Q. What are some unique and inexpensive ideas for getting more exposure for your first product?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to unemployment and underemployment and provides entrepreneurs with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of their business’s development and growth.
A. Go on Tour…a Blog Tour
While some bloggers would jump at the chance to test out and review your product, others are just inundated, and don’t have the time to try your product OR write up a review. Make their jobs easy. Pinpoint the top bloggers in your industry and offer to write up a guest post that would benefit their readers, or do a Q&A. Offer to do a giveaway as well.
A. Share a Trade Show Booth
Trade shows are still a great way to allow people to touch and feel your product, but they can seem cost-prohibitive. Reach out to the organizers and ask for last-minute space or a smaller one at a discount. If they have nothing available, approach a company with a complementary product and see if they might consider sharing a booth space.
A. Go Where the Competition Isn’t
To catch people’s attention, you simply must do something out of the ordinary. If you’ve written a book, try selling it in a coffee shop instead of a bookstore. If you’ve created a women’s fashion blog, try promoting it at a nail salon. People notice when things are out of place. And your product will stand out.
Michael Tolkin, Merchant Exchange
A. A Cold Call With Warmth
Step out of your element and call a few entrepreneurs that have a successful launched their product(s) and have a significant number of users that support them on Facebook and Twitter. Simply request if they could share (multiple times) their opinion of your product/service to their friends on the social network, and help encourage people to view your content and potentially continue sharing.
A. Give the Press What They Want
The press loves young entrepreneurs with great ideas, and earned media is definitely the best way to get more exposure for your first product. I stress the word “earned” though, because having a product definitely doesn’t guarantee you media attention. You have to put yourself in the publication’s shoes and tell a story that is engaging to their audience specifically.
A. Give a Guest Contributions
Build your personal and company brand by contributing guest posts to reputable publications online. The more authority and credibility you have in place for your first product, the easier it will be to get more exposure.
A. Start a Blog of Your Own
Setting yourself up as the go-to expert on a given topic takes some work, but a blog is a manageable way to get the job done. If you dedicate some time to blogging and promoting what you’ve written, you can get a steady stream of traffic to your product. You do need to remember to blog on something very relevant to your customers’ need for that product, though.
A. Create a Promotional Video
Videos that are educational, emotional and provide entertainment value are worth more than words alone. Posting a video on YouTube and leveraging your network to help spread your message will go a long way in getting exposure for your product. Keep in mind that people want to be entertained, not just sold to.
A. Have You Heard of Hacker News?
Use Hacker News to get exposure. The community loves seeing new, innovative products. In just a few hours, the site can easily drive thousands of visits to your product.
A. Start Social Media Exchanges
Start a social media “exchange” — ask your visitors to give you a Facebook ‘Like’ or a tweet in exchange for access to unique content or another item of value (without giving away the farm, of course). This is enticing to users, and it ensures you’re getting buy-in from people who actually want your products or services.
Nicolas Gremion, Paradise Publishers
A. Take to Twitter
Befriend people on Twitter. It’s incredible how many people will say something nice when they feel a connection with you. And if you don’t get exposure for this specific product, you’ll still have established contacts for the future.
A. Spotlight Your Clients
How are your customers using your product? WD40 has a fantastic blog where they feature their customer’s creative applications and uses. You should do the same and ask your customers to send in videos and photos. You’ll get great content, make your customers feel important and become inspired in the process.
A. Try Video Marketing
Video marketing is the least expensive way to get your product to market. Creating a compelling viral video can be done with a iPhone and can be posted to YouTube in a matter of minutes. By using your social networks to spread the word, you can instantly drive traffic and views. Also, currently you can buy traffic via Google AdWords for your video at a fraction of the cost of search.
A. Industry Publications
While a new product may not warrant a spot in a national daily, there is publication somewhere that targets your core customer base. And that publication wants to talk about you, for free, to the people who are most likely to become the first movers on your product!