As soon as you decide you’re ready to execute your business idea, you should be planning your marketing strategy. No matter how long until your official launch, there are so many reasons to start your marketing efforts early. Essentially, marketing builds a buzz around your product or service. This buzz builds momentum and excitement about your offering. If you wait until your official launch to start marketing, you’re already behind.
To start your marketing before you have a budget, leverage social media. TI’m going to share the Drift method for snagging email leads from social media. I have executed this successfully as well. Drift is a SaaS company that invested in marketing at the on-set.
First, I always say research is the first step to anything. Drift started by narrowing down who they should be selling to. They call this niche their “wedge” of the market. At first, they thought about selling to sales professionals and marketers alike.
One form of experience-based research, Drift used the personal experience of it’s executive team to narrow down who at a company would have the power to make the purchasing decision. They ruled out sales people by noting that marketers were the ones who had the discretion to make changes to websites and other aspects of a business. They further narrowed it down to product marketers, based on the CMO’s own experience with product marketing.
Drift did field research by compiling and culling through hours of interviews with product marketers. They learned that product marketers feel underserved and imperfectly understood. So, they slowly began a content machine just for product marketers.
To begin nurturing leads via email addresses, Drift started sending social media messages to product marketers on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Before long, they had hundreds of subscribers. All it took was a little personalization and understanding. Check out this article about sending social media messages to get your strategy down.
Social media is also the place to create buzz on no budget. One tech company I did some work for on Instagram kept their Instagram private, and the landing page their bio linked to password protected. All you saw on their profile were the words, “DM for the password.” I never got so many DMs on my first day working on an account. A little mystery can go a long way.
I had another client who wanted to run a contest the first week after making his account. I told him the best practice was to wait until we had a few thousand followers, but he was undeterred and instead put $50 into an Instagram ad advertising the contest, and another $25 into an Amazon gift card to give away. A lot of people entered that contest, and again the DMs asking about the brand started rolling in.
Engaging, valuable, inspiring, or mysterious content is a great way to get people curious about your brand. Design your feed in a way that makes you stand out. Pick a color scheme, decide on what content interests your audience (the research I’d recommend in this case is to find some competitor accounts and check out their content), and use an app like Adobe Spark or Canva to create content for Instagram or Pinterest, or use an app like Feedly or Flipboard to help curate content for Twitter or LinkedIn. All of this content should also be linked to your Facebook through IFFFT.
Finally, decide on which social media channels will work for you. Research the demographics of your clientele as well as the demographics who are on which specific social networks and you will know exactly where that buzz should be built.