Startup News & Analysis

How to get noticed on Product Hunt: Tips from Content Snare, the startup that topped the charts alongside Facebook Watch

Angela Castles /

Content Snare

Content Snare co-founder James Rose. Source: Supplied

From building the website in ninety minutes from an Airbnb in Denver, to topping the Product Hunt charts alongside Facebook’s new “Watch” video platform, Content Snare co-founder James Rose has had a whirlwind 12 months.

Content Snare’s platform, which is designed to help web developers get timely and accurate content from clients, was launched just two months ago yet found itself sitting in the number two position on Product Hunt‘s front page last week after soaring up the international startup chart, finishing just below Facebook’s new Youtube competitor, Watch.

Product Hunt is a website where startups can post their products and offerings, which are then voted for by a community of startup enthusiasts. The top voted listings make the Product Hunt front page each day, allowing startups exposure to the entire Product Hunt audience.

Rose was inspired to create Content Snare while working in a web design agency, after seeing the “biggest pitfalls and biggest pain points” for designers was the time it took clients to produce content.

“Almost all projects were held up waiting on client content,” Rose says, adding that when this content did come back it would often “come back in 20 emails, or word docs with horrendous formatting and 20 megabyte images.”

While Rose says he was “really stoked” at the popularity Content Snare gained on Product Hunt, he wasn’t entirely surprised: he knew the product solved a problem many in the tech world faced.

“Even pre-launch people were very positive, because it’s been such a big problem: we’ve had pretty bloody good feedback from everyone who’s used it,” Rose tells StartupSmart.

Since listing on Product Hunt last Thursday, the platform has onboarded 120 new users in the space of a week, according to Rose.

Rose knew he had an offering that Product Hunters would love. The next step was gaining exposure on the site, which sees thousands of new listings from around the globe each day.

He says the key to achieving traction and exposure was having a “definite strategy” that leveraged influencers, community support, and timing to maximum effect. Here’s how Content Snare did it:

Four Strategies to get your startup noticed on Product Hunt

1. Build an audience first

Building up a core following before listing on a platform like Product Hunt is crucial to gaining traction, according to Rose.

“Startups should be looking at building up that email list: we have a Facebook group with 1,600 of our target audience…it took six to seven months to build that,” Rose says.

Having that network in place “makes it much easier when you’re trying to get that initial push – that’s what got us trending, because we had that network there,” he says.  

2. Connect with influencers in the space

Connecting with influencers in the markets your startup wants to target is also key, according to Rose, who says that “there are no shortcuts” to gaining community following.

“It’s all manual…doing the work and talking to people,” he says.

Rose also takes time to contribute to the influencer community, by going on their podcasts, interacting with their communities and making connections in the space.

On the day Content Snare was listed on Product Hunt, Rose already had a game-plan prepared.

He sent word out to the networks he had spend months cultivating, posted in the Facebook groups he had been frequenting, and leveraged influencers who he had pre-arranged would share the listing with their own audiences.

“I also posted in web designer and SaaS groups: that community always supports eachother in this kind of thing,” he says. 

3. Have a known Product-Hunter make the submission

Rose notes that it’s important to have “an active product hunter” who is trusted within the community to make the submission. This is why he arranged for one of his influencer connections, who was an active user of the platform, to upload the listing.

4. Timing is important

Timing is also key to gaining a top spot on the Product Hunt charts, according to Rose, who said Content Snare “lucked out by accident” in the timing of their listing.

Because of time differences between Australia and the US, Rose had arranged for his influencer – who was based in the US, to upload the listing during the afternoon (Pacific-Standard time). This allowed time for the listing to gain upvotes before midnight, the time when Product Hunt counts the votes each startup has received, and announces the top-performing listings of the day.

“It was really a matter of getting those votes locked down before Product Hunt updates and decides which are the most popular products of the day,” Rose says.

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Angela Castles

Angela Castles was a former Journalist at StartupSmart.

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