Just back from a week of beer, black wardrobes and David Hoselhoff ads- yes, it was Web Week in Berlin. Again and again (after a few drinks, of course) my European friends confided the same perception about Israeli startups: wonderful technologies, horrendous marketing. Danish entrepreneur and Skype funder Morten Lund said it best “any cabdriver in LA is better at marketing (than Israeli founders). Before you reach the restaurant, they have sold you their screenplay and yoga lessons”. Israeli startups interested in more effective “lean marketing”, should learn from Ben Lang, the 20 year old Wunderkind and contributor at TechCrunch, Business Insider and Forbes. Below are five of his favorite Marketing Hacks.
Proactively approach top tech publications with a finished article and a concise, one sentence email pitch.
Email Your Targets Using Rapportive
Email is still a great way to reach potential targets. If you don’t have the address of the person you are trying to reach, install Rapportive (http://rapportive.com), a browser plugin for Gmail.
Many tech publications determine feature placement through community voting. In fact, the #1 spot at voting sites like Hacker News, Reddit, StumbleUpon, GrowthHackers, Product io or Product Hunt could yield an additional 20,000-50,000 visitors in one day.
Some “Upvote” tactics:
Ask a few friends to vote for your post. This creates momentum for the algorithm to identify your post as “trending”. Be careful that your friends use an email address that is not your corporate URL, or the votes will not be recognized.
Long Term Traffic
Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.com) and Quora (www.quora.com) are efficient tools for long-term traffic, provided the message is on-topic. Use stats.grok.se to measure traffic. The contribution is gradual. If just twenty people visit your site each day, that still represents 7300 annual visitors.
Some brands understand the value of building a viral project, unrelated to their core offering, with broad appeal. Below are two examples in which a very subtle promotion reaped broad exposure and wide coverage.
Make it Fun
Even commoditized products, such as storage, can use games and fun in their branding activities. Check out this example from Dropbox.
For additional marketing hacks, try reading these blogs:
- On Startups- http://onstartups.com
- Quick Sprout- http://www.quicksprout.com
- KissMetrics- https://www.kissmetrics.com
- Distribution Hacks- http://distributionhacks.com
- Grow Hack- http://www.growhack.com
- Little Big Details- http://littlebigdetails.com
- Okdork- http://okdork.com
- Andrew Chen- http://andrewchen.co
For previous posts on Growth Hacking, check out Introduction to Growth Hacking for startups
During a 20 year career inmedia and technology, including 7 years in Asia, Levi launched new business units(IBM), new products (Toyota) and new startups (TwoMinute Television, Snack Mobile, etc).
He teaches Entrepreneurship and Mobile Marketing as an Adjunct Professor at IDC Herzliya, serves as Mentor in Residence for The Hive accelerator and writes a bi-weekly column about digital media and technology in the Jerusalem Post called "Unleavened Media ".
Mr. Shapiro is a graduate of Tulane (BA), Cornell (Asian Studies) and MIT (MBA)
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