Creating a startup is all fun and games until you realize that there’s a whole lot more work that goes into it beyond coming up with an idea and sitting back waiting for cash flow, it requires hard work, persistence, and a damn good team.
The startup world is becoming increasingly saturated by the day, and to generate even a little bit of traction you need to market your startup in the right way. And there are plenty of tools to help you with automation and project management of some of these tasks.
Here’s the problem: startups tend to be constrained by tight budgets and don’t have the resources to run mega campaigns like the bigger brands out there, which means that a lot more failures than you think.
While it would be nice to be able to splash out on a huge marketing campaign, you don’t have to do that to start attracting the attention of customers and growing your revenue.
Statista research shows that the top five reasons startups fail are:
Take Pretty Young Professional, a startup that aimed to empower female entrepreneurs, quickly fell apart when the team of friends couldn’t see eye-to-eye on their vision.
For Indian startup, TinyOwl, it was oversaturation in the market that did it for them. At the time they burst onto the scene in 2016, there were already 400 other food delivery startups operating in the country, meaning there was very little wiggle room for any more.
If you want to avoid the same fate as these startups, here’s how you can start marketing in the right way (and without breaking the bank).
Monday is a team management tool that lets you organize your campaigns, schedule tasks, and liaise with team members. They connect teams through software that enables transparency, accountability, and ownership of tasks. All the information you need is in one place.
There are four different pricing plans, all of which vary in the number of tools available. Pay $8/member a month and have access to the essentials, or pay $20/member and have access to all tools, plus a number of integrations.
Location: Tel Aviv, Isreal
Trello is another simpler organizational tool that helps you create marketing processes and assign tasks to specific team members. And it isn’t just limited to marketing. You can use this tool no matter the industry you are in. Use this tool to track the progress of team members and visualize the projects needed.
For a bootstrapped startup, this is the best option. Pricing plans differ and there are three options available. The free option is great for those who do not have large teams or large files needed for uploading to the platform. Otherwise, pay between $9.99 or $20.83 per 100 members a month for premium features.
Location: New York, New York
Another organizational tool to help you map out your marketing strategy and hit every deadline. Asana’s board function is similar to Trello’s but offers more. Users are able to toggle between a timeline feature, calendar, track conversations, and view all files in one place, as well as more. It is a well designed intuitive platform for young businesses struggling to stay on top of demanding workflows.
Pricing plans also vary and can cost between $9.99 to %19.99 per month. And, of course, the offerings differ depending on the plan chosen.
Location: San Fransisco, California
Hootsuite is a very widely used social media scheduling tool that lets you bulk schedule posts across a range of social media channels. It has over 15 million users, of which many are Fortune 1000 companies. A downside of this platform among other SoMe management platforms is that it doesn’t always allow you to upload video posts natively. You have to do so within the SoMe channel instead.
This tool is rather costly coming in between €25-599 depending on the pricing plan taken. Users are able to try a 30-day free trial to see whether this tool suits their needs.
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Buffer, just like Hootsuite is another SoMe management tool that many startups just cannot do without. In order to growth hack your way to success, you’ll have to be present on many social media channels. A tool like Buffer is essential if a team is to become efficient.
Location: San Fransisco, California
A tool that reveals the most popular content in your industry and helps you find influencers to connect with. Better yet, clever marketers can use it as a tool discover competitors content and build highly engaging content to boost leads. It is an absolute must for a marketing department and it is also used by major companies.
Just as the other tools mentioned above, there are different pricing plans with varied options. Pay between $79-499+ (pricing will vary for enterprises). For those on a bootstrapped budget, try the seven-day free trial.
Location: Brighton, United Kingdom
This California company comes in very handy for understanding your customer needs. Need to better understand your target audience and how they perceive your marketing efforts? This survey tool lets you create simple surveys to find out what your customers think about your brand and products.
Accounts are free but with limited options. But for those just starting out their marketing department, it is more than enough. If your team are really keen on buying this software, plans range between $25-75.
Location: San Fransico, California
For those with a lack of coding skills, Leadpages offers a tool that enables you to create code-free pop-ups, conversion pages, sales and launch pages for your content upgrades and delivers them immediately to new subscribers.
Users have access to a free trial version of the tool, otherwise, prices range anywhere in between $25-199. This is a fairly affordable price for a young company.
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Email simply does not have the same effect as it used to. Statistics on email show that barely 2% of receivers open marketing emails. Pushcrew offers an alternative, send out a push notification and preview how exactly it will show up on everyone’s web page.
A free trial is available, and best of all the platform is free for startups (up to 2000 subscribers). Otherwise, expect to pay between $25-75 depending on the plan chosen. Discounts are also offered on a regular basis.
Location: New Delhi, India
An email marketing tool that helps you segment and grow your email list. View the broken down analytics of the performance of your email and create automated sequencing campaigns. If you or someone in your team is handy with HTML code, create your own custom MailChimp email templates, or peruse one of the many pre-made templates.
There are four different pricing plans for MailChimp, one being a free plan to cover all basic email marketing needs for young businesses to get their feet off the ground. Otherwise, pay between $9.99-299 a month depending on the plan chosen.
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
SEMRush is a tool used by many digital marketing professionals. It is a SaaS platform that allows businesses to gain insights and solutions on how to build, manage, and measure marketing campaigns across all channels.
There are around 30 tools on the platform that allow you to view a number of varying metrics. Some examples include an ad builder, keyword research, traffic analysis, position tracking, and content analysis among many other tools. It is truly an ‘all-in-one’ platform.
The platform is on the higher end of the pricing spectrum ranging between $99-399+ depending on the plan chosen.
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
We care about social proof, don’t believe that statement? How many times do you check to see the number of likes on a self-posted SoMe update? Mash Share is the same thing but for your web page. Let visitors see the number of social shares on your company blog with this stat counter.
There are multiple iterations of this tool that can be downloaded as a plugin to WordPress (if that is the tool you are hosting your webpage on).
Pricing? It’s free!
Once you’ve got your idea and created your business, it’s time to put it out there for the world to see.
Easier said than done, right?
Which is why you need a solid marketing strategy that focuses on building relationships with your audience and industry influencers, providing valuable content, and making sure customers have an excellent experience with you.
How can you make sure that your idea comes into fruition? To manually track the progress of your company and update SoMe on your progress and content is all too time-consuming, and it just is not possible when starting out!
The right mixture of marketing tools along with a solid strategy will help you along the way. It will take a lot of trial and error, but the end result is truly inspiring!
From legacy Fortune 100 institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with a wide range of B2B clients. He skillfully architects and manages the delivery of integrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics, that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organizations.