How to Successfully Market a Product
Thinking about making money online? Building your own ecommerce business can be incredibly rewarding. And, with modern solutions available to you, there’s really no need for you to get into the backend of traditional business ownership – warehousing, product manufacturing and the like.
However, as I discussed in my post on How to Start an Ecommerce Business, you need to focus on finding products that resonate with your audience. That implies getting them in front of potential buyers – marketing. How do you successfully market a product in today’s digital world? Actually, it’s not that difficult. In this post, we’ll look at some of the most effective marketing solutions available to you, and highlight how each works.
Understanding Digital Marketing
First, let’s build the right foundation here. You will likely not be using traditional marketing methods to sell your products online. You won’t be putting ads in the phone book, or designing billboards. You won’t be writing scripts for radio or TV spots, either. Instead, you’ll be focusing on digital marketing methods. These are performed online. Some of them involve your website, but many do not.
Due Diligence First
Another important part of a solid foundation here is making sure that you have done your due diligence. You cannot go into digital marketing blindly. That’s a sure way to blow your budget and wind up with nothing to show for it. So, what sort of due diligence should you do?
Know your audience. This should be something that you did when deciding what product(s) to sell in the first place. Know your ideal customer and their demographic information, as that will be vital for all of your digital marketing efforts.
Know how to reach your audience. Different audiences live in different areas of the web. For instance, Millennials are more likely to be reached through social networks, while Gen Xers are more easily reached through email marketing.
Know other names in the space. We’re not talking about manufacturers or retailers here, but influencers – thought leaders that consumers look to for information about a topic. Think Bob Vila in the home improvement space, or Kim Kardashian in the fashion world.
With that out of the way, we can start to discuss the various marketing methods available to you and how each can help you build success.
We'll start off with email marketing – one of the most effective ways of reaching (certain) audiences. With email marketing, you can get your message right to their inbox, where their attention is not distracted by what their friends are posting, or by anything else. However, understand that this isn’t as simple as it seems. In order to do it right, you need to get your recipients to give you their email address in the first place, a process called opting in. Sending unsolicited emails without your recipients’ permission makes you a spammer, and spammers suck. The good news is that you can easily create an opt-in form on your website and encourage your visitors to give you their name and email address in exchange for something of value – coupons, newsletters, product updates, etc. If you're not sure which platform to use I'd recommend trying Aweber, very simple, effective and they off a free trial to try them out.
Influencer marketing has become quite popular, and it can have profound results for your marketing efforts. In this scenario, you first need to create a retargeting ad featuring your product. Then, you need to create some kind of marketing material related to influencers in your niche. It could be something as simple as a “who’s who” of your niche. The point is to get that content out there and hope that influencers share it with their audience. By using links back to your website from the content, you’ll get free traffic. With your retargeting ad, that traffic will be monetized.
Social Media Marketing
One of the best ways to reach your audience with your product offering is through social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and numerous other platforms offer the ability to get the word out, both organically and through paid promotions. Both of those methods can work. However, make sure that you use social media correctly. The key thing is that you need to be social. If you’re only spamming promotional messages, you’re doing it wrong and your audience will leave you.
Guest blogging is a tried and true method of marketing a product online that involves creating blog posts and then having those blog posts featured on other sites that are related to your niche in some way without being competitors. A link in your bio at the bottom of the post leads traffic back to your site where they can purchase the product.
If you have a physical product for sale, then you need to be on Pinterest. You can write reams about Pinterest marketing, but suffice to say that if you create boards related to your product’s niche, and then add images of your product (with links back to the site, of course), you can create traction here as other users re-pin your image.
Contests Work Wonders
There is nothing quite so effective as a contest in creating interest and generating buzz. You can do almost anything in terms of the contest that you run. You might decide to do a product giveaway, or you could give the winner a discount on their purchase. The most important thing here is that you are able to offer something that your audience values, but that does not cost you a fortune. The contest should focus on the product, or on the product’s niche in some way, as well. Make sure that you have a list of rules that must be followed, and a way for your contestants to sign up (including giving you their email address and name).
Create YouTube Videos
If you are selling a physical product, there are few things that are more beneficial for your marketing efforts than creating videos for YouTube. You can do almost anything here and your audience will love it. One of the most popular things to do is to create how-to videos that show the product in action, or troubleshooting videos that help your buyers get the most out of the product, but the sky’s the limit, really. Even outright commercials can work very well when done right.
PPC ads can be very effective at driving highly targeted traffic where you want it to go. They’re like Facebook ads, but are displayed in Google search results. However, they can be very competitive, so make sure you do your keyword research and set the right budget. You also need to realize that PPC campaigns are really best suited for the initial stages of building your presence online and then for supplemental traffic generation. They are too costly to be used all the time in most cases.
Better Search Engine Optimization
One area that too many new ecommerce operations ignore is search engine optimization, or SEO. It’s the key to visibility for your website and for ensuring that your customers can find you on their own. Good search engine optimization is challenging, but it can be done, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either. Know the keywords that your audience uses to search for products similar to what you’re offering. Then, create content on your website that uses those keywords, as well as keyword variants. What sort of content? Well, almost anything, including:
General website copy (home, about us, etc.)
You’ll also want to focus on off-page optimization, as well as on-page optimization. Off-page SEO involves things that are not found on your website, such as links back from authority pages in your niche, links from your social media profiles and the like. If you want to stand out from the crowd with your websites SEO I'd recommended trying a service like SEOPressor - they're the smartest option if you're looking to increase your website traffic fast.
Tell a Story about Your Product
If you really want to build interest in your product, you need to tell its story. Every product has some sort of story behind it. It could be a rare material used in its construction. It could be the quest for a sustainable material to replace something that is environmentally damaging to source. It could be the human interest angle – how has the product helped people who use it?
Know your product’s story and then tell it in multiple media. Create YouTube videos, blog posts, and more, and then connect them with shared language, ideas, concepts, and the like. Build your product’s story brick by brick and you will eventually have something that compels your buyers to look deeper. Note that your story can be serious, humorous, a combination of both, or something completely different. The most important thing is that it is cohesive, relatable, and that your buyers can follow it back to your website where they can make a purchase.
Ultimately, there is no “secret” to marketing a product online. It requires knowing your options, making smart decisions, and then doing the work necessary to get the word out. It doesn’t have to be drudgery, though – if you want to learn how to earn a six-figure income with just one day of work each week, make sure to sign up for my new Six Figure Sunday program by clicking here.