If you want to get more paying users, you'll either need to experiment with new acquisition channels, or find better ways to use existing distribution channels. Its that simple.
After looking at last week's tech news I've identified 3 such opportunities:
Marketplaces: An indie hacker recently compiled a list of 67 major SaaS app stores. Learn why.
Pinterest Ads: Pinterest recently enabled you to better target users in their Ads. Learn why this is a big deal for user acquisition.
Keyword research for Quora: If you've done any SEO, you know you should be striving for keywords with low competition and high search volume. It turns out you can do the same type of research on Quora with a simple Google query.
In my Zero to Users research, I've identified 30+ distribution channels that consistently work for founders. App marketplaces, like the WordPress plugin store or the Shopify app store, were the second most mentioned channel group. Over 78 founders said they helped get them new users.
Rocket Gems recently released a comprehensive list of 67 of these marketplaces that indie hackers can tap into. You'd be surprised how many products you frequently use have their own dedicated app marketplace. The marketplaces are separated in 7 categories:
I originally found this list on Hacker News, and some of the HN comments there were quite interesting:
The "indie hacker" part is underselling the value of hooking into these marketplaces. The Atlassian marketplace is how we're able to make draw.io/diagrams.net free everywhere else. We don't have to handle any licensing or billing and it's a commercial market where users expect to pay. We generate 8 digits annually there with 5FTE people, you can build a medium sized company around just one of these marketplaces.
Wow. 8 figures with the Atlassian marketplace being their main acquisition channel? Another interesting comment I've seen:
I work with Salesforce, so I'm quite familiar with the ecosystem. I think a lot people on HN would have a hard time believing the kind of apps that exist on AppExchange and the number of companies that are willing to spend money on them.
What this means for you: App marketplaces are an under-utilized acquisition channel. They're also the only channel group where the saying "build it and they will come" still holds true (I wrote a post on this recently).
Pinterest just launched a "dynamic creative" ad process where you could target users based on their behavior.
Why I think this is big news: According to my research, the #1 reason founders fail with paid ads is bad targeting - not bad copy.
So many advertisers have failed with Facebook because they couldn't get their targeting right. This is why I'm excited about a major platform like Pinterest improving their targeting capabilities. Take the excerpt from the original article:
The process essentially responds to how users interact in the app — if a user is searching for 'decorative lights' for example, and they narrow their search for specific items, the system will then show ads for items from your uploaded catalog which best match the users' stated interest.
What this means for you: You'll find this change extremely relevant if you're selling many products, or many variants of the same product. The good news is that Pinterest is actively working to improve their targeting, so more and more smaller advertisers will find them relevant in the future.
Want to get opportunities like these each week? Subscribe:
Quora is currently the most popular Q&A website in the world, with over 537k visitors/month. Chances are, there are people in your niche asking questions there.
The problem: It's hard to find unsaturated (but valuable) questions there. David Baer recently made a Twitter thread where he pointed to a simple Google query that could help you identify these type of questions:
site:http://quora.com keyword "1 answer" "view 1 upvoter" "k views"
Several days ago, another person made an improved version of this query:
The goal of both queries is to find answers with a high number of views, but low number of answers.
Could you do the same with YouTube (identifying videos with many views but low number of comments) or any other major acquisition channel? Let me know in the comments below.