So you’ve got the next hot product set to shake up an industry and change lives for the better. Brilliant. But how do you go about getting your name out there and start attracting users?
As you very well know, the competition for attention is intense. From your first waking moment till the minute your turn off the lights for some shut eye, you are relentlessly bombarded with a deluge of content from news to ads to a GIF your friend has just sent you. That’s why we thought it might be a good idea to throw out some tips on how to set up your marketing and start spreading your vision.
Sell the benefits, not the features
When you’re marketing your product, you’re not just describing what it can do, or at least you shouldn’t be. Instead, you should be saying what you can do for your customers — because what the customer cares about is how they can benefit.
Think about the Apple advertisement which featured a montage of historical figures from Mahatma Gandhi and Miles Davis to Picasso and Charlie Chaplin, followed by the slogan ‘Think Different’. What you see aren’t the technical specs for the latest Macintosh, but how buying an Apple product makes them a part of a long line of daring and inspiration.
To be clear, you still should talk about the features, because they are essential parts of the product, and the more vigilant buyer will likely take the time to investigate. But the features shouldn’t be in the limelight, they should form a part of the story on how your product can make the customer’s life better.
Track track track
It may sound somewhat sinister given the ethics of privacy in a digital world — but if you want to have a way to sharpen your marketing, you need to track your customers.
It’s all very well to craft a marketing strategy that in your eyes makes your product hypnotic and irresistible, but without ways to measure your results, you are flying blind. If you’re going to commit time and resources to marketing, you should set up ways to test how well it’s working. Set up tools like Google Analytics on your social media, websites, or whichever channels you may be using to see how well they performed. You should also consider running multiple, different campaigns in small batches to see which ones return the best results.
Give a forum for feedback
Being a founder, you likely eat, sleep, and breathe with your product in mind. Great for motivation, but it could also mean you are too involved to see some weak spots.
To know what might be going wrong with your product and how you could improve it, you need a way to hear what your customers are saying. It might just be a feedback form, or it might be a very active Twitter that you maintain. Either way, it’s a valuable resource for product improvement ideas.
On top of that, by NOT having a forum for customers to reach out or talk about you, it could make them feel like you just don’t care. And even in the case of a bad review, you actually have an opportunity in a public space to address their grievances, and make your company look great in the process.
Every little bit of PR helps
This could be difficult for a young venture just starting out, but having your name mentioned (positively) in 3rd party publications gives you great reputation points, builds credibility, and gives an excellent opportunity to namedrop in your sales calls or on your website.
But don’t just wait until Wired or the Wall Street Journal come calling — read up on what kind of articles your preferred publication tends to write, find a story to tell about your product, your journey, or insights you discovered along the way, and reach out to blogs and local newspapers, as well as the big hitters.
Keep things moving
As a new venture, your business is always on the move. Unlike an established incumbent, a startup’s product or business strategy might pivot or evolve rapidly, and the marketing plan should reflect that necessary flexibility.
Plus, when you draw up the marketing plan, it’s likely based on a whole bunch of assumptions about who your customers are, and what they are looking for. This means that as you start getting bits of feedback and information from tracking behavior, you need to incorporate those insights into an updated marketing plan again, and again.