Marketing for Startups

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Before we go any further lets define what marketing is:

Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling that product or service.

There is a tremendous amount of ways these days to market your shiny new business online. It’s a fact.

It’s also a little overwhelming.

So which one is the best? Well... that depends on the type of business you have.

The best way to know which works for your business is to experiment and try as many channels as you can. You should check out the book Traction to find out about all the different channels available and how to use them to your advantage.

I’m going to tell you about the one I like to use. It just costs a bit of your time (great for bootstrapping startups) and it’s called Blogger Outreach.

Blogger Outreach is where you reach out to bloggers about your product/service and they promote it to their readers in the form of a blog post.

In a way it’s a lot like traditional PR and getting featured in a popular newspaper. Getting a feature in the Guardian is awesome don’t get me wrong, but that’s very difficult to get and the value in reaching out to bloggers online continues to grow.

Here’s why Blogger Outreach is so valuable:

1. It’s Targeted.

Content is becoming completely niche. Publications that try to be everything to everyone

are getting undercut by highly targeted blogs.

More than 150 million blogs exist, so it’s easy to believe that you can find a blog on anything, from knitting to caving.

Now, Bloggers do get less traffic than big publications but, they’re targeted. This means the readers are already more likely to be interested in your product or service from the get go.

2. It helps longer term too.

When you work with a blogger, you're often getting more than just a blog post. If the blogger’s first experience with your company was a positive one, there is a greater chance that they’ll want to work together again.

Furthermore, they can often refer others to their blog post about you when asked for product recommendations. In other words, you get a vocal supporter of your work too.

3. Their readers Trust them.

Bloggers can develop a strong trust with their audience and so if they have a great opinion about your product it’s easy to gain trust from their audience.

However, for this to work your product or service has to be good and stand up under scrutiny. A blogger isn’t going to say wonderful things about your product unless it is, otherwise they lose the trust of their audience.

4. It builds your Street Cred.

Speaking to a blogger is not just about so people can hear about your product or service. It’s an opportunity to share your insights on the industry and where innovation is taking it. This can help to show you as an expert and visionary in your chosen industry who people will want to follow.

Take Steve Jobs for example, he often talked about where the computer industry was headed and then produced product(s) such as the MacIntosh and ITunes that fitted that vision.

5. The Snowball effect.

Bloggers speak to other bloggers and if one of them does a great post about you, it’s often the case that another blogger in their network will want to do a post on you too. This can in turn amplify your buzz out to more bloggers and more potential customers.

This was a guest post written by Ross McKinstry. He is the founder of Experience Ambition which seeks to document and showcase ambitious entrepreneurs and startups creating, hacking and pushing the boundaries.

You can follow Ross on twitter here.

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