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Where should a startup spend more time and resources - advertising, PR or something else?

I have a difficulty with my start up. Those users who are aware of my web application, use to show high engagement and visit website multiple times in a day. But new users either don't go inside or visit and leave. Since the user base is less so they feel themselves alone. I have very limited resources and hence there are restrictions in everything. But within those resources, where should I focus more? Should I improve my website description so that people can understand working of application more easily? Or should I look towards better advertising?

21 Replies

Dimitry Rotstein
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Dimitry Rotstein Entrepreneur
Head of R&D at SafeZone
Such question is impossible to answer in the general case. You're basically talking about marketing strategy, which greatly depends on the product, target audience, business model, etc. I tried accessing your website, but it only says "This account is suspended", so that doesn't help. Or perhaps this is the main reason why users don't stick around, I don't know. That being said, "improve my website description so that people can understand working of application more easily" is always a good idea - you really should invest in UX regardless of anything else. "Better advertising", on the other hand, is probably not the best marketing strategy for most start-ups. If, as you say, you have some loyal users, try asking them what exactly makes them stick around, then take this something and get rid of everything else - that will simplify matters both in terms of R&D and marketing. Ir is called "Lean Iteration". Again, without knowing exactly what the business is, I can only give a generic advice.
Akash Mittal
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Akash Mittal Advisor
Founder at Conectree Edutech
Dimitry,

Thanks for your reply. I checked my website and it is working fine. Maybe you have mistakenly visited something else. My project is - Funflee.com ( http://www.funflee.com ).
Joel Brodie
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Joel Brodie Entrepreneur • Advisor
Business Development Executive and Entrepreneur
its cheap and easy to advertise with Facebook and google to test out, but you do give away prizes which could get you a good call to action. but, it probably won't work. good site to check out for tips on free ways to drive traffic to site is inbound.org.
Dimitry Rotstein
2
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Dimitry Rotstein Entrepreneur
Head of R&D at SafeZone
Akash, I went to "Conectree Edutech", because that's what your FD profile says. You might want to update it then.
As for "Funflee", I actually found the concept interesting, so much so that I signed up and tried to post a story to the current contest, despite its vague definition and complete lack of examples. Unfortunately, the posting failed. Possibly because I refused to authorize automatic posting to FB (I never authorize this without a very good reason), but that shouldn't prevent me from posting to the contest itself, right? Or at least it should inform me that such authorization is necessary and explain why.
Anyway, the landing page was effective - like I said, it did convince me to participate, although there is still some room for improvement. The site itself, however, provided an inferior user experience. Too much content, most of which is irrelevant, confusing UI, a full blown instruction manual (for pigs sake!)... I couldn't read the instructions - too much text, and the letters are too small even on a desktop (I shudder to think what it looks like on a mobile device). It took me a noticeable effort to find out what to do after closing the manual... Well, I could go on like this for a while, but to me it's already clear that design is the first thing that needs changing. It must be simpler ("more than 6 ways to post" definitely has to go - too complicated and I couldn't understand why you need more than one) You should also hire a good copywriter to fix the grammar mistakes throughout the site (at the least). And the technical glitches, of course.

Then, and only then, we can start talking about marketing strategies. As a user, I believe any marketing effort would be a waste at this point.
Kate Hiscox
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Kate Hiscox Entrepreneur • Advisor
Boss at Venzee
Akash, I think that is your problem. It looks like you don't allow sign up without automatic posting to FB which I believe most people will not authorize unless they have an extremely clear understanding of how the site works and the benefits.
Taylor Dondich
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Taylor Dondich Entrepreneur
Vice President of Engineering at MaxCDN
Your layout is broken in wide monitors in google chrome. Most likely broken in other browsers as well. How much traffic do you currently have? You said people do come to the site but leave right away. This is enough opportunity for you to perform testing to improve the experience and usability of your site without spending money on useless advertising.

Seriously. Do you want to throw away money on advertising to bring MORE people to the site that will perform pretty much the same behavior as your existing visitors?

I would first go through and perform cross-browser testing at different resolutions to make sure your user experience is uniform across all platforms. Once that's done, you are able to run tests.

Identify where you are losing users. Is it on the first landing page? (I think it would be). If so, design some A/B tests to determine how effective small changes are in getting people moving. If you're not a developer, I would suggest a tool such as unbounce (www.unbounce.com).

Only once you've optimized your initial user experience (your conversion flow to get users to sign up and participate), should you throw gasoline on the fire by spending on advertising. Otherwise, you're just wasting money.

Akash Mittal
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Akash Mittal Advisor
Founder at Conectree Edutech
@Dimitry

No, there is no restriction like you need to select the Facebook posting option. If posting failed then there would be other reasons behind it. Actually I recently transferred my website from my previous web host to Azure cloud service. Most probably there are integration problems. I will check them out.

I will separate out the instruction manual from home page. A particular page for instructions will be better. "Letters are small" - Is it the problem with font size or clarity? Because font size is more than the fonts of this website (FounderDating) and text here is readable.

So, I should focus primarily on the design and reduce the complexity for easy understanding. Also I need to thoroughly test it for glitches.

Thank You.


Akash Mittal
0
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Akash Mittal Advisor
Founder at Conectree Edutech
@Kate

There is no automatic posting on Facebook through Funflee. Though I should clearly indicate this nearby the login button. Sign up is only through Facebook because some users tried to create fake accounts to increase their votes count. Facebook has its own fake account prevention algorithm and that's why I used it.

Thanks
Akash Mittal
0
0
Akash Mittal Advisor
Founder at Conectree Edutech
@Taylor

Exactly. Without improving the user experience there is no meaning of advertising. Actually the application is in testing phase. It's a prototype and I have no intentions to make stupid moves in desperation.

Yeah people bounce off from the landing page and as you are suggesting, I need to do A/B testing.

Thanks
Shobhit Verma
1
0
Shobhit Verma Entrepreneur • Advisor
building an adaptive recommendation engine
You are doing too many things. Choose one and get most traction there
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