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Free of Charge Marketing Channels and Tools


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Free of Charge Marketing Channels and Tools - Presentation for European Innovation Academy 2015

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Free of Charge Marketing Channels and Tools

  1. 1. Free of Charge Marketing Channels and Tools for Early-Stage Startups Angie Chang @thisgirlangie #eia2015
  2. 2. Marketing Channels are like Waterfalls • Marketing channels are: – The way products and services get to users. – AKA distribution channels! • Marketing requires understanding of your customer and finding creative ways to position and engage users across various channels. – Targeting ultra niche websites will generate more effect.
  3. 3. Early-stage Startups are Where Full-Stack Marketers Thrive. • Lean startup, lean marketing. – Iterative process. • At a startup, your technical understanding and know-how is what makes you a great full-stack marketer. – Technical doesn’t mean you have a C.S. degree. HTML/CSS/JS is OK. – It really only requires a willingness to try things and measure results so you can optimize!
  4. 4. 21 Skills of a Full-Stack Marketer • SEO • copywriting • email marketing • social media • positioning • in product marketing • public relations • content marketing • blogging • story telling • distribution • lifecycle marketing • app store marketing • analytics • A/B testing • landing page optimization • HTML/CSS/Javascript • customer service • pitching • biz dev • paid advertising
  5. 5. Did You Choose Your Market? Marketing requires choosing a market – a niche. The key is to identify a niche target market, and go after that market share aggressively. 1. What is your value proposition? 2. What are the keywords someone would use to find you on a search engine? 3. Identify high traffic and low competition keywords and track them in Hootsuite. Join the conversation. 4. Define what success is – and track it.
  6. 6. Free Marketing? Really? • Your goal as a early-stage startup marketer is to create conversations about your product. – Turn your users into product evangelists. – Plan some content marketing. – Engage in social media marketing. – Be mindful of SEO. – Capture email leads. – Growth hacking. – [more startup jargon goes here]
  7. 7. Content Marketing • Content Marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.
  8. 8. Content Marketing • Content Marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.
  9. 9. Content Marketing • Content Marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.
  10. 10. Content Marketing • What are some examples of content marketing? – Writing articles! • Easy first thing to do is start a company/product blog. – Write a post called “Our competitor vs. Our Company” – this will attract search engine traffic for reviews of your competitor. • Write guest blog posts for various websites relevant to the niche. – Write a “how-to” guide for something difficult in the industry. • Interview industry leaders or relevant people. – Make sure they share the interview with their audience. • Make listicles with images (think Buzzfeed). – Making videos! • There have been so many amazing amateur videos. • Be funny. Be remarkable.
  11. 11. Content Marketing • Spending time distributing your content! – Don’t just publish content. – Distribute your content. – See if media companies will syndicate or cover it. – Tweet at influencers. – Seed forums, answer questions. – Upload decks to SlideShare. – Share it on social media to interested communities (ie. Linkedin Groups, Meetup)
  12. 12. Buffer Content Marketing Case Study
  13. 13. Content Marketing Case Study • Over 70% of Buffer app’s growth is attributed to content marketing. • What did Buffer do? – Hired a content crafter. • First one was Belle Beth Cooper, she’s awesome. – Published some very popular content - • Scientifically proven ways to be happier blog posts. – Tens of thousands of shares per blog post. • Startup-wide salary transparency blog post. – Widely circulated in the startup world, HackerNews. • Many more!
  14. 14. Guide to Writing Good Content • 80% of people read headlines, but only 20% go on to read the blog post. – Make sure you have a good headline – look at what works on Twitter, for example, by # RTs. • Controversy sells - write something controversial. • Tweet the same article - with different headlines - several times a day to see which is highest performing. • Keep your headline 65 characters or less – short and sweet! – Put keywords near the front of your headlines to maximize your SEO. – Use brackets to call out interesting content formats (ie. [Video] [Infographic] [Checklist])
  15. 15. The Hedghog Concept • If you’re already publishing and producing share-worthy content, the Hedgehog Concept will help you get to the next level -- becoming an authority in your niche.
  16. 16. “The best thing you can do to truly be different and get noticed is to be extremely thoughtful about what will distinguish you, and put all your energy into delivering on that.” Camille Ricketts Head of Content & Marketing First Round Review
  17. 17. Quick Note on Public Relations (PR)
  18. 18. • Public relations (PR) boils down to – – What to say – When to say it – Who to say it to • Identify what the product is and how it will affect others: – How have you created a solution to solve a worldwide problem? – How will it affect others? – Who will care about your product? • Make a press kit available on your website – – A press kit is a collection of your logos, screenshots, media advisory, product details, founder bios and pictures. Quick Note on Public Relations (PR)
  19. 19. Content Marketing Case Study • Buffer – Many articles are written on the blog. • Written for influencers for scalability (ie. sharing best practices) • Readability: – numbered lists, graphics, infographics. – Invited guest bloggers to contribute. • Reaching for a larger audience. – Making friends with influencers. – These are relationships that easily lend to these influencers and writers covering you later (ie. when you want them to).
  20. 20. Email Marketing • Email marketing is extremely effective for sales and practically free to run campaigns. – Constant Contact, MailChimp and ExactTarget are just a few of the email marketing services. – Nurture leads by sending a series of welcome and intro emails to new users, for example. • Can you utilize your list to achieve your goal(s)? • How big can you grow your list?
  21. 21. Email Marketing Here are 3 ideas for capturing email leads from day one. This is key for early-stage startups: 1. Present a pop-up email capture at the end of a piece of content on your site.  WP Subscribe Pro is a WordPress plugin that effectively captures email addresses of readers. 2. Introduce a pop-up email capture when a reader intends to leave.  WP Beginner and OptinMonster 3. Slide-in email captures have higher conversion rates than pop-up email captures.  SumoMe’s Scroll Box on Blogging Spell
  22. 22. Email Marketing Here are 3 ideas for capturing email leads from day one. This is key for early-stage startups: 1. Present a pop-up email capture at the end of a piece of content on your site.  WP Subscribe Pro is a WordPress plugin that effectively captures email addresses of readers. 2. Introduce a pop-up email capture when a reader intends to leave.  WP Beginner and OptinMonster 3. Slide-in email captures have higher conversion rates than pop-up email captures.  SumoMe’s Scroll Box on Blogging Spell
  23. 23. What Do You Do With Email Leads? Email leads are a marketer’s best friend. • Create lists of users AKA segment your list. – New users, users that have done one action, users that have purchased before, etc. • Send targeted emails to each segment. – Personalizing emails to each audience will get you far (ie. don’t forget to use “Hi FIRST_NAME” and remind them why this email is relevant) • Nurture your lists. – Work on converting your users from list to list.
  24. 24. CTAs for Email Leads / Marketing • Send personalized emails to your users… – 80% of the time, give useful information – content you’ve created or found that is fun/interesting. – 20% of the time, you can make an ask – for referrals, feedback, to leave a review, for a signature or vote. • Pro tip: set an artificial deadline or promotion with a timely & urgent email subject line. – This morning, send a “celebrate Bastille day!” special promotion for users to use by EOD/EOW.
  25. 25. What Is Your Call to Action Button? • Make the most of content marketing by keeping the CTA direct and concise!
  26. 26. More CTAs • You can also get more sophisticated
  27. 27. Infographics as Content Marketing • Make your own infographics easily online – – Piktochart • Limited templates for free. – • Great charts. – Visme • Easily update numbers in charts. • Infographics are easy to embed in in blog posts and to distribute across social media channels! – Be sure to edit the image for the size of creative allowed in a channel.
  28. 28. Roll / Hack Your Own Infographics!
  29. 29. DIY Graphics • Share interesting facts & figures! (ie. Did you know…?) • Find statistics & make fun charts. • Get creative icons. • Display logos of known partners. • Distribute in various formats/sizes across social media.
  30. 30. Social Media Marketing for Business • Set up your social media marketing channels. • Beyond setting up a Facebook page and Twitter account as your social media strategy, consider how are they used & who are on them.  Facebook • Good for most people except influencers.  Twitter • Good for early adopters, good for getting to know and communicating with journalists/bloggers, reaching out to other brands.  LinkedIn • Good for B2B leads and promoting your personal brand.  Google+ • Good for early adopters.  Pinterest • Good for visual products/brands with an emphasis on women.  Instagram • Good for visual products/brands if you can hash tag them with popular aspiration tags.
  31. 31. Note the Social Media Markets
  32. 32. Posting on Social Media • Consider your timing & frequency of posts:  Facebook • When: Saturdays! • Time to post: 12pm EST • Frequency: 0.5 posts per day  Twitter • When: Tuesdays - Thursdays, Saturdays - Sundays • Time to tweet: 6am EST, 12pm EST, 6pm EST • Time to get retweeted: 5pm EST • Frequency: 1-4 link tweets per hour  LinkedIn • When: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursday • Time to post: 12pm EST, 5pm EST, 6pm EST • Frequency: 20 times a month  Google+ • Time to post: early morning  Pinterest • When: Saturdays - Sundays
  33. 33. Posting on Social Media
  34. 34. Posting on Social Media Remember what you are doing: creating value!
  35. 35. Create An Influencer List • Create an influencer list with a bit of market research. – Figure out who is writing content that is from a credible source, relevant to your brand, and adds value to your potential customers. – Find and follow them on Twitter. • Klout can help you rank your influencer list. • Hootsuite can help visualize social media lists. – Interact with your influencers on Twitter. • Read their posts and comment with helpful info. Retweet them. Reply. Share their content on LinkedIn/Facebook.
  36. 36. Find the Top Bloggers • Find the top bloggers with Inkybee – Put in three phrases / keywords bloggers may be using that you are interested in listening to. – Discover the bloggers relevant to you, and check out their social media metrics! • Find trending posts with Realtime ( – Find the trending posts in your niche in real time. • Find older popular posts with Topsy – Find epicly shared blog posts.
  37. 37. Find the Top Websites • Find the top SME websites using Alexa – Use the category search to drill down and to identify the top websites. – Browse top websites and add them, any contributors, or any commentators quoted on them to your long list of influencers.
  38. 38. Make the Most of LinkedIn • LinkedIn Groups – Conduct keyword searches of to find the ones that are most relevant to you and your industry. – Check out who have been particularly influential lately, this is a neat LinkedIn feature. – Join these groups and post/comment in the future. • LinkedIn Influencer blogs – Follow influencers on LinkedIn in your industry.
  39. 39. Set Up your Blog • Set up a free blog easily - – WordPress lets you use their site, or download the package to install on your own server/website. – SumoMe is a WordPress plugin you can install to help grow your email list, monitor social sharing and analytics. • Your blog is just a start - – This is just one channel, but an opportunity to publish and create your own content/SEO. • Add your blog to your content calendar!
  40. 40. Content Calendar
  41. 41. Calendars work as mental models, showing us something familiar to help us comprehend something hard. Set a calendar for content and figure out what media is for each - video? email? webinar? link to blog? Content Calendar A simple, visual calendar greatly lowers its perceived difficulty.
  42. 42. Be mindful of SEO • Content marketing allows you to set up early for successful SEO from the beginning – Over 500 million people search on Google every day, will they be able to find your product? – Improving your visibility in search rankings takes time, so start right in the beginning!
  43. 43. Being Mindful of Building Great SEO • Link and anchor text in your content - – Create quality content on your blog (ie. landing pages and blog posts) that point out benefits of your product over others. • Link to pages already ranking high in search. • Go back and link to your new posts from your old posts. – Structure your URLs for maximum effect. • You will more likely be found on search engines if you use dashes in your URL – – Google treats dashes (“-“) as separators, whereas it treats underscores (“_”) as connectors.
  44. 44. SEO Tools • SEO can be a long-term source of unpaid and unmanaged traffic so make sure to prioritize it! • Tools include –  Google AdWords Keyword Planner • Understand relevance, number of searches, etc.  SEOmoz tool • Understand rank tracking and competitive analysis.  Ahrefs tool • Understand backlinks for you and your competitors. – Finding out who your competitors are linking to and why, can give you invaluable insight into what is working well for competitors, and what types of things you can do better.
  45. 45. Free Website Analytics • Marketing can be exponentially more effective if you can measure impact and optimize results. – Google Analytics • Set up Google Analytics on your website or blog. • When you see new visits, figure out why that happened. • By attributing growth to an event, you can increase those events and increase your growth!
  46. 46. Conversion Rate Optimization
  47. 47. Conversion Rate Optimization • Conversion rate optimization is the science in understanding why your visitors are not converting into customers. – Improve your message or value proposition to increase your conversions. – Understand your users and their objectives. – Then test your assumptions with A/B testing. 1,000 100,000 1% Conversions visitors conversion rate / =
  48. 48. Conversion Rate Optimization
  49. 49. Conversion Rate Optimization • CRO Tools help you learn why people are not converting / buying your product. – Olark • Chat plugin to talk with potential customers on your site. – SurveyMonkey • Incentivize your potential customers to fill out a survey. – Good old-fashioned conversation, or what we now call customer development • Get out of the building and have lunch or a Skype conversation with potential customers.
  50. 50. 1,000 100,000 1% • Some examples of CRO improvements: – A static site made a responsive site. CRO boost: 20%. – An image on landing page vs a video. CRO boost: 3%. – Site changed headlines and form. CRO boost: 79%. – Added picture of person to site. CRO boost: 102% – A site sharped its value proposition. CRO boost: 128%. • Bottom line: CRO works. If you do consistent testing and make regular improvements to a site, your conversion rates will improve. Conversions visitors conversion rate / =
  51. 51. Growth Hacking Case Study • Hotmail added a footer at the bottom of each email sent from its product. – “P.S.: I love you. Get your free email at Hotmail” • This made every email a Hotmail user sent a free advertisement for the product! • How can you build free advertising into your product from a user’s action(s)?
  52. 52. Growth Hacking Case Study • Dropbox made it easy to invite friends to the service in exchange for more of their service. • How can you build free advertising into your product from a user’s action(s)?
  53. 53. Growth Hacking Case Study User referrals increased Dropbox signups by 60%. 35% of signups are thanks to referrals.
  54. 54. Referrals as Free Marketing Try some referral marketing! – Kickofflabs, ReferralCandy and Talkable offer customizable referral programs for your users.
  55. 55. Earned Media . • Solicit product reviews from early users. – Where do people write reviews on your niche? • What are the most active online communities? Forums? – One easy thing to do is get listed on Yelp / Craigslist. • Answer relevant questions on Quora.  Respond to unanswered questions in your niche on Quora. Look for questions with a lot of people waiting for an answer.  Respond to people who mentions your brand, one of your competitors, or asks a question about your space. • Use a tool like Mention to get notified when this happens.
  56. 56. Why “Earned Media”? • “Earned media” is very effective because people trust their friends’ recommendations. • People are already asking these questions trying to find you! Don’t leave them hanging. • All these online reviews and question-answering is generating inbound traffic, inbound links and potential customers!
  57. 57. Crowdfunding Creating a crowdfunding campaign is a great way to practice your pitch and raise the profile of your product! – Kickstarter and Indiegogo are popular crowdfunding websites with built-in marketing and discoverability. • Video and audio quality are important for the sell. • Keep it short and simple. Look at videos of successful campaigns for tips – learn from them! • Make sure that the ask is carefully worded, with urgency and a direct call to action.
  58. 58. Videos in General Videos can be useful generally with marketing. • YouTube and Vimeo are great for hosting. • Check out how Dropbox and Mailbox created viral videos for their products. • Archive videos on one of the above sites, and renew them occasionally as part of your content marketing strategy. – Embed in webpages and blog posts. Share occasionally with different subject lines via email and Facebook/LinkedIn posts. Distribute a segment on Vine/IG.
  59. 59. What’s Popular Right Now in Video? Dubsmash is trending right now, for example. Will you make a video that promotes your company / product this week while it’s hot?
  60. 60. Surf the Marketing Channel of Video! How will you contribute with a nod to the popular culture with a video?
  61. 61. Partnerships Partnerships can be strategic marketing wins built on relationships, or your perceived value. • Always look for meaningful partnerships that can result in a win-win solution. Whether you are the technical or non-technical founder, you have to always be selling. • Think about your users and what they want. • You are offering a solution, not the product. Always work on your story.
  62. 62. Expertise Not Necessary! • Get the ball rolling – know just enough to put something in place to build from. • There have been plenty of tools invented to help early-stage startups find their footing. • Find one or two successful tactics early on to get early traction with the product.
  63. 63. Good Luck on Standing Out from the Crowd! Remember, it’s not just “sell sell sell” – consider how you add value to a user’s life and tell them about it!