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One thing I get asked constantly by small brands out there that are trying to build their digital footprint is what free(ish), easy, professional tools they can use to help build their content. I get it. The Adobe CS suite, CRM’s like Salesforce.com, Hubspot or marketing automation tools like Marketo are expensive. The good news though is that there are tons of cloud based platforms that small brands, or people that are just getting started can use to build their content and deck out their distribution strategy, without breaking the bank.
Today I want to share with you my three favorite.
For anybody that is not a graphic designer, Canva has some really great tools you can use to help build your brand, in a professional way that will make your brand look established and professional. Their entire model is just that. Canva is the ultimate graphic design DIY tool. Their tool is a very simple design platform that enables them to create amazing and professional quality graphic designs. This online design solution offers a throng of powerful features, including a simple drag-and-drop design tool. Need images and fonts? No problem. Canva actually features a collection of over 1 million photographs, graphics, and fonts.
In my opinion, this is not an apples to apples substitute for Photoshop or the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite, but for those that want to get something professional looking designed, on a budget, this is a great platform to do so.
Now that you have your content, you have to figure out a way to set up your lead magnets to collect your leads, and a collection bin to put those leads in. There are tons of landing pages software systems out there, such as Leadpages, unbounce, etc. There are also tons of CRM systems out there, such as Salesforce.com, Zoho, Service Now, Infusionsoft, etc. All these options though have fairly hefty price tags. Not just that, you’ll actually need two services to accomplish what you need.
The guys at PipeDrive set out to fix this problem and the product they have developed is not only super affordable, but blessedly simple. Using PipeDrive, you can create all your contact forms for your lead magnets, easily have the leads sync right into their CRM, and have an easy to use interface you can use to keep track of your conversations, pending deals and upcoming tasks and meetings.
PipeDrive takes all the difficulty out of CRMs. Their platform is so simple to configure and use, even the most novice tech enthusiasts can configure the system and have it up and running with only a little effort.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, once you’ve developed this great content, captured leads and pulled them into a CRM system, how do you follow up with them? If you are a small brand, you undoubtedly wear all the hats. This can make time a luxury that you quite often don’t have enough of. You can’t afford to let these leads slip through the cracks. You also most likely can’t afford many of the marketing automation platforms that are out there, as their fees are pretty steep for a small company. So what do you do?
For those of you that are in this boat, AutopilotHQ has you covered. AutopilotHQ is a marketing automation platform that will tie into your CRM System (Including Pipedrive), and help you by carrying out a series of follow up events automatically (Journeys), to nurture your leads and give you the greatest chance of turning them into customers.
Using autopilot, you can do things like send emails, send follow up text messages, and even switch gears and follow up on different campaigns or channels, depending on the responses you get from the people you are touching. It’s true that these things do require you to set them up, and most likely you’ll want to hire a digital marketing agency to help you set it up, but the good news is once you have it set up, it just runs, so it will just be a one time project that you have to hire out.
Planning a successful content marketing campaign can sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of companies out there (including ours) that would love to help you get started and rock your campaigns to 11. If you’d like to discuss having our firm help you with an upcoming campaign, have questions about how to pull off a D.I.Y. campaign, or just have an idea you want to bounce off of somebody, click the button below and we are happy to help 🙂[hs_action]
Chris Leo is a Silicon Valley, CA entrepreneur, complete workaholic, top notch inbound marketer, dad to the coolest kid on the planet, type “A” personality, shameless self-promoter and never ending “connector”.
Even though he is seemingly always working, when he does take breaks, the “work hard, play hard” motto takes on a whole new meaning. Most people talk about “wanting to do things”, Chris goes out and actually does them.