If you’re a new startup, there are alot of cost you can save by leveraging on these 20 marketing tools to promote your product or service. I wish there were such tools around 20 years ago. Do select the tools that you need and not be overwhelmed by all the new shiny object daily. It’s always good for you to have a primary and at least one backup tool. While some tools would require you to pay a small fee monthly, the long term goal is to grow your customer database. Getting more customer engagement would get your business more sales.

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#1 – Facebook Page

All small or big businesses need to have a Facebook Page. Your potential customer can reach you easy and receive updates from your company ‘on the go’. But most small business owner didn’t leverage on the full potential of Facebook Page. Since most of the time it’s a one way communication when you post onto your post, you will get likes,comment or feedback review. While this is just the tip of the ice berg, you have the potential to run poll, asking your customer for feedbacks.

The most common I see on Facebook pages are company running small giveaways with condition. By asking your potential or non-potential people to like, share and comment on their giveaway post. This is not effective at all, you can get lots of likes and share but little sales. Why? You’re just playing a guessing game. Very much the same as trying to strike a win by buying more tickets. Real and sustainable marketing required the business owner to understand their target audience. This can be very specific until when they are online and which day would trigger a purchase mostly.

Only by running a paid Facebook Ads on your page, you will then be given this data. It’s not free and it’s not going to be cheap as well. But if you’re running a legit business, you can get to keep this customer for lifetime. Your customer which you identified is either going to be with you or with your competitors. The rest are just noise.

Your goal here could be getting to 100K likes from potential customer and apply for a Facebook Blue Verification Badge. This badge can lower your Ads spend and tell the whole world you’re an authentic trusted source.

#2 – Pinterest

Do not assume your customer is on this platform. Pinterest is a beast of graphics nature. A picture tell a thousand words. Step 1 is to get a business account so that you can more market insights. Little did the average consumer know that Pinterest is actual a search engine. Yes, it’s a consumer driven search engine. You provide the content, they (Pinterest), display it to the right audience for you. You could not longer check which post is the most popular and manipulate the post to divert traffic. However, there is a paid advertising build in for you to advertise your products. It’s best if you’re running an eCommerce store. Pinterest would be a better fit to direct the traffic from this platform to your online store.

Creating boards need not be everything about your products. In fact, Pinterest would like you to curate content which no one have curate before. This way, your content get shared and promote by this platform. Everything else you can think of would probably have a board.

Your goal here is to get into similar boards and share your knowledge and bring value to the community. In this way, you will get more followers to share your post and drive more sales to your store.

#3 – Instagram

The fastest platform for you to built your fan. It’s not so much business driven. 3 main niches are doing very well on this platform currently; personal fitness, weight loss and artists (any type). Our team tested Instagram story, picture post and carousel post. The most effective right now would be Instagram story. Right, video post get more views and likes. However, you would be able to directly monetize on Instagram unless you run ads from Facebook. Always get an Instagram business account be it for personal or business.

Even if you have a link at your main profile, the actual click thru is very very low. See how this sum work out? For 1000 views, less than 10 would visit your profile page unless you are near “Naked”. LOL. Facebook wanted their user to spend money. Period. Unless you have a specific objective to get sales, spending more time by adding fan and checking out other people content, likes or comment won’t generate sales.

Your goal here is to build a personal brand awareness and amass million fans. A 10,000 fan base could be your goal here in order to have a swipe up function and to setup an online free store.

#4 – YouTube Videos

Startup business owner should not confuse themselves that making YouTube would required a video production team. You’re not making a TV show. All you need is an authentic self and your mobile phone with tripod. Getting subscriber for your new channel is difficult compared to the previous three. Why? It’s not about content saturation nor “my content sucks”. It’s about getting attention. You need to learn YouTube video optimization, keywords competition and niche into one area which is less competition.

There are many tools out on the internet that allows you to do this. Socialblade and vidIQ can help you gain a better insights into the area of video optimization and what is popular on YouTube. I will share with you more in the later part of this article.

As a small business owner, your objective in using YouTube is not to become a YouTuber but to create an awareness of your brand, product or service. There are plenty of people having the expectation that if they produce one viral video and they can gain thousands to million of subscribers. Sadly, users drive the YouTube algorithm. There is no secret which one can hack into YouTube algorithm. You need video content that resonate most with an average person. Yes, the key is average person. A recent YouTube sensation which a normal ‘Dad’ broke all YouTube ranking algorithm. He knew nothing on SEO, ranking algorithm nor creating fancy thumbnail and he is not a celebrity. Check out his channel “Dad, How Do I”.

The old fashion way of giving good usable knowledge works like crazy. Why do you want to create video? It’s to provide value to the world. Give your knowledge and you shall be rewarded in many ways. There are many noise on making money online, promotion of products/courses and fake gurus. Just be yourself and tell the world what can I learn from you. 10 years from now, you will be glad you have started a YouTube channel. Growth is expected to be exponential.

#5 – LinkedIn

All business owner need to have a LinkedIn profile. You establish credibility and credential on your personal home page. This will built trust and transparency to your business. Get your LinkedIn profile updated and ask for testimony from friends and customers. To be seen as and expert in your industry is not difficult with LinkedIn. And your connection on LinkedIn with another expert would further confirmed that.

LinkedIn post are short and concise. If you post on a blog, just repurpose your content to be more concise onto LinkedIn. People on linkedIn are head hunters, potential JV partners, job seekers, freelance business owner or ‘C’ level. Give them a reason to connect with you. Well, you can also ask for it or get your friend to recommend a connection for you. People are more serious on LinkedIn and matured. Still you should not miss out advertising your business services here.

Your goal here is to connect with 500 industry experts and share your knowledge and get people talking about you and eventually getting a referral.

Graphics Design

Graphic design is an important part to all businesses. Everything you see online is with a picture, a logo or a typeface. You will need to get some design up for branding. Creating graphic design is getting easier and simpler. Here are some of the tools to get yourself started on.

#6 – Canva.com

Till date Canva is still considered one of the most popular graphic design tool online. It’s free to use and they do have a paid version as well. Our team uses this website on a daily basis to create video thumbnails, Instagram video, Instagram post and Facebook post graphics. Why do I like Canva? There are plenty of build in template you can use. Just modify and add your own graphics. If you need to create a short video, you can also leverage on Canva to quickly make a video. They do have a mobile version which you can download and create your graphics/flyers on the go.

I personal use Canva daily if not at least 3X per week. Fast and easy to use, allows me to create the right graphics to be used across many social media platform. FREE version is good enough.

Your goal here is to increase productivity by DIY your own graphics and use Canva as a secondary site for all your graphics need if you already have a in-house designer.

#7 – Unsplash.com

You don’t want to spend money on buying photograph or graphics for your social media? Use Unsplash. It’s 100% free to use photograph for both personal and commercial use license. Most of my blog post pictures are downloaded from Unsplash or Pexels. Their pictures are in high resolutions and updated daily due to huge pool of contributors. It’s a freely shared resources for anyone. They do have a mobile version as well for you to download.

Personally, I prefer the images from Unsplash. Somewhat those are really professional photos which money cannot buy. Just a word of caution, do not download and photos that have a trademarks and logos in any of the photograph.

Your goal here is to find a range of photograph which can be use to represent what your brand is about or for all your social media needs.

#8 – Pexels.com

Similar to Unsplash except you can find quality short video to be used for your Instagram story. Pexels do collage some of the photograph and videos posted on Pixabay. ( free photograph resources as well). When downloading pictures for online personal or commercial use, do check the license. Some website would required you to attribute back to the contributors. All photographs from Pexels is claim to be attribution not required. And you can edit aka modify for your own use.

Your goal is to find ready short video that can be use for Facebook video ads or adding to your YouTube video production.

#9 – Pixlr.com

Pixlr is a free online photo editor right from your browser. You can save hundreds of dollars per year if you’re doing small graphics editing work using Pixlr. Their paid version are really affordable as well. When I first started online to design banner, I was using Pixlr and it’s much easier to use then Photoshop. Best online editor so far and having over 500 million users. One unique thing about Pixlr is the ability to leverage Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to help content creator to quickly design their graphics. They have design templates to speed up the whole process.

Your goal is to learn how to use the basic function by watching YouTube videos and design your own company graphics for marketing repurpose.

#10 – Affinity Designer

If you’re into more complex design and tee-shirt design business, affinity designer is at an affordable rate. You can get a free trial of this software before buying. I am into my 4th month using this software. And I am purely using this for my print on demand products for testing and generated some sales. If you’re a freelancer into designing, give this a try. I am surprised that all the major image and vector file types are supported, including PDF/X4, EPS, SVG and PSD support.

If you’re a non-designer like me, it’s a good software to quickly copy and paste some design up for selling on print on demand sites. And other use for business owner can be using it to design your company banners, letter heads, name cards and EDM.

Your goal here is to download and install this software. Try for 30 days free and choose one designing software for your business use.

Video Production

Video is 10x more valuable then text. Your potential customer can see and hear you. The way you present yourself and what does your brand represent. It’s also the fastest to get yourself exposed to the eyeballs of many potential client on social media. Here’re some of the relatively affordable and free tool to start with.

#11 – OBS Studio

OBS Studio is a free and open-source software suite for recording and live streaming game. If you’re setting a YouTube channel and promoting your product and service, this tool will be sufficient. The initial setup would required some work which you can get step by step video on YouTube. When shooting video, take into consideration, your lighting, HD camera 1080P, microphone (I uses Blue Mic) and a tripod. You too can produce professional looking videos right from your own home.

This software is beginner friendly which my 11 years old daughter is using for her video production for her YouTube channel as well. Video production is no longer restricted by age or purely for business marketing.

Your goal here is to install this software, produce one video 3 minute video. It’s perfectly fine if your first video doesn’t look professional. You can also improve on it. The key is to take action and produce content.

#12 – Bensound.com

You can get royalty free music from Bensound. Although it’s not really necessary for you to add background sound into your video creation process, it’s a good resource which come in handy if your recording background is constantly with noise. You can easily mask it over. Selecting the right music for your video will bring up or down the feel of the content delivery experience. So use with caution. If you’re new to video production, just find a quiet spot and start doing your recording.

Your background music should not over power your voice. Adjust the volume of your sound track at all time before publishing your video.

Attribution is required by Bensound.

Your goal here is to download a few music which you like and incorporate into your next video production.

#13 – VidIQ

This is an essential tool for YouTube video creator. You can install VidIQ on your Chrome brower to get insights on currently what video your competitions are producing. What type of video get the most views? And what are the keywords which are high in demand but low in video count. VidIQ also have exceptional support especially their own YouTube channel have alot of useful content insights that can help any video creator to quickly understand how to use this software.

Most of the top YouTuber content producer uses vidIQ to help them gain subscribers fast and you get better insights into what content people are watching. Your audience interaction with your videos allow you to pivot accordingly. YouTube studio doesn’t give you enough data to make a decision why your viewer stopped watching your video after 3 minutes, which videos gave you the most number of subscribers and SEO score ranking.

Your goal here is to download vidIQ and start looking at your video insights.

#14 – SocialBlade

Do you want a powerful FREE insight tool to Facebook Page, Youtube creator and Instagram user? Use SocialBlade. This tool is powerful enough to convince you or your grandmother why they should be on Youtube. Just put in the username,channel name or page name to get insights about their profile.

For YouTube channel, you can see how much money Youtuber generate per video, it’s usually a range but just take the mid point. It’s very close to the actual figure they make yearly.

For Facebook Page, you can check out how many followers your favorite idol get by day and which day their content get shared the most.

Your goal here is to find a few big names on YouTube. Check their stats over at SocialBlade and get inspired. Whenever you feel like giving up, look at the amount they are making from 1 video. Nothing will happen if you keep consuming other people’s video. But something will, if you decided to give.

#15 – KeywordsEverywhere.com

This tool is used by alot of Internet marketers whenever they want to create content. You want to know what exactly people are searching for on Google. Keywords everywhere is a Chrome extension you can install onto your browser. Keywords Everywhere pulls the “People Also Search For” and “Related” keywords from Google & Bing and shows them to you with the volume metrics right inside Google’s search page.

I uses this tool to create content title which people are searching whenever I post onto social media. It’s also important that your content get read or watch else there is no point in creating content. Keywords Everywhere is do not have subscription model. You pay as to how much keywords you need to research on. For a 100K keyword research only cost you $10. I believe this could last you a few years. The free version only have minimal information and insights.

Your goal here is to download and install this extension onto chrome and start trying out keyword research.

Customer Engagement

#16 – Zoom

A cloud based video conferencing site which you can conduct 1-1 meeting with your potential client or customer. The free plan allows up to 100 participants but limited to 40 minutes maximum usage. Their monthly subscription is fairly cheap if you have a small group of students to support or less than 100 clients. This is a tool which you need to get at minimum especially during a globe pandemic.

Apart from getting a zoom account, you might want to consider Uber conferencing as well as a backup. It’s always good to have a backup alternative. I have been on countless of zoom call and it’s deliverable is consider acceptable. But for customer data sensitive industry like banking and trading, it’s better to go with a private secure ip provider. It’s not difficult for hacker to tap into your call if it’s not manually monitored. Security is very real and do not take for granted no one is listening in to all your conversations.

Your goal here is get into a zoom call as host and understand how to operate this piece of software.

#17 – Loom

If you’re running a support role and need to guide customer to solve issues regularly, you will need Loom. This software allow you to quickly create and share videos. For freelancer, you can use video show case your work. If you’re working with a virtual assistant, the easiest way to show how a certain work is done, is to record a step by step video. Our team used to support our customer using Loom and the feedback had been great.

Free version is available with limited capability. And Pro version is at $5/month. They are running a special promo due to Covid19.

Your goal is to signup for a free account and start learning the features of this software.

#18 – KingSumo

Many startup struggle with getting their customer to engage with them. Here’s a quick solution you can consider. Running a KingSumo viral giveaway can kickstart your engagement with your potential client. The free version allows you to design and run your campaign. Measure the result and fine tune along the way. This method is powerful if used correctly. You can boost your subscriber opt-in rate for your YouTube channel, Instagram and Facebook pages.

Giveaway is a strategy which I used before to quickly a group to 100K people. And Viral giveaways can definitely grow your email list fast as well. Kingsumo blog had a few example on how this is implemented and results won’t lie. Many Big eCommerce site uses this technique to grew to 7 figures.

Your goal here is to sign up for an account and start your first campaign for giveaway.

#19 – Facebook Group

If you want to engage with more customer, you need to setup a Facebook group. The power of group is that you can ask for feedback, setup a poll and let your customer post content. You can select the most active person to even become the administrator of the group. In this way, you just need to manage the expectation rather than the post.

Facebook group can allow more similar groups to discover your business and interact with more potential client. I made a video recently on “This is Why You Need A Facebook Group In 2020”. You can head over to watch the details.

Your goal here is to setup your Facebook group and link it to your Facebook Page if you already have one.

#20 – BuilderAll

If you make it this far, you’re in for a treat. This is the most powerful tool which you need have for all your marketing efforts. Yes, BuilderAll. I am using this for 2 years and the tools available on this platform will blow your mind. You can park your domain as BuilderAll is a self hosting platform. Build your website and landing pages with a click of a few button and collect your potential leads email addresses.

You can also build your own online courses here and market it to the marketplace inside BuilderAll. There are a few plan available and a business account that allow you to monetize on subscription.

Your goal is to sign up for a free account and try our the features available to you.

P.S: For BuilderAll, I do get a commission if you happened to pay for a monthly plan.

Summary

As a new startup, you will be overwhelmed by all the different tools available and struggle with day to day up keeping of content production. However, once you can perceive on for 6 months, you will see results could be exponential. Subscribe to this blog if you want to be notified on new content published.

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