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How to market and sell without a marketing budget

Marketing is a big challenge for businesses, especially small and new businesses. How do you know which marketing method is the most effective? And how do you achieve the best possible results with a small marketing budget or maybe no budget at all?

In the first webinar for the autumn at Arvato featured guest speaker Yasmin Tilles, Marketing Manager at the internet security company Detectify. She told us about her journey, and how Detectify, which began as a small Swedish startup, managed to grow and become a leader in its niche with a very limited marketing budget.

So how can you market and sell without a marketing budget? And, as in the case with Detectify, even become a global brand?

Yasmin says that Detectify employs three main marketing methods:

1. Global PR
2. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
3. Investment in own stars (rockstars)

We’ll begin with global PR. By continually publishing unique and high quality content on its two blogs, Detectify Labs and Detectify Blog, Detectify has successfully managed to catch the attention of major international newspapers and news websites such as Ars Technica, Computerworld, Mashable, SC Magazine and The Register. The Next Web was one of the first international publications to pick up on Detectify’s content. In one of their articles, they referred to Detectify as “the Swedish security giant”, a very honourable description of a completely new startup based in Hornstull, Stockholm.

Since its inception in 2013, Detectify has garnered over 250 articles, both locally and internationally, through its active PR work. But Yasmin also mentions five things to think about when doing PR and when focusing on unique content as part of an ongoing marketing campaign:

● Do not mail out bland press releases about your “revolutionary product” (unless it really is revolutionary)
● Generate interest and create contacts by emailing journalists who have previously written about similar subjects
● Always write personal emails and include links to previous articles
● Create contacts in advance so when you do have something of interest, the contact is already there
● Always deliver quality work

What is quality work when it comes to PR and achieving good results? Yasmin believes that content should be topical, unique and have a local connection. It should also be compelling storytelling that awakens interest and feelings.

Another piece of advice is to ensure that there is a technical resource in your marketing team, which can open up new marketing and PR opportunities.

Regarding SEO, or generating organic (not paid for) traffic from Google and other search engines, a focus on getting the media’s attention through unique content has resulted in an increase of 350% in Google-generated traffic between 2016 and 2018. By focusing on organic traffic from the start, Detectify’s organic traffic now accounts for about half of its total traffic.
The two blogs that Detectify runs have become an important resource in generating large amounts of organic traffic from search engines.

The third method that Detectify has invested in is the creation of its own stars or rockstars: people who are skilled in their field and can participate in internal or external events as experts and inspirators in different ways.

Yasmin says that you have to go beyond the most obvious methods used by CEOs and other managers: you have to create rockstars within your company, in other words public figures who attend events, do interviews and write blog posts.

Creating such figures may take time, but it will be worth the investment. Yasmin’s tips for this process are:

● Interview staff, gather anecdotes, background information and driving forces
● Following that, take time to train those who will become your company’s public figures
● Assign the right content to the right public figure (events, interviews, videos, articles, blog posts, etc.)
● Make sure to flag your public figures in your PR work, not your company

If, despite interviewing your skilled colleagues, it proves difficult to get enough public figures, Yasmin recommends extending the circle: your figures may include investors, board members, social media followers or other ambassadors who support your business and are willing to engage more closely in it.

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