Marketing channels you can use for startup now, guide (Part 2)
a year ago
We keep on talking about marketing channels that you as a startuper can use straightaway. The same as in the part 1 which I highly recommend reading first, I’ll provide basic metrics, stats, short descriptions, and quick tips. Don’t forget to tell us whether you knew the tips we give.
First results: after about 3 month
Difficulty: hard, you’ll need professionals to handle quality content
Spends: budget for involving experts, time, and resources to realize
Blog. According to the Content Marketing Institute, blogs are considered to be an effective tactic by 69% of respondents. For instance, we at DDI Development company get the majority of site visits via blog articles. Making a good blog is a hard and time-consuming approach which eventually can greatly contribute to your conversion if done right. As I said about social media presence, you have to know what your audience wants to read. And it may be dramatically different from what you actually want to convey them. There shouldn’t be any palliatives. The just barely good enough attitude won’t work and if you aren’t ready for long-term efforts, you shouldn’t start in the first place.
Quick tip: A paradoxical tip is to never follow somebody else’s tips - this as well. The understanding of what is interesting for your readers and what actually works comes after you’ve done tens if not hundreds of stories. So you have room to experiment before giving up or finding your exclusive secret sauce.
Video. According to Cisco, in 2017, we’ll have 69% of the overall consumer traffic on the Internet covered by video. When we think of a content marketing video, we likely succumb to the glowing image of breath-taking flicks with 6-digit budgets. The budding reality is that costs to produce an engaging video have plummeted over the past years. You don’t need to shoot a Super Bowl-deserving commercial. Sometimes it’s enough to make a simple demo of your product to reach the audience of 75 000 people ready to subscribe just over the night. As it happened with Drew Houston who uploaded his MVP demo of DropBox and it made a shot. This video basically let DropBox to skyrocket. It neither had graphics nor professional footage. Just Drew commenting his future product. That’s it. You can also leverage user-generated content which showcases real interaction experiences with your product. Think of unboxing.
Quick tip: While contemplating about shooting a compelling video and pre-rolling it on YouTube, make use of the five-second rule. If a person skips a video within 5 seconds, you don’t have to pay for it. You can reduce your advertising budget by fitting the core messages into these 5 seconds. Thus, you can deliver the essence to the widest audience possible.
Infographics. Infographics are among the most shareable content types. And no matter what your product is good infographics should be leveraged. However, this seemingly simple form of content may be tricky. Unfortunately, most of the people think of infographic as a set of facts neatly organized in visuals. And it’s not quite so. What makes a great infographic is a cohesive story made of the data you want to present, pithy and clear design. The great stories are built of irking or moving context and data which fills the cognitive gaps. Context is a background that makes people recognize the problem and click. The objective data is what confirms or disproves assumptions that people already have. Think of things that might emotionally provoke your target group and give it a shot.
Quick tip: If you think it’s info+graphics, you’re fatally wrong. It’s info by graphics. You don’t make infographic just by combining pictures and text. Seems obvious, but shapes and colors are what convey your message while a text is just a backup. Perhaps one of the first infographics was ingeniously created by John Snow, a British doctor, in the 1850s. In order to locate the spread of cholera in London, he took a map and marked death cases on it. And it made obvious that most of the deaths were grouped around one particular water pump which appeared to be infected. So keep graphics self-explanatory.
Search engine optimization
First results: you can get tangible results in 6 month
Difficulty: hard, you’ll need a professional SEO
Spends: budget for an SEO specialist and time
Search engine optimization is a set of techniques that help your website be ranked higher at the search results page. They cover contents of a site and its technical side.
The cornerstone difference between this channel and other mentioned is that your audience has a direct intention to find your product (or your competitor’s). People don’t get distracted from planned activities by ads, they actually search. And every month it happens over 100 billion times just in Google.
“The tricky question is whether people even know that they need your product
Innovations usually present something people never thought they ever needed. The implication is not that SEO doesn’t work for innovations. It rather takes much effort to build a successful SEO-optimization strategy which will eventually drive organic traffic to your website. If you have something extremely innovative, combine SEO with other marketing channels that would present your product to the market prior to it being googled. SEO is hard and it rarely guarantees you unconditional success as search engines never give away the real principles their ranking algorithms follow. And they constantly evolve. What a good SEO specialist does is assuming how the “black box” works based on output results and experience. If you generalize hints that search engines give, it’s simple - provide valuable and approachable content and we’ll rank you higher.
Quick tip: When selecting an SEO specialist, don’t swallow the bait of big promises. “I’ll put your website at the Google’s top” is a phony claim. There’s no SEO expert who could guarantee that.
First results: after about 3 month
Difficulty: medium, you can run mailing campaigns independently, though for a thoughtful campaign and warming up your subscribers you’ll need a specialist
Spends: collecting subscribers pool, time to set mailing, payments for mailing software. You can use free services if you don’t have a big list of contacts
We all hate spam in our mailboxes but email marketing still remains one of the most powerful channels to acquire clients. And it shouldn’t be overlooked. Apparently, the rule of thumb here is to never abuse people’s consent to give their email addresses to you. It raises trust if you ask people to receive your newsletter and send the materials that are personally curated for them. The most successful campaigns are always personalized. For this very reason, bought email lists almost never yield good results.
Quick tip: We have been using this technique as well as many successful marketers have. You can leverage transactional (service) emails to drastically increase the number of opened letters. Transactional emails are tailored to the actions a user has just taken which provides that desired personalization. E.g. once a person buys something, ask him/her to rate the product right via this letter and then leave a comment on your website. People tend to interact with emails if they are related to context.
Pay per click marketing
First results: you’ll have traffic growth right away after starting a campaign
Difficulty: medium, basic campaigns can be set independently
Spends: adverts budget and time to tune your campaign details
Google Adwords (search & display): The same as SEO optimization, Adwords is a powerful channel to promote products or services that people look for. You basically have two options: promoted links on the Google search results page and utilizing the display network. When using promoted links you tune segmentation options to target your audience and build a set of keywords that your potential customers may input. The pay per click model implies that you bid in the auction to have your links displayed on the search pages related to the keywords you use. Depending on how saturated your field is, the minimum budget to reach good conversion may vary greatly. It’s also important to experiment with different keywords and eliminate irrelevant ones (negative keywords) to avoid non-target visitors. Google Adwords provides a handful of tools to assess your campaigns and focus on the most effective ones when killing or editing other. The Display ads refer to a network of websites that Google partners with and has banner spots there. You both can specify the keywords and websites where your ads are going to be displayed. The Google network has much to do with remarketing which is the next one.
Quick tip: Creating relevant landing pages tailored to your ad appeal is more reasonable than throwing people to a home page. If you advertise some specific offer, don’t make visitors wander around your entire website. You may object that this tip is quite applicable for any advertising beyond Adwords. Though you’re right, having a dedicated landing page also improves a quality score, a highly influential Adwords metric for the auction outcome.
Google Adwords (remarketing). Remember that ubiquitous ad that stalks you around the web after visiting an online shop? That’s remarketing, a great way to lasso your website visitors back. People may be hesitating, some may have forgotten the address, or just got distracted from viewing your site. Remarketing reminds them. Remarketing ads appear in the Google network that currently has more than 2 million websites and apps. You can opt for standard remarketing that shows just your website or app, and you may be even more effective with dynamic remarketing that will show exactly the products or services which visitors have viewed but failed to purchase. If people keep on googling something and have visited your website, you can leverage remarketing lists to follow these hunters. To specify your methods, you can select and combine different types of users’ activities that will initiate remarketing such as the certain number of visits, minimum time spent on a site, or even incomplete orders.
Quick tip: You can expand the number of prospects to reach by using Google Analytics. In the Google Analytics account, you can turn on labeled remarketing. Then you’ll be able to generate lists for remarketing using any metric you have in Analytics. These lists will be added to Adwords. As a result, you’ll be able to retarget people by IP Address or other various metrics to greatly enhance your reach.
Great marketing is always about the right combination of different channels you leverage. Any of the described options can’t be the sole and only solution. When experimenting with various approaches as a startuper, you’ll never have enough resources to embrace everything. On the other hand, a clever and documented marketing campaign means the firm distribution of roles in the overall marketing performance. When you, for instance, have Facebook to drive eyeballs to your blog, use a blog to build the corporate image, and run remarketing to convert, that’s what eventually defines harmonic and effective mechanism.
Please leave your clues, suggestions, and objections in the comments section.