Sewickley Academy is a Hubspot school.
We’ve had success using their software and continue to use it today. Their tools help us manage our inbound marketing strategy and I’m so thankful they exist.
While I highly recommend Hubspot for schools I also realize that their software isn’t inexpensive. I understand and recognize the value of their software but also acknowledge that their price point might be too high for some schools.
As a result, I’m sharing with you my recommendations for free inbound marketing software for schools that will allow you to mimic the features of Hubspot. The only drawback with these tools is their lack of integration with each other which is a strength of Hubspot. With all that said, if you are looking for tools to help you with inbound marketing for your school I encourage you to check out my suggestions below.
1. Google Suggestions – Keyword research is an important activity for any inbound marketing strategy at your school. While there are numerous tools available I’ve found that they are either expensive and/or complex.
If you are looking for a free, quick, and effective way to conduct simple keyword research I like to use Google Suggestions. To use this tool:
- Navigate to Google.com
- Begin typing in a word or phrase that you are interested in ranking for in Google.
- As you are typing take your time and Google will “suggest” possible long tail suggestions of the keyword you are interested in.
2. mention – is my tool of choice for social media monitoring. I’ve used this tool to monitor mentions of my school’s name, important administrators at school, our team mascot, and competitor schools. While mention does offer paid versions of the tool they will allow you to use the tool for free with limitations.
3. Talkwalker Alerts – is a free and easy alternative to Google Alerts. This is another great way to keep track of your school’s name on the web.
4. WordPress.org – Launching a blog for your school will be an eventual step in creating an inbound marketing strategy for your school. When the time comes to launch your blog I would highly recommend using WordPress.org – it’s free, there is great community support, and there are hundreds of themes and plugins which will allow you to easily customize your school’s blog.
5. Inmotion Hosting – This is my only recommendation that will cost you money and quite simply, when it comes to web hosting you get what you paid for! Unlike my experiences with other low cost web hosting, Inmotion Hosting is fast and reliable. I trust them and currently host a few websites with them.
6. Clicky – My web analytics tool of choice. While I use Google Analytics on a regular basis I sometimes find it TOO powerful and confusing. I prefer Clicky because it’s much more straight-forward and allows me to get the information I need quickly and easily without have a Ph.D in Analytics.
7. Hootsuite – is a wonderful, free social media dashboard which will allow you to manage your school’s social media channels including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.
8. Leadpages – A very important part of our inbound marketing strategy at Sewickley Academy is utilizing landing pages. I highly recommend this tool to help you quickly and easily create landing pages for your school. I also like the fact that you can quickly and easily host these landing pages on your website, wordpress blog, as a stand-alone link, or on Facebook.
9. Mailchimp – An often under-estimated tool in marketing your school is email marketing. While there are a number of great email marketing tools I recommend Mailchimp. One of the reasons I recommend Mailchimp is that they offer a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers with a few limitations.
While I highly recommend these tools they won’t replace hard work, research, and time spent creating content.