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choosing the right channel

Nevo David
Jun 08, 2024

I usually push the same channels throughout my newsletter because they fit most of the audience (building a new category.)

When it comes to marketing, there are two main methods: research and browsing.

  • Research is a classic way for people to find you by searching for something that can be done by running a Google or ChatGPT search. Google ads are also in this category. The main thing is that people already know what they want. Now they look for it.

  • Browse is the approach where people see your content without searching for it. This can be done using Influencers, DEV articles, Social Media Ads / YouTube ads, Reddit, and Hackernews.

As a mature startup, you will usually tackle everything. But if you are just starting out, you will need to pick one.
So, how do you determine what will work for you?

Market Dominator

Everything starts with the simple question - is there a dominator in the market?
Why is that important? If there is a dominator, I am not talking about a bit mature company that raised a few funding rounds. But something big.

That means they have gone through the education process, and now people are searching for solutions. For example, if I create a ChatGPT client.
There are already several competitors in the market and a dominator. Search volume is probably high. If that’s the case, it’s time to do some research.

SEO Research

You need to go to software like SEMRush or Ahrefs, search for competitors' websites, and check if some keywords have traffic and low competition.

If you find that kind of article, start with the correct articles, including that search term (and on the same subject. You can write them on websites like DEV.to, which have very high domain authority. This means there is a higher chance that it will rank over Google.

If you don’t see a lot of keywords with traffic, there is no search volume. In that case. SEO would usually not work for you.

Target Persona

As a rule of thumb, the higher the type of persona you are trying to attract, the less marketing they will be exposed to.

When targeting developers, we tend to send them to our GitHub because they will be the ones who will use the product. They are super easy to target: Influencers and DEV articles are great channels to lure them in. It means Browse can work nicely.

But if you target higher seniority, such as DevOps, Architects, and System Admins, you can still reach them indirectly from the developers, but not always. In that case, see if you have room for Research.

Growth Hacking vs. Marketing

The thing about Browse (Growth Hacking) Influencers and DEV articles: is that they are not scalable channels. Once you put an article out, you can get lovely traffic within a week, but after that, it's crickets.

Compared to Research (Marketing) SEO - Once you get ranked in Google, it adds up to more and more monthly traffic. So, even if you stop marketing, you will still get traffic.

So, why am I not talking about Research enough?

Over the years, I have talked to many founders. They always try to be at the forefront of tech and build big stuff: creating a new category and raising money from VCs. In almost 99% of cases, Research is not possible.

Here are cases that I will avoid using Browse:

  • Cloud Native - this is one of the most problematic types of companies (sorry in advance)

    • The type of persona is always a high seniority

    • The repository is for developers, but the final product is for DEVOPS.

    • It’s not sexy. Usually, everything is in the terminal - so it tends to be boring for “viral” browse marketing. (unless it’s something like Bun that the end users are developers)

  • Super Nichey Research Products - If you are researching a quantum physics theory, even SEO won’t help you; for such nichey things, only cold outreach can work.

Videos from this week:

blog note
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