Bigcommerce was created after the two founders met in an online chat room. Four years on, the Aussie eCommerce start-up has secured $35 million in venture capital funding, built offices in Sydney and Texas and attracted 30,000 customers. In the latest in a series of insider tips provided to StartupSmart, co-founder Eddie Machaalani explains how to best reach your target market.
In our last article, my colleague and co-CEO, Mitchell Harper, started looking at some proven guerrilla marketing tips.
Making sure your message reaches its target is important to your success. Here are two more simple but proven tactics you should put to work right away.
Shareable video blog
Video is king. If you can record a two to three-minute video every few days and post that on your blog and YouTube page (tagged correctly, of course), you’ll start driving people who match your typical customer profile directly to your blog.
Keep it simple and inexpensive. Set up a blog on a free platform like WordPress where you will embed your videos as blog posts after uploading them to YouTube.
Start a weekly or monthly newsletter with useful content that contains a limited number of product promos only.
Your newsletters should educate your subscribers, not give them the hard sell.
Repurpose the videos you’ve been recording for your blog and include them in the newsletter (use screenshots of videos in newsletter — unfortunately, you can’t embed videos in email).
Make sure you link the screenshots to your blog posts, NOT the videos on YouTube. You want to drive traffic to your website.
Place buttons at the top and bottom of your newsletters that encourage subscribers to follow you on Twitter and Facebook.
And at the end of each issue, include a coupon code — or better still, a product that you can afford to heavily discount.
You want people to look forward to receiving your newsletter, and a good deal can be a great motivator.
Make sure your newsletter has a share button (MailChimp is free and has one). You want as many people as possible to see your information.
Now, why are you going through all this effort?
The goal of your guerrilla marketing is to get your profit up to a few thousand dollars a month, so you can invest in a search engine optimisation consultant and a Google AdWords expert.
This might take a few weeks or months, depending on your guerrilla marketing tactics, profit margins, etc. But it’s worth it.
A good SEO consultant should be able to get you ranking at the top of Google/Yahoo/Bing for at least a few keywords.
The process could take as little as four months and may cost anywhere from $300 to $3000 per month depending on the scope of your effort. But be smart.
Make sure you check references and actually see with your own eyes that their past clients are ranking high and call their clients up for feedback.
While your SEO consultant is working, run a trial Google AdWords campaign yourself for some of your popular products (around $100/day) and see if you can make it profitable. (For more insight, read Perry Marshall‘s eBook for Google AdWords strategies.)
When you can afford it, also bring on a Google AdWords consultant. He or she will charge from $100 to $2000 or more per week, depending on hours worked, number of keywords you’re advertising for, number of ads, and other factors.
The goal is to have two experts handling your most critical traffic-driving activities: SEO and SEM.
When this happens, your critical traffic-driving activities are on auto-pilot, maintained by experts so you can focus on serving your customers and turning them into raving, lunatic fans.
Another option is investing in an online software-as-a-service like HubSpot. This service optimises your blog and social media accounts and gets your content recognised by search engines for $200 to $1000 a month.