I just started working at the Beijing office of Ptengine.com, a tech startup. As you may know, during the first few weeks on the job, it’s critical to demonstrate your value to the company. This is especially true in marketing, since “all we do is spend money”! Luckily, I have a secret weapon in my corner: Mention.com.
When I first started, my boss told me straight up, “We expect you to grow our free user base by 250% during your first 8 weeks at the company.”
I love a challenge, so hey, why not? But for that kind of growth, you need to broadcast a very powerful message via some very influential channels. The key to the channels is the message: Demonstrate the value of your product in a useful and entertaining way.
And not just the value, but your USP (unique selling point). After all, in our case there are dozens of web analytics and heatmap apps out there to choose from. Your situation is probably similar. How do you differentiate yourself from the rest? How can you break through the noise and show people that this is the holy grail they’ve been seeking, the answer to all their woes?
Be the hero
Millions of voices are crying out in terror of using your competitors’ products RIGHT NOW. What are you going to do about it?
There are desperate people out there crying for help, and only research can find them. Lots and lots of research to first find your competitors, then follow mentions of them on Mention.com. Monitor those mentions in search of pain points that are terrorizing your potential users RIGHT NOW.
That RIGHT NOW part is extremely important. Nothing gains you more respect and influence than reaching out to someone who is crying out for help during their greatest moment of need. From that moment on, there’s a high probability they will be loyal to your brand as long as you continue to engage with them. In return for your heroic rescue and ongoing attention, you’ll gain lots of new users, valuable case studies, and mentions of your product.
And every new user, case study, and mention you get will be noticed in your company. And that’s how you win friends and influence people at your new job.
Highlight your product’s strengths to the suffering masses with Mention
Others have written about how Mention.com helps uncover pain points in real time, and how important that is. I have one tip to add to that discussion.
Throughout the day, every day, select each competitor you’re monitoring and search for pain words like “can’t,” “won’t,” “don’t,” and “why.” Use your competitor’s product and find features that annoy you. Search for mentions of those features. It’s a goldmine of pain and you’re their Dr. Feelgood.
Everyone’s picking on Google these days, so I figured I would demonstrate this with some pain points in Google Analytics. Here’s what popped up the other day when I searched GA mentions for the word “can’t”:
Point taken. Google Analytics is hard to use and lacks features. Advantage: Ptengine. Thankfully we are super user-friendly and yes, we do track IP addresses (Really? GA doesn’t?).
Here’s what happened when I searched for “won’t”:
That’s a startup marketer I can follow, mention, and engage with. And in return she can help me get the message out about how awesome our product is for startup marketing. Ptengine is free after all, and startups love free!
Tip: You can’t, you won’t, you don’t stop.
All marketers should have this Beastie Boys lyric tattooed on their knuckles, or at least painted on their walls. Once you find a method this effective, you need to grind it out with that method. Every. Single. Day.
In the beginning, use research conducted with Mention to help you craft a killer message that will hook people to your product and brand. Once you have that message, continue using Mention to find people begging you to reach out:
“Need more conversions for your website? Check out this case study.”
“Oh yeah, that awesome tool they used to understand visitors’ behavior — you know, that tool with all those awesome attention heatmaps? That’s our tool. Did I mention it’s free?”
This is what I’m doing every day. First, I share in their pain (“I agree, I think [Leading Heatmap SaaS competitor] should offer a free lifetime version too”). Then I give them the solution (“Hey! Come to think of it, Ptengine has a free version… and it’s easy to use.. want to set up a screencast so we can show you how to get started?”).
You might be surprised what you learn from listening
Some pain points you discover would never occur to you unless you used your competitor’s products a lot. (And who has time for that?) Other pain points will straight up blow your mind. For example, I heard a lot of mentions about our competitors providing lackluster after-sales service, or none at all. Really? You call yourself a SaaS — “software as a service” — company but you don’t like doing customer service? Confused face.
The best part about listening carefully to your target audience is that you learn how to promote your product RIGHT. You’ll learn the right terminology to turn people on, get them ready to adopt your product, and even push it to their friends. In short, you’ll get good at your job, really, really fast. And that will make you very, very popular at your new company.
Become the cool kid at your company
Thanks to the methods I described above, in my first couple weeks at Ptengine, I’ve won a lot of friends and influenced a lot of people in the office. My colleagues have also derived inspiration from my discovery of our USPs in the industry.
For example, some of our developers didn’t realize we’re the only SaaS in our industry that’s truly all-in-one, providing both analytics data and heatmaps. Others didn’t know that our analytics data is actually more precise than Google’s, or that our heatmaps are the most precise in the industry. Learning that gives them pride, and that makes the whole company better.
The people at Ptengine have always known we had a killer app. Now they can tell people why it’s killer-er than the other options. Thanks Mention.com, for helping get my colleagues stoked about our product. And thanks for making me the cool kid at Ptengine!