The start-up toolkit: 10 marketing tools every successful business needs

From keeping track of analytics to utilising video content, here are key ways you can make sure your business stands the best chance of success

If you’re thinking of launching a new business, then you probably don’t want to hear that 90% of all start-ups fail.

But there it is in black and white. Your business may not survive.

You’ll undoubtedly have the passion, determination and guts that every entrepreneur needs to begin a new business adventure, but if you want your start-up to survive then you also need to be equipped with the right tools to succeed.

Take a look at 10 of the most powerful marketing tools that every start-up needs to become a success…

#1. Web Analytics

A business doesn’t stand a chance of surviving unless it measures its data. How many people are visiting your website? Which channels are those people coming from? How can you drive more people to your site?

Those are just some of the questions that you need to ask yourself throughout your business journey – and that’s why an analytics platform is so important.

What are the benefits?

Plug your website into analytics software and it can be used to see where you should be focusing your efforts. You can plan ad and marketing campaigns and see how effective they are, discover which keywords you should be using, test different avenues to see what works best for you, find out who your audience is and how they found your site – and ultimately measure your data to improve and grow your business.

Which tools can I use?

There are various analytics platforms available, each offering a different focus:

  • Google Analytics: Manage advertising and campaign performance, find out audience behaviour and traffic sources, gain social reports, research keywords to improve SEO.
  • Moz: Improve rankings, discover website errors, research and compare backlinks with competitors, perform keyword research.
  • KissMetrics: Follow campaigns, analyse customer behaviour rather than page views.
  • Mint: Manage referrals, visits, pages, searches and feeds to find out where the most interest is being generated.

#2. Video marketing

Video marketing isn’t a passing trend; it’s the future. You only have to look to the likes of YouTube (the second largest search engine) or this report that shows 68% of marketers feel that video is essential for their business.

But when it comes to marketing your start-up you don’t just want any video. You need a tool that can quickly convey what your product or service is, and that’s where an explainer video can help. In fact, an explainer video is so effective that 85% of people are more likely to buy a product after viewing one.

What are the benefits?

Aside from it being an engaging tool to explain what you can do for your customers, the greatest benefits of using an explainer video on your homepage is that it will direct more traffic to your site, build your leads, lower support queries – and most importantly – increase your conversion rates.

Which tools can I use?

  • Wyzowl: No technical skills or resources? No problem. Wyzowl creates quality animated, website and app videos that include professional scriptwriting, graphics, animation, voiceover and music services.
  • Periscope: Download the app to capture live footage of an event and upload to your social platforms.
  • Jing: Screen capture software that will let you record various screens from your website.

#3. Survey tools

At the start of your journey, it can be a continuous struggle to learn who your audience is and what they want. The best way to sell a product is by learning what pain points your customers face so that you can market your product as the solution they’ve been looking for – and that’s where a survey tool can help.

What are the benefits?

You can use an online survey to ask for specific feedback on your product so you can make improvements, find out if you’re providing good customer service, or use it to implement market research so that you can use it to shape your future business efforts.

What tools can I use?

  • Survey Monkey: A popular platform that offers various packages and nicely designed surveys to embed on your site.
  • Typeform: A simple way to create a survey and the free version includes unlimited questions.
  • Google Forms: Make it your own with custom logo and branding options, unlimited surveys – all for free.

#4. CRM

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool is used to look after every interaction that you have with your customers. Whether it’s from a lead, a phone call, or an email, the aim is to document each interaction your customer has with you, so you can help them along the buyer journey with ease.

What are the benefits?

A good CRM platform will help you improve customer service and take a prospect from being a lead, right through to becoming a repeat customer! You can use your CRM platform to understand the needs of each customer and nurture them with customised, targeted content.

What tools can I use?

  • OnePageCRM: Track emails, save tasks, create notes and manage leads.
  • HubSpot: Store contacts and companies, track deals, manage tasks, create custom fields and personalise views.
  • Salesforce: The most popular CRM solution, Salesforce is a comprehensive tool to manage each customer.
  • Nimble: Ideal for startups, this software pulls in data from social networks, calendars, and email to help you effectively manage your contacts.

#5. Lead generation software

Building leads can often be a slow burn, especially during the early days so you need to make sure you’re prepped for success. One of the best ways to drive leads in the digital age is to create a piece of valuable content, set it up on a landing page and ask for the person’s contact details in order to download the content.

What are the benefits?

Lead generation software will integrate with your website so that you can capture the data of the people downloading your content. You can then use that data to nurture them further and turn those leads into customers.

What tools can I use?

  • Lead Pages: A simple way to build a landing page and use it to collect leads across every device.
  • Marketo: This is a great marketing automation platform that lets you build landing pages, capture data and automate scoring based on various dimensions.
  • Hubspot: You can also use Hubspot to create landing pages and capture data within the platform.

#6. Email marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective methods in getting people to convert into sales. And with 66% of consumers making a purchase as a result of an email marketing message, it’s definitely a tactic that every start-up should be utilising.

Once you’ve built your leads with the help of marketing campaigns and your CRM system, you’ll be able to nurture those leads with an email marketing campaign.

What are the benefits?

An email marketing platform can help you create various campaigns so that you can send emails at the right point in time depending on the buyer journey. You’ll be able to use different templates to match your brand, and use it to email your entire database, no matter which email provider they use.

What tools can I use?

  • MailChimp: Use email templates to create various campaigns, set up email workflows and trigger emails based on customer behaviour.
  • Campaign Monitor: Create, send and measure the impact of your campaigns using this platform.
  • Leadsius: This is ideal for startups on a small budget, the platform is free to use and lets you design and build email campaigns using drag and drop.
  • Emma: Choose from 40 professionally designed templates and integrate with other apps including Bigstock, Aviary and Google Analytics.

#7. Cloud storage

Cloud storage is great for start-ups because it means you don’t have to invest in expensive in-house servers to store important files and documents.

What are the benefits?

Just some of the reasons to use cloud storage is that your files can be accessed from anywhere, you can share files with customers, clients or co-workers, it can be used as a back-up in case you lose anything, it won’t take up any space in your office and it’s really easy to use.

What tools can I use?

  • Dropbox: Trusted by 130,000 businesses to share, store, collaborate and manage company data.
  • Google Cloud: A reliable service that’s built to scale as you grow, and you only need to pay for what you use.
  • SugarSync: Use from any device and backup and access your files using your existing folder structure.

#8. Social media management

Social media is the best way to connect with your audience on a personal level and show off the human side of your brand. You may not have to sign up to every social site out there, simply find out the places that your audience likes to hang and go there.

The problem is when you’re starting a business you don’t have the time to be spending updating every social account you have – so that’s why a social media management tool is incredibly useful.

What are the benefits?

A social media management tool will shave off hours of your day. It lets you integrate all of your social platforms in one place, you can automate posts to target your audience when they are most engaged, and some also offer the ability to curate content.

What tools can I use?

  • Hootsuite: Integrates with Twitter, Facebook and Google+, create campaigns, analyse when your audience is most engaged, and automate publishing.
  • Bitly: You may know this as a link shortening tool, but you can also manage your social platforms for free!
  • Buffer: Stagger your content throughout the day, schedule way ahead of time and analyse the reach of your post.

#9. PR channels

Promoting your content and your business wins is a daily struggle, but with a few PR campaigns, you can give your start-up the exposure it deserves.

What are the benefits?

There are two routes to take with PR and both come with great benefits. Telling the press about your business and product launch or company growth can gain interest within news publications, and can help you build up brand exposure.

The second option is to build relationships with influencers and bloggers within your industry. Often they will be looking for relevant content to share on their social channels, or let you write a guest post on their blog. That way you can direct a link back to your site from a highly authoritative domain – helping improve search rankings!

What tools can I use?

  • HARO: Sign up to a database for free, and help reporters use your industry knowledge to create a story.
  • PR Newswire: Target news publications that would be interested in newsworthy stories about your business.
  • BuzzSumo: Research influencers and bloggers in your industry, and analyse what content works best for your business.

#10. Project management

The more employees and customers you have, the more you’ll need to get organised. So a project management tool is a handy piece of software to use, especially if you have people working across the country.

What are the benefits?

It keeps you organised, it lets everyone work on one platform and it allows you to provide exceptional customer service. And most importantly, you’ll be more efficient to deliver a better service as you will have each project saved in one place.

What tools can I use?

  • Basecamp: Provides a roadmap for every project, with all team members accessing it in one place.
  • Trello: Perfect for start-ups, it’s free to use and you can enjoy features such as checklists, members, due dates and attachments.
  • Kanbantool: A visual board with projects, tracking and analytics capabilities.

Do you know any others?

So those are my top 10 marketing tools to help you succeed in business! Have you found any other tools useful? I’d love to hear them in the comments below. And if you’re just about to launch your business, good luck!

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  1. This is great list thanks, we use Buffer, Campaign monitor, Bitly and GA regularly. You didn’t seem to mention calendars or budget trackers, we use a product called 9-20am.com for overall management of marketing campaigns, calendars and budgets – as well as linking it to GA and social media for analytics. And we use another web service called mention (mention.com)- which reports on all your online exposure – like an old fashioned clippings service PR firms used to provide!

  2. Thanks for sharing this tool kit with us. I have never used video marketing and lead generation tools but I am surely going to try some of them. In our organization, we are using google analytics to measure the traffic on our site. It is also free. Apart from it, we use Mailchimp for Email marketing, Hootsuite for managing our social sites. Actually, I’d like to tell you that we have divided our social media tasks in between team members. Hootsuite is good for managing all your social media accounts like on facebook, twitter, google+, linkedin. Whereas Tweetdeck only helps in managing and scheduling tweets. And, lastly for our project management requirements, we use proofhub. We have tried basecamp and trello too. Trello, is typically for Kanban model and basecamp doesn’t have some of basic features required for managing projects like gantt charts, reports etc. So, in my opinion, Proofhub is better solution than basecamp as a project management tool.