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17 apps for marketing your business on a budget

App for marketing business: entrepreneur researching marketing apps on his phone

Key takeaways

  • Leverage marketing apps to develop highly engaging content and campaigns without the cost of a full-sized marketing team
  • Streamline your workflow with content creation and automation tools that simplify your most time-consuming marketing processes
  • Use advertising and marketing platforms like Yelp for Business, Hootsuite, and Mailchimp to launch campaigns and track real-time metrics

A great marketing strategy can propel your business into a new era of success. However, even bringing a single campaign to life can be taxing for a small business, startup, or solo entrepreneur. Balancing your promotional needs with your limited time and resources may feel like a difficult task—but you don’t need a corporate budget to lead your local market.

Marketing apps can help your brand stay competitive, even if you’re a team of one, and many can be accessed for free. Learn how to leverage the right app for marketing your business.

What are marketing apps?

Marketing apps are digital tools that help businesses promote their brand, products, or services. They can include platforms that help companies engage with their audiences— like social media and texting apps—and tools that assist or facilitate marketing-related activities, like photo editing and project management tools.

When you use apps for marketing your business, you can plan, execute, and optimize campaigns with greater ease—often, straight from your mobile device.

Why should you use an app for marketing your business?

Many apps for marketing businesses are designed to reduce the amount of time, resources, and expertise needed to promote your brand. Some of these tools can take entire processes off your shoulders so you can successfully market your company while focusing your energy on other business needs. As a result, your company can increase its visibility across marketing channels and stay highly competitive—all without investing in a full-sized marketing team.

The best apps to help promote your business also allow you to work on the go. No matter where you are, marketing apps enable you to stay connected with current and potential customers, manage your brand reputation, and achieve your sales and marketing goals.

17 best apps to promote your business

Marketing apps: entrepreneur researching marketing apps on phone

You can use a variety of apps to promote a business, but strategically choosing your marketing tools is the key to staying efficient (and saving storage space on your devices). Here are 17 of the best apps to market your business—all of which are conveniently available as mobile apps on Android and iOS.

1. Canva

Canva is one of the best free marketing apps for business owners who want to streamline their content creation. This user-friendly design tool offers drag-and-drop templates that empower you to create professional marketing content within minutes. Whether you want to make eye-catching social media posts, flyers, business cards, or other collateral, you can quickly customize your design on Canva—no Photoshop experience required.

When you use this app to promote your business, you can access a large library of photos, icons, fonts, and other design elements to enhance your content’s visual appeal. Don’t see the assets you need? Canva uses generative AI to offer a free text-to-image tool. Simply plug in a prompt—like “florist handing rose bouquet to customer”–and the app will generate the photo or graphic you need. Canva is also experimenting with text-to-video capabilities, making it one of the best apps for small business marketing.

A paid account can unlock more features that simplify high-quality design. For example, you can instantly erase photo backdrops with Canva’s AI-powered Magic Eraser. Or you can access brand kits that let you customize designs with pre-saved colors and fonts in a tap.

2. Photoshop Express

Sharing original photos can be an effective way to captivate your target audience and differentiate your brand. However, raw images might need a little touchup, whether it’s to brighten up the image, improve the framing, or otherwise remove imperfections. Photoshop Express lets you enhance photos on the go—even if you need more advanced fixes like dehazing or removing objects from your image backgrounds.

Don’t let the name fool you. Like Canva, Photoshop Express doesn’t require any Photoshop experience. You can complete many great photo edits within a few taps or use filters for instant image makeovers. Plus, Photoshop Express is getting new AI capabilities that were initially rolled out on Photoshop alone. This includes generative fill, which helps you add or change content in your images with a prompt–for example, if you want to make your outfit more professional by adding a collared neckline.

Premium versions of this marketing app allow for more advanced one-click edits and are even compatible with actual Photoshop files if you need to make quick adjustments to professional designs.

3. InShot

Entrepreneur making a business video

InShot is an excellent small business marketing app that can help you leverage online video—which makes up 71% of mobile web traffic—in your content marketing strategy. This digital marketing tool simplifies the process of editing videos from your Apple, Android, or even Huawei phone by providing user-friendly tools.

You can use InShot to trim, split, merge, and adjust the speed of clips or add audio like music, voice-overs, and sound effects. This editing tool can also help you make your video more eye-catching with filters, stickers, and text.

As video apps like YouTube and TikTok continue to grow—and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram make video a priority—adding editing software like InShot to your toolbox will be critical to modernizing your marketing efforts.

4. Hootsuite

Managing multiple social media profiles—from your LinkedIn and YouTube to your TikTok and Facebook Page—can feel like a full-time job in itself. Hootsuite simplifies the process by letting you schedule posts and analyze robust, real-time metrics for various social networks, all from one platform. It also lets you get message notifications all in one inbox so you never miss an opportunity to interact with customers.

Hootsuite essentially allows you to access all the major social media platforms without downloading and hopping between multiple apps. With advanced subscriptions, Hootsuite can also function as a great business advertising app. You can leverage this social media management tool to manage LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook ads.

Plans start at $99 per month and are most valuable for brands that regularly use social channels to drive traffic or sales. If you’re fairly new to social media marketing or just want to save, Buffer is a great alternative that offers a free version for up to three social media accounts.

5. Yelp for Business

If you want to reach local customers, Yelp for Business is a must-have app for marketing your business. Once you add or claim your Yelp Business Page, this app enables you to manage your online presence on the go. 

You can quickly add photos, respond to reviews, make updates to your page, see analytics in real time, and more—helping you engage with people searching for nearby businesses like yours. You can also get push notifications when someone writes a review or asks a question. Responding to reviews and messages showcases your level of customer service and can help boost your brand reputation. Plus when you respond quickly, you’ll get more inbound action: Businesses that respond to messages and requests within 24 hours get 3x more messages and requests.

The Yelp for Business app is also great for creating, managing, and monitoring your advertising efforts on Yelp, helping you effectively advertise your business to local target audiences. When you run Yelp Ads—which places your business page in key places on and the Yelp mobile app, such as above or below relevant search results in the “Sponsored Results” sections and on your competitors’ pages—the Yelp for Business app lets you track real-time performance. You’ll see how many clicks, page views, and leads you’re getting so you can optimize your campaign and ad budget while you’re on the go or away from your computer.

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6. Mailchimp

Capturing leads and engaging existing email lists is easier with a tool that automates much of the process. Many small business owners consider Mailchimp to be the best app for marketing a business over email because it offers plenty of user-friendly tools for free. It also has advanced scheduling and automation features for a relatively low monthly price.

Mailchimp provides all users with pre-built templates to help you quickly create stunning newsletters, campaigns, landing pages, and email opt-in forms. Plus, it automatically tracks the performance of your campaigns to continuously improve their performance.

With paid plans, businesses can conduct A/B testing on different subject lines, designs, and send times to determine the biggest factors in their email marketing success. You can also schedule emails and develop automated customer journeys that instantly customize messages based on how users interact with your brand. Mailchimp also supports market segmentation—which can divide your email list based on shared traits or interests, like “new customers” or “dog owners”—so you can personalize your email campaigns.

7. SimpleTexting

Entrepreneur using phone to create a text message marketing campaign

SimpleTexting is one of the best advertising apps for small businesses that want to use text message marketing campaigns. This platform allows you to have two-way customer support conversations, set up scheduled or automated texts—which can come in handy for appointment and invoice reminders—and send bulk SMS campaigns, which can help you promote a sale.

With SimpleTexting, you’ll get a free phone number that your business can use for all your texting needs. Or you can request a short code, which is a memorable 5- or 6-digit number that your clients can easily remember.

Pricing for this texting app starts at $29 per month for 500 credits, which is enough for 500 outgoing SMS messages (plain text). Incoming SMS texts are always free. You can also choose to send MMS texts with photos, videos, and GIFs for three credits each.

8. Grammarly

Whether you’re writing a brief social media caption or crafting an entire blog post, precise content is essential in all marketing communications. Grammarly goes beyond checking your spelling and punctuation, offering free generative AI tools that compose clean copy that aligns with your writing style on your behalf. It also offers suggestions to make your content more engaging and inclusive with paid plans.

If you access more small business branding tools, you can upgrade to a Business plan, which offers advanced tone detection and style guide support. You’ll get suggestions to directly align your content with your distinct brand personality—including characteristics you want to emulate like “sincere” or “direct.”

Business users can also leverage Grammarly to streamline their workflow by saving snippets of text, which you can add to any draft in a few taps.

9. WordPress

Need a website? Most companies do. Nearly 70% of shoppers expect businesses to have their own websites–and 23% of consumers who do online research are unlikely to buy from a brick-and-mortar brand without a digital presence. 

With the WordPress app, you’ll gain a website builder that helps you create your site from anywhere using pre-built templates—or update your existing web pages with photos, brand colors, announcements, and beyond. This platform can help you make your online presence look more professional than ever.

WordPress is also one of the best marketing apps for small businesses that want to include blogging in their search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. This platform allows you to set up a blog and publish drafts whenever inspiration strikes—and you’ll be able to add keywords to titles, headers, and body content. Pair your blogging and copywriting efforts with a keyword research tool to make the most of WordPress.

10. Shopify

If you want a website that can support an online store—with no design or coding experience needed—Shopify is a popular alternative to WordPress. It’s among the best apps for promoting businesses in the ecommerce space because it offers website themes that center on your shop. Plus, you can track your website metrics and use the mobile app to manage orders, shipping, payments, and other elements of your business.

Shopify also offers plenty of marketing functions. Built-in SEO tools can help your website and specific product pages rank higher on the right search engine results pages (SERPs). Moreover, you can develop email marketing campaigns without logging into a separate app and quickly share products with in-app social media tools.

11. ChatGPT

Woman using her phone while holding a cup of coffee

ChatGPT is perhaps the most widely talked-about software in recent times. This free generative AI tool—which can create content and ideas for you—has become a critical app for marketing a business while saving time. The applications of ChatGPT are endless, but many marketers are already using it to:

  • Generate engaging blog headlines and social media captions
  • Optimize captions between social media platforms
  • Adjust the tone of voice in drafted ad copy
  • Write email templates to address common customer needs
  • Brainstorm new ideas for downloadable content

Before using ChatGPT, keep in mind that this is a public AI tool, which means any information you enter into the tool will be used to help it “learn” for future interactions. This means trade secrets and customer information should never be entered into the tool. Additionally, be sure to edit ChatGPT generations for accuracy, grammar, originality, and alignment with your brand—the tool is still far from perfect, and human creativity is essential.

13. Zoho CRM

Customer relationship management tools (CRMs) can help your business track leads throughout their relationship with your brand. CRMs can record data—like past purchases, interests, and birthdays—that help marketing teams personalize every interaction and develop strong client connections.

Zoho CRM offers a free tool with fairly robust capabilities. You can separate leads and contacts, track activities (like follow-up tasks, meetings, and calls), and even send emails through the platform. If you want more capabilities, you can upgrade to plans, which start at $14 per user per month. Paid plans enable you to enhance collaboration between marketing and sales teams, manage social media interactions from Zoho, access essential analytics, and customize your CRM dashboard.

14. Zoom

Business owner hosting a Zoom webinar

Most people know Zoom as a video conferencing tool that helps you organize meetings with clients and remote team members. However, it’s also one of the best apps for business promotion thanks to its robust webinar capabilities.

Zoom Webinars allows you to invite over 100 panelists and thousands of audience members to your live events. It also offers tools like session chats, live polling, Q&As, and surveys to help you deeply engage every attendee. Your lobby page, where attendees wait for the webinar to begin, can even be branded.

When you’re promoting your upcoming webinars, you can leverage Zoom’s built-in event registration tools to capture leads through ticketing—and Zoom will support email reminders to help you maximize attendance. If you record your webinar, you’ll receive a raw video file after the event, which you can break down into clips for future marketing content (like on social media posts).

Zoom Webinars starts at $79 per month for one license. This is a separate subscription from the one you may use for Zoom video calls.

15. Asana

Keeping your marketing campaigns organized can be difficult when you’re promoting your business across many platforms, from Facebook and LinkedIn to email and Yelp. However, a marketing project management tool like Asana can help you stay on top of all the moving pieces so you don’t get overwhelmed.

With Asana, you can create tasks and subtasks within different projects—which you can dedicate to specific campaigns, teams, or marketing goals—to organize your to-dos with ease. If you’re collaborating with employees or contractors, your team members can give each other assignments, collaborate in the comments of each task, and get notifications when new activity occurs.

Asana can also integrate with time-tracking apps like HourStack and Tick. This can be helpful if you want to budget your time for marketing activities or if you’re billing clients for your efforts (whether they’re marketing-related or not).

16. Spendesk

Small business owner creating a marketing budget in her office

Once you’ve found great apps to advertise your services or products, you need an app to help you control your costs. Spendesk can help you build and manage a marketing budget to maintain healthy profit margins for your business.

While Spendesk can be used by solopreneurs, it’s particularly valuable for growing teams. It allows you to load funds into virtual cards, set spending limits for different teams, and streamline purchase approvals right on the platform. Marketing teams get the autonomy to quickly launch advertising campaigns with a set budget in mind, and business owners can get real-time, categorized data about what’s being purchased through spend reports.

You can also use Spendesk to upload, validate, and pay invoices from third parties—for instance, if you need to pay a freelance designer or printing company—or reimburse your employees. While this budgeting app isn’t free, its features and custom pricing can certainly help you save time and prevent overspending.

17. Slack

Marketing campaigns often require a lot of collaboration. Slack is a free communication platform that allows you to have audio calls, video calls, and collaborative conversations with specific team members or your entire organization.

On Slack, you can create dedicated channels for different topics. For example, you can set up a general marketing channel or establish:

  • An analytics channel where team members can discuss metrics from current campaigns
  • An influencer channel that allows you to connect with the content creators who are currently promoting your products or services
  • A photos channel where social media-worthy images can be shared

Slack also supports polls, emoji reactions, and more features that can help you get speedy responses from your team members when timely collaboration is needed.

Leverage the best apps that promote your business growth

Marketing is critical to your business success. However, running campaigns on your own or as a small team can take a lot of time and effort. To turn your business into a leader in its market, it’s essential to ramp up your marketing efforts while reducing the amount of time and money you’re putting into your campaigns. The first step is identifying the right apps for marketing your business.

From social media apps like Facebook and business platforms like Yelp to budgeting and project management tools, there are countless tools—both mobile and online—that can enhance your marketing efficiency. Some can even reduce the need to invest in third-party expertise (like Canva for design) so you can spend your time and budget where it’s really needed.

Ready to elevate your business even further? Once you start implementing efficiency-boosting marketing apps, get more practical strategies for growing your business, including a handful of in-depth marketing tips.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.