RCLS Home page | Library Catalog
Skip to Main Content

Marketing Services: MARKETING TOOLS


Graphic Design: These tools are for selecting colors, typefaces, and designing quality graphics without hiring a graphic designer. They help create flyers, presentations, charts, posters, and social media posts.

Social Media: The software platforms provide access to helpful engagement tools like planning, analytics, scheduling, monitoring, and research.  They can help manage and reply to user comments and gather data on specific audiences. Typically, you will need one social media management platform and another platform to help generate content along with providing monitoring/metrics to adequately manage your social media presence effectively. Investing in social media is extremely important to growing your digital audience. 

Photos: Most of us are not professional photographers and have limited time to edit, find, and enhance photos. A simple photo editor along a place to locate quality photos is necessary.

Video: Over half of users think viewing videos makes them more confident when making choices and prefer video over text. Videos help increase engagement and educate your audience.

Communication & Planning: Writing, planning, managing projects, and communicating are essential to productivity. Communication often serves as the foundation for outstanding planning.

Content Generation: One of the most difficult parts of content marketing is dedicating the time and energy to create the content. Creating content to keep people engaged on social media and other platforms is key to successful marketing.


Canva is fantastic for creating flyers, posters, invitations, business cards, social media posts, newsletters, and more. A very easy-to-use interface makes modifying thousands of templates extremely straightforward and effortless. Canva's wide array of features allows you to edit photos without a lot of editing experience. The basic version is free for everyone; the pro version is much more robust and free for qualified nonprofits.

Snappa is an online graphics editor very similar to Canva. Snappa is a cloud-based graphic designing tool, which helps produce visuals for social media, blogs, emails, and infographics. Users have access to predefined templates or access the built-in stock libraries to make graphics. Snappa does offer a free stater version but similar to Canva, the pro version offers much more. Its best to try both websites before making a decision.

Coolors is simple to use to produce color palettes, or find corresponding colors to current brand colors. It lets you create picture-perfect corresponding colors with just one click. The website offers a free and pro version ($3 to $5 per month). 

Piktochart is a great substitute for Canva when you are looking to generate infographics, presentations, or reports with a large assortment of data visualization templates. I recommend using Canva because Piktochart is usually designed for producing infographics, presentations, and reports. In contrast, Canva is made for creating everything from social media posts, infographics, presentations, logos to other content categories. Also, Piktocharts does not offer a free pro version to qualified nonprofits like Canva.


Pixlr offers photo editing abilities equivalent to photoshop and is extremely straightforward. The website offers appealing templates for rudimentary graphic design along with simple to generate shareable social graphics. The bottom line, it is easy to use, and a free version is available.

Unsplash is a great place to search for millions of high-quality photos that can be used without permission for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. The website offers over 1 million free images as well as images for purchase a la carte or via a monthly subscription.

TinyWow is a free web-based all-in-one swiss army knife that can carry out a whole spectrum of processes that range from editing images to converting files to working with video.

Communication and Planning

Trello is a visual project management system that lets teams envisage, plan, and manage work together. It allows for a collaborative, constructive, and coordinated way to progress through the project management work cycle. The software helps you organize your project into boards, which you then turn into various columns and specific "cards". The drag and drop feature, move cards from one list to a different list very easily. The free version is very robust and should be enough.

Microsoft Teams is very good for internal communication among coworkers compared to Zoom which many prefer to use when managing video meetings with individuals or groups outside an organization.  A side by side comparison for both systems can be viewed here.


Social Media

Sprout Social is the best overall social media management software due to its easy-to-use interface, publishing characteristics, and ability to provide analytics for all the main social media platforms. The dashboard is outstanding, easy to use, and helps to oversee all your social media accounts in one easy location. While most social media platforms provide a planning tool to schedule posts; its nice to have one location to schedule all posts across every platform.  Sprout also provides social media optimization tools and analytics along with reports for user engagement. Sprout offers a 30-day free trial with no credit required. Sprout does offer nonprofit pricing but you must contact the company directly.

Buffer is very easy to use and especially good for publishing and scheduling posts. The Buffer posting calendar is well constructed, dependable, and extremely effective. This social media management platform is best for individuals or small teams. The monthly pricing is extremely competitive; it does offer a 50% discount to qualified nonprofit organizations. This is platform is the best value among social media management systems.

Hootsuite is very similar to Sprout Social, with regard to the publishing functionality. They both allow you to create a message, select which social media account it originates from, add photos, links, and pick a target audience from the dashboard. Both platforms offer a content calendar for scheduling posts in advance. Hootsuite does  offer a 50% discount to qualified nonprofit organizations.

*Look under the "RESOURCES" tab for a list of websites to help guide you when determining which social media marketing software to purchase.


Clipchamp Create is one of the most plentiful free online video editing tools available. The free plan lets you create unlimited video projects, access all basic editing tools, and export your videos in 480p output resolution.

Headliner allows you to turn audio - podcast or music - into short video clips you can share on social media platforms or anywhere online.


Content Generation

Content Creation for Beginners: A How To Guide

Google Trends is an online search tool that lets you see how frequently certain keywords, subjects, and phrases have been searched for over a specific period of time. The website uses graphs to compare the search volume of different searches over time. The service is completely free and helps users generate relative or viral topics to attract your target audience or simply create traffic to social media platforms, websites, etc. 

Pinterest Trends is is a social network that lets users to visually share, and locate new interests by searching, viewing surging trends, or discovering trending ideas across popular categories. Basically, Pinterest Trends is a free tool that offers information on what Pinterest users are searching for on the social media platform throughout the year. 

BuzzSumo is a cloud-based platform that helps you find the top engagement, content, and outreach opportunities throughout social media and the web. The platform helps locate different keywords, trending topics, consumer inquiries, and content accomplishments while monitoring what's most valuable to your brand. However, BuzzSumo does NOT monitor social media chatter about your brand. In order to monitor the various social media platforms, additional software or web-based platform is necessary. BuzzSumo does come with a high price tag but the company does offer 30% off for charitable nonprofits that provide a direct public benefit along with a built-in 20% for yearly subscriptions.