If you come up with an amazing new product, you might think that it’s going to sell itself. After all, people will surely flock to it because it’s so useful and revolutionary and other impressive-sounding descriptive words.
Sure, that could happen. But here’s what’s more likely. You design this awesome gizmo, launch a website to promote it, and… crickets. And not even the literal kind. No one at all comes to your site and you’re bleeding money because you had to max out credit cards to create and manufacture your genius idea. Why is this happening?
Because this isn’t Field of Dreams, and no one is going to come just because you built it. They won’t even know that it is there! And how do you get them to know? Marketing.
Here are seven things you need to do to get your new product out there so the world will see it:
Seek out reviewers.Big magazines and sites won’t feature your product? Forget them. Contact some bloggers with decent followings in your field and offer them a free sample for a featured review. As long as they’re trusted professionals, more people will find their way to your site.
Blog your heart out. These days, startup sites need a blog or some kind of ongoing content so they can stay relatively near the top of Google’s search rankings. They’re also useful because they encourage people to keep coming back to your site and (if the posts are good) see you as an expert in your field. You should also consider guest blogging on other people’s sites, because you’ll drag some of their traffic back with you.
Lights, camera, action! There are a lot of people out there who would far prefer to watch a video than read a blog or review, so if you can demonstrate your product in a visually interesting way, grab a camera and get going. This also helps with Google rankings.
Get social. Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest are pretty much required at this point, because they give you more ways to reach more people. You should also look into what niche social networks might be out there that fit your field, such as Dogster or GoodReads.
Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Sales have always been a great way to get more people to buy your product, and it’s no different in the online world. Of course, advertising 20% off on your site does you no good if no one is actually coming to that site. That’s why some very smart people created things like Facebook Offers, Groupon, and other more public “sales” sites that serve as great ways to promote your product.
Join groups and network. One of the great things about the internet is that no matter what your interests are, there’s bound to be other people out there just like you who have already found each other and formed a community. Seek out communities that seem like they would be interested in your product and join. But don’t just start trying to sell them. You have to really make an effort to becoming part of the group and proving that you’re one of them first. The good news is, once you’ve done this, you’ll often find a loyal group of like-minded people who are right in the demo you’re targeting.
Tit for tat. Find other startups like you that are in similar (but not the same!) areas and promote each other through your site and social media accounts. By working together, you’ll all see better results.
About the Author: When Lucy Wright isn’t writing about Icon ID sign solutions, she’s consulting small business owners. She has worked in marketing and advertising in Chicago for the last 5 years. Lucy has 2 daughters and loves to teaching them about the great big world around them.