Let’s face it: it’s 2020 and paying thousands upon thousands of dollars on Facebook ads simply won’t cut it. Ok, except if your target audience is politically confused boomers.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most creative channels and methods companies are utilizing to promote their product.
Founded in 2013 by Ryan Hoover, Product Hunt is a platform that enables users to vote and utter their opinion on new product releases.
With over five million monthly visitors (according to Similarweb), it is one of the biggest hotspots for creators and product enthusiasts alike. Users up- or downrank products themselves, thus creating the necessary sense of trustworthiness in your product.
Furthermore, the users on Product Hunt are often very engaged and willing to help out with additional feature recommendations and actionable critique.
While most of the platform’s are passionate indie makers, a number of successful startup founders have utilized Product Hunt to their advantage, including Ryan Petersen from Flexport or Baiju Bhatt of Robinhood.
While it’s certainly no easy feat to get onto the front page, doing so can allow your site and/or product to garner clicks from thousands of users. Before posting, there is a couple of points to consider:
- Ensure that your hosting is up to the task and can handle the potential spike in traffic
- Have some sort of sign-up option (e.g. email subscription) ready
- If you have comments enabled on your site, make sure to engage with your audience
… and many others. For an in-depth analysis of how to get your content on the first page, take a look at this guide.
Inbound marketing is defined as the process of attracting potential customers through creation of engaging content.
The beauty of inbound marketing is that you can catch a prospect’s interest before they are even aware of a purchasing need. Furthermore, inbound marketing can be used to educate (potential) clients about your business, your mission and vision, or just be a helpful source of information for any given query.
The term was initially coined in 2006 by HubSpot founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. HubSpot, to this day, religiously practices the methods that they sought out teaching.
According to SimilarWeb, the company has amassed a monthly visitor base of close to 30 million, of which 50 percent are attracted by search engines – the channel HubSpot focuses on most in its inbound marketing efforts.
HubSpot published an in-depth guide on the topic, which you can find here.
Many successful founders utilize the various channels available to them (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter, or their personal blogs) to a) show their expertise in a given industry and b) establish a following and thus garner attention.
Just think about it: every time you post something thoughtful on LinkedIn or Twitter, thousands of people will end up seeing it. And everyone one of them can be a potential lead.
A great example of thought leadership in the SaaS industry would be Jason Lemkin, founder and CEO of SaaStr.com, a blog with over 2 million monthly readers. Apart from SaaStr, Jason has also started his own SaaS investment fund called SaaStrFund, and an annual SaaS conference under SaaStrAnnual.
And he makes sure to provide his followers with a great amount of free valuable advise, which increases their likeliness to attend one of his events or even have him invest in their startups.
According to Edison Research, over 50 percent of Americans who are at least 12 years old have listened to a podcast once. That represents a 122 percent increase from the year 2014 to 2019.
Leading podcasters such as Jason Calacanis or Nathan Latka have been able to amass thousands or even millions of weekly listeners while creating a brand for themselves and their companies respectively.
Some of the world’s most innovative companies have taken notice and became part of the podcast game themselves. Examples worth checking out include the Slack’s Work In Progress podcast, Spotify’s Thank God It’s Monday or The Message by General Electric.
Reddit, often referred to as the front page of the Internet, is a user-created social news aggregator. It’s essentially a collection of forums on any topic one can imagine, ranging from soccer up to absolute gems like Birds With Arms or Trees Sucking On Things.
The first step in marketing your product is to identify all the relevant channels (called subreddits) that you can market to.
Before making your first post, it is crucial to study the do’s and don’ts of that particular community. For instance, some channels even go as far as banning its users when an advertisement link is posted.
Hence, make sure to actively engage in this community prior to your first post. Work on adding value and make a name for yourself.
When it’s time for posting, don’t just blatantly insert a link to your product. Rather, focus on value-adding content. This could be a lengthy case or research study, conducting an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”), or a video introducing your product.
Lastly, it should go without saying that you avoid using shills at all cost. Whether it’s fake accounts, employee upvoting requirements, or undisclosed paid sponsors – Reddit users have seen it all and will make sure to call you out on it.