Marketing your startup is something I have incredible passion for. Living in the space of software development, I am constantly exposed dozens of new startup ideas weekly. It’s very energetic and very exciting. Ideas are everywhere and everyone has them, but coming up with an idea is only a small part of the process. Once that idea is built, funded, and created, it’s really just a matter of taking it to the market, and taking it to the people.
I graduated UNLV in 2001 with a PR/Communications degree and a Business degree, so my background isn’t actually in software development. However, I feel compelled to speak about this, because at Raster Media, we meet with a lot of startups who are really focused on the features of their product. The old adage of “if you build it they will come” is more than often not the case. Usually, if you build it, it’s really a matter of getting your ass out there and marketing the hell out of the thing!
So there are some best practices that we have seen in the marketing of a startup that work:
1. Simply getting press. Get as much press as you can possibly generate around your product. This can be press releases, interviews, people writing about your product, your process & history, getting reviews (not just app store reviews or Google plus reviews) but actual companies reviewing your product, the more press you can get the better.
2. All marketing should be hinged on a ‘press event.’ A press event is the creation of the press release and the syndication of this press release through your own marketing and social media channels. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends who have thousands of Facebook friends to share every single thing you put out there. What is considered a worthy press event? Things like a product launching, getting your first sale, taking funding, new office location, etc can be conceived as traditional press events. But even something as “boring” as hiring a new receptionist can be “press worthy” it all comes down to getting as many eyes on your product, project, brand, or company as possible.
3. Have the ability to market yourself and create a press worthy presence. I often reference a company called Ditech, during the real estate boom. They had a commercial whose message was “Ohhhhh, another loan lost to Ditech”. They were a massive lender that didn’t have the best rates, didn’t have great customer service, and really was a substandard service. However, they wrote more loans during the real estate boom of 2002 to 2007 than any other organization, simply because they had more eyes on the product.
4. Web presence marketing reigns. We use the web as a primary source for news now. You may watch the morning news, but chances are you are consuming it from your mobile device or computer during the day. The concept of web presence marketing goes far beyond social media and SEO. It really is a matter of hooking onto press worthy events and distributing them through every channel imaginable. The search engines like it, because it is better and more relevant content. Your social followers will like it and tend to syndicate it and share the idea, creating more and more eyes viewing your press events and ideas.
5. Create the feeling of “up close and personal”. Companies with a personality that are constantly creating relevant and interesting content are a rare commodity. There are lots and lots of startups out there, and its crazy that you can’t even get a hold of most of these companies. This is why having and creating the opportunity for someone to have a personal connection with your company or brand through social channels and web presence marketing is extremely effective.
There are literally hundreds of moving pieces to keep your company “press relevant” if you need help in this area please feel free to contact me anytime.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR| GEOFFREY RADCLIFFE
Geoff Radcliffe is Raster Media's resident "jack-of-all-trades" by experience. Geoff is uniquely positioned to quickly understand not only the technical aspects of any business idea but the strategic implications of improving existing services or the long term success strategies of a new startup. Follow Geoff via Twitter @radcliffe001 Find Geoff on Google