When creating a marketing strategy for an online business, 3 obvious marketing channels are:
Since everyone is doing that, it’s very hard to cut through the noise. So, how do you set yourself apart?
Here is one way: “Value-Add Marketing”.
Value-Add Marketing s building a complete product that provides value to our target audience. Instead of charging for it we use it to grow our community and get in touch with our future customers.
To understand better what I’m talking about, let’s look at some real life examples of Value-Add Marketing:
TurboTax is a Saas product for preparing taxes. One very popular search a person makes before actually paying taxes makes is “free tax calculator”. For a company that offers tax preparation software, it makes sense to offer a free product, TaxCaster, which happens to be the first result on Google. Of course once visitors finish their calculations they are presented with an offer to actually file their taxes using TurboTax, the paid product.
Target Audience for both TaxCaster and TurboTax: People that want to file their taxes.
“Want to ace your investor meetings? Chat with Pitchbot to perfect your VC pitch in 10 minutes.”
If you’re an entrepreneur here is a great way to practice your pitch. Oh and hey by the way.. if you don’t have a tech team they offer to solve that for you..
Target Audience for both Pitch Bot and Gigster: Tech Entrepreneurs.
Hey developer, need to debug your HTTP requests? Here is a free online tool for it.
Oh you want to automate your API tests as well? Just click down here..
Auto-Layout empowers designers. It’s a free plugin that enables designers to make designs responsive, directly in Sketch.
Once designs are responsive, we offer our users to get more done with Launchpad — a paid service to publish responsive designs as a real live websites.
In our experience, after validating with our users, we’ve figured out that providing a way for designers to make designs responsive is very valuable. Re-enforced by overwhelming love Auto-Layout received on social media such as Twitter/YouTube/Etc.
With Value-Add Marketing, the product free product which is the gateway to your paid product is best to be a standalone product.
Which means it should:
When launching Auto-Layout we’ve made some key decisions:
Auto-Layout is generating $1,000 per day in marketing value.
Let’s calculate how much actual money we’ve gained by releasing Auto-Layout for free.
Today, 6 months post-launch, we are getting more than 15,000 unique visitors per month through our Value-Add Marketing channel — Auto-Layout.
Auto-Layout website numbers are:
Experimenting with Facebook Ads revealed Cost per Conversion of $5 (Click -> Sign up)
That means that today Auto-Layout is “generating” for us $1,000 per day in marketing value.
In conclusion: We’ve invested a lot of time into making Auto-Layout a great standalone product. Although we are giving it away for free, we are getting the ROI in real dollar value that would otherwise be spent on PPC channels.
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