Marketing a Tech Start-up is challenging and costly. While using social media offers one route to generate some demand it represents but one piece of the jigsaw. Instead, the following 4 strategies represent some of the more powerful demand-generation activities (aka Aces) that should be considered by new businesses:
1. Concentrate on Building a Really Great Product.
I make no apologies for making what seems like an obvious statement. There are too many new products and services that are simply… “OK”. The gains on existing products and services they are intended to supplant are not compelling enough to drive adoption. Similarly, the importance of having a strong, design-led focus from day one has never been as strong.
2. Create Remarkable Content.
Most entrepreneurs understand the importance of using content to target an audience and to build relationships. The easy thing to do is to simply add a WordPress blog as a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) play, in the hope that the content will secure an organic listing for relevant keywords and will attract prospects.
But the internet is littered with poor quality blogs hosting lowbrow content and negligible engagement. Content needs to be consistently remarkable, so readers find it truly beneficial and worthy of sharing, which will help secure the inbound links that play such an important role in securing premium organic placement. Compelling content will also help establish you as an authority in your field and help build the trust that will help to drive conversions over time. It is also a great low-cost strategy to deploy if you operate in a niche area.
3. Advertise on Google AdWords
Advertising on Google AdWords affords tech entrepreneurs a great opportunity to create awareness and to generate conversions. The power of the medium is clear.
Firstly, purchase intent is readily discernible from the “search intent” of the user. At one end of the funnel, you can target generic terms that indicate the user is in consideration mode, while at the other end you can aggressively target users in buy mode who are searching for specific products or brands. Hence advertisers can really hone in on a small set of converting terms as a means to promote their services to qualified leads.
Secondly, it enables entrepreneurs to tightly manage their budgets so they can ensure that marketing spend is commensurate with return. Finally, the use of Google is synonymous with searching for solutions, be they paid or otherwise, to the needs we have, not about media diverting you away from what you are trying to do.
4. Build Strong Relationships.
People buy from people, and one strength of the technology community is that there is a very high bias of early adopters willing to try out new products and services. It is a buoyant community in the US and one in which a small number of influential writers and bloggers can promote your offering to a very focused audience from which to build.
Word of mouth can also play a powerful part in helping you gain early traction with these key influencers. And while some relationships can be established online, there is no substitute for getting out networking. A growing number of events also offer tech entrepreneurs the ability to nurture and cement real relationships in person.
by Alan Gleeson
Alan Gleeson is the General Manager of Palo Alto Software UK, makers of Business Plan Pro and LivePlan. Alan has an MBA from Oxford and an MSc from University College, Cork, Ireland. You can follow Alan on Twitter@alangleeson