Friend of mine asked me to help out selling his 3 products:
- online poll using the intuitive and easy-to-use admin
- sweepstake snippet (works pretty much the same as poll)
- FB app that alows user to manage sweepstaks via FB login
Now, I'm no marketing genius but I do know he/we need to cover and treat differently promotion, branding and selling. Before you start about search the market and target your audience oddly enough there is one and it's pretty damn narrow + I do not want to spam away every forum I might find as a start and i do not want to spam away my social network contacts with it.
So...need advice on a potential work ahead!? What's your take on this!? Your experience etc. I'd love this to be an open discussion on marketing tactics that others might use as well and I do now there are tricks of trade people are not interested to share but...every little helps even if it's just a nudge in the right direction.

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So who is your target audience? I know you said its narrow but who are they? How does you friend intend to monetize this (monthly subscription, outright sale)? I hope you dont think any of this is negative because its meant to be real and not build you a fairy …

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So who is your target audience? I know you said its narrow but who are they? How does you friend intend to monetize this (monthly subscription, outright sale)? I hope you dont think any of this is negative because its meant to be real and not build you a fairy tale that you are going to sell a million units your first day and retire - it just wont happen.

You kinda took a losing bet in my opinion; I've done marketing on similar projects and this is a marathon you are about to run - not a viral sprint. Unfortunately its really hard to sell something when you are competing against free (there are alot of sweepstake type widgets out there). Free wins almost every time. Now I don't know the scope of these products but it does sound like you think you know your target market (alot more then most people know). So you want to find out everything you can about your market; what age are they? what demographic are they? where can you find these people?

Once you answer these questions to yourself then you can proceed. You don't hunt deer in urban areas; likewise you don't find customers where they dont exist. You are selling digital nothingness; its not something people can hold, smell, or taste - so your job has now become increasingly more difficult. You can tell me that your sweepstake software is going to bring my company a million new emails for my email newsletter every month - but right now your product is a nobody so you can't prove to me that you'll get me results. So you need to make sure people are willing to pay money for this digital nothingness and how do you do that? Test your demographic; get feedback - because if they arent willing to buy, then whats the point of selling? Unfortunately not every product is a winner and sometimes as marketers we need to remember that. Otherwise you're going to waste time and resources which could be spent on other things.

As of right now your audience doesn't know if its a quality product, they've done fine with other alternatives previously so why make the switch? So you need to build a trustworthy brand; even more then that you need to show them why they NEED what you have. You build that brand by knowing your target audience better then you know your own family. And once you think you know that audience; take whatever % chance you think you'll sell it and half that - thats where your sales expectation should be. If I knew there was a chance of selling it I would create a perfectly designed website for that demographic - seo the crap out of it so it can't be ignored by your audience OR web crawlers, build more relevant inbound links then you've ever built before - this is going to take you a good 2 months. I would then create content and landing pages that are exactly what that age/race/gender/user wants - remember we need to build trust and become an authority on what we are selling; because if we aren't an authority how do we build trust? It's great you know what a wrench is, but that doesn't mean I'm going to trust you to fix my car - do you get where I'm going with this? And now because you are selling sweepstake software you've got added difficulty because this type of software doesnt smell of trust, it smells of spam - lots and lots and lots of spam to the end user - which means when implemented it needs to be implemented well to provide value to your customers. So you better get endorsed by some trustworthy sources to prove you aren't a scam or providing spam. Even if it means giving them (your endorsements) a super sweet promotional deal.

I would then create targetted PPC campaigns just to that demographic pushing those users straight to those conversion landing pages - draw users, get the online world buzzing in that demographic. And if its B2B - I would start offline marketing like its my last day on earth - start cold calling, start doing direct response marketing. Out of 99 people you push to your website to sell your product you might be lucky to get 1 conversion - so make sure you analyze your successes and mark your failures so that you can further improve. Every piece of feedback you get you better use it one of two ways - improve the product or improve the marketing, cause if you dont you are dead in the water. Find out what your ROI is; and push more and more money into decreasing your ROI and eventually you might stop seeing red numbers and start seeing black ones and just when you start seeing black numbers - thats when you gotta rinse and repeat to keep improving.

When that is done promote everything on relevant social media; but make sure your demographic is there - if they arent avid facebook users then you are wasting your time and resources because they just wont be exposed to the product you are selling; even if they are on facebook - if you are trying to sell this B2B; those people using facebook as B2B customers aren't buying B2B on facebook because thats their unwind place - thats where they go to catch up with friends and family. Thats the same as getting a phone call at supper time from a telemarketer - it annoys people and drives sales away so make sure if you do go the facebook route; that you will be able to get conversions otherwise you'll hurt the brand more then help it.

PixelatedKarma .... a 1000 thanks!!! For anyone starting something this is a grat read. I have had similar questions but you spoke it out loud and gave me a nice time frame with it.
Sure I expected a marathon and you just confirmed it giving me an idea on what to look for and how to approach it....thanks!

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