Yes, Tech marketing especially marketing for tech start-ups is quite different from how regular marketing is done. This is the more reason why tech enterprises have to be deliberate with how they do their marketing.
The truth is that majority of tech companies do not sell themselves, and with those who do, a good number are actually not doing it right. Sure, many of us tech people would want to think that unicorns like Facebook and Google that were set up in college dorms somehow got spread via word of mouth, but the fact is that, there was a limit to how far word of mouth could get them; fitting marketing strategies had to be employed.
Creating a great product is only half the work; advertising is the other half. For every product, there is the need to grab people’s attention, and solid marketing strategies are the keys to getting out of the door and into people’s minds and hearts. Whether your innovation is for a niche or mainstream market, chances are that you are up against competition either from established competitors in your industry or other start-ups, presenting a challenge where you have to cut through the noise and stand-out – a solid product is not enough to pull this off.
The good news is that “impossible is nothing” with the right marketing strategies. Marketing when done right can help you get to your target audience be it B2B or B2C or a mixture of both in some ways. With some informed efforts and being equipped with the right tools, you can catch people’s attention, introduce your brand and convert your social media following into paying customers. Here are some ways to get this done;
Display advertising might seem old-fashioned, but it still works! In fact, display advertising is experiencing a come back due to the rise of programmatic advertising. Improvement in ad algorithms is making it easier to reach the right people with messages that resonate with them. Tech start-ups not using display marketing as a means of re-marketing or re-targeting are missing out big time on potential revenues.
Before going full into display ad marketing, it is advisable to run a pilot across various media including Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Reddit among others. It is important to tailor your message and imagery to fit with each platform and the psyche of its users; i.e. you will have to run variants of the same ad to suit the image and language of the particular platform and its demography set. This way, you are able to tell what ad type and platform is best suited for your product’s marketing, even before you go on to throw your budget at the campaign, subsequent to which you can begin to measure and expect significant returns on investment (ROI).
Paid search is more targeted than just having a banner ad. Paid search allows you to anticipate the intent of the internet user who might be interested in your product so that your product/projects comes up to the top when the user gives a command to search engines. With paid search, you get to bid on keywords or phrases; informational queries are usually cheaper and are a better choice in comparison to offering whitepapers and organization webinars. One key point of note however is that transactional queries are more expensive, they are however more likely to lead to conversions.
For the best of results, it is advisable to run test trials on search engines and to see which strategy gives you the best results.
It is just natural that we discuss organic growth right after paid campaigns 😊 . This is particularly important as it is widely known that platforms like Facebook are equipped with algorithms which see to it that majority of your page’s followers do not see your posts, unless they are paid for.
This irrespective, organic growth is still possible, more so on other platforms outside of Facebook. Organic growth is hard, but worth it. It is hard because you have to always stay on top of trends and be aware of which hashtags are in vogue for particular industries and demographics. You will have to stay consistently on top of issues on Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Reddit, Hackernoon e.t.c.
In fact, this is one of the most important marketing forms if not the most important. It is a key element of inbound marketing strategy, i.e. a marketing strategy that aims to draw in customers based on their already existing interests. It basically draws potential customers through the relatable content you create and make them consume. Content marketing could be via blogs, deliberately planned social media posts, audio, videos, animations e.t.c. content marketing calls for much creativity.
In summary, content marketing aims to educate, entertain, inspire and persuade. Content marketing is a vast subject area, but the good news is depending on your industry, you only have to carve out a niche.
Your website is owned media that you should maximize to help with your marketing. For starters, your website should be built with SEO in focus from the get-go – it is an asset you own and as such should control to your product’s marketing benefits. For the most parts, this is usually the first port of introduction to your project. It is important to consistently optimize and change your website to suit the particular times of your business. It would be disastrous to leave your website the same for long periods. Your website should be SEO-diagnosed with content and design changed from time to time based on SEO audit findings and even more so, based on existing market data and user experience feedback.
Email marketing might seem old or mundane, but it still is an effective tool for product awareness and conversion. Building and nurturing a prospects list is a very important ingredient for successful marketing. Asides emails being a tool for prospecting, it can also be a medium of Customer Relations Management (CRM). Email is important and it is also a low barrier of entry in comparison to other marketing forms.
Public Relations (PR)
Public Relations (PR) goes a long way to help with the image of a company, and actually no other is better suited for this than the tech industry. It is important that tech start-up executives have PR as a part of their marketing strategies. Some start-ups actually work with PR companies, which is usually the best option especially since most start-ups lack such expertise internally.
Tech start-ups must be cognisant of the fact the press releases are important part of getting their products out there. These releases must include angles that people will find interesting enough to pique their curiosity to want to try out your product. Press releases are also a way for the company execs to get acquainted with journalists who work for publications that cover their industry so that they develop camaraderie and amicable working relationship.
Marketing is tough, and tech start-up marketing is tougher! A good number of times, unconventional marketing styles will be carved and implemented. This often usually falls outside of the niche of tech projects, as such the need to employ the services of marketing experts and agencies, especially ones that enjoy the thrill of start-up marketing (because not many agencies will be willing to go through the gruelling ordeals of start-up marketing).
Guerrilla marketing can be comparable to a free-for-all sort of system, but an unguided and uninformed marketing strategy could just lead to a wild geese chase and result in expense of efforts that could have otherwise been conserved for other enterprising endeavours.
Employing the services of the Right Marketing Agency
As a tech start-up, you are already inundated with many challenges from the get-go. Challenges such as low capital, inexperience, untested market, uncertainty among other things. Getting the right marketing agency/partner that understands the tough tech terrain is very important. This agency will come in handy to help draft up, schedule and implement appropriate strategies that will play a key role in taking your company to the next height.
You need an agency that can and is willing to work around small to medium sized budgets, as opposed to already established agencies that will most likely not have the time of day to spare on small budget projects. You need an agency like Jua Digital that has been in the trenches with many global tech start-ups and seen them grow impressively over the years.