Unless you’ve scored a huge investment for your startup, you probably don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing. Working on a startup of your own can attract a rush of emotions.While some days you work on a high, certain that you have the next bigthing within the palm of your hand, some days you are left with a loadof uncertainty and doubt. Whether your startup is a new mobile app,software or tangible product the journey is nothing short of exciting.
Pin pointing the problem you wish to solve and laying out the concept for your app is just the first step. Once development is under way thenext daunting task would be to focus on how you can roll out the app to a relevant audience. As I am currently working on an app startup of myown, I thought I’d share a few marketing tips learned along the way. Aslike most startups, our budget was limited and almost nonexistent sohere are a few tips which would require a large sum of, well, $0.
Create a landing Page
Once you have finalized on a name, logo and tagline for your app, the next step would be to create a basic landing page in order to get sometraffic to your site. The website should allow visitors to subscribe toyour app in order to get updates on features and the launch date. Youmay also need to do some basic SEO for the site.
Tip: There are a number of free WordPress themes available for you to modify and use. Also ensure that your site is always up andrunning to avoid losing potential users.
If you aren’t active on social media now would be a good time tostart. Through social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and manyother platforms you can reach out to a mass audience relevant to yourapp. A good place to start would be to create a list of Facebook andGoogle+ groups and pages where your app can be promoted during launch.Also create promotional material like info graphics, tag clouds, videosetc which can be shared to create awareness.
Tip: Be careful not to spam in order to avoid being removed or criticized on the group. Also search for app review exchange groupswhich will help you get quick reviews for your app on the day of launch.
Another great way to promote your startup is by following socialinfluencers on Twitter, LinkedIn and Quora. If you reach out to therelevant people, they may be willing to try out your app and talk aboutwhy they like it. Getting endorsed by an influential person within themobile or app space will definitely earn you some good credit.
Tip: Actively participate in discussions on all platforms andthen reach out to influencers who you like to follow. You can also write answers to questions asked on Quora that seem related to your app. Aslong as you do not spam and hard sell your own app everywhere, Quora is a great place to market your app to an intelligent and active onlinecommunity.
These are good outlets to reach out to in order to get coverage about your app or startup. Make a list of such sites and ask for a feature or review about your app.
Tip: Make a list of tech sites first and prioritize them based on their reach and popularity. Getting featured or reviewed by a fewwell know sites can make a big difference. While reaching out, rememberto keep your email very precise.
There are plenty of active forums which allow you to promote yourapp. These forums are filled with entrepreneurs like yourself and earlyadopters. No matter who reads your post, you are guaranteed to get somegood feedback or downloads.
Tip: Before promoting your app on forums, it is recommendedthat you participate in a few discussions and build some sort ofcredibility. A higher credibility will most certainly lead to a betterreception and response from the other users.
The blogger community can be extremely helpful in reviewing orfeaturing your app/startup. Reaching out to as many relevant bloggers as possible can guarantee you some coverage on at least 2-3 blogs.
Tip: You can invite bloggers to test your app in beta and give you feedback. If they like it they may agree to write an honest reviewon it. Also, don’t restrict your reach to the top bloggers. Bloggers who have medium reach are more likely to respond and take you up on afeature/review request.
Create a well written Press Release and prepare a PR Kit which can be sent to all print magazines, newspapers & established tech sites.You can also target local newspapers as they may be more open tofeaturing your app.
Tip: As a general rule, new startups seldom get featured innewspaper articles. But, if you reach out to specific journalists fromthese papers who have covered other startups, the chances of themfeaturing you are higher. For contacting Journalists, check theirarticles for an email address or send them a message on LinkedIn or anyother social media.
Attending Startup Events and Networking
This may seem trivial but the takeaways can be plenty. There arevarious startup events organized around the city where startups fromvarious stages be it the idea or traction stage come together to getadvice and feedback from each other as well as mentors within thestartup space. If your startup requires VC funding these events are agreat start at understanding what investors are looking for and you even get to pitch to a few investors and watch other startups do the same.
Tip: Networking is the key to good marketing at these events.Getting your brand known by other startups and mentors within thestartup space will go a long way.
Stay updated with the latest news from the startup cloud
If you are planning to venture into the startup space it is important to keep up with the latest news. Whether you are reading about thesuccessful funding a startup secured or the ongoing warfare between twostartups it won’t hurt to stay in tune with what’s happening around youIf not, the comfort and motivation drawn from knowing that others outthere are on a similar journey is good enough.
Tip: It definitely helps to know what promotional activitiesdeemed successful for others as it could give you a few tips whenmarketing your own app.
Sites like F6S have a plethora of freebies listed on them. They areall focused towards startups and can definitely come in handy. You willprobably find a coupon for everything from hosting to marketing on it.
Tip: Not all the freebies are free, but the discounts willdefinitely be a lot better than what you would get otherwise. It’s bestto signup for an account in advance and keep checking for new freebiesone a week.
As I’d mentioned earlier, I’m not sure which of these will give youthe best results. Every startup is different and what works for onemight not work for another. I just hope that this serves as goodstarting point for those who haven’t made a concrete marketing plan.
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