If you’re looking for marketing data, advice or even a free professional development course, you have a world of choice. Your hardest decision will be to choose your preferred platform, because you can get free marketing tools and tips in print, online, on your mobile, as an RSS feed, e-newsletter, as a podcast and on video.
Marketing News Alerts
The simplest way to get a continuous stream of marketing news is to sign up for a news alert with Google or an alternate service using whatever term is most relevant for your needs: “B2B marketing,” or “social media marketing,” for example. There are many blogs and sites that offer RSS feeds on everything from general marketing topics to specific topics such as tech, social media, email marketing or brand management. Sites like TechCrunch, Mashable, and Marketing Profs, to name a few, allow users to customize the topics they want to receive.
If you like to browse websites, you can get insights from general interest business mags like Inc. and Entrepreneur, that feature marketing sections; to marketing publications like Adweek; to mags like B2B Magazine, that focus on a certain kind of marketing.
There’s a whole universe of marketing blogs out there; some of the more popular include HubSpot, a blog that focuses on inbound marketing; Marketing Sherpa’s blog; SEOmoz, which dispenses SEO advice; Copyblogger for copywriting; and unbounce, an online marketing blog; to name a few. If you want to drill down on a specific aspect of marketing, there’s a blog out there for you.
Online Marketing Tools
Google offers many free and surprisingly useful online marketing tools, from its ubiquitous Adwords tool, to Google+ Ripples (a graph that shows you who’s publicly resharing your Google+ posts) to Google Insights for search (a tool that allows you to see how a keyword is trending). Other helpful marketing resources include Sprout Social, a consolidated platform that allows businesses to see, analyze and manage their social media accounts; Crazyegg, a service that allows online marketers to see things like where visitors clicked on their site and how far down they scrolled; and Copyscape, a site that allows you to check for duplication of your site’s original copy online.
If you’re looking for a few professional development courses in marketing, there are plenty of consultants online who will teach you their secrets for a fee. But why do that, when you can take free college-level marketing courses from some of the most prestigious universities in the country? Schools like MIT and Kutztown University of Pennsylvania offer free marketing courses. Other entities, like the U.S. Small Business Administration and the American Marketing Association, link site visitors to free marketing training and materials. Forums and conferences like TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) and BigThink also make business videos and talks available to the public for free.
In short, you can learn almost anything you need or want to know about marketing online, and you can often get the information for free. The real challenge will be to find the time to absorb it all!