It’s not easy to start a business, and to make it successful is an even greater challenge. A majority of startups fail, and just a handful can survive. Amidst those who exist and achieve success, only the creme de la crème become world-famous.
Of course, in the dreamy, the more or less filmy startup world, dreams do come true. But it’s not just sheer luck for once startups such as UberCab to transform into one of the world’s most valued privately held ubiquitous companies, Uber. Behind the scenes will reveal a lot of belief, grit, resilience, and hard work goes into building a successful startup.
Call me Captain Obvious, but it’s no secret that running a small business is hard work. You have enough on your plate and a continually growing to-do list. And to top it all off, at times, what is the most crucial part often tends to feel like the hardest one to do consistently and well.
1. What Do All Startups Need?
The stepping stone for success for startups is the easy availability of resources and tools. This is where the internet comes in; it’s a significant enabler for startups as it provides an unlimited number of tools and resources at your fingertips that every founder can imagine.
An added advantage is that the internet is big on functionality and easy on the pocket – two elements which founders like, which is why online advertising has an insatiable appeal for startups. Not only is it a cost-effective method for brands which are newly established to showcase their products and services in front of a targeted audience but also, they can do so in a highly precise manner.
Gone are the days when you need a multimillion-dollar budget to get ahead of your competitors. Whether you are investing your hard-earned cash or your time, there is high ROI in digital marketing. Other than great returns for a small budget, there are several marketing tools out there which can take the weight off your shoulders.
For a successful small business, lets say a digital marketing company like infinity digital –, these tools are valuable. Especially those small businesses who have limited resources when it comes to a dedicated in-house marketing team or a restricted budget to outsource the work to an agency. They will soon prove invaluable to your business success; they will help collect data for you to analyze and optimize your campaigns, automate repetitive tasks, and help plan and organize marketing activities.
Without further ado, here’s a list of tools that will help a startup get the biggest bang for your buck, ensure you invest your precious time wisely, and sail merrily into the sunset.
2. Website Analytics Tools
It’s essential to keep an eye on the events and data that occur on your website from conversions to clicks, and beyond.
a) Google Analytics
All startups have a lot of data, and Google Analytics is the best friend of every market, which helps track content that you upload.
Google Analytics is a free to use web-based tool which helps collect, track, and analyze data about those who visit your website and their activity.
Chances are you have heard of this powerful tool. You might have even installed it, but are you utilizing its power to help boost your online marketing results? For a small business, it’s a valuable tool.
Google Analytics lets you record and analyze data about visitors and traffic to your website. If you use this tool effectively, you can increase your conversion rates and the site’s user experience. Plus, you can also analyze real-time data, measure engagement on-site, unique visitors, and referral sources among several more points.
Pro tip: Google Analytics works in tandem with Google Tag Manager. Use them both for improved results. Another great Google tool is Google AdWords Keyword Planner.
An analytics tool which helps increase conversions throughout your website. You can find out which customers are most engaged and even track and map a customer’s journey to your site to eventually convert prospective customers.
It’s a useful customer engagement tool developed to understand your customers’ behavior. It tracks a visitor’s conversion journey and gives you a broken-down report regarding each part. With this, you can increase revenue and sales or fine-tune the process of conversion.
3. Email Marketing Tools
The first email was sent way back in 1971, who would have thought that after 48 years later, the email will still play an important role in digital marketing.
Today, 99% of consumers check their email every day! So, it’s clear that no matter how small or large your business is, email marketing should definitely be a part of your overall strategy.
MailChimp is a platform which puts all your marketing needs in one place. It’s a tool which brings marketing channels, audience data, and insights together so that you can attain your goals faster. From a single platform, you can promote your business across email and track its performance.
The real beauty MailChimp is its easy integration, usability, and sliding price tag, which depends on your email list size. Their ‘forever free’ plan is best-suited for small businesses who want to get a feel of email marketing.
When a customer signs up to your mailing list, they are practically inviting you straight into their inbox which allows you to market to them directly. Hence, despite being old-school, email marketing offers a higher ROI than other marketing activities.
Did you know that email usage grows roughly about 4 percent every year and shows no signs of slowing down in the near future.
MailChimp can quickly become your “all-in-one” weapon for your marketing arsenal.
4. Search Engine Optimization Tools
From tracking to social media to content marketing, SEMRush is a research tool that does everything for you. It’s a new found toy for SEO experts.
Its built-in features help both experts and rookies to track and improve their search rankings. It even draws a comparison for your domain with competitors, monitors their fluctuations in ranking, collects information about your competitors’ keywords, pull out information about your competitor’s backlinks, find new competitors in the segment and even conduct a full competitive analysis. The best part is that all this is carried out organically!
SEMRush’s SEO tools help track your competitors’ keyword strategy plus the platform also looks for good backlinking opportunities and runs an SEO audit of your content.
5. Content Marketing Tools
If you require a content management system (CMS), then WordPress is your answer.
In 2019, it powers more than 34% of the internet, and this is a 4% rise since last year. There are more than 44,000 WordPress plugins which you can install.
WordPress presents unlimited options, and when it comes to stats, with WordPress, it’s possible to go on and on which is proof enough to show that this is one of the best of the best CMS systems.
With WordPress, you have the tools to create a website that’s packed with features or a blog which presents written content, images, videos, and a lot more.
WordPress can be easily downloaded, and you can create a fully customizable website from scratch with just a few tools, add detailed information like your company’s vision, mission, etc. and even include a full-fledged blog which helps in marketing due to SEO keywords and high-quality content. If you wish, you could also host your website on the WordPress.com service for free.
One of the best features of WordPress is the tens of thousands of plugins which you can pick and add to your page. These plugins have a variety of features like adding a contact form,
customizing your theme, monitoring analytics, and much more!
The biggest advantage is that it comes with an intuitive interface, which is super easy to use even for lay users. As it’s a self-contained and self-maintaining website, it doesn’t require any HTML editing or an FTP software, making it easier. Plus, it can be used on any computer or mobile device.
All these reasons and more make this application a sought-after one.
It’s the best CMS out there for small businesses, and it’s reasonably priced as well.
Pro tip: If you have WordPress, you must have Yoast. It’s an SEO tool which goes hand-in-hand with WordPress that checks the SEO compatibility of your content compares it with its own readability tests. Yoast helps improve engagement and optimize content.
6. Social Media Marketing Tools
If your small business is present on multiple social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. you are no stranger to how much time, effort and coordination it takes to brainstorm, research, write, revise, schedule, and publish your posts. This doesn’t take into account engagement with your followers and fans which east into your time as well.
Here’s presenting Hootsuite, a free digital marketing tool, which integrates with popular social media platforms so all you handle all activities from one place.
The guided tour and walkthrough helps you familiarize yourself with the website’s layout so that you can easily navigate and begin the process in no time.
While a few features come at a price, there’s plenty of free options that small businesses can use. From scheduling posts in advance to publishing posts immediately to monitoring your feed to basic analytics to comment, like and share, and integrate with third-party apps, there is so much on offer!
7. Project Management And Collaboration Tools
In the world of digital marketing, efficiently communicating between team members determines the outcome of a task or project, which is why you need to invest in a software that’s easy to use and comes with uninterrupted data sharing and interaction.
In the past, project management efforts took place primarily via email. With email, it’s difficult to cater to the dynamic and fast-paced demands of digital marketing.
Slack is a popular collaboration software. It’s easy to message option, and simple data sharing has made this a sweet tool which has won the hearts of many marketers. Plus, Slack comes integrated with all major tools for project management, sales, office management, design, productivity, and developer tools which makes it easy for you to stay on top of every digital marketing activity.
8. Plagiarism And Proofreading Tool
Unless you have a proofreader checking everything or you are a grammar guru, you need Grammarly. It’s a free tool with a paid option, but the free option works just as well.
As you open the website, the online dashboard and the interface and clean and simple to use.
Once you have a written document, you can upload it onto the platform or copy and paste it and immediately Grammarly will start checking that write-up for grammar and spelling. For future reference, you can save the document as well.
The free tool includes spelling, basic grammar, a limited number of plagiarism checks, and a detailed explanation regarding your spelling/grammatical mistakes.
Alternatively, you can install the software as a plugin for your browser, which automatically proofreads everything you type online without having to visit the dashboard.
While the paid version thoroughly checks the document and provides alternative options, the basic version is a lifesaver for all content including emails, blogs, proposals, social media, and more.
9. Virtual assistant services
The most valuable asset anyone has today is time, and then comes money. Successful businesses recognise this and they like to use their precious seconds to think strategically, develop ideas and forge new relationships. In order to reclaim your time, you should search for the best virtual assistant services and learn to delegate. Also, business growth requires capital so by a VA, you can substantially reduce your spending, since the cost of hiring a virtual assistant significantly less than hiring domestically (for most Western countries).
10. Over To You
Today’s digital marketing landscape is competitive and to survive, you need to be persistent, intuitive, social media savvy, and a jack of all trades. To make things easier and simpler, you can rely on a variety of digital marketing tools. Whether it’s developing a content marketing strategy or analyzing off-page backlinks, these tools will help you focus on things that matter and get the work done while also keeping you sane.
We’ve introduced you to a bunch of them. Use them and start to build a whole new digital world for yourself. Hold your head up high, keep pushing, and keep marketing – soon, you will be on the path to success.