10 Ways to promote a new product or service
If you want your business to succeed, you need to understand marketing. We've put together our 10 favorite ways to promote a new product or service
November 08 · 8 min read
In a perfect world, you could release your groundbreaking, shock-inducing, self-tying shoes to the public with record-breaking sales and never even think the word “marketing.” Unfortunately, though, things don’t work that way.
In today’s fast-paced world, a thousand pairs of groundbreaking sneakers are released every day. The only way to let people know that yours are the ones to get is by using marketing. Marketing will tell your customers that your product exists, that it’s the best, and that they deserve nothing less than the best. If you want your business to succeed, you need to understand marketing.
To help you find some feet for those shoes, we’ve put together our favorite ways to promote a new product.
10 Ways to promote a new product or service
1. Advertise with affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a tried and true marketing technique that uses a small investment to create big returns. The way it works is you find a partner that you feel would be a good representative of your product (an affiliate). You then agree to pay this person a small amount for every sale they help you make.
In the internet age, affiliate marketing usually takes the form of link sharing, wherein you give your affiliate a special link to your product, and every time someone makes a purchase through that link, you send your affiliate a check.
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that it expands your market (you are now piggybacking off of the other person’s audience), incentivizes your affiliate(s) to sell your product, and ensures that your marketing is paying for itself - you only pay them after a sale has been made.
2. Open a pop-up shop
Pop-up shops, stores, and outlets are all ways to describe a retail outlet that’s only available for a limited time - typically a few days or weeks. The idea of opening a temporary store is one of the best ways to market a new product and build hype on the streets.
Though the trend of pop-up shops has been around for some time now, they’ve become increasingly popular in the last few years. For these businesses, launching a pop-up shop gives customers a chance to see products and retailers in person that they otherwise would only see on a screen.
The way to make a pop-up shop succeed is to open it in a high-traffic city and launch a new product or service early at the store (adding to its exclusivity). Couple it with an ad campaign beforehand to let people know when and where it’s going to take place.
3. Start an email campaign
And speaking of ad campaigns, a great tool to use alongside your pop-up shop (or any other marketing occasion) is an email campaign. As old as email itself, email campaigns involve sending marketing emails to people who sign up for your mailing list.
For example, you can have temporary email campaigns to celebrate your new podcast. When running an email campaign, temporary or ongoing, it’s important to establish goals for the campaign, and then to create emails that meet those goals.
For example, if you’re trying to generate hype for a product, create emails that hint at a product, give sneak peeks of it, offer exclusive deals, early access, and announce it when it releases. This way, when your product is finally available, you have an audience that has been anticipating its release.
4. Advertise on Google My Business
If you own a local shop and aren’t using Google My Business yet (GMB), you should be. GMB is a free resource for businesses to use to advertise their business directly in the Google search results. When someone searches for your shop on Google, your GMB account will appear, giving people a ton of info about your store without ever visiting your website.
Not only can you advertise through GMB for free, but you can also post to your GMB account as if it were a blog or social media account. When your GMB page appears in the Google search results, so will your posts.
You can use the posting feature as a way to market a new product, share limited time offers, daily specials, and upcoming events. It’s a convenient way to reach your customers without having to figure out how to attract their traffic. You already know your customers use Google for search, so take advantage of it!
5. Sponsor ads on social media
It should come as no surprise that social media makes up a good chunk of the tips on this list. It’s one of the most popular and important innovations of the last decade, as well as a powerful tool for marketing. It costs next to nothing to use and puts you directly in front of your customers.
Sponsoring ads on social media is just like sponsoring ads on TV or anywhere else. Most of the big social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit) offer sponsored ad platforms that allow you to quickly pay for, create, and plan out your advertising. It’s just a matter of knowing how to use each site to your advantage.
Different social platforms respond better to different types of advertising, so learning the basics of each site is essential for knowing how to market to its users. As a general rule, video advertising will get the most engagement on every website.
6. Talk to customers on social media
If you want a more authentic (and less costly) solution to your social media marketing, try interacting with your customers on social media. Wendy’s famously pioneered this technique with their sassy social media tactics, though any style of this marketing works well.
Reddit and Twitter are the two platforms where the grassroots approach works best, though Facebook is also the right choice. Primarily, all it involves is responding to customers posting about your business on social media, resolving complaints, and building relationships.
Talking to customers shows a more personal side of your business and brings customers to you. Just make sure that whoever runs your social media campaign is amicable to a fault, as the smallest mistakes will be seen by the public, defeating the whole purpose of the campaign.
7. Send free samples to social media influencers
Our last social media tip is to send free samples of your product to online influencers. If you’re not sure what a social media influencer is, don’t worry - it’s a little unclear for everyone. The general idea, though, is that they’re individuals who have figured out how to amass audiences on social media with high levels of engagement.
You might have already realized this is what marketers are trying to do on social media. These people have just figured out how to do it organically and independently.
So, to help boost your social media efforts, you can send free products (especially products that are soon to be released) to these influencers, requesting that, in exchange, they promote your product to their audiences. Just be sure that you’re sending products relevant to the influencer (it’s probably not a great idea to send a portable hard drive to a makeup influencer).
8. Take advantage of customer reviews
Part of what makes social media campaigns so effective is that they speak to people’s trust in a brand. And few things establish trust in a brand like customer reviews. While you may think they’re inconsequential, studies by BrightLocal have found that 86% of people read reviews before deciding to do business with a company.
Of those 86%, 50% are 18-34-year-olds that always read reviews. And it makes sense - reading someone else’s review of business informs you of what to expect from that business. If your company has negative reviews, then people will expect negativity from you, and vice versa.
This is why encouraging people to leave reviews (especially if they have a positive experience) is vital. These reviews will help you get a sense of your customers’ impressions, which can help you improve your business in meaningful ways. Not only that, but if you’re doing something right, you can advertise that to the world by sharing positive reviews on your website and social media.
9. Host a contest
Using the internet, you can take a popular marketing technique for local businesses and use it on the global stage. Contests are a good way of getting people excited for and involved in your marketing campaign, especially if the contest is for a product that hasn’t been released yet.
Social media makes hosting contests for products pretty easy, though you can do it through your email campaign and website, as well. To get the most out of an online contest, come up with a contest that rewards people for aiding your marketing.
A simple example is offering the prize to individuals who share a link to the contest, or who create memes for the product, etc. Not only is the contest getting your customers excited about the product, but it’s encouraging them to get their friends excited about it, too. Just make sure that you implement this strategy in a way that’s fun and not too stilted.
10. Start a blog
Finally, it may seem a little old school, but starting a blog is a powerful marketing technique for any business. Though there are several benefits to starting a blog, these two reasons alone should convince you.
First is the value of the blog itself. Having a blog gives customers a place to get a feel for your business’s personality, learn more about your products and services, and get answers to their questions. Having a blog establishes you as a credible source in your field and gives you a broader identity than just being the logo on a toothbrush.
Second is the SEO value of a blog, which less tech-savvy folks often overlook. SEO is the searchability of your website - how often it appears in people’s Google searches. Without a blog, your website only appears when people look for your products.
However, with a blog, you have a library of links that people can click on, directly or tangentially related to your business. And, when you do launch a new product, a blog is a great place to build excitement and awareness of it. B12 can help you with this process. We’ll identify what content works best for your business and provide curated blog posts every month.
Make your next product launch a great one
The trick in using these marketing strategies is knowing which approach (or combination of strategies) is the right one for you. By determining which ways to promote a new product are right for you, you’ll improve your sales and cut costs.
For more tips on marketing your products and services, both online and off, check out the rest of our articles at B12.