SEO and Content Marketing Blog

Startup User Acquisition through SEO, Content Marketing, PR and Community Forums

Customer Acquisition for Startups
This is our third and last post based on our recent e-book, Customer Acquisition for Startups. We’ve covered most of the well-known traction channels, but our research brought some not-so-famous tactics to the surface.

They are living proof that not content, but imagination is king, and that traditional advertising ways mix well with the digital ones, yielding top performance results.

As with all things startup, the key is in trying innovative tactics that will get you ahead of the competition, so we recommend mixing and matching these strategies until you find your perfect solution.

Keyword Cloud & Traditional Guerrilla Marketing

S. Rowan Wilson, CEO & Founder of Mary Janes World, Everything Hemp & Cannabis for the Whole Person

S. Rowan Wilson Linkedin  S. Rowan Wilson Twitter

“Customers have been driven to our website from basic SEO words en-mass to multiple postings and of course, in-person referrals to the website. Nothing will ever replace the traditional guerrilla marketing tactics.”

Offer Premium Content

Glyn Cadell, Founder of caddellpreponline.com

Glyn Cadell Linkedin  Glyn Cadell Twitter

“I’ve used PPC, commercials and facebook ads but I’ve acquired the most customers through natural search. I provide test preparation for high school entrance exams and SAT, and many customers find out about us through the free vocabulary flash cards that we offer.”

Promote Content Through Influencers

Roger Wu. CEO and Founder of Cooperatize

Roger Wu Linkedin  Roger Wu Twitter

“Our first original users came from content marketing. We were lucky enough to get a few articles published with credible publishers that made people start asking “who are they” which led to more people asking about who we were and what we actually provide. By continually creating and distributing content we were able to continue to push the cycle of content marketing, which has become a key component to the success of our business.”

Say Yes to Traditional PR and Winning Awards

Nico Bayerque, CEO of Gone! App – a data-driven concierge service that makes it delightfully easy to turn your items into cash

Nico Bayerque Linkedin  Nico Bayerque Twitter
“When we launched the Gone! app, traditional PR was the biggest way we acquired new users, as well as awards. We won the New York Global Innovator: Mobile award and that led to a lot of installs.”

Start Small & Work Up From There

Nicholas Teeple, Co-Founder at Skylineservers –  high performance servers backed by best-in-class support.
Nicholas Teeple  Linkedin  Nicholas Teeple  Twitter

“We acquired our first users on freelancer.com. Clients posted small tasks with which they needed immediate assistance. Once they accepted our bid and we exceeded their expectations, they continued to return with larger and larger projects. The largest project being to migrate their entire infrastructure to our company. This channel has proven invaluable for us as we get to prove our worth with small trial projects that are nonetheless of real value to the client. This allows for a short circuiting of the traditional sales channels as we get to immediately prove our competency to clients facing immediate challenges.”

User Acquisition on Community Forums

Kelly Wilkerson, Co-Founder of Decipher Media – data, voicemails and text messages recovery tool
Babak Motamedi Linkedin  Babak Motamedi Twitter

“Our most successful channel for user acquisition, at the start and still now, is forums and community help sites.
There should already be people talking about the problem your startup solves, or at the very least talking in the same area. Join the community and introduce yourself as a solution. I am not encouraging nefarious link building by spamming forums, relevant and irrelevant. In order for this to work well, you need to be genuine and demonstrate yourself as an expert.”

Start With a Brilliant Solution & They’ll Come Flocking

Babak Motamedi, Founder of Kazzit – the most comprehensive wine guide available
Babak Motamedi Linkedin  Babak Motamedi Twitter

“We focused not on attracting customer but rather building the most comprehensive centralized solution available for actively seeking consumers. By doing this we first created something of true value and then have been able to grow both our customer bases and visitors with greater ease, as the value is self evident.”

Perfect Your Product with Early User Testing

Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal, theUber for Lawn Mowing
Bryan Clayton  Linkedin  Bryan Clayton  Twitter

“When we launched our lawn mowing app in the middle of the summer in Nashville with no user acquisition strategy it was daunting. We quickly realized that we needed people to use our invention, right now, like yesterday. So, taking a page out my former playbook of building a landscaping company, we started hanging door hangers all over Nashville. Distributing approximately 10,000 of them over many hot days was quite an experience for my three co-founders and I.
Ultimately, we got the early testing users we needed. We quickly began to understand through talking with our customers, trial and error, rapid prototyping, and experimentation how ultimately our product needed to look and feel to our customers and vendors.”

Invest In Brilliant Homepage Design

Adarsh Pallian, CEO of Trippeo.com – an all-in-one business trip concierge
Adarsh Pallian  Linkedin  Adarsh Pallian  Twitter

“How did we get our first 5000 signups? Simple answer — we built an amazing product and then go crazy with the homepage design. Our homepage won a bunch of awards the first week it went live. Design plays a huge role in capturing customers. After we got featured on Awwwards, about 100 additional blogs and websites picked us
and it led to a steady stream of signups.”

Bottom Line: Get Your E-book Today!

Curious how the other startups we wrote about in our e-book got their traction? Read about them here:

free download ebook startups

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Ina Karadzhova

Creative Director at Hop Online
Known for her 6th sense, Ina is a brand visionary who puts the "art" in "startup.” Besides UX and design, her expertise also includes content marketing and SEO for long-term brand-building strategies. In her spare time she paints and does astrology readings for friends.


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