Startups are smart. They are hungry for growth. Startups often defy all odds, stack up against Goliaths, and walk away with huge wins. All of this when they are successful that is.
Most startups fail, however. Not because the idea wasn’t good or not because the founders didn’t do everything right. They’d do things right, of course, but the “right” falls into the domain the founders are good at.
So, if a startup founder comes from a web development background, that’s what he or she is good at. Their marketing as a whole takes a hit. If the founders are good at finance, technology and research takes a backseat, or at the very least, it isn’t a smooth ride.
This lack of balance can be crippling for a startup. But it doesn’t have to be. For areas where founders lack expertise in, there are some really smart tools that can help:
Startups often start with a website. Since not every startup is multi-funded, you are likely to start with almost nothing. Meanwhile you’d have left your job that offered you a big-fat paycheck. You now choose to follow the big fat dream instead.
Either way, you know that your website is the only (or at least the best) mouthpiece of your business. Yet, you can’t afford fancy hosting that you’ll need for that blazing performance, at least when you’re starting out.
If you go for shared hosting, you get something that can hold your website and keep it running until disaster happens.
Or you could choose a smart tool like Hostt, which is a hosting company with a difference – they don’t charge you for hosting. While many companies do that, this one has a difference – the scope of “free” here is “unlimited.” You have full control over your server and access to as much space as you want.
Meanwhile, the service is way better than regular shared hosting. Most installation is “one-click” and support is available 24/7.
You love free. You love it more when free has value.
If you are into ecommerce, eBay, retailing, or retail consulting, or working as a channel advisor, there’s news for you: You now have access to a tool that can help you beat your competitors to pulp and optimize your conversions better by giving a whole new dimension to your pricing strategy.
You should use Wiser if you are looking to automate your product prices and re-price them according to how the wind is blowing in your market. Wiser makes it easy to find optimal price points for best possible conversions and syncs seamlessly with your storefront (be it Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce or Prestashop).
Depending on the channels you use, you can also choose specific Wiser products – such as eBay Repricer and Amazon Repricer – for price management targeted at certain competitors.
Ok, this one isn’t new, but it’s super smart. It’s also one tool in your toolbox that has the potential to up your profits multi-fold or save your cash by truckloads. Optimizely allows you to deploy testing on your website, storefront, blog, or any other web property that means business for you.
In spite of the ever-growing presence of information about the benefits of A/B and multivariate testing, even agencies don’t use this technique for conversion rate optimization, let alone businesses and individuals. If only you divided your budget equally for traffic generation and optimization of your web properties for conversions, you’d never have to go hungry for leads ever again.
But that’s only if you pay your respect to the power of A/B testing when done right.
You already know video is big, don’t you? The question is: are you using video for your startup? Explainer videos, demo videos, friendly tips and tricks in video format, interviews, customer testimonials, real user case studies and a whole lot of other types of content can be packaged into video format for your visitors.
For startups, videos are a must. While they are still largely untapped by smaller businesses and individuals, they hold tremendous value in terms of story-telling, engagement, and traction.
Video isn’t hard. It’s just another learning curve for you to ride on. With Wistia, that curve flattens out. As a core product, Wistia is a video-hosting platform which also provides you with tools for lead generation (TurnStile) and analytics.
Also in offer are stories of real companies using video for lead generation and engagement, tips on how to use video, and an entire library of content dedicated to training you on how to create video with whatever you have (yes, your smartphones will do).
Now, outreach is critical for startups. But with thousands of websites, publishers, bloggers, and influencers, how do you possibly keep track of all the work that goes into
- Creating and building strong relationships
- Providing valuable contributions
- Creating blog posts, slide decks, infographics, and other shareable content assets
- Sharing, re-publishing, and starting all over again
- Finding new host blogs and publishers for more content marketing
If quality of your submissions is one thing, the entire body of work involving outreach is something else. That’s why you need BuzzStream – a tool that virtually cuts out large swathes of time that you’d have otherwise spent keeping track of your relationships and conversations.
Focus on quality content. Let Buzzstream do the rest.
Talking about video, I couldn’t help thinking about video in email. Email marketing is still the undisputed king as far as marketing channels go. Not even social media or paid advertising can beat email in terms of ROI (a whopping 4,300% according to the DMA 2013 Statistical Fact Book).
Combine the story-telling and almost “real” experience of video with the breathtakingly spectacular returns from email marketing, and you have a deadly strategy for startup marketing.
BombBomb swears by this strategy. Their product allows you to “get over it and start video marketing” now. Pick your phone up (iOS or Android), shoot videos, and send those campaigns out.
Are you a startup on your way to spectacular growth? What are the tools you just can’t do without? We are all ears in the comments!
Images: Author’s own
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