Internet marketing for startups


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A presentation I gave at SURF's meetup. You don't have to spend tons on marketing to get results. You DO have to make the effort, though. Lots of little tips and tools await...

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Internet marketing for startups

  1. BE SIGNIFICANT NOT ANNOYINGINTERNET MARKETING FOR STARTUPS This is a somewhat annotated version of the presentation I Ian Lurie gave at a SURF CEO meetup in @portentint December, 2012.
  2. Yes, like this, no ‘m’.The link, finally correct after 3typos and an unknown numberof silly mistakes.
  3. In which I tell a tale ofCompuserve spamming, andwhy being significant is realmarketing – being annoying isnot.
  4. YOUR CAREER IS ABOUT MARKETINGNo matter what you do, if you’re starting acompany, you’re a marketer. Your products,your presentations, etc. are all aboutcommunicating value – significance – andthat’s what marketing is.
  5. This is not marketing. In which I tell the story of how Bicycling Magazine taunted me publicly in 1992. Yes, I tend to carry grudges for a while.
  6. This is what it’s like when Bicycling.compukes a popup ad in the middle of a page.This has nothing to do with marketing. It’sharassment/browbeating. buybuybuybuybuy
  9. NOT SIGNIFICANT I haven’t even read a page on this site yet, and they’re spamming me with a signup request. I don’t think so.
  10. Mashable, on the other hand,doesn’t mess around. Isearched, I clicked, and there’smy article.
  11. Bicycling, you guys just make it waytoo easy.Seriously, though: This particularpopup is worthless to me, even if Ididn’t hate popups. I’m a bikemechanic, for God’s sake. Why areyou bugging me with advice on howto apply handlebar tape? Seriously?!
  12. Check out this post Straight-up info. And no popups.Thank you. They wentstraight to my GoogleReader list.
  13. I refuse to annotate this.It’ll take too long.Hopefully it makes senseon its own.
  14. IT’S SIMPLEBUT NOT EASY Marketing: Simple, but not easy.
  15. STEP 1: MAKE CONTACT Step 1: Make contact. You have to actually get found.
  16. On Google, I find stuff. If Ialready know I want a Di2group, I can find it.
  17. If I have no idea, though, I askin social media. This is whereI can discover new stuff.
  18. Of course, some answers aremore helpful than others,aren’t they, @jcolman?Phhbbbbt.
  19. Now, armed with what Ilearned from my social mediafriends, I can go find what Iwant.
  20. 100% 91%80%60% Search, though, is the dominant force. It’s kept 66% growin, with 91% of users saying they use a search40% engine every week. Social media? Not so much. Search20% Social 0% 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 From
  21. Channels  used  for  purchase  decisions  Search  engines   Ads   E-consultancy data. Hmmm. Where are you spending most of your money? On search, I hope. Social   0   10   20   30   40   50   60   70  
  22. WHERE PEOPLE CLICK: SEARCH A lot more people click on Never   organic results than PPC results. Rarely  Occasionally   PPC   Natural   Frequently   Always   0%   10%   20%   30%   40%   50%  
  23. BUDGET ALLOCATION BY CHANNELYet far more marketers saythey’re putting most of theirbudget into PPC than any otherchannel. And Social Media,which generates even less, getsa sizable chunk, too.Why? I don’t know. Rand Fishkingets a great look on his facewhen he tries to explain this – hethinks it’s ridiculous, too – like hejust ate a lemon that went bad.Me? I just get heartburn.
  24. 30% OF CLICKS Why? Someone, please just tell43% OF BUDGET me why?!!!!70% OF CLICKS22% OF BUDGET
  26. If nothing else, make sure youget the SEO folks involved whilebuilding your site, not the day OK, lets getbefore launch. The resultsotherwise seo in the may be, uh,disappointing. here OK, lets get the seo in here
  27. And in social media, understandthat more is not better.Sometimes… MORE <> BETTER
  28. …it’s better to just shut up.
  29. FOLLOW THE GOLDEN RULE. ALL THE TIME.In which I tell the story of Carmel Limousine in Manhattan,who earned my eternal enmity with godawful service threeweeks ago.Treat everyone you ‘meet’ in social media as an importantperson, and as you’d want to be treated. Never know whenyou’ll piss off someone with 14,000 Twitter followers.
  30. STEP 2: BE SIGNIFICANT Really, it all comes down to this. Once folks find you – once you’re visible, you have to matter. And you have to matter even if I’m not buying right then.
  31. KNOW WHY.If you want to really nailthis, understand the ‘why’of your business. I’ve readthis book 3-4 times now.You only have to read itonce.
  32. Etsy’s why – to me anyway– is to connect cool peopleand cool stuff. So theywrite about that, a lot.That makes themsignificant to me, even ifI’m not buying a thing.
  33. Sometimes, significantmeans writing stuff thatisn’t directly about you oryour brand.It means writing thingsthat appeal to folks whoaren’t even potentialcustomers yet.
  34. Significance also meansdelivering.
  35. MEH.And ‘delivering’ doesn’tmean a big fat ad right inthe middle of the stuff Iwanted to read. Does thisad actually generate anymoney?...
  36. MEH.Ford gets it. They have allsorts of fun stuff, and Idon’t have to be carshopping to want to readit.
  37. There is NO BETTER VALUE IN MARKETING than greatcontent. If write it yourself, it costs zero hard dollars. Ifyou hire a fantastic pro to write it, it might cost you$500/article. If you do a video, maybe $2500.And each piece you produce is a permanent asset andauthority builder.Plus every piece is a shot at a viral ‘home run.’Spend $500 on paid advertising and see if you getthat.I’m not saying ‘ignore paid ads.’ Paid ads – PPC orotherwise – are crucial. We always put them intoclients’ marketing mix.But they generate a proportional, short-term return.You need to also invest in something that generates along-term, potentially geometric return. That’s all thissignificance stuff.
  38. ANSWER QUESTIONSAnother great way to buildsignificance – to matter toyour audience – is toanswer their questions.
  39. One easy source ofquestions: Google Suggest.
  40. Running a Seattle realestate site? Here are yournext 10 blog posts.
  41. Quora. I’ve landed 2 greatclients by answeringquestions here.
  42. Significance, 3: Have a site thatloads fast.K, even I’m feeling a little badfor picking on Bicycling thismuch, now.
  43. MEH. But if they ran Google Page Speed, they’d see lots of easy ways to trim a second or so off their load times.
  44. Target: If I just want a pair ofjeans, don’t make me use awhole configurator-whatsit. Ijust want 32-34 Levis. Can’t youjust, I dunno, list the brands orsomething?
  45. Or at least make the productgrid so it doesn’t look like it gotbetween Liam Neeson and hisdaughter in Taken?
  46. Airbnb is brilliant at this. Theyestablish significance by beingso damned simple.
  47. …and by anticipating my needs,without seizure-inducing screencrowding.
  48. STEP 3: BUILD COMMUNITY Once you demonstrate significance, it’s time to build ‘community.’ Which is a trendy term for what we used to call the ‘house list’ – aka the folks you can reach out to when you’re selling stuff.
  50. Bicycling, I’d stop if it weren’t sodamn easy.How, exactly, do I subscribe toyour blog if I find an article I like?
  51. Ooooh. It’s this little 10 x 10 pixelchicklet at the top of the page,basically a continent away fromthe content that got meinterested.Fail.
  52. Side note: Significance can be bad,if you so piss off your customersthat they create a Facebook page,purely to say how much they hateyou.
  53. The same day Carmel earned aspot in my Book of Grudges,Alaska Airlines showed why I lovethem so. Long wait for bags, so Itweeted about it at 12:15 AM.
  54. I had a reply about 5 hours later.We exchanged a few moremessages – they made sure I wastaken care of.The baggage delay, by the way,ended up being Seatac’s fault. But@alaskaair was STILL thereoffering to help.
  55. Probably part of why they have220k likes as a relatively smallairline…
  56. While United Airlines spends theirtime growing their ‘United AirlinesSucks’ page.
  57. Ahem. Getting serious: Part ofbuilding the house list is seeing toit that everyone converts. We offerfree e-mail series on all manner oftopics. Folks can sign up and getfree learning. In exchange, we getto occasionally pester them aboutmore free learning.
  58. LAUNCHROCKBut you’re a startup, and you haveno time for this. Your dev team isslammed, and so are you.OK. Use a tool like Launchrock toset up a quick ‘keep in touch’page. It takes 2 minutes.
  59. FACEBOOK CUSTOM AUDIENCES Just cool. Learn about them.
  60. Subscribe Facebook Ad
  61. Don’t forget about other places tobuild your house list andcommunity. hasbeen awesome for me.
  62. Vimeo ain’t too shabby, either.
  63. Or write a Kindle eBook anddistribute it. It works.
  64. STEP 4: CONVERT I’m not going to say much here.
  66. Full Circle provides lots ofconversion opportunities here:Sign up for their newsletter. Likethe post. Tweet about it. Or yes,buy their service.Don’t make conversion an all-or-nothing proposition.
  67. ASSUME TESTING Assume you’ll be testing your site. Build in the flexibility, the resources and the time to do it. DO IT. Yes, it takes time. It will pay off 10-fold.
  68. MAKE IT EASYMake it easy for me to convert. Iknow, duh…
  69. But it would take 15 minutes tocode this so it’s a 1-step, not a 2-step process.
  70. Love this lander from Cheezburger. Plus,their CEO does a wicked Gangam Style.
  71. UNBOUNCE OPTIMIZELYEasy testing tools that require zerodevelopment skills.
  72. They provide nifty analytics.
  73. …and nifty design tools.
  75. Can you even prove it works?If you ask this question, I don’t hate you. Ijust like capybaras. C’mon, look at thisdude. The splayed toes. The knowing, zen-like pose.
  76. MEASURE EVERYTHING You can’t capture every bit of ROI, but you can capture a lot. Measure everything.
  77. This fantastic report that Avinash Kaushikdeveloped (and shared) lets me see howwell content is driving conversion.
  78. GETTING A BOOST Don’t hesitate to give your marketing campaign a bit of a boost, too.
  79. Use Followerwonk to find people to follow.Target your friend-making efforts.
  80. OUTBRAIN.COM ADWORDSSTUMBLEUPON PAID DISCOVERY Use paid services to get your content introduced to the world.
  82. DON’T QUIT THISAnd never, ever, ever quit. Keep at it.Persistence is a great marketing advantage.
  83. THIS ALWAYS WORKS In 17 years I have NEVER seen this kind of marketing fail. I’ve seen folks quit 6 months into it. But I’ve never seen someone stick with it and get zero payback.
  84. This is Portent’s traffic. Our inbound leadgeneration has been roughly proportional.We weren’t exactly starving in 2007-2008,but look what happened as we kept at it.