A typical mistake that our technology engineer entrepreneurs. startup founders, and sales VPs make time and time again when launching their new product, is they wait to begin anything resembling marketing until well after their product has been fully baked and is GA (Generally Available).
This is likely based on their impression of what marketing does (or does not do) for their business and how much agencies, in general, pick the pockets of unsuspecting entrepreneurs. Marketing becomes relegated to a low priority compared to creating the product, beta testing the product and eventually selling the product to the first lucky customer. We have seen this scenario play out time and time again, and truthfully it simply breaks our hearts.
Our PSA to you is to suggest that you, dear founder ... NO, we correct ourselves, we INSIST that you start writing and posting content to your website and social media before your product launches. Like now. Immediately. And, here is why:
1. B2B buyers research products before ever speaking to sales.
The same guys who invent amazing SaaS software products and who are smarter than we could ever hope to be, somehow FORGET the dominant role Google plays in all our lives. And that any potential customer of their product, will have researched products and solutions via the internet long before these future customers would be willing to talk to a sales rep.
2. Internet search is the primary buyers' research methodology.
Duh. But we really think we need to hit you over the head with this. Like with a brick. Really, really hard. The often-quoted statistic is that 67% of the buyer's journey is now done digitally. If you have nothing digital for your future customers to utilize in their research, where exactly does that leave you when you launch your product?
3. Having your website page rank on top of Google takes time.
Not just a little time. But a lot of time. The average Top 10 ranking page on Google is 2+ years old. And those that rank at position #1 are almost 3 years old. Think about that. To build trust and authority out on the internet takes awhile. The day to start writing or video blogging about the buyer problems you are trying to solve with your product is the day you begin producing your first line of code. We cannot emphasize this enough.
Well, nobody is a bit of an exaggeration. Next to nobody. In fact, 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engine results, according to SEO Strategy. And from Reason Number 3 above, you already know that getting a top rank on Google takes significant time.
Just to add fuel to the fire, we also know that more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US, 2018 SmartInsights.com. Your potential buyers are researching your product on their phone, in a coffee shop or bar, while talking to their girlfriend-boyfriend-wife-husband. Think about it. For 10 seconds. just think about it.
When you actually begin to spend money on marketing, your efforts will pay off so much quicker, because you will have created a nice soft bed of content from which your formal marketing efforts can springboard. The internet will know you exist. Your site will be getting visits from people who may actually already be interested in what you have to sell. You will be seen as a thought leader in your space. You will appear legitimate, trustworthy and investment worthy to a myriad of folks, not the least of which includes VCs.
And, when you hire your future Marketing Agency, and they will be AMAZED because you will be the first startup they have ever worked with who actually gave them a solid content foundation and did not make them start from literally ground zero. Not to mention the fact that if you've read this post, and setup your retargeting pixels, you'll actually HAVE an audience to market to!
Our favorite old Chinese proverb: "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now." No matter where you are in your product launch process, start content marketing NOW.