Having the right set of tools in your marketing stack (i.e. a full collection of programs or resources) can help you successfully achieve your goals. These tools, however, can be expensive. And when you’re a startup, that additional expense can make things tough. My goal is to give you a startup marketing stack that you can start using today to accelerate your growth towards greater success.
I have used close to a million tools (at least 999,874) over my 10 years running Inturact, a Software as a Service (SaaS) marketing agency. During this time I’ve seen an incredible amount of new tools come out of the woodwork. In spite of that number, out of all the “latest and greatest” tools, there are only a select number that are still the backbone to getting your business started. Below are my picks for the top tools that every startup should use.
We all know WordPress, but not all of us know how to tap into its true power. WordPress started as a blogging platform and then moved somewhat into a website content management system (CMS). Now they are making the move back to being a great tool for blogging, or I should say, the essential tool to kick off your content marketing or inbound marketing efforts. More on inbound marketing later.
2. Google Analytics
This is the grandfather of all tools. Google Analytics gives you all the insights and stories you could ever want for your visitors. This is probably the most utilized and advanced free tool ever made. Setting up Google Analytics should be the first thing you do. Before making your WordPress site live to the world, you want to make sure that you are able to collect all the data that comes through.
So you have a WordPress site and collect data with Google Analytics, but you have little to no traffic. Insert SumoMe. This is a great tool for collecting emails, setting up heat maps, creating quick pop-ups, building lists and much more—all the things you need to help generate inbound traffic.
This is the ultimate tool for any business that wants to track sent emails. With Sidekick, you can see when and who opens your emails, get live notifications and choose which emails are tracked. To that end, Sidekick is great for helping you keep track of and manage interactions with clients and prospects.
The go-to tool for social sharing and management, Buffer allows you to subscribe to different feeds and schedule posts for the future at times when your engagement is greatest. This allows for better curated content sharing, as well as automation, which helps free your time for other important parts of your business. No more guessing what time is best to post!
For sending and sharing newsletters and email, there is no better tool than MailChimp. It’s easy to use, and you can integrate it with SumoMe to build a list, set up auto-responders and ultimately send better emails.
This is a great way to get quick feedback on your website or mobile app from real users. UserTesting helps you understand how people interact with your site, and can also be used to identify areas of improvement.
Keep your inbox clean by using Slack with your team. It’s perfect for optimizing your team’s communication. Pro Tip: Set up a channel for sharing your social media posts or articles and create a quick way for your team to all be more engaged with your content.
Probably the most expensive tool on the list, but as you progress it will be helpful to do A/B split tests and multivariate testing quickly. With Optimizely you can see what’s working best through small, quick tests. It also has a new personalization feature for customizing content to your audience.
10. Open Site Explorer
Part of the Moz tool set, Open Site Explorer helps to identify link-building opportunities by researching backlinks, identifying top pages, viewing social activity and analyzing anchor text.
There are many other tools that could benefit you in your startup marketing, but these ten will provide you with a solid starting point. For those of you in the more advanced stages of your startup, consider StartupStash.com and Product Hunt’s Lean Startup Tools List, both of which are other curated lists of useful applications. Once you’ve selected those tools that are specific to your needs, you’ll be ready to put your marketing plan into action.
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