Home > 10 Unique Ways to Promote your Startup

10 Unique Ways to Promote your Startup

Say that you've launched your product. That's great. But how do you attract users to your product? When common marketing strategies don't work, it's time to get creative. Here are some unique marketing strategies that our experts recommend when trying to scale your startup.

Implement a Referral Program

92% of people trust personal recommendations. When a friend or colleague recommends a product, they are likelier to check it out. A referral program will help you increase the number of users. We recommend that you don't implement referral programs from scratch. That's too much work. Instead, use products like Ambassador and focus on product creation and marketing 

Turn your product into a challenge

In 2012, Codeacademy challenged its users to learn to code using its platform. That led to an increase in visitors and made the platform a massive hit. Try to find the exact need your product solves and turn it into a challenge for others to solve that need. 

Attend trade shows 

Instead of connecting with people online, why not connect with people in real life? Though much of our interaction with people happens online nowadays, more personal interactions with potential users have proven to be very effective at making a sale. Connecting with influencers at conferences and trade shows is an excellent way to promote your product. In the Ruby Community, developers meet at events like RubyConf and RailsConf. At these conferences, you can promote your product by handing out your swag and telling people why your product is attractive. 

Give away stickers

You can use sites like StickerMule to print stickers that you can hand out to people. Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, spent $500 on marketing - the only budget he allocated to marketing - when he launched Reddit and created stickers to hand out to people across the country. 

Reach out to forum posters

You can also reach out to people who post on forums about feature requests. If they are influencers, they can promote your platform on their social media accounts. Let them know that you implemented the feature they are requesting. When Zapier promoted its platform, it reached out to posters on StackOverflow. The infleuncers posted about Zapier on their social media accounts.

Get Featured in a major publication

Imagine if you were able to get featured in the New York Times, which has millions of readers? Your product or service would get a ton of eyeballs. Engaging with journalists in a non-promotional way can help you increase the number of visitors to your website. Try to stay connected to significant publications. Follow editors on Twitter. Share their content. Reply and start a non-promotional conversation on Twitter. Don't be pushy.

Reach out to a specific community.

Reaching out to a community in a unique way is a great way to promote your product or service. When Dropbox tried to promote its platform, it launched an explainer video on Digg that was inundated with memes and inside jokes that only the Digg community would understand. The video went viral and made Dropbox a massive hit.

Become your product's biggest user

In the beginning, you might not have many users who use your product. Because he had few users who used his platform, Quora's founder, Adam D'angelo, answered forum posts himself. These thoughtful answers encouraged users to post themselves. A smaller user base might mean less content, but that shouldn't stop you.

Convert users from a competing product

Every product or service has competitors. If your competitors are not meeting users' needs, you can always try to convert the users to your product instead. For example, in its early days, Airbnb founders contacted people who posted their house listings on Craigslist and encouraged them to post them on Airbnb instead. When sending out the emails to these users, Airbnb founders used a friendly email address.

Bribe new users 

If traditional market strategies are not working, why not go unconventional. Paypal offered customers money for referrals. You can always give your customers cash to encourage them to refer other users. For example, you can offer new and existing users $10 for referrals. That would be a great way to promote your product and is cost effective.

Unfortunately, many startups launch daily, and it's becoming way too competitive to reach your target audience. Traditional marketing challenges do not always work. Try spending $25,000 on Facebook ads, and you might not get the best results. Thinking outside the box will help you obtain the results that you need. Our experts can help. They've been there and done that. They have launched successful startups, scaled them to multi-million dollar companies, and more. If you need help with marketing, book a call with an expert today.

Loved this post?

Sign up to our newsletter for more.


Also, please don't forget to share this post!

On demand advice from top experts

Get the help you need with your career or business from seasoned experts.

Find an expert








Get The Help You Need Today With MentorDial!

Find the best business advice from the word's renowned experts.