Over the last 2 decades, business landscapes have witnessed a slew of changes, with technology being one of the major drivers of these new trends. From time to time, new startups emerge seeking to provide solutions to specific problems or needs. It is common knowledge that just a small percentage of startups become successful.
Many experts have made efforts to identify the reasons businesses fail. In a recent Harvard Business School study, business failure experienced by entrepreneurs could be due to various factors. These included a lack of focus, lack of motivation and commitment, burnout, financial instability, and poor marketing, among various other factors.
In another study done by Statistic Brain on the same issue, the failure rate of all companies in the United States after five years of founding was over 50% and over 70% after ten years. Reasons for their failure equally included lack of passion, lack of sound marketing strategies, and lack of mentorship. Many other experts and business leaders have similarly cited poor marketing as a primary reason why most startups fail.
While a fundamental aspect of ensuring the success of your business is to execute your core competency, another crucial step is to market your business effectively, and strategically. Thanks to the digital age, there are several digital marketing tools — both free and paid — that can have a significant impact on your business. Below, we present you with six of the best online marketing tools you can try as an entrepreneur or small business owner.
Google Analytics is one of the top free tools offered by Google, and you can only see its real importance after making use of it. Right from the nascent stage of your business, the service should be included as a crucial part of your marketing strategy without a second thought. You can reap several benefits with this tool if you know your way around it.
As a startup, you should focus on every visitor’s activity. You can do this by adding Analytics code to your website in just a couple of minutes. Contrary to popular belief, Google Analytics is more than just a mere traffic tool. It also lets you see where your generated traffic originates from, which can hugely impact your future marketing strategies. The web analytics service has several other benefits for your digital marketing campaign.
What is the best part about online advertising if not the ability to give quick feedback in real time and let marketers act on it as the campaign is still in progress? Optimizely is one of the most powerful tools available for you to use in optimizing your campaigns. However, if there is low traffic on your website or app, you may not find the insights from this platform useful enough, as the sample data set wouldn’t be large enough to get accurate insights from the company.
If you have enough traffic as well as the budget, it is a great idea to use Optimizely. You can learn how it works and then sign up for a 30-day free trial to see if it is a service that is suitable for your business needs.
MailChimp has over 12 million customers, making it one of the world’s leading email marketing providers. Email marketing tech is used by the majority of B2B and B2C companies (over 80% of them, in fact). So, this is not a marketing strategy you should vacillate about adopting. When you are starting a business, it is quite unlikely that you will have over 2,000 subscribers. Hence, it would be best if you considered implementing a free email marketing tool like MailChimp from day one. The free plan is ideal for users/businesses with less than 2,000 subscribers and those that send less than 12,000 emails a month. Mailchimp has recently transitioned to a full-scale digital marketing platform as well.
Primarily a lead capture and management tool, HubSpot Marketing is essentially utilized for inbound marketing, and if correctly set up, can help in automating your marketing workflow with the aid of targeted email drip campaigns. It offers you amazing features and capabilities for creating campaign landing pages, tracking leads, increasing traffic & conversions, and managing communication with leads in one place. You can try HubSpot for free, but this plan has limited features. Depending on your need and budget, the paid plans start at $200 a month when billed, annually. HubSpot offers full service digital marketing options, so chances are they have something for every business.
For businesses expending time and resources on building and maintaining their reputation on social media, it is necessary to start planning their social media strategy from the outset. Buffer ranks high among the best marketing tools you can deploy in streamlining the social media strategy of your startup. It’s a platform mainly used to schedule and publish social media content. With tools like Buffer, it is no longer hectic having to post many times each day on 5–6 forums. As you start optimizing, you will find this service helpful in maintaining your online presence.
Buffer is a mobile application; this allows you to work on it while on the move. The platform has a freemium plan for individual users that offers limited features as well as posting capabilities. As for its paid plans, this starts at $10 and can be up to $390 for bigger teams and more extensive requirements.
Evernote is a robust tool that helps you capture ideas, inspiration & trends, and storing it in a single location, which is easily accessible. Organization is an essential aspect as regards marketing your business. You may get ideas at any hour of the day, but if you can’t ensure your notes are organized and prioritized, you may find capitalizing on opportunities elusive. Herein lies the importance of Evernote. It is a perfect tool to find and store market research, content ideas, and competitive analyses. The software has different versions for smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
Highlighted above are six essential marketing tools for businesses and companies. As marketing is one of the critical areas, you need to focus on it to ensure the success of your startup. The importance of using the right tools as part of your online marketing campaign cannot be overemphasized.
Thanks to the digital age, there are several top digital marketing tools — both free and paid — that can have a significant impact on your business. As an entrepreneur or business owner, it’s up to you to determine what digital marketing software programs are right for your needs.