A day in the life of a startup is surely no smooth treading. You need to create winning strategies, take bold decisions, and most importantly, manage your limited resources wisely. To do all of this and ultimately make it to the top, you need tools that can validate and execute these decisions.
But one of the most important things that we’ve seen startups struggle with, is using the right tools. Just like hiring a good team is important, using effective yet resourceful tools to empower these teams is also equally of importance. Certain tools help you extract the maximum out of your teams and it also keeps them highly productive at work.
Keeping this in mind, here’s a list of some tools that I’d highly recommend if you’re starting from zero.
Digital Marketing Tools
If the vision is to grow your business online, building a website that is built with the right keyword research to start you on the path of organic visitor growth is the No.1 priority and Alexa is your go-to tool. It is the ideal foundation to your digital marketing efforts, providing you in-depth insight into website traffic, SEO behaviour, keywords that competitors are targeting, and some of the most crucial online metrics that could indeed make or break your business. Moreover, Alexa has its own ranking system known as the ALEXA RANKING – the lower the rank the better is your online performance. Most often competitor research from the perspective of digital marketing is not done soon enough. So Alexa and other similar tools are a definite MUST!
2. Similar Web
Here’s a tool similar to Alexa. One stark difference is that Similar Web, in addition to website analytics, also provides mobile app analytics. And just like Alexa, users can perform competitor analysis, receive detailed insight into SEO, online metrics and much more. Why two similar tools? The answer is that a mix of tools gives better results. Try it and you will know.
Spyfu focuses specifically on competitor analysis. If you want a bit more clarity on what they do, enter your competitor’s website URL on Spyfu’s home page. You’ll get a detailed report highlighting your competitor’s domain overview, SEO overview, PPC overview and other related topics. SpyFu also helps figure out the keywords that your competition is using, their ad copies as well as landing pages. Do not always rely on free subscriptions. Invest in paid subscriptions. Make ad copies that deliver on day one. Else you might realize that your limited budget for Adwords has dwindled with no results. Adwords is a tough channel to show ROI especially for B2B brands with keywords that have high competition. But done intelligently with the right tool can help you reach results faster.
4. CloudCherry (no vanity intended!)
Cloudcherry’s own CEM tool can be adopted as an online lead generation mechanism on your website through popups. You can capture consumer information on any webpage of yours – for instance, the home page or the pricing page – and this can be leveraged later in many ways, such as for sending newsletters and for other email campaigns. These question pop-ups can also be used to survey your customers and thereby capture customer sentiment, according to which you can fine-tune your website messaging.
We use CloudCherry to capture feedback for different sections of the website and also to capture leads. CloudCherry works as a feedback cum leadgen tool, helping us engage better with customers. We ask them if they would like a demo of our product, if they reply ‘yes’ we get a lead, else we ask for their feedback – what they were looking for and how they would rate their online experience. Most visitors oblige with their feedback which helps us continuously tweak content and in turn improve lead generation.
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With over 35,000 customers, Moz is one of the leading companies that can pivot your Online Marketing Strategy. Moz is all about getting your SEO to work and the platform lets you in on key metrics such as Page Authority and Domain Authority. At the same time, Moz also tracks backlink growth and keywords on a variety of search engines. A pretty cool feature is The Just-Discovered links report which helps users identify recently created links. This report indexes URLs within about 1 hour of being shared on Twitter, as well as the URLs linked from those tweeted pages. Additionally, it crawls websites for errors, and compares mobile and website ranking to give start-ups a better understanding of their online marketing efforts.
Why Moz? Your SEO team is busy working on increasing keyword ranking, domain authority etc. A rightfully configured campaign that delivers weekly reports to your managers will help you keep an eye on one of the most important activities of a startup that sometimes gets totally ignored.
Like the name suggests, Instapage is your instant solution for designing landing pages – the tool stands as an epitome to the word user-friendly. It makes life easier for businesses, especially the ones that are starting from scratch, by having ready-made landing page templates which you can modify based on your use case and your end goal. It even takes your paid marketing ambitions one level ahead by offering A/B testing, and various other choices such as CRM integration and so on.
Why is it a must-have for startups? Assuming you have hired new talent designers and developers with no prior understanding of CTA’s, conversion rate optimization on Landing pages etc, you are rest assured that some basic mistakes will be avoided. Also, using all the tools mentioned above, keeping track of landing page performance and frequent changes on it to optimize conversions is a must and a tool like Instapage makes it more efficient.
E-mail marketing is fun when you use Mailchimp. And we, at Cloudcherry, are extensive users of it given the fact that you can do so much with the tool in the FREE VERSION – creating lists, designing e-mail templates and scheduling campaigns, to name a few things. For startups with limited resources that are looking to maximize lead generation and ROI from e-mail campaigns, Mailchimp could be your ideal platform. And hey, let’s not forget that it has a pretty flexible API.
Amongst one of the most popular tools used by Online Marketers, Google Analytics is a one-stop solution that provides detailed insight on visitor behaviour on your website. It gives you powerful data such as the number of visitors on each page, the demographics of these visitors (where these visitors are from) and further drill down into visitor behaviour. This includes indicating the number of webpages users have visited, the pages where users are dropping off, the pages where users are converting (signing-up) and so on. You can also check the sources of leads – whether they are through organic, paid ads, or social, etc on Google Analytics.
Check out our SlideShare below for more information on these startup tools!
Sidekick is a tool that you can use to track open rates and click rates for the emails sent to prospects. Also, you can time your calls and follow-up emails with these prospects that can help improve sales closure rates.
10. ZOHO CRM
Zoho’s CRM platform lets you manage the leads you generate on one single dashboard. On this platform, you can seamlessly track your leads, identify which stage a lead is currently in – whether the lead is active or has gone cold – and also generate reports easily. Keep in mind, however, that while choosing a CRM you must be able to integrate it with most of the other tools you use.
Social Media Marketing Tools
Hootsuite is an out-and-out social media management tool that helps you manage all your social media accounts in one place. It also provides analysis reports with detailed insight into your social media efforts. Using this, you can ascertain, to a great extent, what is working and what isn’t on social platforms.
It tells you the best time for tweeting by indicating the time intervals when most of your followers are online and also when you get the most exposure while tweeting.
Analyse your followers and following count, find out in-depth information about your followers, identify new influencers and connect with them. Followerwonk is a very effective research tool when it comes to finding new influencers from your domain to engage with.
These tools can provide a much-needed helping hand for your startup especially when you’re unsure what metric to track and what data to look at while taking everyday decisions. These tools are simple suggestions that we believe can help you get to your goal faster, by getting more accurate and strategic information for your digital marketing strategy. There are definitely a lot more tools out there. Is there any tool we’ve missed? Do leave us your comments. Cheers to some startup success!
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