Wednesday, July 2, 2014

No money? No problem! 20 Free Tools for the Creative Conference Centre Marketer

By IACC's Marketing Team

As a conference centre or events marketer sometimes you get handed a project that demands everything while the budget is next to nothing, right? What are your options when you are required to be financially savvy and a creative genius at the same time? Fortunately, the wonderful world of the wide web offers some amazing online marketing tools that don’t cost a dime and are just as practical and professional as the real thing. We start with Google, because let’s face it, everything always starts with Google.

You’re probably already rolling your eyes to the back of your head, but don’t worry, we’re not here to talk about this wonderful search engine. You already know Google, but have you checked out Google Alerts yet? This notification service browses the web for you to figure out how popular your brand name is and who actually sets the standard in your industry. Google also helps you keep track through Google Analytics which generates detailed statistics about your website and email communications. Last but not least, Google Trends will help you play Big Brother on your own. You can see what the world is searching for by typing in key words.

Before using these Google tools, some email communications to attract the attention of your target audience could be very useful. The light-hearted and humorous company MailChimp will accompany you through this usually complicated process. The what-you-see-is-what-you-get style of this email marketing service helps you craft creative messages in no time at all. Afterwards you can send them to a database up to 2000 people. Another amusing primate is found in SurveyMonkey. Marketers adore this tool, because of the easy method to draft a survey, after which it can easily be send to a targeted audience.
In the decade of data it’s also important to showcase your information in an easy going way. PowerPoint is a little out of date, but you can be a great presenter with Prezi now. These zooming presentations make your demonstration look trendy, memorable and fun. If you prefer getting in touch with your customers through a website or a blog, you should definitely check out Weebly. You can even start an online store, if necessary.

Some of these are remarkable tools, which could make your life easier. But don’t forget; content is king. You can reach out big audiences, but if your grammar is rubbish, your message is rubbish. Who other than Hemingway could help in your goal for clear, simple writing? No, not the renowned author, but the useful app that will mark unnecessary adverbs and complicated phrases.

The content of your client’s blog can also not be forgotten. In case you suffer from writer’s block, you can always go to Blog Topic Generator.  Fill in some keywords and they will come up with a week's worth of relevant blog post. Last but not least, the visual aspects of your emails or other campaigns cannot be underestimated. Graphics are bliss in the marketing world and you don’t always need to pay an expensive graphic designer every time you want to publish a campaign. Piktochart is an amazing little programme which helps you craft designs and infographics in a very easy and fast way.

Let's not forget social media!  You know Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many more, making it sometimes a little bit too much to handle. An overview comes in handy, Followerwonk and Tweriod assist you in getting a grasp on timing and show you when the ideal moment is to tweet. Conversation Score and Wolfram Alpha Facebook report will recap all your Facebook activities and pours them in a pleasant summary.  LikeAlyzer will review your company’s presence based on dialogue, action and information. Finally, find out how your company is doing on your LinkedIn Company page through SimplyMeasured LinkedIn Analysis tool. In case you still find it too hard to control everything, you can always rely on websites such as Quicksprout and Marketing Grader. These tools report a whole media summary on all your social media accounts. Another amazing programme is ScharedCount which tracks how your content spreads across the web. This way you can track your marketing efforts all through the internet.

It’s possible that you are overwhelmed by all of this information, so it’s better to organise everything in Trello. You create a board for your marketing campaign and pin your progress and to-do lists. This way you have an eye on the bigger picture and you remember all your ideas. Another way of being prepared is Dropbox. Here you can collect all your files in a cloud so you and other people involved in a project can reach it whenever you or they want.

There are no longer reasons to hold your head down, as we gave you several ideas not to give up. The internet offers so many solutions to build a solid marketing campaign without costing money. So, start browsing the World Wide Web, try out all these free tools and impress your clients and colleagues with creative and innovative ideas!