After initializing their first releases or MVP (first minimal product-release), startups are faced with the challenge of promoting and marketing on the Internet. If they do this through Yandex or Google AdWords, a single click designed to attract customers can cost $1 or more, and the cost of publishing a single article onto a popular media site can be more than $ 1,000 per campaign. New startups, even when heavily propped-up investment-wise, and enjoying huge financial backing, cannot afford to walk on such a grand and costly scale.
Or they can, but here is a well-established fact: all funds are consolidated only after a couple of months; whether there were any sales or not, and they ran out of money for further product development.
Very often, startup beginners say: "We do not know how much we need for marketing. How do we evaluate this?", or: "We need ten million on marketing, hmm, no, let's make it twenty ...".
Then, they quickly start buying ads and spending money in vain, and slowly begin to realize that marketing is one hell of a very expensive endeavor. You may have a great product, everyone may like it, everyone may be dying to use it, but then, it is necessary to spend a lot of money on advertising. Well, afterwards, they start looking for an investment specifically for marketing.
So, rounding up: marketing and promotion of IT-startups on the Internet proves to be expensive, unclear and unpredictable.
In fact, the promotion of start-ups is actually understandable and predictable. Whether it will be costly or not depends on each particular situation.
It is really quite possible to promote IT-startups using only little or no financial investment at all. In this case, impressive and surprising results can be achieved.
In the open world, these techniques are called growth hacking
And, just a small faq on explosive promotions:
1. Wow, is it really possible for any project to be able to directly unleash a host of ads without money, and without doing anything at all?
− No, not any project. A lot of work still has to be done. But for many projects, not a lot of money is spent.
2. So, if not ANY project, then which ones?
− First of all, IT-startups or projects that are well-integrated on the internet. But in general, the general principles apply everywhere.
3. So, purchasing advertising space will be a thing of the past?
− Yes and no. Advertising will always be a great help if you can afford it, and sometimes, may be the only option.
4. Do I still have to learn about marketing or hire a marketer?
- You needs to know the fundamentals. Growth hacking and marketing are related, but not deeply. This a kind of side-approach, where your brains, simple logic, entrepreneurial skills; all really matter. Certainly not misgivings.
How growth hacking works
The basic idea of the explosive product is very simple and logical. If your product is good, its users will talk about it themselves. They only need help to do that. Practically almost all the techniques can be reduced to one single aim: to increase virality without any cash expenditures.
The obvious pre-condition is that your product really needs to solve user problems, should be necessary, useful and convenient. You must have a high-quality product.
I am sure that all startups find their desired product, but this is not always the case.
Explosive advertising works well for IT-startups, because users can easily talk about it and attract other users, the internet is there to help. In addition, explosive advertising is a pack of little tricks that helps you get close to your audience; motivate, talk about the product, test ideas, increase conversion, and so on.
1. "Standard way" - more money into advertising, greater audience reach, more new users.
2. Explosive advertising - users themselves are involved together with their friends. Avalanche exponential growth. Quality product needed.
3. Divide all your customers into particular segments according to the problems that your product solves. The more homogeneous the segment, the better (but without fanaticism)
4. Check №1 - It is very easy to explain what you have to offer if this is done segment by segment. Without any "and" and "or".
5. Checking №2 - Product positioning for the segment, tagline, the main message should all be contained within the tweet.
6. Segmentation and positioning are closely linked. One can lead to the other, and vice versa.
7. Segmentation and Positioning give insight into what customers are looking for, how to look, where to look for that particular offer. You can write a statement for sales.
8. Structuring allows you to identify the main problems to be solved by the product, and a host of other artifacts that can be used, for example, to create a Landing.