Connect with us


7 Clever Online Marketing Strategies



Marketing a start-up is an important and crucial part of building a business. Much of the popularity of the start-ups doing great business today owes it to the clever marketing strategies incorporated by the owners. The challenge is not the competition in the industry itself but also the hundreds of marketing messages that consumers are bombarded with on a regular basis.

Here are some of the marketing strategies that are effective for Tech start-ups of today:

  1. Frequent and Consistent:

Always assume that customers have short term memory so you need to be fresh in their memory at all times. A brand’s voice should be coherent, clear and consistent. Not only should start-ups be regular with the post but engaging and attention-grabbing. Buffer App reports that the optimal number of posts to Facebook is between five and 10 times a week, Twitter is five tweets a day and LinkedIn and Google+ tied for one time a day.

  1. Engage your customers:

Starting a dialogue with customers will help you leave an imprint of your brand in the memory. With the increased commercialization, what will set you apart is being personal in the professional. Try new social media challenges to engage customers in spreading the word. Some of the growing trends that you can tap are – Dubsmash, everyday challenges, photo competitions and games.

  1. Mind-Blowing Content:

Old school yet important for marketing is the content used in any digital forum for your start-up. Content helps deliver the tone and spirit of your brand. Start-ups like Chumbak and Happily Unmarried have set a tone for their brand and are hugely seen as representative of pop culture by the youth. Make sure you invest in developing content that reflect the personality and theme of your start-up.

  1. It is all about your customers:

Most social media accounts fail because they are strictly used for promotions and branding. This is a failed strategy. Find and share information that is customer centric. The social media platform should be people friendly and customer oriented.

  1. Choosing the right time:

While there is no universal best time to bombard the social media with posts for the most views or exposure, here is the most popular and “perfect” of timings: Facebook: 12 p.m. EST is the best time to share. Twitter: 5 p.m. EST is the best time to get a retweet. 6 a.m. EST, 12 p.m. EST and 6 p.m. EST are the best times to tweet in terms of clicks. Also, remember to check these details every once in a while since the changing social dynamics can also change the best times for posts.

  1. Setting up a blog:

Creating a blog can be a challenge for any start-up. You would need an experienced writer or a recognisable name or face that will help you gain readers. The reader today has lesser attention span than ever so you need to crisp, entertaining and informative articles that will take 5 minutes or less to read in one sitting. Guest blogging allows you to invite celebrities, known faces or even customers themselves to write short snippets, articles and opinions.

  1. Reach everywhere:

After you have built the content for promotion, you need to reach everywhere to amplify the content. Leverage your social media profiles, collaborate with larger forums, and reach out to LinkedIn and Facebook groups.

Running a start-up on a shoestring budget is challenging. Adopt successful marketing strategies to keep the cost spent in marketing low while improving the brand visibility.


About the Author

Madarapu Nagaraju is a Co-founder and Director at KnowledgeHut. With over seven years of experience, he possesses a bias for innovation and has an ability to connect the dots between thinking up strategies and executing them on the ground. He has played a pivotal role in building international alliances and expansion of the learning business overseas from one centre in Bengaluru to over 90 countries. A strong proponent of the lean practices, he strongly believes in the quote: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”


Lessons Learnt from The Lean Startup



The Lean Startup book authored by Eric Ries has been sitting on my shelf for quite sometime now, so since I am currently contributing to the making of a startup I figured I’ll take a look into it.

The book is divided into 3 parts, after reading the first two I had my mind blown with the pragmatic and scientific approach to building startups that is described in the book.

In this post, I would like to share some important insights that I gained regarding building highly innovative businesses.

Validating Value Proposition And Growth Strategy Is The Priority

Usually, a highly innovative startup company is working in its most early stage at building a product or a service that will create a new market.

Consumers or businesses have not been yet exposed to something similar to what is going to be built by the startup. Therefore the absolute priority for startups in early stage is to validated their value proposition i.e. to get real data about eventual customers interest regarding their product/service.

The other priority is to validate that the growth strategy that is going to be executed is, in fact, effective.

The growth strategy of a startup is its plan to acquire more and more customers in the long term and in a sustainable fashion.

Three kinds of growth strategies are described in the book:

  • paid growth in which you rely on the fact that the customers are going to be charged for the product or service, the cash earned from early users is reinvested in acquiring new users via advertising for example
  • viral growth in which you rely on the fact that customers are going to bring customers as a side effect of using the product/service
  • sticky growth in which you rely on the fact that the customers are going to use the service in some regular fashion, paying for the service each time (via subscription for example).

These growth strategies are sustainable in the sense that they do not require continuous large capital investments or publicity stunts.

It is important to know as soon as possible which strategy or combination of strategies is the most effective at driving growth.

Applying The Scientific Method

The scientific method is a set of techniques that helps us figure out correct stuff. After making some observations regarding a phenomenon, you formulate a hypothesis about that phenomenon.

The hypothesis is an assumption that needs to be proven correct or incorrect. You then design experimentations that are going to challenge the assumption.

The results of the experimentations makes the correctness or incorrectness of the hypothesisclear allowing us to make judgments about its validity.

In the lean startup methodology, your job as an entrepreneur is to formulate two hypothesis:

  • hypothesis of value (assumptions about your value proposition)
  • hypothesis of growth (assumptions about the effectiveness of the growth strategy)

These hypothesis are then validated/invalidated through experimentation. Following the precepts of lean manufacturing, the lean startup methodology prescribes to make experimentations while minimizing/eliminating waste.

In other words, you have to burn minimum cash, effort and time when running experiments.

An experimentation in the lean startup sense is usually an actual product/service and helps startups in early stage learn invaluable things about their eventual future market.

Sometimes startups learn that nobody wants their product/service, imagine spending 8 months worth of engineering, design and promotion work (not to mention cash) in a product/service only to discover that it does not provide value to anyone.

Minimum Viable Products And Feedback

As we pointed out earlier, an experimentation can be an actual product or service and is called the minimum viable product(MVP).

The MVP is built to contain just enough features to validate the value and growth hypotheses, effectively requiring minimum time, effort and cash.

By getting the MVP launched and in front of real users, entrepreneurs can get concrete feedback from them either directly by asking them (in focus groups for example) or via usage analytics.

Analytics scales better then directly talking to customers but the latter is nonetheless used to cross validate results from the former.

It is crucial to focus on metrics that creates fine grained visibility about the performance of the business when building(or using) a usage analytics system. These metrics are called actionable metrics because they can link causes and effects clearly allowing entrepreneurs to understand the consequences of ideally each action executed. Cohort analysis is an example of a analytics strategy that focuses on actionable metrics.

The bad kind of metrics are called vanity metrics, these tend to hide how the business is performing, gross numbers like total users count are an example of vanity metrics.

The author cites several examples of different startups that managed to validate or debunk their early assumption by building stripped down and non scalable MVPs and even sometimes by not building software at all.

You would be surprised to hear for example how the Dropbox folks in their early stage managed to created a ~4 minute video demonstrating their product while it was still in development. The video allowed them to get more people signed up in their beta waiting list and raise capital more easily.

Closing Thoughts

In the first two parts of the book, the author talks also about how employees inside big companies working on highly innovative products and services can benefit greatly from the lean startup approach, although very interesting this is not very useful for me right now.

The third part, talks about the challenges that arises when the startup gets big and starts to stabilize and how to address them. Basically it revolves around not loosing the innovative spirit of the early days, again, this is not very useful for me so maybe for good future reading.


About the Author

This article was produced by Tech Dominator. see more.

Continue Reading


How to Create Buzz around Your Startup Idea



Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.

– Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO

There is something very exciting starting up a business. Startups offer you a chance to do something fresh and take new ideas to the public. But if you’re going to succeed, you need to get it right from the very start of the journey. Creating buzz around your startup’s launch is possible, and here are some ideas to help you do it.

Blog About Your Startup Journey

This is a great thing to do if you want to create a personable and refreshing brand image. People like to see how your business is doing and how it grows from an idea into a fully fledged business. Blog about what you’re doing and how your business is expanding. If you can develop an audience of readers ahead of your startup’s official launch, it will be easier for you to hit the ground running. You can then make the blog the voice of the company as it grows and starts to turn a profit. This is something that you should think very carefully about when starting up a business.

Make Plenty of Announcements

You should try to make a lot of announcements when you are leading up to the launch of your startup. There are plenty of people out there that will be interested in hearing about what you’re doing. You need to start by creating a strong presence on all the key social media sites. If you can do this, you will build up an audience that will then be receptive to your messages. They will also be there to spread the word and share announcements with their friends on social media platforms. This can be hugely important when you’re trying to raise brand awareness and expose your announcements to as many people as possible.

Organize an Event and Invite People

Organizing a real event that people can turn up to and attend can be a great idea. It makes your startup’s official launch feel more real. If you just set a random date for the launch and don’t mark it in any way, it will be much more difficult to create a buzz. Hire a stage, sound system and find bleacher rentals to host the event. Then you can write a speech and make a plan for the schedule of the launch. If you can do this well, you will create a lot of buzz, and maybe get some more coverage for the startup too.

Reach Out to People Who Can Give You Publicity

There are plenty of people out there that might be able to help you achieve the publicity and coverage you crave. When your business is being talked about, people will hear about your brand and what it’s doing. So, you need to make sure that you reach out to many people in the press, the media and the blogosphere who can help you. There are many business magazines and websites that write profiles of new business and young entrepreneurs. If you can contact some of these people, they might be interested in offering you some coverage. Don’t underestimate how important this could be. Hopefully these ideas will help you with starting up a business.


About the Author

This article was produced by SolVibrations is a multi-author self improvement blog, aiming to inspire creativity within.

Continue Reading