All at once! (Of course.) There are dozens of posts pointing out the great tools available whether you’re building an audience for a SaaS product or connecting directing with eCommerce customers.
Each one of these helpful "best software" posts is valuable but there is a huge potential downside, overload.
With each of these posts, unless the company happens to be in the exact same place you are, with the same team size, there’s a good chance the information is only relevant to a point. To get the most from these posts have a strategy. (Yes this has some "meta" irony to it.)
First, lets break down how to read these posts efficiently then let’s look at how to focus on just the right data.
Keep in mind what were you searching for initially
When starting a search, you’re likely being from a particular growth stage, whether it’s growing an audience, finding more ways to add value to the audience (further detail below.)
What search led you to finding the “Top 50 tools for 2017” or the “20 best tools for growth.” When getting to the post stay focused on just the tool you need.
If you are just browsing keep your common pain points front of mind when you stumble across these posts (as you are very likely going to.)
Use your Growth Stage to focus your metric. Audience, Value, Usability...
With Google Analytics, HubSpot Analytics, JetPack Stats, Social Media Analytics, the list of ways to get data is nearly endless. The problem here is focusing on the right metrics with so many available and every number seeming equally important.
To start narrowing down on just the right metric, not metrics, make sure you know your growth metric. Do you have 3000 sessions, unique users, or a similar metric a month? No, build up to it. Yes, you have 3000 or more, move on to adding value for your visitors. After these you need to consider usability, converstions, personalization, and more.
Growth-Driven Design stages can be a bit flexible, so it's helpful to have a walk through of them with a certified manager.
Who made the post? What problem were they trying to solve?
We wrote this post because we see too many practitioners jumping from software to software thinking each one will be the solution, not just a solution.
Many authors are coming from a SaaS background, others from a purely Inbound perspective, and yet more from a Sales background, or from a design or IT perspective.
Buffer has great tips on starting a blog but their advice is a bit general considering they are targeting everyone who does social media (and that's a lot of people.)
Hubspot tends to have more specific tips, for blog optimization as an example, but it is good to take their headline and re-search it (as in put it into Google.) HubSpot has a lot of SEO weight to throw around so they try and rank for common phrases.
All these posts seem a bit spammy, are they really helpful?
Both Buffer and HubSpot are really trying to get clicks (and, shockingly, so are we) but if they didn't try and solve problems people would stop following them quickly. Buffer is trying to solve social media problems for it's users, HubSpot is trying to solve overall content marketing (Inbound) issues.
Best of all, these posts were written by people with emails and the posts have comments. Dive in, ask questions, and learn more before commiting to software or a direction, we're all here to help and listen.