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Marketing

Marketing your app & content

Your first step is to make something people want. If you haven’t read our previous post in this series about Even Before Launch, you should read that first.

Once you have made something people want, the second challenge becomes how to get it to people who want this product and content. In this blog we will give you a few effective and practical tips to get started. It’s hard. Having an app and great content is not enough. You have to work hard to make it successful. Many first time app founders and content creators expect some magical marketing hacks to get their app flying. There’s no such hack. There’s only the hard way.

We’ll be looking at both free and paid marketing. Both have their merits and short comings. You must judge what will work for you.

Free

Facebook

Facebook is still the biggest Social Media out there. It is important to know how to tame this beast for your benefits.

Facebook has various aspects to it, all of which we will be diving into.

Groups

Facebook is full of groups. You must find groups using the search on Facebook. Search for groups based on the keywords that might be relevant to your app and content. For example, if you are creating a course on “Stock market investing for beginners”, you may look for groups like “Investments”, “Stocks”, “Stock Markets” and so on.

Be sure to join the groups. For the first couple of weeks you should be an active member of these groups to gain trust of the members in the group. You cannot usually just join the group and post a link directly. Many groups have policies around when and how you can promote your own products on the group. Be sure to read them and abide by them. Learn More

Pages

Be sure to have a Facebook Page that is dedicated to your content and app. Post engaging content on the page. Invite your friends who might find this page interesting. Ask them to share it with their friends.

Once you start posting content that is relevant to the audience that has liked your page, people will start trusting you more.

Then once you have your app ready, you can launch it using the Facebook page. You must be looking to get a few hundred likes on your page to get going. Again, this may vary from content to content. But building some kind of following on the Facebook Page is an asset. We will see in the later sections how this will help in paid marketing too. Learn More

Status

You should post a Facebook Post with a clean image that talks about your course in 5-6 words. Super crisp. Share it with your friends.

This is a very low conversion channel, but it’s something you should do. This will help you get suggestions and feedback from people you trust – your friends. Actually we recommend you should post this even before you launch.

WhatsApp

Another interesting place to promote your app and content is through WhatsApp and other chat apps.

Groups

WhatsApp, Telegram and other apps have thriving groups. You should find groups that exist and join them. You should start adding value by genuinely being a part of the discussions on the group.

Finding groups on chat apps is hard. That’s why they’re so effective. The only way to get added to a group is if you are invited by an existing member or admin. You must ask your friends and colleagues to add you to such groups.

Once you’ve been a participant for long enough, depending on the unwritten policies of the group, you should effectively share your content with the group.

Status

WhatsApp status is an underutilized way to market. That’s what makes it a good place to start.

If you have people on your contact list who might be interested in the content you’ve created, you must definitely put up a status talking about what the content is about and a link to your app.

Again, you should not expect too much traffic or sales from this channel. But, it is so easy to do that makes it totally worth the 5 minutes.

Quora

Quora.com is a great place to suggest your content to someone who is explicitly looking for it.

You must find questions on Quora and answer them genuinely using your expertise and skill. You should also share the link to the app if someone might be interested.

Learn More

Email

Though email seems to be dying, it thrives especially in the professional spheres. If your audience is someone who still actively uses email, you should definitely consider building an email list.

Learn why email is so effective.

Mailing List

You should build your mailing list. You can use free tools like Mailchimp.com to build an email list. You can create a simple landing page using Mailchimp and collect email addresses. Once you have email addresses, you can start your own newsletter.

Newsletter

Newsletters are known to have about 30% open rates. If you send your email to 100 people, 30 people will open it. Out of the 30 people, depending on the email that you have designed, you can expect 7 people click on the app link you send them.

So you need to slowly keep adding more emails to your list. This is a great asset to have. Especially for paid marketing if you want to work on it later.

Learn more about how you can make effective use of newsletters.

Live Streaming

Livestreaming get a lot of coverage these days. Insta Live, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Periscope are all good mediums to livestream. Build an audience by regularly doing livestreams and talking about the periphery of the content you have created. People who watch your free livestreams are also people who might be interested in your real content. You can promote your app and content towards the end of the live.

Share the links in the descriptions and in the chat box to make it easier for the clients to open your app.

Make sure to share your livestreams after the live to get even more reach.

Learn More

YouTube

YouTube is a powerful marketing tool. If you are creating videos or podcasts in your content, you should definitely consider putting snippets of it on YouTube.

You should also re-purpose your content and put up free versions of it on YouTube. There are some great blogs about how to make the most of YouTube.

Learn More

Paid

Lastly, we’ll look at paid marketing.

A heads up before using paid marketing. Paid Marketing is an art. It is expensive. You should know precisely whom you want to reach using your ads in order for them to be economically viable.

You need to make sure you are willing to bid good bye to your money for the first few attempts. Just putting money into ads isn’t enough.

It’s like putting up a billboard. It’s expensive. It’s worthless if you put up a board about a software engineering job opening at your company at the neighbourhood children’s park. You need to put up the billboard at the right place. Else you’re burning money. You need to be weary of this mode of operation.

Facebook

Facebook is probably one of the most suited advertising mode for individuals. It’s easy to start and effective once you get the hang of it.

If you are new to Facebook ads, here is a great tutorial to get started.

For making a great Facebook Ad, you need to have the following

  • A compelling post and text
  • A great and clear communication in the image
  • A great heading that tells what the users can expect on clicking
  • A clear call to action. A button that tells them what to do next. e.g. Sign Up, Buy Now, Register

Here’s a guide to start running your first ad in less than 10 minutes.

Look alike

If you have email addresses of people who might be interested in your product, you should use that to reach out to more people like them. That is why we said earlier, that it is probably important that you make an email list.

You need over 100 emails for this method to work well.

Once you have people actually buying your course, update the list for look alike with the people who have actually made the purchase. Keep improving the list by adding people who’ve made a purchase. That way, you’ll be able to reach even more people like them.

Here’s a detailed guide as to how you can use Facebook Look Alike

Facebook Boost

Facebook boost is the simplest way to do paid marketing. It really is about putting up a normal post on Facebook and then putting money behind it so that it reaches more people.

This is easy, but should be used with caution. This, when paired with good targeting and look alikes can be a useful tool.

Here’s how you can create boosts and drive results. The official documentation is not bad either.

Google & YouTube

Coming soon.


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Categories
Marketing

Even before you launch your app

The journey of your app starts before you launch your app. Make sure you know what you’re building before you put your sweat behind it.

The last thing you want is to launch an app that no one cares about.

Make something people want

Research

You don’t need sophisticated tools to research. Just head over to google.com and try out the following

Auto Complete

Type in the kind of content you are going to create and see if you get auto suggests. If you get auto suggestions of the topic you are considering making, it’s a good sign.

It means that people are searching for such a thing. People probably want this.

If you do not get what you are going to be building in the auto suggest, you might want to reconsider what you are building. That said, many times, if your content is novel – people might not have searched for it before. Especially if it is a niche topic or something that’s been recently discovered or invented.

Auto complete on Google

Trends

This is a continuation to the above. We need to see if people really want what we’re offering. Do they want our app?

Another place to do this research is Google Trends.

Here you can type in the keywords related to see how people have been searching for the keywords on Google. This is an interesting insight. This will tell you whether your topic is

  1. New and picking up
  2. Stagnant in demand
    1. People search for it consistently
    2. People don’t and never have been searching for this
  3. Dying demand

You want to build something for sections 1 or 2.1.

You don’t want to build something that no-one cares about.

“Benefits of green vegetables in the advancement of self driving cars” – probably something people don’t care about there’s no search traffic at all. It is unlikely that you will attract attention if you launch content for such a thing. You should know what your audience wants.

Google Trends for something that isn’t searched for

You also don’t want to launch something that was a fad that has died down.

A fad that has died down

You are looking for new topics or evergreen topics – even if it is for a niche. It doesn’t need to have very high traffic. Even if it is for a small niche, but that small niche exists – you are good to go!

Consistent search volume

Or if you are an expert on a new upcoming trend, that’s another avenue. A new trend usually means not a lot of content would have been created. But it also comes with the additional competition. Everyone tries to latch on to a new trend.

A new trend

Ads

Again, on Google, search for what you care creating content about.

Do you see ads?

If you see ads, this is something people definitely care about. So much that there exist companies running ads to reach out to customers who are searching for such keywords. It is a good signal. You must look for keywords that usually have just one or two ads running for them. If more, you are probably entering a very competitive landscape – and must be careful. In a competitive space, your customers have so many more options. You need to stand out. It’s not impossible – just harder.

A topic with ads on Google

Asking

Once you have done the above research and have found the topic you want to be creating content on your app about, you must start talking to potential customers.

Friends and family

The number one place to ask for feedback is from friends and family members you trust.

Your first 10 customers should come from your friends. If you can’t get your friends to make a purchase, it’s going to be really really hard to convince people you don’t even know to give you money.

Ask them if they’ll buy this content from you. If yes, how much will they pay? What will they like you to talk about in the videos?

You must be confident in reaching out to them and ask the right questions. Make sure you filter out things that your friends might be sugar coating to make you feel good.

You need real feedback.

Acquaintances

The next step is to go a little broad and ask for feedback from people who aren’t your family or close friends.

These might be your existing students, existing customers, subscribers to your social media. Ask them would they like to download your app. Tell them what you’d be talking about.

Run polls on social media, invite criticism, ask for suggestions. Rally your followers – seek their help. They might be your first real customers when you launch.

Take their feedback and make it part of your product.

A simple poster for a status message on Social Message

Launch Ready

Once you have taken feedback and you know you are building exactly what people want, you can walk into the app creation process with confidence. You’ll know you are building what people want. You’ll have new ideas you hadn’t thought of by yourself.

Without these, without knowing what your customers want, it’s a futile exercise to launch an app. Make sure you know what you are building, make sure you know atleast a handful of people who will pay you the day you launch.

Once you have that you are good to launch. You can check out our other guides, on how to launch and how to market.


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