Reach Hacking: Strategic Marketing for Startups


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Strategies and tactics for digital marketing (that don't cost $1 million).

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  • So what do you need to so, as a startup, to maximize your promotional impact? That’s what this first section is about. Getting ready. Your effort at promotion will be wasted if you don’t cover these basic steps first.
  • Israel to talk
  • Israel to talk
  • Can you tell what this company does? No one can. It’s the worst website ever.
  • If you are one of these people you can get away with that website. If not, listen up.
  • Even Biz & Ev treat their current project sites differently. There’s a short explanation above the fold, larger images, larger text.
  • There’s a product name and explanation.
  • I can sign up for this new effort, or see how it works. There’s a clear call to action. Both of these sites pass the 10 second rule. If you don’t have a demo ready, fine. Collect an email address for when you do. More on that later.
  • Three step explanation. Perfect. Got it.
  • Here are some even more compelling examples of startups whose purpose and value is totally understandable in the first 10 seconds.
  • Notice the big, colored buttons with calls to action? Well done.
  • Not that there’s a trend in big hero photographs on homepages or anything.
  • I am a fan of vowels in web addressesIf I can’t spell it, remember it, if it’s confusing I’m already annoyed So think about your URL
  • How are we supposed to pronounce this? And what does this product do?
  • Note: Do not say you are the most powerful anything on the internet. Unless you are provably, demonstrably, Scoble says so most powerful. You are inviting derision.
  • $100K for the URL later, Mogulus is Livestream. Tell me that is not more memorable, descriptive yet expansive, sayable, spellable, findable, pronounceable- you name it. Biggest marketing expense the company ever had. Startups I have been involved in, this has been a major expense and worth every penny.
  • Likewise, your social media addresses matter. These should not be too hard if you nailed the URL.
  • This startup is about using three words to describe any set of geo coordinates.
  • Ditto on Twitter. Look at their updates- they’re newbies!
  • Ditto on Facebook.
  • So now you look good. Are you ready to promote? No. Two more points.
  • Fancy may just have got a big round, but I would not recommend this form. I would get an email. Twitter and Facebook are cool, but not addressable.
  • Boom. This is the join/ get updates/ get started/ get info form right here.
  • If someone wants to contact you, let them give you an email address
  • Even these guys had an email signup on their page. Put the addresses in a google doc or gmail or salesforce starter edition or write them on notecards or whatever, but get them!
  • And let them email you!
  • Thank you Branch. I can email you.
  • Thank you Fiksu. I can chat, email, call- which is what Coke, Zynga, & more probably want to do.
  • OpenDNS. So professional. Complete data, totally transparent.
  • And let them email you!
  • Get your customer relationship management (CRM) in place early.
  • Which leads me to the next point: Design matters. It really does. I swear we will get to promoting your startup via social media, but before you invest that effort, you absolutely need to be worthy of promotion.
  • How much do you think this site makes per year? Surprise surprise: Over a million dollars. How much do you think revenue is increasing YOY?Not a surprise: It’s not really increasing much. This page is optimized for Google search word “foam mattress” It hit its high point in revenue about when you think it did- some years ago It doesn’t inspire the modern bed buyer It’s a commodity business Capture data to follow up with users Have a privacy policy / TOS Include your social media handles
  • This site inspires the modern bed buyer And their margins on online bed purchases are likewise very different So are you a commodity business?
  • Look at the role design has played in recent startup success storiesAll these pictures were already on the internet Laying them out in a visually consistent way- applying design- created a whole new audience for the content
  • Another design success
  • More hero photographs
  • I love the design of this startup site Moral of the story: Highlight design. Find a student graphic designer, try out one of the crowdsource design sitesWrite a brief and post it 99Designs, CrowdspringOffer shares if you don’t have money
  • Which leads me to the next point: Design matters. It really does. I swear we will get to promoting your startup via social media, but before you invest that effort, you absolutely need to be worthy of promotion.
  • Little Bird launched with this. The site is passable, but neglects to execute on many of established lessons.
  • The newly redesigned homepage is succinct, descriptive and easily contactable.
  • Which leads me to the next point: Design matters. It really does. I swear we will get to promoting your startup via social media, but before you invest that effort, you absolutely need to be worthy of promotion.
  • It’s best to start with an objective
  • It’s best to start with an objective
  • Pick one of these. Which one do you need to tackle first? Up to you. But pick one. Setting an arbitrary goal is a useful exercise. 10 influencers, 100. 1 investor, 100. Pick a number and see if you can actually work to achieve it.
  • Israel to talk
  • Israel to talk
  • Blake to talk
  • Blake to talk
  • OK admit it: You are reading this chart right now and not even listening to me Cuddling & church = gentle sexSmoking & piercings = rough sexWhat a surprise. But still, compelling content
  • I love this blog. It has data, big data, infographics, relevanceIt has interesting contentTwitterers break up faster
  • And are more likely to masturbate today. This is awesome content.
  • Shifting gears so we can all focus again. Gnip. Great content. So shareable, so engrossing with the visualizations and interviews
  • Simply Measured. Always timely and topical. THEY have content that is READY TO PROMOTE!
  • Blake to talk
  • Israel to talk
  • Choose the right tools for the job
  • Which leads me to the next point: Design matters. It really does. I swear we will get to promoting your startup via social media, but before you invest that effort, you absolutely need to be worthy of promotion.
  • Blake to talk
  • Reach Hacking: Strategic Marketing for Startups

    1. 1. August 13, 2013 Reach Hacking: Strategic Marketing for Startups
    2. 2. Blake Robinson - @blake Dir, Social Strategy & Development, @Annalect Israel Mirsky - @israelmirsky Global Managing Dir, Social & Performance, @Annalect Margaret Francis - @margaretfrancis VP, Social Products, @SalesForce Marshall Kirkpatrick - @marshallk CEO, @GetLittleBird 2
    3. 3. GET READY.
    5. 5. Marketing mar·ket·ing [mahr-ki-ting] Noun Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling the product or service. It is a critical business function for attracting customers.
    6. 6. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? Scrappy startups vs. Big budget Marketing
    7. 7. Kevin Costner is a lousy entrepreneur. Startups measure in silos. Agencies analyze relationships cross platform and cross channel.
    8. 8. Kevin Costner is a lousy entrepreneur. Startups have one or two people working on marketing. Agencies manage experts executing coordinated marketing initiatives on a international scale – and establish consensus among the many global clients who must weigh in
    9. 9. Kevin Costner is a lousy entrepreneur. Startups will need to focus on optimizing one or two things against a small number of metrics. Agencies optimize entire portfolios.
    10. 10. Kevin Costner is a lousy entrepreneur. Startups will be identifying swings in online conversion metrics. Agencies optimize metrics across both online and offline initiatives.
    11. 11. Kevin Costner is a lousy entrepreneur. Startups deal with marketing budgets in the tens to hundreds of thousands. Agencies deal in the millions and the problems are different, growing exponentially as higher numbers of products, competitors, etc., are added
    12. 12. Kevin Costner is a lousy entrepreneur. Agencies are working toward predictive measurement and analytics using all of these factors. Startups utilize reactive analytics… but that’s OK.
    14. 14. Promotion pro·mo·tion /prəˈmōSHən/ Noun Activity that supports the furtherance of a cause, venture, or aim. The publicization of a product, organization, or venture to increase sales or public awareness. Synonyms advancement - preferment - rise
    16. 16. Worst.Website.Ever.
    17. 17. Unless you founded Blogger and/or Twitter.
    18. 18. BE SUCCINCT
    19. 19. Be upfront with your value proposition
    20. 20. Product name and explanation
    21. 21. Learn more about the product and/or signup right from the front page
    22. 22. Three step explanation of functionality. Got it.
    24. 24. Mogulus! What does it mean?!
    26. 26. Oh.Mogulus is now Livestream? That makes more sense.
    28. 28. The startup says exactly what it does.
    29. 29. Its social presences are clearly named.
    31. 31. BE CONTACTABLE
    32. 32. TOOLS: Putting contacts to use
    33. 33. Nimble Contactually
    34. 34. Email Tagging: Tout
    35. 35. DESIGN MATTERS
    36. 36. A design lesson from Little Bird
    37. 37. Before
    38. 38. After Contactable Descriptive Succinct
    39. 39. SOLID SOLUTIONS Design on the cheap
    40. 40. 99designs
    41. 41. dribbble
    42. 42. GET SET…
    44. 44. Kevin Costner is a lousy entrepreneur. Don’t sell what you can make. Make what you can sell.
    46. 46. Start with your Business Model
    48. 48. Set a goal • Find users / customers: Get 100 legitimate prospects in your email list • Prepare to raise money: Target 10 firms and their principals/ analysts/ associates • Connect with influencers: Get 10 relevant people following you • Network with peers: Connect with 10 people in your field. Establish a relationship
    50. 50. Analytics are the measurement of movement toward your business goals.
    51. 51. A good metric is Clear, comparable ratios Tied to your business model Actionable, not vain Correlated or causal Leading or Lagging
    52. 52. Comparable ratios: think about a car • Clear: You know 60MPH is twice as fast as 30MPH – In a country, speed limits and mileage are well understood – Kilometers are conveniently decimal; miles map to hours • Rates: Miles travelled is good; miles per hour is better; accelerating or decelerating changes your gas pedal • Business model: You can measure ―MPH divided by speeding tickets‖ as a metric of ―driving fast without losing my license‖
    53. 53. A few words on causality.
    54. 54.
    55. 55.
    56. 56.
    57. 57.
    58. 58.
    59. 59.
    60. 60.
    61. 61.
    62. 62.
    63. 63. Correlated Causal Two variables that change in similar ways, perhaps because they’re linked to something else. An independent factor that directly impacts a dependent one. Summer Ice cream consumption DrowningCorrelated
    64. 64. Leading Lagging Number today that shows metric tomorrow—makes the news. Historical metric that shows how youre doing—reports the news.
    65. 65. If it can’t change your behavior, then it’s a… bad metric.
    67. 67. Kevin Costner is a lousy entrepreneur. In a startup, the purpose of analytics is to iterate to a product/market fit before the money runs out.
    68. 68. Hotmail was a database company Flickr was going to be an MMO Twitter was a podcasting company Autodesk made desktop automation Paypal first built for Palmpilots Freshbooks was invoicing for a web design firm Wikipedia was to be written by experts only Mitel was a lawnmower company Most startups don’t know what they’ll be when they grow up.
    70. 70. Kevin Costner is a lousy entrepreneur. • As a startup, you must measure growth • A growth rate of 5% per week is good, 7% is very good, more than 7% is excellent.
    71. 71. Kevin Costner is a lousy entrepreneur. But what kind of growth should you be measuring?
    72. 72. Kevin Costner is a lousy entrepreneur. Startups and smaller initiatives should consider measuring the following: • Revenue • Conversions • Uniques • Shares of content or product • Engagement with your content or products
    73. 73. (PRACTICA)
    74. 74. REACH HACKING 101: Owned
    75. 75. Owned • Research TW & FB hashtags relevant to your company • Create and circulate content using the same hashtags • Cross post: TW, FB, Tumblr • Comment on relevant blogs only where you add to the conversation – Don’t shill – Add links to other relevant conversations, not just your own site • Follow everyone back, to start
    76. 76. Twitter now has analytics. Use them to perfect your messaging.
    78. 78. Content Marketing PolerStuff has a YouTube Channel, a Tumblr blog…
    79. 79. Content Marketing …and an Instagram feed
    80. 80. REACH HACKING 201: Earned
    81. 81. • Follow everyone back, to start – Use lists to filter noise based on your research • Go interact with the people most like the ones you want to reach. – Thank them for the follow. DM/ Email/ Comment is fine – Reach out to them, start interacting Earned
    82. 82. • Attend in person events and carry a card with with all your info on it. Social is not just FB. It’s ―network‖ in all dimensions • Research all the people who sign up for your list, to follow you, who comment on your FB page or blog or whatever – Run them through LinkedIn & find out who they are – Try Topsy, Little Bird, to see who the influential accounts are similar to the ones that follow you. Earned
    83. 83. REACH HACKING 201: Paid
    84. 84. Paid • Use promoted products from Twitter & Facebook to narrowly target campaigns that are highly, highly relevant – Have a clear call to action – Link back to that site – Few hundred dollars in media spend • Critical audience and awareness building tool • Look for domains in GA and cultivate contacts at those companies • Search advertising on category keywords is easy to set up. Focus on your differentiators
    86. 86. Google Analytics: Learn it well.
    87. 87. Recorded Future: Know your market
    88. 88. Topsy: Know what topics to target.
    89. 89. 113 Little Bird: Know who to target.
    90. 90. Bitly: Sharing content is just the start. Always be tracking to understand what happens to the content you share.
    91. 91. Simply Measured: To understand your owned properties.
    92. 92. How to get (a lot of) press coverage for your startup, initiative, etc.
    93. 93. Step 1. Make a list of people you want to cover your launch • Pick some obvious ones • Pick some non-obvious ones • Think of a couple of people at specific publications • Too many is better than not enough 117
    94. 94. Step 2. Prepare your materials • Company story, value proposition • Founders’ backgrounds • Target market and use cases • Competitive differentiation • Business model • Meaningful words of support from credible people • Graphic assets (logo, screenshots) Now go rewrite all that stuff as bullet points, in half as many words. 118
    95. 95. Step 3. Reach out to your list • Email them • Ask if they’d like info about your startup under embargo until 9:00 AM PST Tuesday next week • Tell them only thematic info until they say ―Yes, I would like to learn more about that.‖ 119
    96. 96. Step 4. Brief them • Tell them: – your background – why you started the company – tell them how you make money – show them a demo, answer their questions – different people like different things Focus on a bright line to cross, typically moving from private to public 120
    97. 97. FAQ • Do I need to hire a PR agent? • Should I offer exclusives? • Are embargoes respected? • Will anyone respond to my emails? 121
    98. 98. Maybe.
    99. 99. People respond to my emails. • Why? • Because I... • * have a history of adding value to their lives • * am likable and interesting • * evidence thus suggests that I will deliver interesting, likable value next time we talk. 123
    100. 100. Be someone who has added value in the past • Little Bird can help. • We’ll help you figure out which leaders in your field are people that other leaders pay attention to. • And we’ll make it easier than ever for you to listen to them too. 124
    101. 101. After you listen to them, you can respond. • Respond intelligently and you’ll become a person who has responded intelligently to them in the past. 125
    102. 102. Technology will not get you out of work. • You can do this with elbow grease, time and smarts. It’s not easy. (Little Bird only makes it easier, you still have to work at it.) • Or you could be a needy stranger who emails busy people out of the blue. It’s up to you. 126
    103. 103. Not all press is good press…
    104. 104. Don’t send 1,000 emails 128 insufferable-startup-brat
    105. 105. Let this not be your TechCrunch debut 129
    106. 106. And do not quote your mother. • ―This is the third attempt by the company in the last two weeks to reach out to your U.S. staff and get your attention with an exclusive. • [XXXX] is a legendary figure in the world of Asian personal computing..He was a pal of Steve Jobs when Jobs was first brooding about touch tech and pad computing…He is now preparing a broader assault on the US apps market in the Fall. You don’t seem to know him. You don’t seem to care. • Let’s give it one last shot, shall we? • We are offering you an opportunity to meet them. We are offering you an advance glimpse at what they will do in September. No one is demanding that you love what they might tell you. But we are baffled and bewildered at why you don’t seem to value that!‖ 130
    107. 107. Perfect your presentation
    108. 108. Use an email tracking service like BananaTag to understand what emails work and hone your messaging.
    110. 110. Step 1: Find good people and websites on the internet Step 2: Read their content when they publish it Step 3: Get your house in order Step 4: Respond to what people post online, focus on adding value Ways to add value: a. be first b. be best, c. bring resources together d. be funny Step 5: Create your own original content for others to follow Wash, rinse, repeat. Hustle harder. Take risks. Meet people and be nice. Get lucky.
    111. 111. GO!
    112. 112. Still have questions? Reach out to us individually on Twitter or via the #reachhack or #reachhacking hashtags.