So, you’ve designed your product; it’s in development, you know the mechanics of how your business is going to make money, now how do you get it in the hands of people who are going to get that machine rolling? Marketing, of course. Now come with me child, let me show you how…
Don’t I need a massive marketing budget?
Marketing should not be an afterthought, and should not be considered discretely from your product. Marketing should be embedded in your business, and it need not be expensive. You can get free marketing if you play your cards right. I believe I am right in saying that Netflix didn’t spend anything on marketing in 2014 and the guy behind the Sriracha hot sauce? He’s never spent a penny on it…ever. So, what are the sort of things you should bear in mind?
The best form of marketing revealed – e.g., Free Marketing
Frankly, the best form of marketing is the product or business itself; if you have an ingenious and useful enough idea then it will sell itself, people will want to tell their friends about it and be cheerleaders for your business without the necessity of you having to pay for it.
But this doesn’t happen overnight and isn’t always possible, so how do you make it more likely? Especially if you are operating in a segment with considerable competition.
Who are you?
Create a personality for your business. That personality could be fun and self-deprecating, or it could be more serious with very strong values that it promotes loud and often (or anything else in between).
Even if your business is essentially commoditized (and this is especially important in this case) you can still set yourself apart from others by showing what you stand for. Think about the things that your target customers will respond to most vehemently; maybe it’s transparency or honesty, maybe its humor, maybe its empathy for their situation.
Once you have decided what that personality is, then you must live and breathe it.
Where does the personality begin and the business end?
Next, think about how you can embed that personality throughout your business. Let’s take humor for example, what can you do for free, where not everyone thinks to take the opportunity?
Start by considering where your points of interaction and communication are with your customers. Every interaction is a marketing opportunity to develop your brand. Email communications, app update descriptions, customer service tweets, blog posts, push notifications, tooltips, payment screens, contact us forms, about us pages, these are just a few of the interaction points that you can customize for free and brand with your personality.
These touches don’t go unnoticed, and they help build up a consistent and coherent brand image in the customer’s mind. They will go away thinking “if they spent this much time on these small details, then think how good their core product must be?”. Luckily for you, writing a bit of creative copy isn’t a big deal and doesn’t take much longer than the bog-standard stuff and guess what? Most of it is nice and scalable, ideal.
When you have your business’ personality nailed then you can start with all of the other more traditional forms of marketing and promotion: your social media, partnerships, etc. I am not going even to start to go into these as I am no expert (not that I am on this either) and a plethora of info on the stuff can already be found online, but I just wanted to make sure you didn’t miss the simple and free marketing ideas that are often overlooked.