Running a startup is exciting and stressful at the same time. There’s a world of opportunities at your feet, but there’s also a giant pile of things to wade through on your desk.
No doubt a few of the items on your to-do list are about marketing. From boosting your search engine ranking to choosing project management software, there’s a lot to get done.
Fortunately, there are plenty of marketing tools for startups to make life easier.
In this post, we’ll share our top 10 marketing tools for startups and how you can use them to launch your business into the stratosphere. ☄️
What Should You Look for In Marketing Tools for Startups?
Not all marketing tools for startups are the same. Some are great for tech-oriented SaaS businesses while others are better suited for lifestyle brands.
No matter what tool you need, here’s what to look for when choosing a marketing tool for your startup:
- Collaboration: Nothing’s worse than working with a disjointed team. Choose a tool that offers real-time collaboration so everyone stays up-to-date and on the same page in the fast-changing startup environment
- Customization: Startups must adapt and act fast. Look for tools that offer customization to make tweaks and create solutions specific to your needs
- Integrations: Your tools should work well with one another. Find marketing tools that integrate with your other daily management and design programs
- Templates: Effective marketing tools save you time and money. Choose a platform that offers templates to accomplish recurring tasks faster
The 10 Best Marketing Tools for Startups to Use in 2023
Here’s our list of the best tools for marketing teams and startups. From keyword research to social media posting, there’s a paid or free tool for every startup and marketing strategy.
ClickUp project management software makes scheduling tasks, assigning responsibility, and managing day-to-day operations easier than ever. Marketing teams use ClickUp to create editorial and marketing calendars and manage publishing schedules.
But wait, there’s more. 👀
You can collaborate in real-time on everything from social media engagement to paid ads. Brainstorm with your team to develop new campaigns or use the different views to dive deeper into analytics. Automate tasks to instantly assign projects to relevant team members and reduce time spent on busy work.
One of the most exciting features is ClickUp AI, a writing assistant designed to make marketing more efficient and effective. Purpose-built for different use cases, wield it to craft email campaigns, write content briefs, produce blog posts, or generate ideas during keyword research. Best of all, you can do it to match your brand’s specific voice.
ClickUp best features:
- Automation lets you work faster by instantly creating recurring tasks and assigning them to the responsible team members
- The all-in-one tool enables communication and streamlines workflows for smoother operations
- Thousands of templates make startup life easier whether you’re drafting a marketing plan or running a shareholder analysis for upcoming projects
- Some users find the vast functionality a little intimidating at first, but there’s tons of support to guide new users
- The free plan doesn’t include access to the new AI tool, but it costs just $5 if you opt for a paid plan
- Free Forever
- Unlimited: $7/month per user paid annually
- Business: $12/month per user
- Enterprise: Contact for pricing
- ClickUp AI is available on all paid plans for $5 per Workspace member per month
ClickUp ratings and reviews:
- G2: 4.7/5 (8,300+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (3,700+ reviews)
As a startup, building your online presence is a must. One of the best ways to establish your brand is to do search engine optimization (SEO) on your site landing pages and blog. The first step in that process is running keyword research. 🔍
KWFinder is a marketing tool for startups that helps you target the right keywords to reach your audience. Use this tool to see what terms your competitors rank for, get search volume for specific keywords, and identify terms you can start ranking for quickly.
KWFinder best features:
- The SERPWatcher feature gives you insight into keyword ranking over time so you don’t have to spend valuable resources on monitoring tools
- The SiteProfiler monitors your brand authority and keeps an eye on key SEO metrics like backlinks and content that’s driving the most traffic
- The SERP Volatility Checker means you stay on top of Google Core Updates and other changes that directly impact your site’s traffic
- There are caps on related keywords for all plans, which is limiting for startups that want rapid growth
- There’s no keyword gap analysis tool, so you’ll need another tool like Google Analytics to identify areas where you could be missing valuable content
- Mangools Entry: $29/month
- Mangools Basic: $49/month
- Mangools Premium: $69/month
- Mangools Agency: $129/month
KWFinder ratings and reviews:
- G2: 4.5/5 (5+ reviews)
- Capterra: N/A
Hootsuite is a social media management tool that makes it easy to publish content on your startup’s social media channels. Use it for outreach to build relationships with your customers, promote content from your blog, and launch new products.
Hootsuite best features:
- Schedule posts across all your social media accounts in one space
- Tracking features let you see what types of content perform best with your target audience
- The calendar view lets you see your entire publishing schedule and adjust the timing for when your users are most likely logged on
- Some users who prefer segregated views find the comprehensive dashboard to be a little cluttered
- Many features mean there’s a bigger learning curve; novice marketers and startups may need time to get up to speed
- Professional: $99/month
- Team: $249/month
- Business: $739/month
- Enterprise Custom: Tailored pricing
Hootsuite ratings and reviews:
- G2: 4.1/5 (4,000+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (3,400+ reviews)
Digital marketing isn’t just about written content—you need graphics and video to reach today’s evolving audiences. Design tools like Canva make creating everything from paid ads to social media banners easier than ever.
The free version offers access to thousands of images, graphics, and templates while the paid version gives you more customization and options. Use Canva to build brand assets, collaborate with other members of your design team, and publish or download your creations with just a few clicks.
Canva best features:
- Templates make it easy to create marketing materials like product launch invitations, sales ads, and blog infographics
- Real-time collaboration features—including folders, schedules, and built-in commenting tools—let you involve the whole team in the design process
- The video editor and built-in animations make it easy to create engaging content for audiences with shorter attention spans
- Some users find the interface has glitches where content doesn’t line up perfectly or the drag-and-drop features work sporadically
- Other users find the quality of the free templates limiting, making it hard to create diverse content without upgrading to a paid plan
- Pro: $119.99/year for one person
- Teams: $149.90/year for the first five people
Canva ratings and reviews:
- G2: 4.7/5 (4,200+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (11,300+ reviews)
Buffer is another digital marketing tool designed to make social media marketing faster and more effective. From creating a marketing calendar to tracking analytics, this tool is useful for startups and influencers that want to improve how they share with audiences.
The tool integrates with various social media channels including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Mastodon, TikTok, and Shopify.
Buffer best features:
- Built-in AI helps you determine when and what to publish based on your target audience
- Automated reports save time when it comes to figuring out what content performs well
- Different permission levels make it easy to grant access to team members so you can work together
- Some users find that posts fail to publish—sometimes due to issues with the social media platforms and not Buffer itself—meaning they have to publish manually anyways
- The marketing analytics offer a basic overview, but you’ll need a different tool if you want more in-depth insights
- Essentials: $6/month for one channel
- Team: $12/month for one channel
- Agency: $120/month for 10 channels
Buffer ratings and reviews:
- G2: 4.3/5 (900+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (1,400+ reviews)
6. Hemingway Editor
The Hemingway Editor is a solid content marketing tool for small businesses and startups. The free online editor lets you check content for common grammar mistakes to clean up your content in a jiffy. It also improves readability by highlighting sentences that use passive voice instead of active voice.
Make edits directly in the app and use the formatting tools to add headers, bullet points, and links to make your content more engaging and informative. ✍️
Hemingway Editor best features:
- The free online version uses different color highlighters so it’s easy to see what content should be addressed
- The readability grade and word count help you gauge whether it’s ideal for your target audience
Hemingway Editor limitations:
- The editing feedback is fairly basic, so you’ll want to use a style and usage guide for more complex content
- The online version doesn’t have save functionality
- You can’t input a certain voice or style preference
Hemingway Editor pricing:
- Free: Online editing tool
- $19.99: One-time payment for the app
Hemingway Editor ratings and reviews:
- G2: N/A
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (10+ reviews)
If your startup requires collaboration and communication on a daily basis, turn to Slack. This app is the gold standard for chatting with team members and getting work done.
Slack lets you create different channels for different groups. Create a channel for fun outside-of-work chats or spaces for discussions on specific projects like content marketing.
Send messages to entire teams or groups or opt for a direct message to keep communications private. Hop on “Huddles”—audio and video calls—to quickly discuss a new issue or answer questions on managing marketing resources.
Slack best features:
- Slack Connect lets you add people outside your organization and limit their access to certain channels
- Create custom notifications to get alerts on the most pressing issues immediately or mute updates to dive into deep work without distractions
- Integrations with CRMs for startups and tools like Google Drive make it easy to get work done across platforms
- Some users find Slack distracting but customizing notifications can minimize this issue
- Other users wished there was a feature to see when someone was last active rather than just their current status
- Pro: $8.75/person/month
- Business+: $15/person/month
- Enterprise Grid: Custom pricing
Slack ratings and reviews:
- G2: 4.5/5 (31,000+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (23,000+ reviews)
As a startup, you send a lot of communications. Whether reaching out to investors, sponsors, or customers, staying in touch takes up much of your time. An email marketing tool like GetResponse can automate some of your email campaigns.
Use sign-up forms, pop-ups on landing pages, and newsletters to boost lead generation and collect contacts. Leverage auto-response templates to nurture subscribers and gain new customers. The email marketing platform also lets you track engagement and share across various channels to expand your reach.
GetResponse best features:
- More than 100 integrations, including Gmail, Hubspot, Shopify, and WordPress
- The new AI email generator saves time by auto-creating content based on keywords, type of business, and specific audience
- Some users found the interface of the marketing emails was dated and required customization
- More advanced tools like the landing page designer have a steep learning curve
- Email Marketing: $19/month
- Marketing Automation: $59/month
- E-commerce Marketing: $119/month
GetResponse ratings and reviews:
- G2: 4.2/5 (800+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.2/5 (400+ reviews)
ClickFunnels is a tool that startups use for A/B testing and getting insights into customer relationship management (CRM). The tool is designed to funnel users from social media and organic searches to your website and helps them find the right products. 🎯
ClickFunnels best features:
- The customizable drag-and-drop page builder can increase conversions and creates a user-friendly site
- No coding experience is required to create landing pages and funnels
- Email marketing tools aren’t available on all plans
- Some users felt there was a steep learning curve or that some features didn’t work seamlessly
- Basic: $147/month
- Pro: $197/month
- Funnel Hacker: $497/month
ClickFunnels ratings and reviews:
- G2: 4.6/5 (300+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (600+ reviews)
Hotjar offers valuable insights into the customer journey and conversion rates. Most other analytics tools tell you what’s happening, but they don’t offer insights into why.
Hotjhar uses heat maps to show how users are interacting with your website and where they’re converting—or where they’re leaving your site. With this customer data, tailor your products to meet their needs and adjust your content to improve conversions.
Hotjar best features:
- You can conduct market research and get insights from real customers to manage marketing campaigns better
- Recordings let you watch real user sessions to identify friction points
- The Ask features let you engage directly with customers to get feedback on what they like and don’t like about your content
- You can’t split data based on date ranges, which makes it tricky to follow the customer journey if you’ve recently made changes
- Hotjar isn’t compatible with mobile apps, so you’ll only get insights into how users use the desktop version of your site
- Basic: Free forever
- Business: $99/month
- Scale: $213/month
Hotjar ratings and reviews:
- G2: 4.3/5 (200+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (400+ reviews)
Take Your Marketing Efforts to the Next Level
With these free and paid marketing tools for startups, you’re sure to have what you need to reach your audience.
Do you want marketing automation tools that streamline content publishing? Software to improve organization and communication? Whatever drives you, there’s a solution.
While these tools are great, it’s even better when you can manage all your marketing and project management in one convenient platform. That’s where ClickUp comes in. 🏆
ClickUp improves collaboration, communication, and productivity to meet your marketing goals. Choose from thousands of templates to find the marketing materials you need to build a brand, create authority, and increase conversions. Get started with ClickUp today—it’s free forever!