This article has been contributed by Mr. Mahesh Gaur, Head of Marketing at SanchiConnect.
A deep-tech startup's mature stage is different from a regular startup's, so the marketing should also be different.
If you are not yet a product market fit, I believe you should focus on acquiring a few clients to get closer first. You can try many methods including content creation and distribution, SEO, SEM, personal connections from your network, etc. It's essential to experiment on a small scale using various approaches (and small costs). In general, I would start focusing on content earlier than planned because it helps in so many ways, like defining your brand, gaining thought leadership, and making sales materials.
However, your marketing plan should be different if you have reached the PMF (Product Market Fit) stage. I will describe the steps in this article.
But, why am I writing this article? Am I qualified to compose this article?
From talking to and working with more than 50 entrepreneurs on our platform, SanchiConnect, I've learnt a lot about digital marketing for this specific sector, which is "deep tech."
I am the head of Digital Marketing at SanchiConnect. Ohh! what is SanchiConnect? SanchiConnect is an open public platform for deep tech startups, investors, enterprises, and service provider networks globally. We are backed by a prominent PE fund and Angel Network’s founding partners.
Let me introduce myself before I begin this article. In 2014, I founded Qonfuse, raised money, and subsequently sold the company. Then I began to feel like a boss; I have money, I'm 24, so let's go travel, shop, party, and hang out. After meeting over 1000 people, I realised that the main business is community development. So, I founded HODM, which has grown to become a very active community of 1.3 lac digital marketers. Life is good: I sell courses, deliver talks at institutions and businesses, and receive freelancer commissions. Then it happened: I met Sunil Shekhawat, a well-known deep tech ecosystem personality who has led the "NASSCOM Deep Tech Club" for the last 5 years. He is a colleague, mentor, and well-wisher.
Sunil was building SanchiConnect and was looking for entrepreneurs to join the founding team. We met, discussed the opportunity ahead and in a week's time, I joined the team. Now we are a team of 4 passionate entrepreneurs building a futuristic platform.
Let's get back to the point and go over the procedures a deep-tech startup must follow.
Digital Marketing Hacks for A Deep Tech Startup
The following are the prominent digital marketing hacks that a deep tech startup must follow:
- Being Active on Twitter and LinkedIn: It is very important these days to stay active on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. Be consistent. This is a process. You can't go viral in a day, and you can't go viral with predefined tools. It's a prayer, and you don't know when it will be answered. Be nice and don't try to be mean.
- Use Influencer Marketing: The right kind of marketing is when people start talking about your product on the right platforms. In past, people use to follow the ads of big celebrities like Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, and Virat Kohli. But now, everyone knows that every celebrity is promoting for money, and the return on investment isn't what it used to be. Micro-influencer marketing does work now, though. People follow industry leaders or people who are doing well in a certain niche, so if they talk about your product and include it in a Twitter thread like "10 best products to follow" or "5 best tools for engineers" or whatever fits with your product, you'll get more attention. You can find the right people who have a lot of followers on their profiles and connect with them to get them to write about your product.
- Create a Blog: Post new articles on a regular basis to get your product ready for search engines. Also, create backlinks from authoritative websites. So, what's the point of getting backlinks? It raises your domain authority. What does "domain authority" mean? Aah, look, if you meet Narendra Modi Ji and take a picture with him and post it on social media, your network will see you as a more important person. This is how domain authority works, too. If I got a backlink from a site like CNN, BBC, NY Times etc., that site's authority would be passed on to my domain.
- Content Creation: Content is king, as the old saying goes, but distribution is public. A king is only a king in his own empire and for his own people. If you go to another country or place and tell people there that you are the king, no one cares.
- Product Positioning and Messaging: Why does your company even exist? Having a clearer vision of your objectives will help you craft a more effective positioning statement. Talking to your clients is the best way to develop your positioning statement. You cannot construct an effective brand positioning statement from the sky. Instead, you need data. Using data, your positioning statement will become an attractive magnet for the appropriate customers. Typically, you do not sell directly to consumers. Your brand should show what the product is all about. Communicate with your customers, utilize a spreadsheet to organise your interviews, and identify and assess your competitors/competitive intelligence.
- Use Ahref or SEMrush: Make use of Ahref or Semrush's content plan and do keyword research to make sure your content is always good.
- Paid Media Ad Copy: Use an ad library or ad spy tool to look at your competitors' ads and find out which ones work best in your niche and on which platforms. I think that LinkedIn, programmatic ads, guest posts, media buying, etc. are the best ad platforms.
- Develop Your Sales Funnel: Try to make a landing page for each product that is different from others. Use stories, add testimonials (videos and text with images), and gated content.
- Webinars: Try to invite leaders in your industry to do a webinar and ask them to share it on their social media channels.
- Create Product Briefs, Presentations, and One-Pagers: Creating brochures and other materials for conferences is another digital marketing hack for deep tech startups.
- Events and Sponsorships
- Use an Existing Database
Important Things to Consider
Along with the above-mentioned digital marketing hacks, the following are some of the important things to consider while indulging in deep tech startups' digital marketing:
- Figure out where leads drop off or where lead nurturing may be getting stuck.
- The A/B test method.
- Competitor advertisements and Keyword research.
- The content must be written by experts in the field.
Hence, these were some of the most prominent digital marketing hacks that every deep tech startup must follow for attaining the best possible results in the industry.