Let’s talk about how to promote your product on a budget.
Oh, and if you’re wondering how to promote a service, this applies to you as well.
I’m going to bet that you’ve searched around for articles online and that your head is swimming with ideas.
Too many choices and not enough budget.
What are the options to promote a new product?
The options to promote a new product (or an existing product) lie in choosing the right marketing strategy.
There are three marketing strategies to choose from:
- Paid advertising
- Content marketing
- Direct marketing
And then there are a few ideas for promoting your product using each of those strategies.
It’s all about staying focused. It’s tempting to try a bunch of ideas, but, you’ll get better results when you choose your target audience and the marketing strategy you want to use to reach them.
Who will want to buy what you’re selling:
- Who needs it desperately
- Values you highly
- Wants it immediately
How will you reach your ideal customer:
- Pay for ads to drive traffic to your site or store
- Create content to educate, inform and guide potential customers toward a sale.
- Sell directly to potential customers.
With these two questions answered, you’re ready to put your time and money where you are most likely to get the best results.
What No One Tells You About How to Promote Your Product
Marketing and promoting your product are NOT the same thing.
Marketing is a process that includes:
- Collecting data and research to help you differentiate yourself from other alternatives.
- Identifying your ideal customer.
- Developing an offer for that customer (this is the product or service)
- Choosing a strategy to market the product. Your strategy choices are paid advertising, content marketing or direct sales.
- Implementing your promotional tactics — actually promoting your product or service.
Promoting your product falls into the last two steps of the process. In those last two steps, you choose a strategy and implement that strategy.
The simple act of choosing a primary marketing strategy is the part of the process that will save you the most time, money and frustration. It will focus your efforts on just those promotional elements that will get you the results you want.
I’ve developed a quick and easy quiz that will help you choose your marketing strategy.
With the choices of a marketing strategy in hand, you’re ready to learn about the different ways to promote your product and choose the one that’s best for you.
For each marketing strategy, you’ll find a list of tactics and a round-up of the best guides, articles or free downloads.
Paid Advertising Ideas to Promote Your Product
If you hate the idea of selling and don’t have the time or resources to create content, paid advertising is for you.
Don’t ignore this strategy just because you don’t want to spend money! Even when you are DIY marketing your business — you are spending money.
Think of the total cost of your time and effort. I’ve seen people ignore this strategy and then throw thousands of dollars a month away on coaching and courses that they never completed.
What counts as paid advertising? Well, I look at it this way. If you are paying for any kind of traffic or attention — that’s paid advertising.
You are basically paying a fee to shortcut the organic word-of-mouth system. Instead of investing your time and effort researching SEO, writing content, engaging on social media and/or paying a salesperson — you are taking all of that money and putting into advertising.
When you look at it that way, it just might be your highest ROI strategy. You free up your time and energy to service new clients and let your advertising do your sales and marketing work for you.
Here are some examples of paid advertising strategies.
- Pay per click
- Social media ads
- Influencer marketing
- Retargeting (Facebook, Google, Adroll or Retargeter)
- Affiliate programs
What type of content should you create to promote products?
The key to using content to promote your products is to create content for every stage of the buying cycle.
I really like this graphic from Lyfe Marketing that shows each stage of the buying cycle and what type of content to create.
- Blog articles
- Videos (Demo’s, how-to’s)
- Research reports
- Resource Guides
- How-To Videos
- Social Media Posts
How to Promote Your Product With Direct Marketing
If you’re getting the bulk of your business from face-to-face selling or referrals, this is direct marketing. It’s by far the most popular way main street businesses get new customers.
- Run a referral system
- Marketing Materials – Flyers, Catalogs,
- Direct mail
- Facebook groups
- Workshops and seminars
How to Ask an Influencer to Promote Your Product
There are influencers in every industry and segment of business.
In fact, the more niched your business, the easier it will be for you to find an influencer who will be happy to promote your product.
Here are some tips on how to find and ask an influencer to promote your product or service.
What are your marketing goals?
Think about what you want to accomplish with influencer marketing. Are you looking for web traffic, conversions or thought leadership. If your brand doesn’t have a lot of awareness, you want to find influencers who are thought leaders and experts who can introduce your brand to their audience.
What type of influencer will benefit your campaign?
When you’re looking for influencers, there are three attributes you want to consider; reach, relevance and resonance. Reach means that they have a lot of followers, relevance means that they are closely connected to your product or service and resonance means that they have a strong relationships with their audience and get a lot of engagement.
You don’t always need a celebrity influencer (someone who has lots of reach), usually, influencers with smaller, but more engaged audiences are a better choice.
Where to find influencers
Before you look for a tool to find influencers, do some organic research first.
Search Google for your keywords and phrases. Look for the top ranking blogs or articles written on that topic and create a list of authors who you can research on platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social platforms where you might want to promote your product or service.
Keep in mind that each influencer tends to be strong in one or two platforms and weak in others. So, you’ll want to find influencers who are strong in the platforms where your ideal customers are most active.
I’ve been using BuzzSumo for years to find influencers who can promote products, services and content. All you need to do is login, click on the “influencer” tab and type in a keyword phrase. BuzzSumo will show you the top influencers on that topic.
You’ll get a list of influencers along with their followers, average engagement levels and total engagement.
One word of caution. No database is perfect and complete. Do not just assume that these are the best influencers, take the time to research their articles and social media activity.
Once you’ve found your primary list of influencers, do some research on their domain authority. Domain authority is a representation of the overall quality of their website. Domain authority is a score from 0-100 and the higher the number the better the authority.
You can look up a website’s domain authority over at the Moz site — it’s completely free.
As a point of reference, Google’s domain authority is 95! So, when you’re looking for influencers, any domain authority over 40 is pretty good.
If you’re looking to promote your product or service on a budget, your best bet is to focus all your efforts on a single marketing strategy.
Hopefully, these ideas will help you get the most for your money.