My product is ready and I am not looking to go into 'marketing' phase. A rough estimate of marketing the product by linkedin, google and couple of others renowned platform is costing around $5k a month; is this nominal cost? Is there any other way to market the product or perhaps hiring a specialist makes sense?
Talk to people to get first customers. First few customers should not be gained by paid marketing. Make them happy to a point they should be disappointed if your company fails.
What you're describing isn't marketing. And I don't know what you mean by "marketing phase" because marketing is everything your company does facing outward, not just advertising. Your product isn't "ready" if you haven't spent the time to develop it to your niche, to what people actually will want and more importantly buy. Strategy comes before product. And digital advertising is merely a tactic. Perhaps it is an appropriate tactic, but perhaps not. It very much depends on what your product is, who it is designed to appeal to, and most importantly whether the likely customer is even thinking about this type of purchase when they are using Linkedin or Google or whatever platform you are considering.
My guess is that you do need a person with marketing skills who would be teaching you these fundamental principles. Don't feel badly about it. There are six business skills every company must master. No one person has mastery over more than two of these skills. Every founder will always need supporting staff.
The principle that many others in the comments are trying to teach you about is targeting. It's not about the number of pairs of eyes that see your advertisements. It's about reaching the specific sets of eyes that need or want your product and doing so in a persuasive way. That's strategy, and your effort is to persuade viewers of the value of your product.
Now, if your product is a commodity, then your mass market appeal is fine, however it's not going to cost you $5K/mo, it's going to cost you $40-50K/mo to break through the noise.
When budgeting your advertising spend, industry averages show the sweet spot is typically about 7% of the gross sales figure you wish to generate. You can spend 4% to hold your place, but not grow. Spending more doesn't usually help much, and spending less you might as well spend nothing. It varies a little by specific industry, but this is the median in setting expectations. Don't expect to reach your sales goals immediately. You will need to build trust and familiarity. The number of impressions a digital ad must make before a person develops to the decision stage is significantly more than in other advertising formats, on the order of 60-100 impressions to persuade. And it needs to be supported by other channels. There is very little that meets goals in a digital-only strategy.
A "specialist," a marketing person, would be guiding you with this information. And it's not that you can't read marketing books, but it does take some experience to predict and understand the consequences of the decisions in strategy and tactics to avoid wasting time, money, and effort.
Since we don't know what your product/service is, to whom it is appealing, and what your goals or resources are, I'm unable to be more specific in directing your next steps. Marketing has 8 separate divisions, advertising is only one of them. My recommendation is to get to know the full range of what marketing involves, and to pull back on the assumption that advertising equals sales.
Here‘s some thoughts on marketing your product, before you start spending money:
Your loyal customers are a key part of how to promote your product, because they are most likely the first ones who will buy it. Offer customers an exclusive preview of your new product. This can take the form of a private, pre-launch party, an online preview, or a special invitation to test out your latest service. These exclusive offers to loyal customerswill make them feel good and keep them coming back.
You already have some great responses. Hopefully, you're taking the time to read through them carefully and ask more questions to gain more understanding of the direction you need to and are prepared to go moving forward. :o)
Being that I've been a marketing expert for well over 10 years and in the industry for over 20, I always suggest beginning with the development of Integrated Marketing Plan. This plan will poise you properly to break into your industry, give you a better understanding of what aspects of marketing will work best for your product (so you don't waste your advertising budget), and it will actually include a budget and implementation schedule as well so you're not left wondering what to do now or what to do next.
Then you move forward with building the marketing infrastructure. As your marketing expert, I would do this and have you involved in all aspects. Any parts you wish to take over at a specific time you will know how to do, and you'll thoroughly understand the whys behind what works and what doesn't.
There is so much more that I could go into as well, but please feel free to reach out if this is something that interests you and you'd like to discuss further. You can catch me at www.verticalinsight.net or www.facebook.com/verticalinsight. Have a great night!
Your first customers will come through one of the following ways:-
a) Local or face to face selling/meetups. No one has the time or curiosity to buy or even look at online ads these days. Even if you do it, traction will be very low and time consuming. Go for webinars, instead, if you have to.
b) Influencer marketinG. Your first customers will almost always come through an industry expert/thought leader recommending your product to their captive audience.
c) Build virality in your product so one user inevitably gets your product across to more users. Make new user onboarding enjoyable and seamless.
Finally, paid ads, google ads, online advertising etc. is such a crowded space that you’ll have to fight long and hard to get some ROI through it UNLESS, your yours is an absolutely great produc-market fit with little or no competition, which IMO is pretty hard thing to find these days.
What's really important in marketing is reaching your target customers. So start by using platforms that will address and easily convert these customers. Good
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I would suggest going the Inbound Marketing route and here are my reasons. Inbound Marketing is a combination of Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Content Marketing and Email Marketing,. Social Media is a key component of Inbound Marketing because it can help you get your content in front of the right people at the right time and spread the word about your business and product.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube can help increase the number of people who view your content and visit your website. You can also use the various Social Media platforms to advertise your product at minimal cost. You can post offers and articles about your product on social media.
Search Engines such as Google and Bing have paid advertisement platforms which you can utilize to get your product advertisement on the front page. Once again this can be done quite inexpensively. Search Engine Marketing includes SEO which means an optimized website will result in higher ranking on SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Content Marketing is the message your inbound marketing strategy delivers to your visitors, leads, customers, and promoters. The content of your content marketing message draws the right visitor to your website, converts them to leads, nourishes them and helps close them into consumers. Content can be delivered by various platforms such as blogs, videos, website pages, social media, landing pages and emails.
According to the Radicati Group, the number of email users is 4.3 billion worldwide, 269 billion emails are opened every day and 149 513 emails are sent every minute. 77% of consumers prefer email for marketing communications. 95% of online consumers use email, and 91% report that they check their email at least once a day. However, email marketing must be correctly implemented and at the right time.