#PNMeetup - Zero budget marketing by Ankur from Akosha
No Budget, No Problem! Learnhow to get to millions withouta marketing budget.
> About me – founder @ Akosha.> Today’s agenda:Top level thoughtsWhat worked for AkoshaTools and suggested readingsQ&A
Top level thoughts on marketingfor internet startups
> Reality check - not possible.> Budget – means founder salary, techteam, content team etc. salaries inmaking the great product and realmarketing cash. Usually to scale to the“millions” you will need a budget.
> Virality – works when the fundamental usecase of your product needs other people forrealization of the full benefit (email, socialnetworks).> Growth hacking – definitely helps but youneed the keep testing and getting growthfrom other sources as well.> Indian context – adoption is becomingfaster but nowhere close to the pace in US.
> At early stage startups – better to be in ahigh intention market and get conversions toprove product market fit.> Use Google Keyword Search /GoogleTrends tool to look for high intention> If intention is not there in the form ofGoogle Searches, this should totally changeyour marketing strategy.
> High intention market – focus onGoogle AdWords, Emails and other highintention based methods.> Low intention / impulse based /luxury goods etc. – Focus on Facebook,other branding exercises.
What worked for Akosha atdifferent points of time
Search Engine Optimization(SEO)• On-page and off-page (latter’s efficacy hasreally reduced in the last 2 years).• On-page = content (shitloads of it)• Competitor Analysis• Challenge for us - Creating decent SEOtraffic without making the complaintspublic– Created useful pages for customers(customer care pages, brand pages, gotcontent written)– Identified events to push to the page to keep
Search Engine Marketing(SEM)• Persistence is key. Need to get your handsdirty.• Outsourcing it not a great idea.• For us the challenge was to get theconversion rate high that we could getmaximum number of leads:– A/B Testing: Operating a limited budgets, wecreated multiple landing pages and tested them.– Keywords and Ad Copy Testing: Multiplekeywords and ad copies & did custom copyanalysis.
Social Media - Facebook• Creativity is important (esp. if you are notaboutcricket, Bollywood, parochialism, and/orsex)• Good for branding, not for conversion.• Very useful in the initial days: Akosha Taglinecontest worked for us.
Social Media - Facebook• We got some 3.5K fans along with anaudience which had to understand whatAkosha did by virtue of the competition.• Total spend Rs.2500.
Social Media - Twitter• Has worked out better.• Finding customers directly on Twitter.• Scheduling content like tips (200 tips of theday at one go).• Good for branding, okay for conversion.• Growth hacks like auto-tweeting anyresolution, asking the customer to tweetwhenever he is filing a complaint.
Youtube channel• You Tube: We created a video channelindiaakosha with purpose of educatingpeople about consumer complaints.• Created a single branding video for Akoshawhich emphasized on the message.• Works only for long term ROI.
Email marketing• Email newsletters• Email notifications (easy login, need thebackend to manage notification replies)• Email remarketing (GetVero, Userfox etc.)
PR• First coverage is the toughest• Usually inbound works best• You should start with blogs first (likeNextbigwhat, yourstory etc.)• Offer to write guest blogs etc. (everyone ishungry for free content)• Make sure you have a good story / angle forjournalists• One coverage will lead to another. No otherway of scaling this (PR firms have low ROI).
Tools• Small list of essential tools (after trying out 10s ofproducts)– Google Keyword Search (SEO),– Traffic Travis (SEO),– Alexa (Competitor Analysis),– Google Webmaster (Admin),– Google AdWords (SEM),– Google Adwords Editor (SEM),– SendGrid (Email),– GetVero (Email remarketing),– Mailchimp (Email),– VWO (A/B testing),– Google Website Optimizer (A/B testing)– Hootsuite (Social)
Readings• Some suggested which helped us thinkbetter about distribution/marketing:– Andrew Chen blog on growth hacking– Peter Thiel on Startups CS 183– Avinash Kaushik on Google Analytics– Don’t Make Me Think (on design)– Hubspot blog and older e-books– Google forums on SEM, SEO etc.– From Zero to Million Users (by DrewHouston, Dropbox)– Mark Suster blogposts on PR