Dear Programmer, Marketing sucks

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programmer

I found a blog yesterday regarding a programmer that was having trouble marketing his newly launched product. Here was his reflection. I wanted to reply to Basil because other programmers have had the trouble of launching a product and hoped it would market itself. 

Dear Basil,

You said in your Reflection,

“Marketing is hard. So crushingly hard. Also I was incredibly naive in thinking that the product was so good that the marketing would just snowball itself into action.”

Realizing this sooner than later is for the better. After all, from your blog you mentioned you have been doing marketing tests for only 8 days. Yes, marketing is really hard, but it also takes time and unless you have a Marketing department it will be even harder. The previous things you have done are off to a really good start and I want to address them. But you want action now. Like I said good marketing takes time, but there are things you can do to get immediate conversions and signups for your product. 

Get featured with press and blogs:

“Emailed a couple of blogs and review sites to see if they would review it. No response.”

  1. You mentioned that you tried to reach out to several different blogs to feature your product. They didn’t get back to you. You need to know the right people or hire the right people to get you in contact with Press. Hire a Public Relations agency or a PR consultant to guide you in the right direction. You need brand awareness. 
  2. Go here: http://productivewebapps.com/blog/list-of-places-to-submit-and-promote-your-startup-or-site/ and enter in your Profile information to promote your site. Get deep. It will take about a day or 2 to fill out. Or you can pay $47 and submit your startup at www.submityourstartup.com This will create backlinks and increase your organic SEO.
  3. Another option is affiliate marketing. There, you can pay people to write blog posts about you that are relevant to your niche product. Here are some examples of affiliate marketing programs for you to check out: http://voices.yahoo.com/best-affiliate-marketing-programs-beginners-3921884.html

Community management:

Your initial Tweet was off to a good start. But you know it takes more than that. If you’re going to take a social media route (which I think you should to be present on most mediums,) you also have to be engaging.

  1. Write 200 words about your product audience. Think demographics and psychographics. Who they are and what they like. Find people on LinkedIn that match the profile. Then find their Twitter accounts. (It sounds creepy, but it helps.) Then, start a blog with your product audience in mind.
  2. Then, start a blog with your product audience in mind and think of key topics they would read. Make the blog good. If you don’t have time to write, use www.hitlist.com and pay $20 for a blog post. Tweet out that blog and @mention people you found on LinkedIn above.
  3. Engage in other social media presences to get more traffic to your website like Pinterest, Reddit, Instagram, and Stumble upon. Content is key, so make sure you have a list of blogs (in compliment to your product audience), PDFs, PPTs, or other interesting things to say on those mediums.

Online Advertising

“Next up: going to try adwords, find out more about SEO and keep pushing out updates to the app to fill out the feature requests existing users have.”

  1. SEM works and you don’t have to spend buckets of money. Yes, you are right on with Google Adwords! But before you do that, use Google Keyword Planner and find out the 10-20 keywords that work best for your product URL. Find ones with low competition and high traffic. Then you can create your Google Adwords campaign and include some of the keywords in your ads.
  2. Explore SEO Metrics tell you how you are doing. To keep track of the keyword rankings organically make a master keyword list and input it into www.moz.com. Moz takes the top search engines and tells you your SEO placement on each engine. Make sure when you write a blog post (See community management above) that you include these keywords in your tags. It also helps your SEO. 
  3. Facebook Advertising is also relevant here. You did not mention you had a Facebook account in your reflection, but you should. Facebook advertising drives a lot of traffic to your site and also creates engagement in your ads. Make sure you have a graphic designer friend, or just do something simple for the Display ads.
  4. Once you’ve covered steps 1-3 for Online Advertising, you can start looking for other for other online advertising websites like www.buysellads.com to host display and banner ads. They can find where your target is most present and bring a lot of traffic to your site. 

So Basil, I hope this helped. You are not alone on the lonely search for good marketing after launching a product. Many programmers have been there. Take care, and let us know how it goes 🙂

Author: @keswanberg