No matter how incredible your product is, it will never sell if nobody knows that it exists.
It's essential then that you spend considerable time and effort on getting your message out to consumers. With the plethora of products circling the web these days, getting noticed can be a challenge. But with the right message, image, and strategy, it's still possible to capture the imagination of your audience.
Make no mistake, marketing is hard. It takes time, money and patience. Whilst we're never going to cover every aspect of marketing in a single post, we've built you a short list of the very first things you should be thinking about.
Step #1: Rethink your audience
Perhaps the most important question in marketing is the one of who you're trying to reach. Who your customer is, their behaviours, and the media they consume will come to define almost every aspect of your approach to marketing.
When you first designed your app, you started with a problem that needed solving. Now is the time to rethink who is most profoundly affected by this problem, and who will pay the highest price to have it solved for them. Once you've identified this customer, you need to discover as much as you can about them.
What makes them tick?
Where do they like to spend their time, both online and offline?
What are their interests?
What publications do they read?
Check out our post on personas for even more information on this.
Your marketing distribution strategy will center around the platforms and locations that your audience frequents most. For example, if your audience consists of heavy Facebook users, Facebook paid advertising is a great way to go. Discovering where your customers hang out is a crucial step, so consider carrying out a few surveys or focus groups - the best way to find out is to ask!
Step #2: Define your budget and goals
Marketing can be a huge investment; it's important to make sure you know exactly how much you have to spend. We recommend that a considerable amount of resources go on your marketing efforts.
However, make sure that you balance marketing expenditure with sales and fulfilment services. You need every part of your business running smoothly to be successful.
The goals you set should be considered carefully against both the budget you have and the channel you're using. Some channels (for example, Outbrain) may require a minimum spend before you see any real results. Others, like SEO, may take a long time to see results, but should not be ignored in the interest of long-term gain. Here's a very quick list of channels you might want to consider for marketing purposes:
– Content marketing and outreach (blogs, Youtube, Outbrain etc.)
– Email and lifecycle marketing
– Search Engine optimization
– Paid social media (Twitter, Facebook)
– Organic social media (groups & forums)
– Paid search (Google Adwords)
– PR outreach (publications and partners)
Each of these areas requires a different level of investment, and considerable time to master. They will all also have a different set of goals associated with their different role within your funnel, whether it's outreach, brand building, conversion, or up-selling/cross-selling.
Make sure you're always setting SMART goals:
and you have a very clear idea of the limitations of your channel.
so record everything and be prepared to revisit your results on a regular basis.
Step #3: Start thinking about your brand
Branding will have an impact on all of the assets that you produce, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about it as early as possible. As you think about your brand more and more, you might find it also has an impact on the channels and strategies you decide to try out. For example, a brand that believes that 'delivering value' is one of their core values, may choose to opt for content marketing as a channel, as this provides a lot of up-front value for customers.
Messaging, and the way you communicate the value of your business to customers, is also a key area for concern. It's a great idea to start thinking about messaging right off the bat, as it will be the centerpiece of all your marketing efforts. Check out our article on building a great value proposition here.
So that’s our first three steps!
Whatever strategy you choose for your marketing, make sure that you give it the time and investment it needs to mature and start seeing results. Keep learning, keep on top of your data, and most importantly, find a fantastic team to help you on your way.
Good luck on your marketing journey.