Product First? Fail! Make your audience know you

How many startups flame out? The truth – around 90% – does sound bleak and discouraging for new comers. The real causes of failure can be various and hard to uncover, nevertheless the statistics based on entrepreneur's "postmortem" confessions shows that in 42% of the cases failure is due to the lack of a market need for their product. Simply put, no one wanted it. Whatever the reasons for fiasco might be the more important question to answer is what to do about it.

When entering an overcrowded and saturated market you should calibrate your mindset to current realities in order to stand out in a room. Traditional product driven or market driven marketing approach may prove to be the recipe for failure, as startups cannot compete on the value of marketing budget with major players. The viable alternative may be audience development through creating relevant media content before creating the product itself.

The approach is not altogether new. Actually the story begins at least in the late 2000th, when Joe Pulizzi founds Content Marketing Institute which offers education around the subject. Pulizzi believes audience first focused approach to be one of the least risky ways to build a business and provides inspiring examples of how humble projects came out on the top by publishing – patiently and consistently – the content appealing to potential customers. Once again, content is king.

    Build your audience

    before you create the product
    If content is king, content marketing is a royal way of brand promotion today. In short terms, content marketing is about generating quality information useful to potential buyers on regular basis. It focuses primarily on engagement, not direct sales, which is of special importance today, when customers are immensely tired of omnipresent ads.

      Content marketing defined

      Content marketing can benefit your business in many ways:
      - Producing content is relatively simple and cheap.
      - It creates/increases brand awareness.
      - Builds a loyal audience and establishes long-term relationship with target audience.
      - Makes you visible for investors and potential partners. Investors prefer to deal with projects that have assets. Strong presence on the web, along with neatly "wrapped" content, is, beyond any doubt, a real asset. Thus, consistent content marketing is a possible solution to the problem of fundraising.
      - Content marketing has proven itself a valuable tool both in B2C and B2B domain.

      Producing content is relatively simple and cheap.
      There's no universal recipe as to what kind of content – education materials, insider news, whitepapers etc. – works best. But to hit the target, the content:
      - must be centered around the needs, desires, hopes and fears of your potential customers;
      - must be anything but sales oriented.

      A time-proven way is to showcase your expertise by educating target audience on topics that you have special insight into. For example, by answering patiently customers' questions on your blog you can become a trusted expert.
      Content distribution is no less important than content creation. The default set of distribution channels is the trinity of project's site, blog and last, but not least, SMM.

      Integrate via Social Media.
      SMM is an effective and cost-friendly digital marketing technology. Social media penetration will undoubtedly increase in the coming years, which makes SMM a marketing tool ahead of time. Community management, in combination with other SMM techniques, provides effective liaison between brand and customers and makes your community of followers grow.

      SEO marketing is still of great importance. It is strongly desirable that you combine content production with keyword research in order to ensure that the content is capable of bringing traffic to your key platform. By ranking for relevant keywords, you are helping right customers find your brand at the right time.

        What to share and how to share?

        Creating content will not make your business an overnight success. The prize is worth the struggle, but it is a long-term game requiring 6-18 month of systematic efforts. Besides, just pumping up fresh information here and there without plan may result in producing just more noise in the noisy Internet of today. To get started you need a deliberate content marketing strategy, step-by-step road map to follow. In case it is a daunting task for you, you should better rely on the assistance of professionals. There is no need to address globally recognized digital marketing agencies whose services are unaffordable for startuppers. But there are agencies specialized in startups supporting. That's what you need!

        Need help getting started?
        Hire experts

        Final takeaway
        Do you believe your product to be extraordinary, revolutionary, and capable of changing people's everyday life? How about those 90% of failed projects which founders believed the very same thing?

        Hardly anyone could claim to be in possession of the absolute truth. However under current conditions content-first marketing strategy seem to be exactly what startups need. Putting content first considerably reduces business risks, checks in advance and generates demand, creates social capital, helps learn more about customers' needs and pain points. Perhaps the crucial difference between those who win and those who fail is that winners say right things in the right spirit to the right audience at the right moment.

        There is no one-size-fits-all marketing algorithm, because every single project is unique. If you need an advice on what digital marketing strategy would fit your project best, just contact Zmest Marketing Agency and request consultation! We do know our trade.

        Like our content? Please, give us the Like!

        2019 Zmest Marketing Group. All rights reserved.