Marketing your startup is hard. I’m going to share some of the tools we use at the company. Startup marketing isn’t that different then marketing a large brand. However, you have less money and time and need to focus.
Working in the performance marketing space for the last 11 years has been amazing. I’ve been able to use technology, tools and services to do my job better and faster…while maintaining the quality of the outcome you achieve when you used a manual process. You should know how and why you are doing something manually before automating the process.
Technology and tools are not a replacement for having a great strategy that is media agnostic. All the technology in the world won’t save your brand, especially if you are a startup, if you don’t have a plan to use that technology to make your business stronger.
A good example is building reports around requests from a client. We all get the client who emails us on a Thursday and says they had this fantastic idea last night and wants to see X. X could be mobile data or how certain campaigns are performing year over year (YoY). Instead of saying yes right way, I always ask clients:
- Why they want to see X?
- What is X going to be used for?
- What decisions do they need to make?
- How will the report be used?
- Who will see the report?
Understanding these 5 questions will let you understand if there is better data that the client could use or even what data might be missing to begin with. From there I build a report manually and get feedback from the client. The feedback from the client lets me know if they understand what the report says and if the report digestible. The latter being important if someone in the C-suit is going to see it too. Below are some of the tools we use each week to get the job done.
Google Ads Scripts
Provide a way to programmatically control your Google Ads data. You can use scripts to automate common procedures or interact with external data in one or many Google Ads accounts. My favourite scripts I’ve been using over the years are:
The software helps you connect two programs together that don’t have an official integration. e.g. importing a Twitter list into a Slack channel, so it’s searchable later by your team. Zapier’s recipe library.
Similar to Zapier, IFTTT is a web-based service that allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements, called “recipes”, which are triggered based on changes to other web services such as Gmail, Dropbox, Instagram, and Craigslist. Seer Interactive put together a great list of IFTTT recipes for marketers.
Knowing what a community or country is searching for is high up there for performance marketers. Each country and industry offer a rich nuance of what makes them unique. Having lived in 5 cities on 3 continents, I can tell you for a fact that the subtle differences are what make this job challenging and interesting.
I use both Google’s Keyword Planner and KeywordTool.io to find out what people search for and what’s trending over the last 12 months. Don’t forget Google’s Trends or Answer The Public for a global point of view on search trends, keywords and questions that get asked.
If there is one tool I can’t live without anymore it’s Supermetrics. I build 90% of my client reports with it and any other reports I may need one off. The software works with excel and Gsheets and has some great integration.
Google’s URL Builder helps you track campaigns beyond what gets important in Google Analytics. I use it for campaigns on third-party networks, Bing and anything I’d want to track in
Google Analytics, Heap or MixPanel.
This tool helps you take your data and visualize it. Not everyone is a fan of or knows how to do pivot tables. Charted helps with that by visualizing any data set you link into, however, it doesn’t store any data on the site. If you work with a decentralized team, this tool along with Slack is a one two punch combo.
A handy Split Test Calculator when you don’t want to run everything by hand.
Facebook’s Grid Tool checks if your newsfeed ad is 20% over the text limit. Platform limitation on social advertising is a challenge to keep track of. Both these links will help you understand if something is possible at a basic level. It’s not guaranteed but it’s a good starting point.
If you need to build landing pages, then look check out Unbounce as an option. I ran PPC marketing there globally for two years and know the platform inside and out. If you need to do customer research and CRO work, I would look at HotJar. The one two combo of Unbounce and HotJar can not be beat.
If you’re building landing pages, as you do in marketing, than Compfight (searches Flickr) and a post called Stock photos that don’t suck should be your first port of call. You don’t want to have bad stock photos on your site when you’re trying to do a launch in 48 hours. I have not used it but I hear Canva is a good option too.
The folks at Zapier made a great post last year on 10 Setup Tips and 20+ Extensions for the savvy marketer that uses Google Chrome. Check it out. It’s how I stumbled on them almost a year ago.
– Startup Stash is a new curated directory featuring resources & tools that startups would find helpful.
What are your favourite tools or services to help market a startup?
That is it for this week. See you next time.
Originally published Jan. 23rd, 2018. Updated Jan. 2rd, 2019
Disclaimer: We independently select the tools and technology that we use at the agency—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.