If you are an entrepreneur like me you have spent many nights not being able to sleep. Tossing and turning with thoughts about a product revolving around your head is practically embedded in the job description of an entrepreneur. I do not need to go into the details of all the stress involved, as there are points we can all identify with.
One mistake that can keep your business from taking off is only concentrating on the product. What do I mean by this? If your only worry or concern is in building the greatest product ever, then you are missing out on a big piece of the puzzle.
Indeed, you should be asking yourself: ‘How can I improve my product, so as to beat my competition?’ However, there is another question that you should be asking yourself that is just as important: ‘How are customers going to know that my product exists?’
You need some sort of marketing strategy in order for your future clients to interact with and become familiar with your tool. If you don’t, then no matter how good it is, it might as well be at the bottom of the sea.
It would be lovely to be able to advertise on billboards, TVs, and other media outlets. Unfortunately, when starting out our pocketbooks cannot afford such marketing.
One good strategy is content marketing, which helped us grow our company exponentially in the early years. In this article, I would like to share a few practical ideas and tips for using content marketing to boost the visibility of your product.
Using video for content marketing
To start, a video is a very effective and popular tool for content marketing. There are really no limits to videos and they can be used in a variety of ways. Here are some of them:
1) Share your story
Your product has become so close to you that in some ways the story of your product is also your own life’s story. Why not share with the world how your product came to be or the road you have travelled down to get to where you are now? Potential clients will be provided with more information on the product and, as an added bonus, they will also get to know the people (that’s you!) behind the product.
This is especially important if your product is sold online. Even in the digital age when everyone can work or shop from their computer at home, we are still humans. We still have the need to connect with people and there must be trust between the buyer and the seller.
An excellent example of a company that shares their story with a video is The Founders Brewery:
It is worth noting that the founders of the company share both their successes as well as their failures. Do not be afraid to share the bad decisions you have made, being transparent shows who you really are and that you have nothing to hide.
2) Testimonies from Clients
This second option for videos is an even more effective when it comes to building trust with your potential buyers. If you can produce a video where your own customers talk about their experience with your product, it will be an invaluable resource. One example that comes to mind is Airbnb’s Community Stories. They put the spotlight on the lives of some of the users who offer a space for rent.
3) Show off your employees
If you have grown to the point where you have a handful of team members or more, then you could present them to the world with a video. Perhaps you are hesitant to put up your workers for everyone to see. However, don’t let your fears stop you. If implemented correctly, your video showcasing your employees will help earn points on two fronts:
- With your clients, who will get to see the faces behind the product
- With your employees, who will feel proud of your confidence in them
You may even want to make a video showing a specific area of your workforce. This is what TOMS did in this video, which has the specific goal of introducing the world to their excellent customer service team:
4) Recruitment video
This is similar to the approach just mentioned. However, the main focus and goal here is to show off your company culture more than the faces and names of the company, although there certainly is an overlap. An excellent reference here is this video by Dropbox.
5. How-to video
This example involves education. You could record a video in order to show others how to properly use your device. Additionally, your knowledge in the sector may be extremely useful to the community at large. Making a resourceful video that gives someone some key information or tip on how to solve a problem is an excellent way to get your name out in the public. Dunn-Edwards Paint has an excellent selection of how-to videos on their website, including nine videos with over 100,000 views and one even has over 1,000,000 views.
Keep the following tips in mind when making videos:
- Experts say that you must catch people’s attention within five to 10 seconds - make sure your video starts out well
- The video should not be too long. People are busy, so keep your video to three minutes or less or else people will feel it is a waste of their time
- Let your product shine. Even if you have a different goal for your video (points one-five above), your product must be relevant and important to the story
- Keep it simple. The people at Bold Content Video offer this advice: “Video works best when it is optimized to achieve a single goal, rather than trying to hit multiple objectives.”
- Make them public. Feel free to embed the videos into your website, but also include them on a YouTube or Vimeo channel, where they will be able to receive more views. Keep in mind that YouTube happens to be the world’s second largest search engine.
E-books, online article and other content marketing
What if you’re not ready to do a video or if you feel it does not fit your needs? There are other methods for content marketing.
You, as the founder and creator of your product, are an expert. Take some time to write down practical information that would be useful to your potential clients. With a little help from a graphic designer, you can turn it into an attractive book. Then, deliver it in PDF format when the user signs up for a free trial or leaves his or her email.
Again, you and your co-workers are excellent references in the field. One way to show your expertise is to write articles. I am not referring to a blog, more of something along the lines of a resources section on your website. For example, the Mayo Clinic has a wealth of information about health issues on their website. I did three Google searches for different common diseases, and Mayo Clinic’s articles were in the top-10 ranking for each of them.
I can personally attest to the power of this mechanism. For our project, we started by answering questions that our users sent our way. We made sure that an expert in the field gave a high-quality answer. The result was something much more organic and robust than the typical FAQ section seen on most websites.
Future users who have the same questions are pointed to our site on the search engines. This accounts for more than a quarter of the traffic to our website, generating over 6,000,000 vists and $2.5m in revenue per month.
Start using content marketing now in order to connect your future clients with your product. Everyone nowadays has a blog, so try to implement a video or some other valuable tool. Even if you cannot produce content in a way that some of the companies in this article have, don’t let that stop you. Start with just one video, one article, etc. Once you are finished, try to add one more. Over time, you will develop valuable content that will get your name out to the masses.