Another toolkit post!
This idea came to me after an awesome blog post by Vanhishikha last week! If you haven’t checked it yet – do it! She talks about Inbound Marketing and why it’s so helpful in a SaaS company. I think it could be beneficial to any company! Who doesn’t like customers coming to them?
But, if you read this blog you already know that I just love to recommend stuff. The one I used and the one that still works to this day. Some items in this list are absolute must-haves. So, in this post, I will try to suggest a set of tools to get your Inbound Marketing started the right way. Some of these tools are what we currently run in SalesChakra, so based on my hands-on experience I’ll tell you what I think of them.
The backbone of your Inbound Marketing success. SalesChakra currently runs on WordPress CMS. If you already have a domain and hosting for your website you also can download their CMS from WordPress.Org. Install it on your server with their Famous 5-Minute Installation and begin taking advantages of the most used website building platform in the world. There’s also WordPress.Com that lets you create a personalized website with their free theme. They offer a free domain that has yourwebsitename.wordpress.com or you can buy a domain (yourwebsitename.com, .net, .me etc) there. For web hosting, they have 3 plans including a free. However, if you have just a little HTML knowledge, there are many simpler tools to choose from! I have found a helpful article that summarized 3 biggest platforms for building a website, if you don’t know coding that well. From my experience of working with Wix.com, I can assure you that it’s so simple to use that literally anyone can launch and maintain a website.
2. Landing Page
For landing pages, it’s the best idea to create them within website’s theme or CMS, but in case it’s too difficult – I recommend WishPond. It’s so simple to use and allows you to create beautiful and engaging landing pages. You can further host them on your domain and make it look like they were made within your CMS. What’s more to it for you, as analytics oriented marketer – it allows A/B testing of landing pages to find the ones that work best with your audience. To be honest, you can do it manually too, but I think this implementation saves time & really makes you the smart one in the room when you come up with WishPond’s in-depth reports.
We used to send emails with Mautic, but now we moved to MailChimp for newsletters. It makes life easier with their template features, email lists and more thorough analytics. Mautic still works well for tracking emails or sending personalized emails. But overall we use Mautic to send personalized emails and for mass emailing – MailChimp does it. Either way, building a list is just a part of the process. Working that list and connecting with people and making the emails you send worthwhile is where it’s at.
4. Social Media
We’re using Hootsuite, but depending on your size – the Buffer might suit your social media needs too. However, Hootsuite is excellent – from scheduling to several social sites at once to creating a scheduling calendar & tracking ALL posts sent. It also allows you to create various streams and for example, track your competitors’ activity on Twitter. Buffer, on the other hand, provides the best times to publish and other similar functions found in Hootsuite. I think, this one is up to you to decide which scheduling platform you like the best as they all work fine.
5. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Very first step to kick-start your SEO would be to create an account on Google Webmasters Tools. Once you add your website there it shows where the errors could be found on your website and gives tips on how to solve them. Having faults on your website decreases your rating and scores you lower on the search results. Also, I’d like to recommend the most accurate database for tracking backlinks that I know – Ahrefs. Their metrics are accurate and they bring results.
In my opinion, SEO is one of the most important factor in Inbound Marketing and making your content SEO friendly could be incredibly beneficial because it’s an absolutely free traffic. You don’t have to schedule anything nor pay for it. It only takes some effort to maintain decent score by solving most common mistakes and keep yourself on track if you’re not hacked and none of the pages on your domain consist of malware. Finally, if you’re offering quality content – making it easy to find on Google or other search engine will benefit you in a long run.
The most important part in your Inbound Marketing is tracking tools. All of the tools mentioned above offer analytics and it will be up to you to join them all together.
All except one – your website!
You should setup Google Analytics as soon as you launch your website. To know who is coming to see what you’re writing about. However, functionality doesn’t end there. Using UTM tool, you can create different campaigns and track clicks from various sources. I can’t stress how important it is to see where the people are coming from and how each channel can be compared. Even if you’re not too friendly with Analytics, it’s handy skill to have as you can make adjustments to optimize your marketing budget.
I think, I’ve covered all the major Inbound Marketing steps with the tools mentioned. Just setting all of them up and making everything work like a well oiled machine is quite a major task. Maybe I missed something? Maybe you have some suggestions? Feel free to discuss in the comments.
Written by Jonas Matkevicius
Jonas is a marketing specialist at SalesChakra. He is a certified inbound marketer who drives social media engagement and optimizes content for audiences. He loves to write on sales, non profits and entrepreneurship.