4 Effective (and Free!) Ways to Hype Your First Product
By Dylan Chadwick, Fueled
You just built the next best thing, an app, an accessory, the next big technical whizz-bang and you’re ready to get it to the masses. You know you need to get up on your marketing and advertising, so you browse the Web for the going rates on Web ad banners, newspaper ads and broadcast spots. After a few depressing hours of research, you realize that purchasing the necessary ads could sink you deep into the red before you ever get a customer!
Fear not future entrepreneur! You can promote your product effectively with no costs. Here are just a few ways you can create some buzz without spending a dime.
Referrals are the least complex of free promotional tools, but they may be the most effective. These days, referral promotions are more commonly known as “viral loops”, a growth hacking strategy that requests a user to “social share” the product in exchange for a free sample or a discount on the purchase price. Referrals provide a genuine incentive for consumers to spread the word about your product. Start proposing your product at discount price or with a referral and watch your user base grow.
Friends & Family
I was never a baseball superstar, but that didn’t stop my Mom from cheering, stomping, waving banners and taking pictures at my little league games. I rarely got on base, but you’d never know that watching her reaction. The principle stands for promotion too. Your friends and family are immediately invested in your success because of their relationship to you, and one successful trial of your product will encourage them to share it with others. Be sure to mention your product in passing conversation and don’t be afraid to follow up via social networks or email. Never underestimate the power of good ol’ fashioned word-of-mouth advertising and just think of your adoring mother as your promotional megaphone to the world!
Product Ambassadors and Influencers
Social trends drive consumer behaviors. Beyond swanky advertising and marketing impressions, most consumers still base their buying decisions on word-of-mouth and social influence. In other words, when the people they interact with are talking about your product, they’ll want it too. Converting social influencers into product ambassadors is an essential way to promote your product.
Identifying social influencers requires low-level, but in-depth knowledge of your target audience. You must familiarize yourself with your target audience’s needs, whose opinion they value the most and why. Once you can build a profile of your social influencer, find those individuals who align with your profile and get your product in their hands right away! They will be able and willing to offer invaluable feedback that will improve your product while they share their excitement for their new favorite thing across their networks.
Collaborations and Partnerships
Collaboration breeds success for all parties involved. The Air Jordan Brand has expanded Nike’s global reach and contributed massive value to the corporation. SpaceX’s contributions to NASA’s next generation space program has helped us visualize the future of deep space exploration. Brands like Supreme capitalize on collaboration, leveraging their cultural influence in design to produce Supreme branded versions of originals that sell over 50 percent higher than their retail price.
Fostering collaboration and partnerships can be difficult, as markets are competitive and producers would rather own their market share than split it with you. A potential partner may be wary of your intentions, so a cohesive strategy is key. Be on the lookout for products and brands who would exclusively benefit from a partnership. Ask yourself, “Does my product help them address an existing and urgent need for their target customer?” If the answer is yes, there may be an opportunity for partnership that will get your product in new customers’ hands.
Promoting your new product needn’t be a complicated hassle, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Utilize these age-old avenues for product promotion and you’ll see buzz pick up in no time!
Dylan Chadwick is a content writer at Fueled, the leading iPhone app builder in New York City, renowned for its award winning mobile design and strategy.