Generally as a start-up you are cash strapped, but need to create a buzz around your new business. This can create a few problems, like whether you should allocate your time to advertising, PR or digital marketing. There are, however, a few nifty tools out there that can make marketing online a whole lot easier.
Drum Up is a content discovery tool that searches through tons of online content based on the keywords you enter. This is particularly handy for your start-up blog and social media channels, because it saves time when you’re trying to think of what to write/post that’s relevant to your industry. After all if you’re putting out good content you’ll get higher engagement and views by the right people. Drum Up will also suggest new stories based on your audience, so sometimes you don’t even have to search! Drum Up also offers other services such as social media management and content curation, however what’s unique about it is the discovery API, which comes in at $79/month on annual billing.
At Radioactive we are big fans of Canva, which is essentially a free and more straight-forward version of PhotoShop. It offers image editing tools and layouts so you can create nice visual content within 10 minutes, and if you’re not naturally creative there are some handy tutorials you can watch to improve your skills. Did I mention it was free? P.S the website is also pretty cool when you move your mouse about!
Now I might be a bit biased because they’re a client, but if you’re a start-up that wants to have an Instagram presence, it is brilliant. HopperHQ is the world’s only automated Instagram scheduling tool that’s fully in line with Instagram’s terms and conditions. Instagram is fast becoming the home for many start-ups who want to engage with a younger audience, so if you’re target audience is snapping and filtering, Hopper is a must. It lets you schedule multiple posts automatically in advance, which of course will save hours of time a week, as well as edit the post as if it was actually in Instagram. If you just want to register the one Instagram account it will cost you just $16/month if you paid annually.
Sysomos is a social media analysis/management tool, however the main Heartbeat platform collects information on what people are talking about and delivers it to you in a measurable and digestible way. Heartbeat scans all of the most popular social networks for trending topics, what people are discussing/posting about and what’s being shared news-wise. This is helpful from a start-up perspective because it allows you to easily track what’s going on in your industry and become a part of the dialogue, as well as react to any relevant news. You can also set up alerts so you are notified when a topic becomes trending. Depending on what package you opt for, Sysomos offers a wide range of services including competitor analysis and brand content monitoring, but for the Heartbeat starting plan it is $550 per month with a $500 setup fee – so is a tad bit on the steep side!
IFTTT or If This Then That, allows you to connect all of your online accounts, like literally everything, so that when you post or do one thing online, another thing happens because of it. That’s as simply as I can put it. The ‘rules’ or coding for these have been called Applets by IFTTT, and there are hundreds of thousands of them, or you could create your own – which may seem a bit overwhelming for a start-up that probably has limited resources and money. One of the most popular ones is that when you want to post an image from Instagram to Twitter, it initially appears as a link. With this particular Applet it will appear on your follower’s feeds and your profile as an image – Ta da! It’s pretty simple to use as well, you link all of your social media/online accounts to your IFTTT one, hit add Applet, grant access to IFTTT and the Applet will work automatically there on. IFTTT is all about improving productivity, so once a start-up has all of the relevant Applets activated, it should be plain sailing. Pricing starts at $199/month when billed annually.
Communication can be overlooked in many businesses, but when it’s good it’s really good, and can often transform the way a company is run. At Radioactive we like to be as transparent and open as possible with our clients, and no application has worked as well than WhatsApp for desktop. The fact that 1 billion people globally use WhatsApp (Wired, 2016) means the chances are everyone will have the instant messaging app, and to top it off, it’s free! So if you’re a start-up that wants quicker and more transparent communication with your colleagues and/or partners, it’s as simple as scanning a QR code!
Content marketing is so popular now that businesses will hire people to do just that, and for good reason as well, it’s great for driving traffic to your site! Buzzsumo is an online tool that allows you to find out what content is popular by topic or on any website. Say your start-up operates within the aviation industry and you want to know what people are talking about within it, you simply enter aviation in the search box and voila! The most popular links will appear along with the social media engagement they have received, which will inevitably help you focus your content efforts and stay on topic, not to mention save you time scanning through social media platform after social media platform. P.S the basic content search service is free!
Bluenod is an influencer finder app for Twitter, that’s as basic as I can put it! So if you’re a start-up that doesn’t need nor want a Twitter presence, please skip. Starting from $29/month (when billed annually) Bluenod will analyse tweets and create visual influencer ‘maps’ based on the communities you either move in or want to target. For example, if you are a fashion brand and want to find out who you should interact with on Twitter, simply search the term and it will show you the key players on Twitter within fashion along with who ‘influence’ them and who they ‘influence’ – super cool, handy and easy.
All hail Google Analytics! When you first open it you may be overwhelmed but believe me it’s worth taking an hour to become familiar with it (here’s a handy guide). It’s quite simply a treasure trove of site information, including who has visited your site, what they did whilst they visiting and how they got there. GA delivers all this data in handy reports, which you can then integrate into your marketing strategies and guess what? It’s free!
Moz is an online SEO tool and has been around pretty much since the dawn of SEO. Moz offers a number of free tools that will come in handy for start-ups including the keyword explorer, where it tells you which keywords are best for your business based on a search term you’ve inputted. They also create handy keyword lists, like this toy one. It also allows you to check the domain authority of sites, including your own, along with page link metrics. Below is an example of what yahoo.com’s Moz stats look like.
Well, that concludes the round up of best digital marketing tools for start-ups. I hope you’ve found it helpful and would love to know if one of the above suggestions skyrocketed your enterprise. Or alternatively if you would like to suggest another tool or get in touch with us about any marketing related (or not we love to just chat to be honest) feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!