The Fixings for a Perfect Small Business Marketing Stack Allie Wolff A good small business marketing stack is like a good Thanksgiving meal. It has a little something for everything, and if executed correctly, it will keep your sales pipeline (or belly) full of delicious leads. A really good Thanksgiving meal (or small business marketing stack) has everything you need to execute an effective marketing strategy. Like your Thanksgiving meal, your small business marketing stack should include a complete suite of tools (or a variety of food) to help you pull off every part of your marketing strategy. Here are a few of the must-have foods (and corresponding marketing softwares) that you need for your small business marketing stack. Mashed Potatoes | Buffer Fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes are a cornerstone piece of any Turkey Day meal. Just like this starch, Buffer should be a foundational piece of your small business marketing stack. This scheduling tool not only makes posting to social fun and effective, but has an irresistibly delightful brand. Like mashed potatoes, Buffer plays an essential role and is enjoyed by almost everyone. As mashed potato and Buffer connoisseurs, we think you’d be crazy to dislike either one. You can never have enough mashed potatoes – just like your Buffer is never quite full. Turkey | Hatchbuck Have you ever heard of a Thanksgiving meal without Turkey? Maybe, but then it’s not really an authentic Thanksgiving meal. You just NEED turkey. And we don’t mean to brag, but your small business marketing strategy also NEEDS Hatchbuck. Just like a turkey is comprised of many different parts (drumsticks, wings, etc), Hatchbuck boasts essential tools for your strategy: CRM, marketing automation, email and so on. If your marketing suite is missing a small business CRM and marketing automation tool, you’re missing out on the centerpiece of your inbound marketing strategy. Cranberries | Canva If I’ve learned anything from Chopped, it’s that your plate should always have a little color. On Turkey Day, that’s where the cranberries come in. They make the meal undeniably more aesthetically pleasing (and the taste doesn’t hurt either). Canva is the cranberry sauce of your meal. No marketing strategy is complete without strong visuals in place, and Canva is a free, easy solution for that requirement. Your cranberry sauce can be simple (see: canned) or more time-consuming just like the options for image creation through Canva. Use it. Love it. Make it your own. Green Beans | Google Analytics You can’t bring up Thanksgiving dinner without acknowledging Green Bean casserole. While it might not be everyone’s favorite dish, you have to have it. And your must-have web analytics software? Google Analytics. It might not be glamorous, and it might not be any marketer’s favorite software to spend time in, but it’s a core (and non-negotiable) part of any marketing stack. Stuffing | WordPress Stuffing. Such a classic. It can be simple or it can be fancy. It goes perfectly with the turkey (and all other parts of your meal). We like to think that WordPress is the stuffing in this scenario. Without WordPress, you have no website, you have no juicy blog content to attract leads, and you have no landing pages to help grow your list of contacts. In other words, without a great content management system, you have nothing to fuel your inbound marketing automation tool (turkey / CRM / Hatchbuck). Just like stuffing in unique to the cook, WordPress looks different for every user. The beauty of the software is how customizable it is…just like a good stuffing recipe. Gravy | CrazyEgg In this delicious Thanksgiving dream, we can’t forget about the gravy. In general, it’s dumped on….everything. And it makes it better! In your marketing suite, CrazyEgg is your gravy. It’s all up in your website business to help make it better. CrazyEgg heat mapping shows you where visitors are engaging with your website – and where they’re not. It will fill in every nook and cranny of your site to make sure that nothing is left unoptimized – just like that gravy will take over your plate like a flood. Brussel Sprouts | Wordstream For those with a more sophisticated pallette, your Turkey Day feast might include brussel sprouts. Not everyone’s tastes are elevated enough to enjoy sprouts, but they definitely kick things up a notch. And for a more advanced piece of your marketing stack, we suggest Wordstream. If you want to elevate your marketing strategy, it may be time to dive into the world of PPC, or pay-per-click advertising. Wordstream’s services and online advertising software are the perfect compliment to a small business marketing stack that wants to get in front of a wider audience. Hawaiian Rolls | Basecamp Oh hello again, Hawaiian Rolls. As such a versatile carb, they can fit into a meal for almost any holiday. They keep your plate tidy and wipe it clean after your holiday feast. Enter: Basecamp. This killer project management software is sure to keep your team organized for any project and to see your meal task list through to completion. Basecamp will also ensure that no assignment is left incomplete – just like Hawaiian rolls will leave no leftover uneaten. What’s better than next-day turkey and cranberry on a warm Hawaiian roll? Pumpkin Pie | OptinMonster Have you ever had a bad pumpkin pie? I doubt it. This is pretty much the part of the meal that everyone looks forward to (even if their belts are ready to burst). Pumpkin pie brings people to the party….and then it seals the meal deal. We think OptinMonster would make a pretty spectacular pumpkin pie. Their simple lead capture forms are an easy way to serve up irresistible resources to your audience, growing your list. With OptinMonster, the people get what they want, when they want it and everyone can leave happy. Coffee | Hootsuite So your feast is finally complete. Your belly ( /marketing strategy) is full and now it’s time to digest. Nothing keeps the celebration going like a piping hot cup of Joe to wash down those calories. Everyone has probably been silent through all 50 courses of your meal. Now that you can come up for air, it’s time for the conversations to happen. Hootsuite can help you be a part of those conversations (and even eavesdrop on all of them at once). It’s our favorite social listening tool — and when you’re so full you could pop, sometimes you don’t want to do the talking. Hootsuite will let you listen.