The Guide to PR and Digital Marketing for Tech Startups

Managing PR and digital marketing is one of the key factors for the success of your tech startup. Such advertising is used literally in any area of modern business. It’s most common in online stores, in the provision of services, in virtual learning. But how to get the first customers, orders, and sales if you don’t even have a product idea? That’s the purpose of PR services. Let’s find out what steps you need to make to succeed in your tech startup.

Make Your User Persona

Market analysis is the first and most crucial step. Let’s imagine that you want to make your Telegram bot go viral. Without prior research, all marketing activities will be random actions and failing attempts to impress God knows who.

Therefore, first of all, research the market. Analyze potential users and competitors. You don’t need a degree in marketing or a specialist to do basic research. Moreover, it’s the work of the founders of the startup to determine the target audience, value, and product plan. For instance, your user analytics plan may consist of the following tasks:

  1. Create an image of the user;
  2. Find potential users;
  3. Make hypotheses and interview questions;
  4. Chat, make calls, arrange meetings, do an interview, make a presentation or questionnaire;
  5. Analyze information and correct your user persona;
  6. Create a marketing plan. Adjust the product line if needed.

For a launched product, it is important to work with real users and product analytics. Select active users and arrange appointments with them. Manage to get the maximum feedback on the product. Get advice on how and where they would sell your product.

Moreover, do patient-targeted googling of your users. Look at a person’s social media activity, projects, articles, interests, and friends or followers. It’s also great to start talking to the professionals who might use your product. Ask for help about development strategy and high-level feedback.

Ultimately, run product demos at companies and pay attention to feedback.

Positioning

After analyzing your users and competitors, it’ll be easier to create positioning. It shows who you are and how you differ from all other sharks in the market. This is the main message that needs to resonate with your users, teams, and potential employees. Positioning reflects the core value of the product and is linked to the mission of the tech startup.

  • Ask users what your product means to them;
  • Find out their role models and people who give them inspiration;
  • Conduct competitors’ positioning analysis.

Then, try filling out this basic questionnaire:

  • For (target customer):
  • Who (statement of need or opportunity);
  • (Product name) is a (product category);
  • That (statement of key benefit);
  • Unlike (competing alternative);
  • (Product name) (statement of primary differentiation).

PR and Marketing Channels

You have three simple tools at your disposal: public launch, direct selling, and drawing attention to the product in all possible ways. It’s best to use all of the above methods daily. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Speaking about the public launch, this could be a site release with the feature to leave mail for early access, a first beta, or simply more updates to an existing product. During a public launch, you should methodically tell about your news product on all online and offline sites where users spend their time. As you’ve done market research, your media listings should be already completed.

Using online and offline direct sales, try building trusting communication with the user and make the whole process as personalized as possible. The general algorithm is as follows:

  1. Conduct research and analyze your user;
  2. Sketch a sequence of steps in communicating with a person and determine the desired result;
  3. Communicate with a potential lead in an informal and friendly way;
  4. Initiate communication. Meet offline and/or write a letter/message/tweet for a special case. For instance, use such drafts as “I saw that you use the competitor’s product…”, “I saw that your company does a lot of cool apps…”, “I’ve read your article on this problem…”
  5. Deliver a clear call-to-action;
  6. Follow up. Build relationships and communicate.

Besides direct sales, you can do free marketing. This is a set of channels and tactics to promote your product. Authoritative companies have spent a lot of time, resources, and specialists to achieve some results. So, you need to be ready to do this too.

In content marketing, don’t forget about your initial product goals. If you’re focused on the increase in recognition, it’s worth working on the visual component. On the contrary, if you need to get sales, you need to add a CTA in the text. You can do guest posting on tech blogs, and get additional promotion to your product. Also, don’t sleep on republishing content on other platforms.

You should also try influencer marketing. Working with opinion leaders is similar to working with the international press. It’s vital to build relationships and find options for beneficial cooperation for both sides. The easiest option is to invite the influencer to try your product for free, get relevant feedback, and ask them to tell their audience about it.

PR means cooperation with local and international media. Before your product goes public, make a list of the key media resources and journalists who write about similar topics. These can be both analysts of the industry to which your product is related. Besides, it can be those influencers who regularly review technology services and solutions.

It’s important that the author of articles about web applications doesn’t get a pitch about an iOS product in the mailbox. Start a CRM, where you’ll record the name, surname, position, frequency of publications, and writing topics. Do this with a clear indication of the region and language in which the journalist writes.

For instance, an editor-in-chief in an American publication is a person who looks through dozens of editorial publications a day. He or she is unlikely to thoroughly study your pitch and think about an employee who’d take your publication. It would help if you did this by yourself. If the author has a mark “contributor” in the profile, he or she is in charge of offering news about your product to the editor. Respectively, it would be best if you spared some additional time for this.

Start pitching weeks or even months in advance. Write them for each journalist individually, taking into account the range of topics of interest, time zone, and preferred communication channel. Offer a captivating story, give unique data, numbers, and statistics. Don’t overuse emotive adjectives. Believe it, the journalists are sick of this. In other words, offer such a publication that you yourself would love to read.

To sum up, to find users for your tech startup you need to take your time to do some research. It’s the basis for your next steps. PR and digital marketing will work out if you create something worthy of public view and determine your product value.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.