MVP Marketing – Key Considerations
Once you see that your minimum viable offering is ready; and all that was needed to reﬁne your intended MVP has been done – flow design, iterative rapid prototyping, discovery workshops and more – ensuring the product successfully embeds the voice of targeted customer.
Now you must wear the hat of a marketer and see it reach its intended audience.
Among other things that product owners, especially at start-ups need to consider is not to take the marketing aspect of the MVP for granted. Even if a business manages to pull off a great MVP software development, which is adequately aligned to customer journey, promoting the same is going to need some work.
Here’s a simple and very pragmatic approach that needs to be followed in marketing your MVP. Since your product will not be fully mature at the time of marketing launch, it becomes vital to understand your MVP launch differently when releasing it to the market.
Simply put, follow in the footsteps of the strategy you adopted while building the MVP:
- Promote the speciﬁc solution for the speciﬁc problem the MVP is addressing.
- Align marketing message around the ﬁndings from Discovery Workshops and market research
- Focus on select key features
Building marketing toolkit to promote your MVP
Before analysing your marketing tool kit to launch & promote your MVP, it is important that you are prepared to be a content creator with passion, for it all boils down to understanding your message and the communication strategy that comes with it. Ask yourself this question – what would you want your customers to see and understand.
Here’s what an ideal marketing tool kit should contain:
1. Build a test website
Start with a small website or set up a small shop or storefront online. The latest trends in digital marketing technologies seem to favour start-ups and online entrepreneurs as it’s easy to ﬁnd plenty of amazing tools that even a novice user can use with ease.
Many affordable packages are available that provide everything from hundreds of thousands of templates, themes, built-in apps to plug-and-play plugins, to get your site up to speed in no time. You can have your MVP’s online destination ready in less than 24 hours. From CMS tools like WordPress to e-commerce and online marketplace technologies such as Magento, Shopify and more, you will ﬁnd adequate options to get started either on your own or with just a little investment to get off the mark.
There isn’t much struggle in ﬁnding a platform that gives you a no-brainer simple back-end editor that lets you set up your shop effortlessly, enabling you to upload text, photos, logo, descriptions and other data with ease. Once you are done with your new website or online platform, move to setting up your MVP’s social media outreach through sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also, you can see how influencers are changing social media marketing and leverage their services.
Now you are going to need some audience too to cheer for you and help you grab some quick wins such as likes, views & recommendations. Don’t hesitate in reaching out to as many people as you can in your family and friends’ network. They can certainly help drive some trafﬁc to your website so that you can test audience interest.
2. Landing pages
Your landing page is not just a campaign address on your website where you want to drive more & more trafﬁc, it is in fact a place that serves as a conversation starter. This is where you want to talk with your prospects and want them to try & buy into your idea.
You deﬁnitely do not want a dumb landing page!
Start-ups, especially bootstrapped ones want their landing pages to capture more leads, more customers and want them to believe and spend. But since you are running experiments for your MVP, it is very likely that your landing page might refresh often.
While you are busy ﬁne-tuning your campaign pages or landing pages, take a note of the following to arrive at a structured approach:
- Test your page for clarity and relevance. You can think of heuristics or A/B tests to achieve this.
- Remember we discussed about being a passionate content creator. This is where you prove it. Don’t forget, features only ‘tell’ but stories and good messages can ‘sell’. Keep your message clear, concise and on-brand.
- See if there exists enough incentive to hit the call-to-action button. Your MVP might be arresting but is your message engaging enough for your target visitors?
- Create a QA process to spot bottlenecks and issues. Individuals may not like certain aspects of your offering. This could be lack of relevant information, poor validation, bad UX, lack of clarity with regard to data privacy etc. Find them and resolve them.
- Find sources of distraction. See if there is any element which is becoming a hindrance in enabling conversion. Think of unnecessary white-noise, such as banners, sliders and other content that throws call-to-action or other priority content into oblivion.
Make sure your landing page does not suffer from these issues, for only then it will work as a great launch pad.
3. Develop pitch-decks
Sharing thought leadership and selling to your ﬁrst audience need to go hand in hand. Although pitch decks are presentation tools especially targeted at investors and partners, you can think of building a library of pitch decks with arresting messages tailored around speciﬁc user personas. But keep your pitch decks clear, compelling and concise. Every user persona or target group is different, and you should be able to communicate with each in different ways, being able to engage them with a personalized message or story.
4. Email campaigns
The need to connect with and remind your target customers has never been more pressing than it is today. Here’s why – choices are abundant, and customers are increasingly ﬁckle and better informed.
Email campaigns have always remained an effective tool in user acquisition and to strengthen customer relations.
This applies to both new and established business alike. To do this, you need a website form, a database (if buying from a 3rd party, make sure it’s an opt-in list, and compliant to regulatory mandates such as GDPR), and a method to follow up with email leads. Consider easy and affordable email marketing tools to get started.
5. Social footprint
If there is one area where most marketers get it wrong, it is with social media promotion and visibility. And this is truer especially for start-ups. There is no need to join the race to get trending. It can wait.
Also, there is no need to remain active on every platform. Having a presence on every social network is a lot of work. Practically speaking, there are perhaps one or two networks that may offer real business value to your MVP launch. Identify the right ﬁt for you. If you think a Facebook page is working for you, then don’t be in any hurry to start tweeting or opening your Instagram link. Use the one that works best for you and leverage it as much as you can and build relations for customer feedback and conversations. For managing these accounts, consider using simple tools such as Hootsuite.
Applications like Hootsuite, which are free for certain tiers, help you automate your posts, simplify scheduling and let you track engagement and traction with ease.