Imagine you’ve developed a product that the entire world would love to buy. However, you spend no effort or resources promoting or marketing it. What’s the likely consequence? Nobody will probably find out that it exists, and it might as well never have been developed. Talk about a waste of time, effort, and resources, right?
So how do you get the word out about your product or startup? There are many ways to do it right, but also many where you can come across as unprofessional and a scammer. The bottom line is never to lose sight of common-sense – never do something that you’d hate to happen to you as a consumer. We’ll take a look at some of the useful must-dos for good marketing, as well as certain common mistakes you absolutely must avoid.
Marketing done right!
If you’re going to invest time and money in crafting the best possible marketing strategy for your product, be sure that you cover all your bases. Remember to keep the below points in mind to have a strong foundation for your marketing efforts:
Get the basics right: You can’t aim for the stars without getting your foundation right. Many startups pay the price of thinking too far ahead of themselves without setting up the means to ensure they reach the final marketing goal. So take account of these basic pointers before you set out:
- First and foremost, define your product, map the key benefits, define your core values, and identify the customer persona.
- With everything hitting the digital format, social media presence is a constant companion your brand needs.
- In words of the marketing expert Seth Godin, “Content Marketing is the Only Marketing Left”. So look beyond just social media handles. Create your own content, whether it is product-related or simply industry updates, and post it on your blog.
- Network and maintain relations with as many journalists, influencers, and thought-leaders as possible. You can reach out to them when you want to create some traction or buzz around your product.
Be humane: Joe Chernov, Chief Marketing Officer at InsightSquared, says, “Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.” Marketing is all about connecting with your customer. So when you are drawing out your marketing strategy, try to keep it simple and jargon-free and address doubts a customer might have. Avoid the technical babble and tall claims; just be honest and directly address the layperson’s need and how your product will meet it. As a content marketer, I’ve found that the simplest way to market is to be honest with your customers, as it is all about building trust.
Weave a story around the pitch: Wouldn’t you agree that anything, when told with anecdotes or in a story format, stands to hold your attention better than a dull and straightforward pitch? So why stories? Because people love them. They are often one of the most easily consumed forms of entertainment. Think about different stories and narrative styles that you can use to make your brand/product relatable and an object of desire for your consumers.
Marketing done very, very wrong
Now the dos are usually common sense, but unfortunately, common sense can be quite uncommon. Therefore, there are some practices you should definitely avoid while trying to market your product:
Don’t look at everyone as a prospect: While it’s important to make sure that your brand reaches as many people as possible, don’t treat everybody you meet as a customer. What this means is that you should avoid pushing your brand and marketing to everybody who crosses your path. There’s a difference between coming across as passionate about your brand, and a pushy bother who won’t talk about anything else. I had a boss who thought that handing over his visiting card to everyone he met was some sort of marketing that helped him stand out. Please, don’t do that.
Don’t badmouth your customers: How many times have you seen a Reddit thread that burns down a small startup or a restaurant because the founder/owner decided to rant against a customer? In the initial period of your startup, there will customers who will express their feedback, and some of them will be critical. Take it in good stead and work to improve it. In fact, go the extra distance to invite those customers back and take their feedback on the changes made. Remember, startups are always evolving, and customer feedback is the yardstick to your progress.
Don’t make sales messaging the focus of your marketing: There are so many products available these days that everyone using the Internet would have seen the ‘Buy Now’ button in various colours and font sizes. Well, there’s nothing wrong with employing a Call-To-Action (CTA) button. But say you have a new prospect – what should be the first thing you do when you talk to them? Send them a flurry of case studies and textual and video reviews of your clients along with different packages of your services? No, not at all.
Instead, just send them a simple email talking about how you heard about them. Mention the services you offer and ask if they’d be willing to have a conversation with you to discuss matters further. Simple, isn’t it? Not only are you respecting their time but you come across as professional too.
These are our dos and don’ts for best marketing practices for your brand. Do you have others you think we missed out on? Let us know in the comments!