So you’ve crafted the perfect design, made the products you’ve always dreamed of having, set up your store, and are ready for the first sales to roll in . . . what now? It’s time to tell the world about your product!
The hard work doesn’t stop when you’ve created a product and added it to your store (trust me, I know). In fact, marketing a product is just as important as making one.
The author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek has said that “the hardest part is starting. Once you get that out of the way, you’ll find the rest of the journey much easier,” and he’s absolutely right.
To help you start your marketing journey, I’ll share several ways to market a product online and create a product marketing strategy. You can also find a downloadable checklist at the end of this article so you can use it whenever you plan to promote a product.
Let’s get started, shall we?
There’s no strict definition of what a product marketing strategy is, but to put it simply—it’s a plan that you create to understand how you’re going to reach your target audience and turn them into your customers. It can be a colorful visual or a simple list, and it should include these key elements: who you’re selling to, how you should promote the product, and what your goals are.
Planning is vital when it comes to, well, I’d say everything, but most importantly, your business. Having a written-down strategy that you can always have at hand will help you promote products more clearly, reach goals much faster, and allow you to communicate your vision to any teammates, collaborators, or customers.
Now that I’ve (hopefully) convinced you that the go-with-the-flow approach won’t be as effective as planning your way to the top, let’s go through some of the basic steps that’ll help you create a marketing strategy.
To better understand how and where to market a product, you should research your specific market and analyze your potential customers. The research will help you make decisions based on the existing market and understand how to compete with other brands.
Defining your ideal customer is the most crucial point in your product marketing strategy. Every business owner wants to sell their product to as many people as possible, but there’s no one-product-fits-all. This is why it’s so important to advertise your product to people who will be interested in buying it and talking about your brand.
The first step in defining your audience is creating a detailed description of your target customer. For example, if you’re selling athleisure wear, outline who you see wearing it in terms of their identity, age group, income, location, style, hobbies, and so on.
The second step is understanding what problems these people might face and how your product can help fix them. To gather this information, you can search for feedback on your competitors’ products, research general market reports, or interview people who might be interested in your products.
Another important research point is to analyze your competitors and write down what works for them and what doesn’t. Explore their websites and social media profiles and use them as a source of inspiration to make something of your own.
Just keep in mind that copying ideas is still a no-go, and you should always be cautious when looking for inspiration. For example, if Nike is a brand that inspires you, don’t just replicate their style and campaigns to make an identical look or product (it’s also illegal). Instead, use their work to get some ideas and see how you can use them for your brand.
Think about what makes your product stand out from similar products in the market. Use your product’s strengths as the selling points in your promos to let the buyers know why they should choose your product instead of any other. For example, if your product is made of recycled materials, or has a unique feature that similar products in the market don’t have, highlight it in the product name, description, and advertisements.
After you’ve researched the market, got some ideas from other brands, and defined your target audience, it’s time to determine where you’ll promote the product.
There are multiple promotional channels where to market a product (and we’ll discuss some of the most popular ones later in this article) but you don’t have to use all of them to have a successful product marketing campaign.
The market research you’ve done before will help you understand which channels work the best for your product and audience. For example, if your target audience are Gen Zers who spend a lot of time on TikTok, that’s where you should promote your product the most actively.
We’ve reached the last stop before you’re ready to decide how to promote your product which is setting the goals.
Your goals don’t have to be too ambitious or unrealistic—quite the opposite, they have to be something you genuinely believe can be achieved. A good tip is to make your goals based on the SMART methodology that’ll help you be more determined to reach the goals.
The acronym SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound; parameters you should try to base your goals upon.
Here are some examples of goals you can set for your marketing campaign:
If you’ve just started out, your product marketing strategy doesn’t have to be overly complex and hard to fulfill—choose a few promotional channels you know you’ll keep up with and set attainable goals. As long as you have a plan on what to do and how to do it, you’re on a great start!
Now let’s continue our ride and learn how you can advertise your products.
Let’s be honest, when it comes to 21st-century marketing, there’s no better (and cost-efficient) place to promote your products than on the internet.
Statistics show that almost 60% of the global population are active internet users, but the billion-dollar question is, how do you turn these users into your customers?
Let’s go through some of the channels where you can promote your products and I’ll share a few recommendations on what content works the best on each channel.
Your website is the home of all your products and represents your brand the most. There are multiple ways to promote your products on the website, so let’s go through some of them.
You’ve probably seen your homepage a thousand times and know it by heart, which is why switching things up and asking for advice from others can be useful. Change your product placement, highlight the new or most popular products, and ask your friends or family to give an honest review of your page layout.
It’ll help you understand how your first-time visitors see the page and increase the discoverability of the products you want to promote. You can also create collections that’ll help your new page visitors find the products they’re more interested in. The collections can be permanent, such as your bestsellers or new products, or themed according to the season, for example, winter essentials.
Here’s an example of a homepage that informs about a free shipping offer, displays the collections, and has a bold video banner that invites you to check out the newest collection.
Remember that your homepage should represent your brand and be visually appealing. Make sure it has easy-to-read fonts, beautiful designs, and is convenient to use.
UGC stands for user-generated content, which means that this content is created by your customers or other people who’ve tried the product. Buyers have more trust in purchasing products that others have tried and liked, so whenever you see your customer sharing a photo or video with your product, ask their permission to add it to your website!
Online reviews are another way to show your products in real life, so add an option to leave feedback below or next to your products. Remember that these reviews won’t always be positive, but that doesn’t mean you have to hide them. Use this feedback as a chance to interact with your customers and show that you care about their opinions.
It’s no secret that people have and always will love discounts, no matter the product or occasion. Use discounts to attract more customers, increase the number of returning customers, and promote products that could be doing a bit better.
I think it’s safe to say that many of us have been in the situation when we’ve found a new store, but hesitated to make the purchase because we haven’t had the trust in the products just yet. Here’s where a first-order discount can help you turn those first-time visitors into your new customers.
You can place a pop-up or banner on your website for unregistered users that offers a discount when they sign up or subscribe to your newsletter. These discounts are an excellent opportunity to encourage page visitors to try your products without paying the full price.
Here’s an example of a first-time discount pop-up you can try for your store as well:
It’s exciting to see new people discover your store and place their orders with that first-time discount, but don’t forget to reward your loyal customers with offers as well.
Give special discounts on your brand’s birthday or when you achieve significant milestones, for example, reach 1,000 subscribers on Instagram. By giving discounts, people will be more likely to place bigger orders and discover more of your products.
You can also use a loyalty program to promote your products. For example, you can create a point system that allows your customers to earn perks. For the perks, you can offer free shipping, discounts, a free gift, or whatever comes into your mind. The tool Spendgo offers multiple options for loyalty programs so make sure to check it out.
Use the loyalty program to market your new products and set what amount of points each purchased product can get. Here’s an example of a loyalty program that gives perks in exchange for points.
Customer loyalty programs are effective for product marketing because they often give customers more reasons to return to your store, check out the new products, and make more repeat purchases.
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization, and its goal is to provide search engine users with the most relevant information possible. To make sure search engines recognize your products as relevant and show them to more people, you’ll have to pay extra thought to the keywords you use in your product name and description.
When creating a product name and description, try to be as specific as possible and name the features that make your product stand out. For example, a notebook seller on Etsy has used keywords “birth month” and “birth flower” to indicate how the notebook can be personalized.
If you want to learn more about how to create an SEO-friendly website, make sure to look into our ecommerce SEO guide for beginners.
Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools that has probably ever existed, and it’s beginner-friendly because it costs nothing to get started. Statistics show that more than half of the global population are active social media users, making social media platforms a perfect place to not only market your products, but also attract like-minded people and build your audience.
Learn more: Guide to Using Instagram Hashtags
Here’s how to market your products on the most popular social media platforms.
There are multiple social media platforms and each will require slightly different content. The most popular ones currently are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, and most businesses use at least one of them to promote their products.
Facebook works as a digital business card for your brand, so here you should add a brief description of your brand and products. This is also the platform where people will most likely look for any business updates, reviews, and active deals, so make sure to regularly share them on Facebook.
Aside from the serious stuff, Facebook is also a place where you can entertain your customers and host Facebook Live events to talk about your products, brand, or any topic related to your business. For example, beauty brand Glamnetic often holds Facebook Live events to share tutorials on how to use their products.
On Facebook, you can also repost other users’ posts, upload fun memes, and engage with your followers by answering their comments. Here’s an example by the fashion brand Princess Poly who posted a meme that’s relevant to their brand and target audience.
Even though YouTube posts might require more production and editing skills, it’s an awesome platform where you can talk about your products, tell the story behind them, and get more up close and personal with your followers.
Make YouTube videos that show how your products work, what their benefits are, and share the different ways your customers can use them. This way people will get to know the product better and have more trust in purchasing it.
Instagram is the home of polished pictures and themed feeds. Its users usually follow accounts that they find inspiring or educational, and appreciate frequent content (but not spammy either).
For example, if you’re a clothing brand, you can post photos with full outfits that are trendy and match your brand’s style. Here’s an example of the clothing brand’s M.92 Instagram feed where they not only post pictures of their products but also show how they look on different people.
But remember that not all your posts have to be about the product and selling only. You can mix your product photos with inspirational, educational, or any other visually appealing content as well. For example, if you sell customized mugs, why not create a post with a recipe of the best matcha latte, or a refreshing iced tea.
Instagram Stories, on the other hand, is the place to post more laid-back content, create polls, share behind-the-scenes, answer questions, and engage with your followers on a more personal level. Here you can also share interesting bits of your day as a business owner.
Social media marketing has never been the same since the short video platform TikTok skyrocketed with its unique algorithm that’s based on each user’s interests, interactions, location, and other details.
On TikTok, you can showcase your products by adapting them to the most popular trends and sounds. Its algorithm works in a way that shows your videos to people with similar interests, so it’s very likely for a brand to show up on the target customer’s feed. For completely free!
There’s a common misconception that TikTok is a platform for Gen Z and younger generations only, though statistics show it’s almost just as popular among older generations. However, if you’re still not sure about TikTok but are into the short video format, you can try Instagram Reels. Instagram Reels have a very similar concept to TikTok and can contribute a lot in gaining more followers and, consequently, more customers.
As you can tell, nowadays, buyers are more interested in seeing the dynamic behind-the-scenes of brands and learning about the struggles that used to be concealed by the perfectly edited pictures. Use this trend in your brand’s favor.
Create fun, fast-paced videos that showcase your products, production process, people behind the brand, exclusive sneak peeks, and top it off with background music. Here’s an example of cosmetics brand Madara revealing some of their behind-the-brand content from a photoshoot:
Have you ever wondered why influencer marketing is so popular even among the most elite brands such as BMW, Chanel, or Hilton? That’s because finding the right spokesperson for your brand is almost a fool-proof way of driving your discoverability and sales.
Microinfluencers are social media influencers with around 2,000 to 50,000 followers. Even though they have considerably small audiences, their followers are more loyal, and usually have more trust in the influencer’s product suggestions compared to, say, what they might read in an online review.
To find microinfluencers you would want to work with, search for hashtags relevant to your product on social media and look for people who already promote similar products. You can also use special tools that are designed to help you find creators that’ll suit your brand the most. Klear, for example, is an influencer marketing tool that offers free and subscription-based plans to help you find influencers based on their following, skills, location, and many other factors.
Here’s one example of how the European food company Alpro collaborated with a microinfluencer on Instagram:
Another option is to work with brand ambassadors. Brand ambassadors are people who support the brand and represent it online and offline. As opposed to influencers, they work with a brand for an extended period of time and help contribute to its long-term growth. Brand ambassadors usually promote products without charge in exchange for free merchandise, but they can also work on a monthly or hourly fee. You can also offer your brand ambassadors an affiliate program where they earn a commission from the sales of the product they’re promoting.
If you’re willing to spend some more money on product promotion, you can market products using paid Facebook and Instagram adverts.
Despite what you may have heard, Facebook is still the most popular social media platform out there, which means that your target customer is likely already using it on the regular. That’s why paid ads on the platform are a great way to raise your brand’s awareness and invite Facebook users to check out your products. The ads can be targeted directly to your ideal customer and the results of an ad campaign can be easily measured.
Here’s an example of a product ad on Facebook:
To make an ad, create eye-catching visuals that show your product, add a short description, and include a call-to-action button that invites people to visit your website. If you’re interested in more details about Facebook advertising, make sure to bookmark our blog post “Facebook Ads for Beginners: Guide to Facebook Promotions”.
Even if it might seem that our email inboxes are flooded with promos that no one ever reads, email marketing remains at the top of all marketing channels. The reason for it still outwinning the social media platforms is that almost everyone uses their email daily, and the number is still growing each year.
Whether it’s the holiday season or a new product launch—use it as the theme for an email campaign and send it out to your subscribers! Marketing emails are a great way to promote holiday discounts, offers, or any sale you’re having on the website. Remember to add bold texts and visuals that invite the receiver to visit your website, like in this email:
You can also create an email marketing campaign that offers special discounts just for your email list to make your customers feel more special and appreciated.
Another way to promote products via email is by sending out regular newsletters to your email subscribers. Newsletters are usually less “salesy” than regular email campaigns and focus more on giving updates, inspiring, or educating the readers.
For example, if you have a clothing brand, you can create a themed newsletter that includes some ideas of how your products could be worn or styled, for example, like in this newsletter:
Send out your newsletters weekly, monthly, or even quarterly—whatever fits your customer base the best. Add an eye-catching headline that gives an idea of what the email will be about and create quality content that your subscribers will enjoy and look forward to. I know that email writing is a skill that takes some practice to master, so we’ve shared some useful tips in our blog “Email Copywriting Tips to Keep Customers Happy” to help you get started.
There are endless options on how and where to market a product but the essential part is that it doesn’t have to be about straight-up selling all the time. Remember to always stay true to your brand and build a relationship with your customers. Create content and campaigns that reflect your brand’s authenticity and values and target them to like-minded people.
I’m a firm believer that writing down what you want to do and how you want to do it is the best solution to feel less overwhelmed about the workload. This is why I’ve created a checklist of the basic things for you to go through to help you plan how to market a product.
Print it out or save it on your computer to set your primary goal, make a to-do list, write down ideas for product promos, and keep yourself organized.
I hope by now you already have some ideas on how to market your products, or at least are ready to try out some promotional channels you haven’t used before. Either way, keep in mind that there are almost no limits when it comes to product marketing, as long as you listen to your customers and stay true to your values.
And remember, no journey is worth having if it doesn’t bring you some fun. Invite your family and friends over and brainstorm ideas together! Surround yourself with positive and inspiring people, find things you feel truly passionate about, and build your marketing strategy around them. Inevitably, these steps will make your planning a lot more fun and exciting.
Read Next: Top 10 Trending Products to Sell Online
Paula is a Content Marketing Specialist, focusing on product marketing. Her studies of linguistics and literature have sparked her love for creative writing and encouraged to do it on the daily basis.
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