For more tips, tricks and advice, get in touch with Hanno to talk about our digital marketing and product growth services.
In the course of helping our clients with design and UX, we often find ourselves sharing these tips with them. And while there are of course, a lot of ways to do this well, many of which are unique to a specific business and context, there are also quite a few ideas that are much more widely applicable, though not in the least bit ineffective.
We’ve put together a few of them, and since we share this list repeatedly with clients, we thought it would make perfect sense to share it here on the Logbook for others to use and benefit from. This is a big list of tips and tricks that we know have worked for many other companies and if done well, can really boost a product’s reach.
So here goes: take as many or as few of these ideas as you wish, and see where they lead. Good luck!
Blogging and writing
1) The only consistent way to get really long-term SEO value on your site is to write great content on your blog, and to do so regularly. It’s becoming harder and harder to game the system like this with Google, and any work you do spend on SEO work of this sort will likely diminish if you don’t keep putting time into it. Great content is the only real answer. Aim to publish at least one blog per week as a minimum. Force a regular posting schedule so that Google, and your users, recognise that your site has credibility and is publishing good content.
2) Figure out who you’re writing for and base your content marketing strategy around this. Simply sharing company news is highly unlikely to build a decent audience. Also, don’t focus on trying to monetise your blog audience immediately. The occasional self-promotional post is okay, but the vast majority should be delivering value to your users, not the other way around.
3) Do be open about your company culture, ambitions and developments. This doesn’t mean that you should share dull corporate news, but don’t restrict yourself to just being ‘perfect’ all the time. Being transparent and sharing knowledge is something that has worked brilliantly here on our own Logbook.
4) Share writing duties amongst the team–it’s no good if only one person writes every blog. That’s boring for your audience, and a lot of work for that individual. This also allows you to cover a range of topics, and more variety is a definite plus.
5) Do you have automated emails that get sent out to customers? Receipts, confirmations, login information? If so, dig out those templates and make sure that none of the content is dull and generic. Each message is an opportunity to further your brand and show your customers and users that you care. Each should be in-keeping with the way you communicate elsewhere, in personal emails and support phone calls.
Sales and promotions
6) Experiment with limited time promotions of at least 24h. Ideally 2-3 days. Tweet them, give a discount code (to allow you to track sales), and encourage people to share.
7) Be topical! The best advertising delivers value and makes your users smile. Respond to current events on social media and combine these with your flash sales. Do these for events your brand’s target audience might like–piggybacking on random events which have no connection can come across poorly.
8) Always track sales and promotions carefully and work out exactly what effect they have on your metrics. Running a sale without tracking this data is throwing away valuable information.
9) If you’re operating a SaaS product or anything which could potentially go down, maintain a @mycompanystatus Twitter feed. For major issues, you can then retweet that status tweet on your main company account. Be totally transparent and your customers will respect you for it.
10) Make sure customers on Twitter are never left without an answer to their questions. Use a tool like Sprout Social to monitor all social media mentions, or a support desk app like Groove to track whether messages have been replied to.
11) Use Buffer to schedule social media sharing. We’re big fans of the company and their product. Don’t forget to look at the stats to see which of your tweets are getting the most engagement.
12) Don’t cross-post the same content to every social channel you operate. Not every audience is the same.
13) Don’t spread yourself too thin. If a social media channel isn’t proving to be valuable, don’t feel as though you must maintain it at all costs. If you’re a B2B company and Facebook is low priority, then deleting your Facebook page may well be a good idea and allow you to focus resources on where they can deliver more value.
14) Take extra care to proof all tweets to make sure they don’t have typos (for some reason I always make mistakes when tweeting, myself)
15) Treat social media as a way to engage with your audience and learn about them, rather than as a megaphone to blast your audience with advertising. Build rapport–in most situations, your social media can and should be friendly, jokey, and communicate brand personality. Nobody likes a boring brand. Professionalism doesn’t need to mean stuffiness.
16) Don’t just tweet links to articles online. Share opinions, engage with fans, and post content (especially photos) directly onto social media, rather than solely via blogposts.
"I got this swag from Nederland at the end of the world! Thanks:) #wercker" — (@tomozo16) October 28, 2014
17) Think about rewarding your customers. Swag and goodies? Send some loyal customers a cool present, or send a simple gift to people who engage you on Twitter. It works brilliantly, as you can see from the tweet above.. Build brand ambassadors who will shout about your brand from the rooftops. When you see these people, engage with them. Email them to thank them, share news with them, ask them for their feedback on your product.
18) Similar to building a content strategy roadmap with your blogging, identify any groups or communities that many of your customers belong to. For example, you might have a lot of freelance web designers in the UK who seem to love the product. Figure out ways to break into that community by delivering value to it, without being the ‘recruitment suit in the corner of the party’. You’ll be able to learn a lot from these users.
19) Phone up your customers and talk to them. Send an email first of course–but having 15 minute chats with your customers can be phenomenally revealing. An offhand comment here or there can lead to revelations about your business that you might never have spotted yourself.
Boost affiliate and referral signups
Many businesses will use an affiliate scheme to persuade people to refer customers to them. If you’re doing that already, a few of these tips may help:
20) Actually ask customers to refer you, if they’re happy with the service. If you’re doing a good job with your brand, you’d be surprised at how many will do so because they care about you and want to see you succeed.
21) Think about content that’s on your existing website and make sure it’s clearly communicating your brand and values, and what problem you’ll solve for the user.
22) If you haven’t done so already, gather testimonials from your users to add onto your website and improve social proof.
23) If you have an existing affiliate program, network with these users. Many of them may be part of other programmes, so you should look to win their loyalty and help them to make more money by referring to you. Email them, talk to them. Make them feel committed to helping you grow, and ensure that they understand how it will benefit them.
24) Again, if you’re in a competitive industry where your affiliate program is competing with others, look at what those competitors offer. Are you rewarding your affiliates highly enough?
25) If you use an affiliate scheme, have your affiliates link to blogs, rather than product pages on your site. This is a more natural way for them to build links and allows you to get your blog to reach a wider audience.
Some might work perfectly, and others might fall flat. But one thing’s for sure: the more you experiment and iterate, the greater your chances of finding something that works brilliantly for your product. Happy marketing!