Table of Contents


As a startup or business, have you ever thought of using side
projects as a marketing strategy? Side project marketing is a creative
approach to gaining attention and attracting potential customers by
building side projects that offer value to your target audience. This
article will discuss what side project marketing is, its benefits, and
how to implement it effectively. Additionally, we will delve into the
concept of engineering as marketing as it
relates to side project marketing.

What is Side Project Marketing?

Side project marketing is the practice of creating a project outside
of your main product or service that solves a problem or provides value
to your target audience. The goal of side project marketing is to build
brand awareness and attract potential customers to your core
product/offering. Side projects can take many forms, including free
tools, informative blogs, an open source project, helpful resources, or
any other product that your target audience would find useful.

Benefits of Side Project Marketing

  1. Increased brand awareness: By creating a side project
    that provides value to your target audience, you can attract potential
    customers who may not have heard of your company otherwise.

  2. Enhanced credibility: Creating a useful and
    informative side project demonstrates your company’s expertise and
    knowledge in your industry. This can help build trust with potential
    customers and increase your credibility.

  3. Lead generation: Side projects can be a great way to
    generate leads and capture email addresses of potential customers who
    are interested in your industry or product.

  4. Boosted SEO: By creating informative content related
    to your industry, you can improve your website’s SEO and drive more
    organic traffic to your site.

Engineering as Marketing

Engineering as marketing is a subset of side project marketing that
involves creating a tool or product that provides value to your target
audience while showcasing your company’s expertise. The goal of
engineering as marketing is to create a tool or product that solves a
problem or provides value to your target audience while subtly promoting
your company.

Top 8 Engineering As Marketing Examples For Inspiration

Some examples of engineering as marketing include:


Hubspot's Website Grader

HubSpot’s Website Grader is a free tool that analyzes a website’s SEO and provides suggestions for
improvement. This tool showcases HubSpot’s expertise in digital
marketing while providing value to their target audience.

hubspot side project marketing example
Moz's Keyword Explorer

Moz’s Keyword Explorer is a tool that helps businesses identify the best keywords to target in their content marketing efforts. This tool showcases Moz’s expertise in SEO while providing value to their target audience.

moz's side project marketing example
MagnifiCode’s ChatGPT code reviewer

MagnifiCode is a business oriented software development agency. Our target audience is engineering managers and developers. We’ve created an open source that enables developers to have their code automatically reviewed by ChatGPT, and saves them time when they do an actual review. The usage of the open sources exposes people to the brand and shows our expertise. Making the users of the library potentially consider using MagnifiCode’s services.

magnificode's side project marketing example

Veed is an online video editing app. They created a free screen recorder and promoted it using SEO to expose potential users to also using the editor. This works because of the fact that many of the users who record a video would also need to edit it.

veed engineering as marketing example
Neil Patel's Ubersuggest

Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest is a free tool that provides keyword research and SEO analysis. This tool helps Neil Patel attract potential customers and build credibility in the digital marketing industry.

ubersuggest's engineering as marketing example
Pablo - Buffer’s free image editor

Buffer is a social media scheduling tool. They’ve created a free image editing tool that helps businesses create images for their social media posts. This tool helps Buffer attract potential customers and showcase their expertise in social media marketing.

buffer's side project marketing example
Altman's pregnancy calculator

Altman is a supplemental food manufacturer. They’ve created a pregnancy calculator, allowing pregnant women to provide information and learn exactly when they’re expected to give birth. This provides altman with the info about their future child’s age, and allows them to target the woman until the child is 18 years old with relevant products advertisements(for example – diapers at relevant age, certain supplements for specific ages, etc).

"Human or not?" by AI21 Labs

AI21 Labs develops many products & models in the AI field. With all the buzz created around ChatGPT, they’ve decided to create ״Human or not?”, which is a chat game that lets people talk to a human (or not), and guess if they’re talking to an AI or a human being. This exposes people to the AI21 brand and positions them as AI experts.

AI21's engineering as marketing example - human or not

Advantages of engineering as marketing

  1. Repeated usage: side projects can continue to attract users and generate leads over time. Like content, these projects can rank on Google for specific keywords and bring in new users each month. However, unlike content, these projects can offer repeated usefulness, enticing users to visit multiple times.
  2. Relatively low competition: Since it’s relatively new, a lot of people are unaware of this marketing method. This fact, along with the fact that a high level of creativity is needed to come up with this kind of projects, makes Engineering as Marketing a relatively untapped acquisition channel with fewer competitors than more established methods. 
  3. External coverage and backlinks: successful side projects can generate valuable PR coverage and backlinks. Many popular side project examples have gone viral and received thousands of shares and backlinks. By timing the project correctly and with a bit of luck, businesses can earn backlinks and boost their domain authority.
  4. Relatively low cost: if a side project is well scoped and well defined, it doesn’t have to be too hard to develop, meaning your needed budget to create it wouldn’t necessarily have to be high.
  5. It does not feel like a promotion: Engineering as Marketing does not feel like traditional marketing and instead provides value to users through side projects. Unlike ads or content that may feel like self-promotion, side projects themselves give value to users, even if they do not become paying customers.

Coming up with side project marketing ideas

  1. Identify a problem or gap in the market: Start by identifying a problem or gap in the market that your target audience is facing. Once you have identified the problem, brainstorm ways that your business can solve it through a side project. For example, if you’re a fitness company, you could create a workout planner app to help users plan their workouts.
  2. Think outside the box: Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to side project ideas. Consider ideas that are not directly related to your product or service, but still provide value to your target audience. For example, a restaurant could create a cooking app that teaches users how to cook their favorite dishes at home.
  3. Leverage your team’s expertise: Your team likely has a wealth of expertise and skills that can be leveraged for side project ideas. Brainstorm ideas that align with your team’s skills and interests. For example, if you have a team of developers, you could create a free tool that helps users test their website’s performance.
  4. Follow side project marketing examples for inspiration: check out the examples we’ve provided above, and think how you could do something similar in your field that would help your potential users, while exposing them to your brand.

Building Engineering as Marketing Projects

If you’re interested in implementing engineering as marketing projects for your business, MagnifiCode can help. As a software development agency, MagnifiCode has extensive experience in creating custom software solutions for businesses of all sizes. We can help you design and build a tool or product that showcases your expertise while providing value to your target audience. One of the benefits of using this service is that while we’re developing your side project, you can focus on improving your core product.

Our team of experienced developers can work with you to develop a product that meets your specific needs and goals. We excel in the use of marketing technology, and can advise on and implement relevant marketing pixel integrations to use your side project for retargeting. Let’s talk about your project today!

Promoting Your Engineering As Marketing Project

  1. Utilize Social Media: Social media platforms can be used effectively to promote your side project. Share your project on your company’s social media accounts, and encourage your followers to share it with their networks. You can also use paid social media advertising to target a specific audience and promote your project.

  2. Partner with Influencers: Collaborating with influencers in your industry can help you reach a larger audience and build credibility for your side project marketing. Identify influencers who have a following in your industry and reach out to them to see if they would be interested in promoting your project to their followers.

  3. Leverage Content Marketing: Create blog posts, infographics, or videos that promote your side project marketing and share them on your website, social media, and other relevant channels. You can also guest post on industry blogs or publications to reach a wider audience. By providing valuable content, you can attract potential customers and build awareness for your project.

  4. Launch on Product Hunt: Product Hunt is a popular website where new products and services are launched and showcased to a community of early adopters and tech enthusiasts. Launching your engineering as marketing project on Product Hunt can help you generate buzz, attract potential customers, and get feedback from the community. Be sure to prepare your launch in advance and engage with the community on the platform to maximize your exposure.

Wrapping up

We hope you have enjoyed reading this post.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

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