Facebook offers $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to small businesses (between two and 50 employees). You can apply for a grant and also take advantage of the resources and free fundraising tools Facebook has recently announced. Business owners can create a personal fundraiser on Facebook and also take advantage of the platform’s business resources with guides for retailers, salons and spas, restaurants and more.
Yelp provides relief for bars and restaurants through waived fees for March advertising, free advertising in April, May, and June and service upgrades. Restaurants already advertising on Yelp will receive a $100 Yelp Ads campaign for May 1-25 running automatically, and restaurants not already advertising on Yelp can access Yelp Business Highlights, Call to Action or Yelp Connect free of charge through May 25, 2020. Read more about Yelp’s assistance for restaurant partners on their blog.
Do not give up. Keep trying. Keep looking for cheap or free alternatives for marketing your business. Whether it is a lockdown or not, we all need to keep focused on growing our businesses. Should you need help with marketing your business, do not hesitate to call hughesagency.ca today.
Article compilation by hughesagency.ca
Article Reference Links:
- https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2020/05/20/free-resources-to-grow-your-business-during-lockdown/ ↑
- https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/347840 ↑
- uschamber.com/co/grow/marketing/free-ways-to-promote-small-businesses ↑