Random Observation/Comment #657: Sometimes marketing is as important as the software.
Why this List?
I’ve been studying product marketing recently to better understand the lingo from my colleagues. There’s a different set of measurable outcomes from a marketing, sales, consultancy/advisory, and software view of a client journey.
It’s always nice when you have a full team and huge budget that gets your site to the top of the SEO or paid influencers to promote a steady stream of content. But what about the small startup? What about the team of 5 that has built a lightweight email/username sign-up service? What do they do with their marketing?
This list is mostly for those smaller software SaaS companies with a beta (see betalist or ProductHunt) that likely came from a set of co-founders out of business school and met at a conference or hackathon. Most of the vision and reputation of having a “company” looks like this:
- Build personas for direct buy and usage
- Understand a persona’s full toolbox (user’s screens) for completing their activities – How does this tool fit and solve a problem? Does it replace anything?
- Build personas for upstream and downstream connectivity – Prepares your partnership funnel
- Focus on sales to the personas defined
- Provide stats about your application – Showing the right metrics towards growth (Counter for clients?)
- Client Testimonials – News mentions (if you’re lucky to get Public Relations mentions on subset of writers with readers in your personas)
Channels / Funnels
- Outreach to partners – Reseller agreements?
- Outreach to third party applications – Who’s building on top of your platform or seen as adjacent to the same persona
- Outreach to existing users for feedback
- Outreach to Influencers – Understanding key demographics of personas via podcasts or other partnerships
Content Creation – Blogpost, Webinar, How-Tos, Interviews, Ratings
- Describing Features clearly
- Describing Industry journeys
- Describing business problems
- Describing company’s journey towards saving money, reducing overhead, improving communication, etc
- Describing how to specifically use the application for an industry – Usage guides
- Describing competitor analysis and differentiating points
- Newsletter – Collects emails and builds a community of readers
- Communities – Social Networks (LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, TikTok?), Slack channel, Discord, Forums
- Comments within other articles covering similar products
- SEO on keyword searches – Understand what’s being searched
- ProductHunt / Betalist – Leverage an existing outreach list
- Specific Ads targeting customer segments
- Adhoc Events – Meetups (whenever these occur again)
- Conferences – Virtually Attend, Speak, Booth (+Printed material for these + swag)
- Hackathon – Participate, host your own (expensive)
- In-person Interviews – Podcasts, Live streams
- Redeemable points for referrals and sign-ups
- Discounts for certain groups (e.g. students) or holidays
- Giveaways for participation from readers
- Measurable benefits and traceable increases in metrics
- Collection of sign-ups and emails
If you’re looking for a great example of a lean team pushing forward on a majority of these fronts, check out https://blog.userbitapp.com/
Additional Guerrilla Tactics
- Competitor Analysis – Who has the majority of your features and how are they marketing it?
- Competitor’s Client Conversion – Are there unhappy customers of your competitors that can be converted to your product? Do you have something better, faster, or cheaper?
- Existing Client Interviews – If can be done at scale, direct message your top users to get critical feedback on features and how the tools are being used in their industry. Maybe you can solve their problems directly or add to the feature list.
- Industry Market Interviews – If can be done at scale, see if there’s sufficient appetite from key players to use/purchase your product.
- End of Quarter survey – 2 or 3 questions that can help you better collect more features or updates.
- Polling – Publicly asking which features in the roadmap would be most important
- Event-based Implementations – Especially with the pandemic, how can your tool be helpful to the rest of the community?
- Event-based Deals – If more people are at home and exploring different tools, is there an easy way to provide an extended free version?
~See Lemons Learn About Marketing