Technology

5 Essential Inbound Marketing Tools for Startups and Entrepreneurs

marketing tools

Startups and entrepreneurs have a unique challenge they need to face to effectively promote their solutions in a digital environment. The days of creating amazing content, paying for advertisement, and then leaning back on your chair to get great results are essentially over. Here are five essential inbound marketing tools for startups and entrepreneurs.

Today—and particularly in the pandemic context—you need to put a little more work to build a relationship with your audience.

Rarely will you turn cold leads into happy customers if you don’t address their concerns and questions throughout their buying process.

But how to get started? Let us help you with that!

In the guide (below), we’ve compiled five key marketing tools you can’t miss adding to your social media and video marketing strategy. By using vids, not only will you create excellent content to display in your pages and networks— but you will also attract new and returning customers.

Display Your Competence with Downloadable Written Material

Whether your business consists of marketing solutions to gardening tools or grilling equipment, you can deliver great value to your prospects by giving them long-form written content.

This is a staple that many brands use today to showcase their expertise on a particular subject. There are countless options you can go for, including:

  • Compilations of your best blog posts or essays that dive deep into important topics.
  • ‘Ultimate guides’ and workbooks to help those interested in developing a particular skill.
  • Manuals to show your prospects how to best take advantage of your product.

The benefit of the free written material is that visitors must subscribe to your email list to get it. Rather, if your content is great and easy to consume, prospects will likely see you as a reliable provider and consider your services when comparing your brand to other options.

To succeed with eBooks, you don’t have to offer something completely revolutionary, try to create content that sets you apart from the rest. For example, there are many writing guides out there; but perhaps not many offer specific advice on crafting an effective hook.

Bonus tip: You can repurpose the eBook’s long-form content to produce shorter blog posts, infographics, newsletters, or videos—anything that helps you keep your content up to date. Just be sure to give them a different perspective or expand even further on the eBook’s ideas.

Convey Your Ideas with Powerful Animation

As with eBooks, the purpose of creating videos for your brand is not to shamelessly advertise your services, but to present yourself as a useful and knowledgeable provider.

Adding videos to your marketing toolkit is a very versatile solution. Your vid will provide insights, tips, and tricks on topics related to your brand. There are many types of videos you can produce to follow prospects during every stage of their buying journey.

An animated video production comes particularly in handy for framing a problem. Then you show how your solution can ease the viewers’ lives. With the use of colorful visuals, sympathetic characters, and an engaging story, you can help your prospects better understand their needs and identify their pain points—all while watching a fun video!

Having this content on your landing pages and social media accounts will help you differentiate your ideas and solutions to those of other brands.

Bonus tip: Audiences love interacting with videos. When you create them, be sure to upload them everywhere, and don’t be afraid to repurpose your vids as shorts, for marketing and fun.

Enjoyable, informative videos tailored to a social media platform are great material to generate interactions and shares.

Create Amazing Sweepstakes and Contests to Entice Your Prospects

The chance of winning an awesome prize gives your prospects a unique incentive to engage with your brand. Now, with services like Rafflecopter and ShortStack, launching sweepstakes and contests events via email, social media is easier than ever.

One question you may have, though, is whether this is an effective strategy. After all, isn’t marketing more about gaining than giving away?

The answer is that sweepstakes and contests can be useful not only for generating buzz about your brand but for research purposes. You can collect valuable information from participants, which you can later use for developing a targeted content marketing strategy. Some essential entry options include:

  • The participant’s name.
  • Email address.
  • Phone number.
  • Address and zip code.

Now the trick to creating killer sweepstakes and contests that attract valuable leads is the prize. You will surely gain lots of entries with a MacBook or Super Bowl tickets, but hardly any of them will become potential customers.

Instead, you need to offer something more relevant to your audience. One good idea is to give away a product that complements yours. For example, if you specialize in selling drinks, a set of custom glasses would create a great response.

Bonus tip: As you start in the business, consider partnering up with other people to provide the prize for you. There are many brands out there who are eager to promote their products via other users.

Entice Visitor with Optimized Landing Pages

A landing page is a great place to showcase your content and explain your ideas in full detail. In general, landing pages should be very informative and direct to communicate what your product or service is about.

When you design one, focus on clear goals: tell visitors what your value proposition can do for them and what steps they can take to learn more. In practice, that means having your most important content front-loaded.

Prioritize clean, minimalist designs that draw attention to your product and CTA. For example, if you’ve produced videos and images related to your product, they should be in the center of the page and not have intrusive elements that distract visitors.

Bonus tip: It’s critical to define the right spot to place your forms: that’s where visitors interested in learning more will subscribe to your list and/or download your content.

Visitors shouldn’t have to scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the form. Place the form in the upper right corner. Pay attention to your metrics and data to gauge response and interaction with the content positioning as well.

Launch Social Media Promotions and Offers

Having a solid social media presence is an essential component for any startup or entrepreneur’s success that aims to build a strong relationship and trust with their prospects.

You can use social media to give your followers preferential treatment by keeping them up with your news and big announcements. But you can also provide value with special promotions and offers, such as discounts, coupons, and promo codes.

Some of you may feel that social media promos are no more than an inconvenience every startup goes through to reap benefits in a very distant future eventually. I get it, and that’s true for many people—unless you learn how to strategically launch your promos.

To run successful social media promotions and offers, you first need to define your goals.

Although promos are very effective for attracting new clients, you can also use recurrent promo cycles to target your existing customers and encourage retention.

The key is not to launch promotions for their own sake, but to identify real marketing gaps and develop targeted promos and offers to address them.

Bonus tip: Often, we need real-time experience to assess whether we are using promos effectively. Fortunately, services like RevLifter and Rignite not only help you generate and share promos easily—they also give you comprehensive reports that let you track and analyze data. Or you could use live-streaming platforms as promotional venues and get instant feedback and metrics you can use to improve your future campaigns.

Time to Get Started

We’ve reviewed the purpose of the marketing tools to turn casual websites or social media visitors into eventual clients and committed promoters of your brand.

You really need to work on your social media platforms, since those are the places where users will most likely first hear about your brand. Give your followers an entertaining yet informative video and make them feel special by promoting your promos and giveaways in those platforms.

When users decide to pay you a visit to your website, be sure to have optimized landing pages and a value you can offer them for free, such as an eBook.

Together, these tools will allow you to successfully navigate your first experience with your online business.

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