Do you want your software development products or services to enjoy immense popularity among customers? I mean, come on, is that even a question? Sure you do.
You already have a brilliant idea people will line up for. You have solved their problems with a single product. You have rid them of pain. Why bother with anything else?
Alas, the process is only simple on paper.
Even if you produce goods that are meant to appeal to every customer success is not set in stone. But don’t take my word for it. Try to think of at least 10 companies that got off the ground on their own without any marketing whatsoever.
Take Uber for example. The guys behind the concept are amazing and they have actually revolutionized the world as we know it. But would they get anywhere without an army of brand advocates who literally evangelize something as simple as a car service?
Their success, however, did not come from traditional marketing ways as we know them. No, the team simply enhanced word of mouth for a bit and given they’ve delivered superb quality at the same time we now have a multi-billion corporation!
You can do that too!
But wait, there’s more. Your startup marketing process won’t cost you a single dime.
Yes, the internet is an overgrown marketing board today with bids and paid clicks and whatever else. A lot of modern strategies like, say, content marketing, require colossal investments. But that does not mean you can’t get your fair share of love for free.
Do note that the following methodology is tailored for a rapid jump-start and it will get you your first deals. Once the money flow is all set up you will be forced to invest. That’s just how the market works nowadays.
# 1 Perform a deep analysis of the market
Regardless of your sphere of operation, establishing a firm, you should, first of all, work out a business strategy. In order to plan your work correctly, it is advisable to take into account the characteristic features of your potential customers, as well as current market trends.
In fact, to effectively market products or services, you should focus on the customers` needs, preferences and expectations. You should sell the effect your product or service will produce on their well-being. This stage does not require investing money, you can do everything yourself.
I have already described a perfect flow in more detail, you can find it here. It’ll take a lot of time, though.
# 2 Ensure peach perfect quality of your services and products
Quality is also an essential marketing element. Here’s just a sample of the big picture to justify my point:
- 47% of consumers expect their web pages loaded in less than 2 seconds.
- 1 second of delay reduces conversions by 7%. That’s a 35% loss in just FIVE seconds!
- Statistically, people never open an app after the second crash.
Wow, that hurts. And although fixing issues will require certain resources testing is not entirely marketing, so I’ll let this one slip in my free tips.
Pro tip: QA outsourcing can save you a fortune. Just think about the opportunities.
# 3 Take advantage of your social media accounts
As you know, today social media channels are the main means of communication for the majority of people. In addition, they also serve as a convenient source of news and other information.
Consequently, billions of people spend 50 minutes to several hours a day on social networks, email, etc. Why not take advantage of this situation?
You can use social media for marketing for free. Create accounts on popular social networks, start blogging, send mail-outs, do not miss this opportunity. It is noteworthy that in addition to popular social networks, which unite all sorts of people, there are numerous niche networks for those who are interested in particular business spheres.
Be sure to take advantage of at least some of them. Sure, for any of these methods to produce positive results, you will have to spend hours writing informative posts, selecting illustrations, communicating with potential and existing customers, etc. However, if you just create multiple accounts and fill them with boring content, you will waste your time. It will not contribute to the popularity of your brand; besides, it can mar your reputation. There is a large number of ways to increase the number of your subscribers.
First of all, if you already have some subscribers, you can organize all sorts of contests which involve sharing your posts. You can also use popular hashtags. Besides, you can tag influential people in your posts so that they learn about your business. Think this issue over and you will see that there are dozens of other methods, which can help you popularize your profiles.
# 4 Develop relationships with influential people
As it has been mentioned above you can use your social media accounts to spread information about your company. Your accounts are not likely to enjoy immense popularity among Internet users from the very beginning, but you can use them to approach grandees, who have more subscribers.
Subscribe to the big men’s profiles, leave comments, share their posts, make every effort for them to notice you and have a look at your account. If your start-up seems to be promising to them, they will share some of your posts or express their opinion on your business one way or another.
They can even offer you some advice or support your firm financially. You can also try to approach influential businessmen in other ways.
# 5 Take advantage of the feedback you get
In fact, the customers` comments are the main source of reliable information on the quality of your services or products. Sure, some people can contact your customer service representatives and try to make a scene or post bitter comments in the social media just because they are in a bad mood, but in case you get a lot of negative feedback, you should not ignore it.
Be honest with yourself, if a customer is satisfied with your services and goods, he is unlikely to yell at your employees even in the case of a bad day. So, if you receive negative feedback, react to it somehow. Contact a disappointed customer and make every effort for him to have a good opinion of your company.
Use the feedback to learn about your possible mistakes and weaknesses and deal with them. In addition, you can ask some satisfied customers to express their opinions in their posts or on your website. It will be the best advertisement.
# 6 Collaborate with local media
Yes, there are some companies that prefer paying journalists so that they write about their achievements. Luckily, that is not the only way to get a local newspaper to mention the name of your company in one of the articles.
You have a story to tell, they need a story to share. Everybody wins, right?
All you need to do is to draw the attention of local writers to your firm. To do that you should, first of all, find out which media specialize in the business segment you operate in. Then you can approach their staff members and tell them about your achievements.
If your start-up is promising enough, they will, no doubt, get interested in it. Besides, there are services which provide information about upcoming articles so that entrepreneurs have the opportunity to contact local media and offer some worthy material.
# 7 Do some live networking!
You never know how high a simple chatter with the right person can get you. Participating in all kinds of events will make your start-up visible.
You do not need to invest money in such events, you can just offer your products or services. You can provide prizes for the lotteries or contests. As a result, you will get an opportunity to advertise your company for free.
So, be sure to learn about the nearest local events and contact their organizers. Just support a couple of events and the members of their organizing committees will, no doubt, contact you again.
# 8 Team with other start-ups
If you lack some resources, you can collaborate with another company. Sure, this should not be your direct competitor.
Think about the companies offering products or services which are complementary to yours. Other businessmen can help you with marketing in return for some kind of support.
If you want your business to achieve a big deal, be sure to pay much attention to marketing. There are hundreds of ways to advertise your services or products. Besides, to apply most of the methods you do not need to invest money. So, you can safely use them to make your start-up visible.
After you have established your own business, the first thing to do is to develop a good reputation. Consequently, you should make every effort for the customers to be pleased with your goods and services.
Afterward, they will both turn to you again and tell other people about your company. As for other marketing tools, be sure to take advantage of social media, including networks, blogs, email and so on. A quality website will also contribute to your positive image. For novice businessmen, it is advisable to focus on the local communities.
Just visit all kinds of specialized meetings, support local events and collaborate with local journalists and media. If you lack some resources you can team with other businesses. Developing relationships with big men will also provide you with some advantages.
As you can see, you do not need to invest thousands of dollars in marketing in order to make your company visible. However, you will have to put your shoulder to the wheel if you want to obtain good results.
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