Top 15 Growth Marketing Tools for Startups

It’s hard being a start-up. At the dawn of their lifecycle, startups have to keep up a steady growth of 30% every year or suffer a painful death.

Up until a while ago, “growth hacking” was an odd buzzword on the lips of SEOs and marketing professionals alike. Today, it has become a synonym for most of the marketing tactics used by startups; a process of experimenting across marketing channels in order to identify the most effective and efficient ways to grow your business. It is a mindset; a fast-paced, data-driven and actionable approach to help you capitalize on the opportunities and ideas that drive business growth.

The man who coined the term, Sean Ellis, defines it by stating that start-up companies need to change the rules of conventional channels, or better yet, innovate outside of them since they are beyond the advantage of adapting to the old rules of marketing. Young startups need to be creative and test new ideas relentlessly because, if they don’t, they will be soon out of business.

If this is all so overwhelming for you, fear not – we have compiled a list of the 15 top growth-hacking tools that will help you get the job done, most of which are free to use! Check them out below:

 

1. Buff up your marketing efforts on Twitter with Click to Tweet

This one is the simplest – Click to Tweet helps you promote your products on Twitter. Engage your Twitter followers in sharing your product and you can offer them reward like coupons. The built-in analytics will tell you how many times your link has been clicked, which is as useful as ever. Just sign in with Twitter!

 

2. Automate your marketing strategy on Twitter with Jooicer

The automation on Jooicer makes life on Twitter for the baby start-up a charm: you can select the actions you want to be automated by creating “recipes”: say, “follow all users with a certain hashtag in their bio”. You can create your own custom recipes or share with others.

 

3. Create email collect forms with SumoMe ListBuilder

Out of the nifty little bundle of tools called SumoMe, the ListBuilder lets you convert one-time visitors into subscribers. You can either use the completely customizable popover after visitors spend a certain amount of time on your site or turn on smart mode so that the tool can ask them to subscribe when they’re ready to leave the site.

4. Add an email collect pop-up with SumoMe ScrollBox

Similar to the ListBuilder, you can customize a pop-up to appear after the visitor has scrolled down a specific percentage of your site. That way you can be sure that they have had the time to enjoy some of your content before committing.

 

5. Create giveaways with SumoMe Leads

This is the hottest way to turn visitors into leads –  by rewarding them with downloadable content like brochures or PDF documents. The button is free for you to place anywhere on the page; all you have to do is create the bonuses to lure those leads!

 

6. Make any selection of text tweetable with SumoMe Twilighter

Sharing made easy! All your visitors have to do is highlight any piece of content they wish to share and they can send it to their Twitter feed with the click of the mouse.

 

7. Ease the sharing of image with SumoMe Image Sharer

A must-have plug-in that makes it easy for your readers to share an image from your blog posts. This comes supported with the fact that shares on Facebook get over 39% more engagement if they include an image. It’s very user-friendly:  all the photos in your posts will be overlaid with sharing icons for the social platforms and each share includes a link as well.

8. Add conversion pop-ups with Optimonk

Much like the ListBuilder and the ScrollBox, Optimonk allows you to detect “exit intent” and add a pop-up message asking your visitor to extend their stay or sign up for more. They offer a free 14-day trial, after which you will have to inquire for the rates.

 

9. Discover the most popular articles with BuzzSumo

With this free little tool, you just type any term in its search bar and it lists you all the popular articles on that particular topic. Work wonders for writers who want to be at the top of their writing game by staying relevant!

 

10. Add call-to-action with HelloBar 

HelloBar is not new, but it’s still not very well known. It adds a notification bar on the top of your site that doesn’t move and you can stick any kind of action you want on it, from email collection to a simple message! The basic plan is free, but with the PRO you can do some cool things like A/B testing.

 

11. Help resolve problems with SessionCam

With SessionCam, you can watch a recording of your web and mobile visitors in order to identify potential problems or simply increase conversion. It also shows you heat maps and helps you build conversion funnels between the pages on your site. It’s free for the Basic Plan.

 

12. Analyze your conversions with ClickTale

Improve your conversions by finding out where your visitors like to click on your site. You can even analyze the performance of the forms you want to be filled in. ClickTale records individual visitor sessions on both desktop and mobile and aggregates it all while allowing you to focus on a particular individual.

 

13. Overlay an ad over the link you share using Snip.ly

This one’s also a no-brainer: If you have an ad that is related to the story you wish to share, use Snip.ly to increase conversions. It’s free up to 100 conversions; if you want to beef it up, plans start at $16 for 500 conversions, up to $85 for 5000 conversions.

 

14. Forget the plain old forms and surveys with Typeform

Make all your lead generating tools interactive and fun with Typeform and watch as the number of leads increases! As many other tools on this list, they offer a basic plan for free to try it out.

 

15. Send user-specific emails with MailGun

The last one on our list makes the coveted email marketing a breeze. No matter if it’s a thank-you email for a visitor signing up or an apology for when their session was rudely interrupted by an error, MailGun is the API for you! And it holds a sweet pricing plan: free up to 10,000 emails/mo, then it’s $0.00050 per email.

 

It may be difficult to grow your business from the ground up, but it’s a fun and exciting challenge. One that can be made a lot easier once you find the right growth marketing tools that will ease many tasks. Try out some of the 15 on this list and let us know how you liked them. And if you need more suggestions, or additional growth marketing help and advice, don’t hesitate to contact Visible Factors. We’ve been where you are.   

 

The Most Recent Pay Per Click Trends And Why You Should Follow Them

As marketers engage in Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing, it’s vital that we keep our finger on the proverbial pulse of the latest PPC trends.  While no one can predict the future, we can make some extrapolations based on trends we’re seeing in the present, and base some predictions on new features that have rose to prominence in the last few years.  With more and more businesses utilizing PPC marketing as a means of generating more sales, PPC has become one of the most powerful sources of new technology in all of internet marketing.  Let’s take a look at some of the most recent trends that we believe you should be following.

Audience Targeting

In the past several years, we have seen a new rise of audience targeting technologies, and this is something more and more marketers have been taking advantage of.  Expect to see more personalized ads utilizing audience targeting options – and we expect to see audience targeting integrated directly into Adwords.  Ads in 2017 look to be increasingly targeted by device, age, and behavior, with an emphasis on interest-based targeting.

Overall, the purpose of using audience targeting is to help build stronger relationships before a customer converts.  The transformation of prospect to conversion will be reflected in the way this target advertising sequentially engages them: finding consumers in the top of the funnel, and gradually leading them down to the purchase.  Audience targeting helps marketers develop a strategy that moves beyond last-click attribution, and transcends all levels of the “funnel.”

For these reasons, we think it’s important for marketers to focus on audience targeted just as heavily as we focus on keyword targeting.  All three of these targeting metrics: keyword, location, and audience, will play crucial roles in developing a strong PPC strategy in 2017 and beyond.  If you’re not using audience targeting already, it’s time to start.

Voice Search

The rise of voice search is something that few of us could have predicted in past years, but today there is no question: voice search is a rising trend among consumers and with mobile assistants getting more accurate, with devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home, it’s only going to get larger.  For these reasons, 2017 could be the year we see a shift toward voice search in a big way.  For this reason, we may begin to see analytics on whether users interact via voice or text search in PPC marketing in the near future.  This information will assist marketers in tailoring messaging not only to audiences and to keywords, but also to the search method.  So – how can we make sure we’re ready when voice search takes the spotlight?  Make sure your site’s information is voice search friendly, and keep an eye out for voice advertising news, to make sure you’re ready to be on top of this trend as soon as you can.

Think About Bing

When Bing launched, many of us took a bit of an aloof, even askance view of it. Today, while it certainly isn’t matching market share with Google by any stretch, it is continuing to grow in the marketing realm, and every year sees an increase in Bing ad use, particularly as the platform expands with more extensions – and audience targeting capabilities.  As we’ve mentioned, audience targeting is a trend you should be on top of in your PPC efforts, and that means it’s not the time to forget that Bing ads exist.  The Bing audience is unique, and their lower CPC on keywords makes them an attractive platform for PPC marketing.  Take advantage of these lower costs before Bing grows even more, and you could reap the benefits before your competitors.  We recommend simply copying your AdWords campaign to Bing, and beginning with a small budget – and of course, don’t forget audience targeting.

Respect the Kings

Of course, while we’re paying attention to new approaches like Bing, and voice searches via Amazon Echo, don’t forget that the kings are very much secure in their thrones at least for the time being.  In terms of search, Google won’t be usurped anytime soon, and in the social media world Facebook continues to reign supreme.  Google’s audience continues to grow and their PPC technologies get more and more robust.  Meanwhile, Facebook continues to diversify its own revenues by expanding their ad options. For the PPC marketer, growth in Google and Facebook means higher returns from integrated campaigns using both of these services.

So, what about other social media platforms?  We don’t mean to downplay the ad potential of Twitter and LinkedIn – to the contrary, they are growing as well.  Additionally, since visual content and video is a very effective tool for engaging an audience, don’t neglect the urge to expand into visual platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and YouTube in your PPC strategy.

Optimize and Automate

Finally, we’re seeing a lot of new automation tools in the PPC world, and those should be used to their fullest extent, allowing you to focus on top level strategy for your PPC efforts.  Automation helps to boost ROI, and allows marketers to use their time more wisely.  Using scripts, rules, and the AI already built into computers, in addition to new tools like prediction engines and intelligent bidding to limit overspending, enables us to exercise more control than ever over a wide array of metrics.  Don’t fight automation – use it, and use your time to focus on higher level tasks!

Are you a PPC marketer with insights as to recent trends? If so, would love to hear your ideas in the comments. If you’re looking for help getting you PPC campaigns set up, reach out and our team would be glad to help! As always, remember to follow Visible Factors on Twitter.

 

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