The marketing swimming pool has many deep ends, a lot of which you can’t always see if there is a bottom to touch. With a new app or social channel coming out every day, week, and month, it’s hard to know when to leap and when to stay in the shallow end.
While it’s great to be an early adopter, sometimes it’s best to chill and observe; see how and if other brands are using the platform and then decide if it’s worth exploring.
Here are four times when you should indeed stay away from the deep end and let others cannonball first:
When the user interface is too much effort
For example, when Ello was first released, it was not user friendly. It was black and white and not appealing to use (like apps such as Instagram). It is fun to explore as a user, but as a brand it is still fairly uncharted territory outside of some journalistic brands like WSJ.
When the platform doesn’t seem to have captured your target audience
For example, your audience may not care to be on meerkat, but it may embrace Periscope due to so many others using it already. Mashable uses it constantly for its tech talks, while others use it for showing insider and live events. Try to do a little research to see if your target market is actually using the platform before you jump in and devote time to it.
When the resources to make it happen would be at the cost of marketing campaigns that are already working for your brand
Contrary to what some may think, every time you add a new platform to your social media mix, you’re draining more resources, both financial, creative, and time related. For example, creating video content takes time to plan, executive, edit, and distribute. It takes planning and content strategy upfront.
When it makes sense to learn from the ones who do it wrong/right first. And jump in later with a better strategy.
For example, when all the kids ran over to snapchat to see what the buzz was. The buzz was good.
Still unsure and curious?
Try using the platform on your personal handle/username first. Test it out to see how it works and why people would be curious about it. Put on your consumer hat and see if you would be interested in hearing from a brand through this new app or channel. If yes, give it a whirl (but not at the expense of things that are already working for you).
Lastly, keep your life raft nearby. Sometimes you just need to jump out after testing the waters.
This post was originally written for startup fashion.