Simple steps to market your product before/during/after your MVP launch
A quick list of the top marketing strategies to look into while you remain focused on building the perfect product.
A lot of businesses struggle with marketing. New business owners usually do not have many avenues or the capital to market their product in a big way. Unfortunately, marketing is not a single step in the journey, but usually needs to be carefully involved and planned for in every phase of your product development, even before you have launched your MVP.
Audience building is key when it comes to marketing your product. You have to let your target customer base know that you exist by putting yourself out there as often as you can, and in every place that you can. Here are some free/low-cost strategies that you can use to get started:
- Get your existing users excited about the launch by posting about it often on your social media platforms and blogs…I’d say at least 3–4 times a week. Use hashtags well.
- Give your existing users incentives to spread the word. Like $5 off on their next purchase of the product, or a free coupon that can be redeemed later (depending on your product)
- Get social media influencers who have decent engagement on their platforms lined up to talk about your product within the week of the launch.
- Create content that speaks to your target audience…where your target audience visits often. YouTube videos/blogs/podcasts/Reddit etc before. This stuff can potentially divert your focus from building your MVP, so I’d suggest time-boxing it, or handing it off to one person on the team.
- Find out how and where your competitors market their product and mimic their behavior as much as possible.
- Create press releases for your product, and attempt to get it to feature on Google News. I’m struggling with this right now, so I can’t offer further advice here.
There are many ways to pay people to market your product, because you’re leveraging other people’s audiences to get engagement. Building your own audience takes a lot of work, but I almost think its a necessity if you want to not spend a bomb on marketing every time you need to spread the word about your product.
Apart from marketing your product after your MVP launch, you would need to measure how your product is doing. Building feedback loops is essential when launching a new product to understand how successful your MVP is and what you should work on improving immediately for the next version.
There are some simple ways to create the feedback loop for yourself —
- Get in touch with your customers via email and send them quick surveys to fill out that takes less than 2 minutes. Give them the option to include written feedback. There’s a book called The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick which explains how to create such surveys effectively.
- Build a smaller group of trusted customers who are willing to participate more rigorously in testing your product and providing feedback. These could be friends and family. Ensure that this group has people that fits within your target customer profile. Send these people new versions of your product as soon as they are out, and get them to test out your product and give you feedback. Observe them in person if possible, so you understand which features work well for them and which do not.
- Look at what type of feedback competitor products receive. You should be able to find reviews for them online. Are you addressing the issues that your competitors have faced? If yes, how well are you doing in that? Those reviews offer a lot of depth about what your customers truly want from the product…you can even rank them based on top complaints/reviews to understand what part of the product needs to be worked on immediately.
Uttara Shekar is the author of the book “The Startup Leap: Finding Structure in the Chaotic Journey of Startup Building”. In her free time, she loves to figure out how best to market her book while feeding you notes on how best to build your startup .