“Why do you have 25 tabs open?” my husband said, looking at me quizzically. “No wonder your computer is slow. You’re going to run through all your memory on your new laptop.”
I knew he was right. But I worried that if I didn’t keep those tabs open, I’d forget the important marketing and sales articles, work spreadsheets, and data-heavy PDFs I’d need later on — when I was actually working on a project for my business that required all of these seemingly imperative resources.
Have you been there? Or maybe you’re looking at your laptop exclaiming, that’s me right now!
Launching and growing your product or service brand from the ground up is challenging, time-consuming, and often exhausting. While I’m no tech whiz by any stretch of the imagination, I’ve tried out a few online tools and marketing apps over the years that have helped me immensely in streamlining my business … and getting rid of all those tabs (thank you, Evernote!).
The goal here is doing more with less, saving you time, money, and general stress — in other words, allowing you to focus on the profit-generating activities that will be pivotal in growing your business.
To help you get here, I share my five favorite marketing apps below, all of which are free. I use these regularly for my business, and also recommend them to my clients looking to streamline their own marketing initiatives.
Plann helps make Instagram posting easier. This app lets you batch your Instagram content in advance so you’re not ever left scrambling to post same-day. Then, you can track performance on each post, assess which types of posts are getting the most engagement, and shape your strategy based on this data.
This user-friendly app also offers a drag-and-drop feature for adding and rearranging your images. Whether your niche is body care, skin care, fragrance, or candles, Plann is ideal for keeping your grid looking flawless.
Other great features include:
- Typography options
- Free photo editor
- Hashtag analytics
- Hashtag finder
- Reposting tools
- Data on best times to post
I especially love how Plann allows me to save different groups of hashtags, and, if you upgrade to the paid version, will tell you which groups of hashtags perform best. Plus, you can upload photos from Repost, Dropbox, Google Drive, or your camera, streamlining the entire process for quick, easy posting.
Designed by an advertising executive, Plann was created specifically to meet the needs of creatives, bloggers, business owners, and influencers. It’s a must-have for any busy company owner looking for an effective, no-fuss marketing app.
Your customers crave high-quality content. They’re seeking relevant information that is both educational and inspirational.
Brands with a loyal customer base share tutorials, delve into personal stories, explore the newest trends, and layout useful how-tos. These companies know what their customers want, and give it to them. But you only have about 10 seconds to wow them with your headline and intro.
It all boils down to having a content strategy based on data.
Data may not be sexy, but it’s the fuel that skyrockets beauty brands to the next level. Enter BuzzSumo. If you have a company blog, this platform should be your go-to. This powerhouse marketing tool rounds up the most-shared content across any topic or domain. With valuable, easy-to-read audience data in one place, you won’t waste time generating content that doesn’t appeal to your followers.
Here’s how I recommend using BuzzSumo:
- Check out trending topics related to your brand, then find your existing articles on those topics and improve upon them.
- Find new ideas for SEO keywords (preferably long-tail phrases).
- Review trending titles and improve your own headlines by making them more attention-grabbing.
Don’t know how to use Photoshop or Illustrator? No problem! Canva is an absolute lifesaver if you’re not a pro at the professional photo-editing programs and don’t have your graphic designer on call 24/7.
A few years ago, I told an entrepreneur friend of mine about how much time I was spending creating presentations, social media graphics, website updates — basically anything relating to visual marketing. She told me about Canva and my mind was blown.
You won’t believe how much you can do for free on this cloud-based design tool. Plus, it has tons of customizable templates! The simple interface is perfect for DIYers. With a few tweaks here and there, you can create a stunning design in less than five minutes.
Canva has templates for the following items and platforms, among many others:
- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
- Birthday cards
- Investor decks
Got a trade show or pop-up you need to market? Grab a minimalist template to display your products. Upload an image of your product or event location (or just make a solid background using your brand’s primary color). Type in the event info and share the graphic with your email list, on your social media platforms, and anywhere else you want to publicize it. It’s that easy.
If you’re using a hi-res image, the graphic can even be professionally printed at your closest print shop. I’ve created logo signs for shows this way too.
As an entrepreneur, you always feel like there’s more to learn, or that a certain tip or trick will be helpful in the future. … and this is what leads to those 25 tabs you have open. Evernote is the tool that will declutter your browsing experience once and for all.
This cloud-based app is awesome for storing all those web pages, PDFs, and blog posts in an organized, accessible way. Think of Evernote as your extremely efficient personal assistant.
Although the app is described as a note-taking tool, it’s so much more than that. You can perform tasks (say, collaborating with your marketing team), set meeting reminders, collect research material, and jot down blog post ideas all in one place.
This versatile app allows you to store:
Here’s how I use it for my tabs. If I’m able to read an article in the moment, I use Evernote to highlight some key points, and then I save it to one of my labeled folders — like Branding or Marketing — with a few keyword tags. Then, when I’m working on a project, I’m able to easily search for any keyword within a certain topic, and find all my saved articles in order of relevance.
The app caps the number of articles and notes you can save, but you can always upgrade to the premium version from there.
Pinterest and beauty companies are a match made in heaven. Did you know that Pinterest traffic converts at rates 50% higher than any other social media platform? I was amazed when I learned this, but when I actually started becoming active on Pinterest, I saw my email list grow and, in turn, my revenue increase.
It seems Pinners can’t get enough of hair, makeup, and wellness ideas, trends, and tips. As your fan base grows, you can convert them into customers using the Tailwind app.
One of Tailwind’s main features is its scheduling function, which schedules and posts images for you. Whether you post five or 500 times a day, the app automates the process. Think of Tailwind as your personal social media manager. While you’re working, product developing, or sleeping, it’s keeping your followers engaged.
All you have to do is link Tailwind to your Pinterest account and the app will analyze it, review your niche, and create a Pin posting schedule to optimize audience engagement.
The app also:
- Amplifies your reach
- Connects you with other Pinners so you can share content together in what’s referred to as “Tailwind Tribes,” allowing you to reach larger audiences
- Monitors conversations on your Pins
- Discovers related content you can share
- Repeats your content at chosen intervals
- Measures your results
I’m also a huge fan of the summary updates I get every week in a very concise email.
Helping to grow your following, drive traffic, and generate more revenue, Tailwind is invaluable for getting the most out of Pinterest.
Putting Together Your Marketing Toolkit
Effective marketing is essential to your company’s success, but you don’t have to exhaust yourself trying to stay on top of all your social media activity. These five marketing apps are must-haves for any startup beauty or wellness brand. They’re helping me grow my own business, and I’m certain they will help you too.
For more tips on how you can dominate your niche and better reach the customers you’re after, get in touch with AB Creative today.
Aggie Burnett is a PR and brand strategist dedicated to helping the underdog get noticed in a sea of lookalike brands. She’s on a mission to help brand founders get clarity their ideal customer and brand personality in order to connect with the right customers.
She is also the co-founder of Nomaterra Fragrances. She has been featured in publications such as Entrepreneur, Glamour, and BossBabe amongst others, and has spoken at conferences including Six Degrees Society and Flourish and Thrive.