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Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | firstname.lastname@example.org The Art of Product Marketing How to attract, entice, and convert the right audience for the product(s) and company you’re creating.
Why Do Startups (and new products) Fail?
CB Insights compiled an analysis from startup post-mortems. I’d argue these 5 are mostly “couldn’t find enough customers” or “couldn’t affordably find customers”
“Lean Startup” methodology teaches us to build a product people actually want and will use: From Eric Ries’ slide deck on The Lean Startup
But it misses how to market and grow an audience of right customers so our product can scale… From Eric Ries’ slide deck on The Lean Startup What’s after the MVP?
Identifying the Right Customers
I’ll use 10K’ as an example to illustrate
Who wants this product and is already seeking it out?
What else is our audience searching for? And what else do they use to describe this problem? Note: AdWords’ numbers should be viewed as ranges, not absolutes (e.g. 880 might mean 300-1,200 actual searches/month)
AdWords hides many searches that Google thinks are non-commercial, so use Suggest + Related, too.
Search queries can often lead to great sources of audience and customer discovery And, next year, 10K’ should be on this list! This can help tell us what matters to reviewers & customers
Once you have real people signing up for your product, you can learn more about them
Now we just need to find out where people like this guy hang out
Have a community & can find/recruit folks excited about your product? Do that!
Then you can survey this audience to identify their clones ?
Targeting the Right Audience in the Right Places
SEO & PPC for relevant keywords are obvious starting points On average, paid results get ~18% of search clicks Organic gets ~82%
Smart marketers invest throughout the funnel, to maximize opportunity
Facebook’s ad creator can give some sense of audience size for many fields/interests
SimilarWeb Pro can show you where other sites get their traffic (relatively accurate except for the long tail) Via SimilarWeb Pro
SimilarWeb can also show search keywords: Via SimilarWeb Pro The KWs sites pay for are most often those that convert best
And referring/social media traffic: Via SimilarWeb Pro These sites can lead you to potential press opportunities, content ideas, partnerships, etc.
Don’t be too biased to invest only in Google or Facebook – there are tons of opportunities Many products’ entire, very successful, strategies fit into channels w/ <0.1% of global web traffic.
Attracting an Audience to Your Platform
The 5 Paths to Audience Attraction: The Product Itself Network & Viral/WoM Paid Advertising Influencers, Press, & PR Content + Search, Social, Email, et al.
Using the Product Itself: How’d they do that?!
Using the Product Itself: The product is naturally appealing to Reddit’s audience, and the visuals fit squarely into the current zeitgeist.
Using the Product Itself:
Using the Product Itself: Unless you can envision headlines like this about your product, don’t rely solely on the product to sell itself.
Network & Viral / Word-of-Mouth Everyone who takes a SurveyMonkey survey is a potential future customer
Network & Viral / Word-of-Mouth Via First Round Capital’s Article on Slack Slack is a product where 1 or 2 people can convince an entire organization to use it.
Network & Viral / Word-of-Mouth Via Skarp’s Kickstarter page Kickstarter is an inherently WoM & viral-driven marketing Launchpad. Products only get made if people who want them share & amplify.
Paid Advertising Thanks to retargeting, RLSA, browser-ID’ing, and social logins, paid ads are more intelligent than ever.
Paid Advertising Via Recode on DraftKings & FanDuel
Influencers, Press, & PR Via Techcrunch on Quora’s Growth Quora has intentionally foregone some forms of growth (SEO notably) to focus on influencers, press, & PR-style partnerships.
Influencers, Press, & PR Via YouAreAwesome’s Blog Post Urbanspoon needed to compete w/ Yelp’s domination in restaurant reviews, so targeted bloggers who felt left out of Yelp’s ecosystem.
Influencers, Press, & PR BeardBrand continues to generate great press and has started their own beard-focused magazine.
Content + Search, Social, Email, et al. Moz invests relentlessly in content strategy & distribution.
Publish Amplify Grow network Rank for slightly more competitive terms & phrases Get links Grow authority Earn search traffic
Content + Search, Social, Email, et al. Free tools (& freemium) can be great forms of content marketing. Via Crew.co’s App vs. Website and VoilaNorbert
Nearly every startup & new product uses a combination of these: The Product Itself Network & Viral/WoM Paid Advertising Influencers, Press, & PR Content + Search, Social, Email, et al.
Converting the Right Customers
Remember those people who signed up for your product & loved it?
We need to identify the traits that separate customers who’ll use & love our product from those who won’t.
My Favorite Process: From Conversion Rate Experts’ case study Boom. And Shakalaka.
Didn’t try the product Tried, but didn’t love it Tried & loved the product What do you think the product does? What made you try it? What made you try it? What would make you more likely to try it? What are your biggest objections to signup? What objections did you have and how did you overcome them? What caused you to stop using the product? What would have made you stay a customer? What objections did you have and how did you overcome them? What’s been most valuable to you? If you’ve loved it, can we share your story?
Retaining, Delighting, & Growing Amplification
ID usage & profile characteristics shared by your most loyal users. Encourage & message both in the product, & via external marketing, those traits in the rest of your audience. Recognize & reward, as personally as possible, users that exhibit behaviors that trend toward loyalty & amplification. Don’t be fooled by my oversimplification; this process is even harder than acquisition marketing.
Which marketing channels & tactics should you invest in?
The Biggest Mistake Companies Make When Investing in Marketing?
Assuming non-paid media channels work like paid media: People Pour more dollars & people in + Dollars = IF: ELSE: Positive ROI THEN: Find new channel/tactic
Organic channels, like products themselves, need time to experiment, fail, learn, & iterate The 1st WB Fridays were some of our worst performing content. But, after years of experimenting, we found a formula & an audience, & now they’re some of our best.
Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | email@example.com Bit.ly/productmarketing