Marketing your product for an online audience becomes infinitely easier if you take the time to develop a rock-solid marketing plan to fall back on; just in case you ever need it. If you just wing it, so to speak, you never know where you’ll end up – especially if the going begins to get tough. You could get lucky and find success with a seat-of-your-pants product marketing plan; but you’ll likely get much further if you take the time to hammer out a plan that takes into account all the roadblocks and obstacles you’re bound to encounter along the way. People need to be aware of your product if you want them to buy it; and product marketing is just the way to build awareness for your product in order to bring you one step closer to building your very own online sales empire.
Product Marketing 101 – Product Benefits And Sales Goals
The first step to marketing your product is to conduct a thorough examination of your product inside and out. Identify the specifics – the height, weight and width, if it’s a physical product, or the amount of pages or specific software requirements if it’s a virtual product.
Most of all, think about how your product will benefit those who will eventually come to buy it. Will it make them jump higher, swim faster, erase tooth pain or bring about clear skin? Remember these benefits and keep them handy, as you will be using them quite a bit when coming up with different methods for marketing your product.
During this time, you will also want to develop your sales goals. How many units do you hope to sell? How much revenue do you hope to earn overall? These figures are likely to change as time goes on, but you should have some idea of where you’re going if you hope to formulate a plan to get there.
Customer Identification And Analysis
This is the stage of product marketing where your ideal customers come into focus. Use online forums, social media channels and offline marketing surveys to identify your target market and their motivations. Most products solve a pressing problem, whether that problem is lost love, illness, unattractiveness or boredom. Why would your customers choose your product over the competition?
If you can pinpoint who you’re marketing to and why, you’ll be one step closer to creating the perfect plan for marketing your product.
Unless your product is completely unique, you might find yourself product marketing with one or more competitors in your midst. Don’t be afraid of the competition; use your competitors to learn from and to improve your product marketing efforts.
Study your competitors’ marketing efforts and the methods they use to satisfy and retain their base audience. Then think of ways you might be able to improve on those methods to make the process of marketing your product even more effective.
Marketing Your Product Online
Now you are ready to market your product online. If you plan on marketing a physical type of product, you will have to spend some time coming up with packaging and copy requirements to lure new customers to buy. If your product is a one of the virtual nature, the following advice will apply just as well; but you’ll have a much easier and faster time bringing your product to market.
Website And Ecommerce Marketing
The fist line of defense – and offense – is to keep a frequently updated website that includes all the information new customers will need to know in order to make a positive buying decision. Your website should maintain the color scheme and copywriting tone you’ve chosen for your product marketing strategy, and great care should be taken to ensure that your website easy to navigate and interesting to visit. This will ensure more frequent return visits, which is a great way to double or even triple your sales efforts.
Social Media Marketing
Marketing your product effectively means to use all means at your disposal; and that includes making good use of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Tumblr – these are great places to frequent if you want to get to know and possibly interact with your target audience.
The best lesson you could ever learn when it comes to marketing your product on social media is: Don’t be a pushy salesperson. In fact, you shouldn’t try to sell at all. People have been pushed and prodded by marketers online for, well, since the Internet hit the mainstream. If your potential customers see you as a salesperson, they might react with total aversion; or they may report you to social media moderators. In any case, they won’t buy from you; and that’s no way to meet your product marketing goals.
Instead of selling outright, try to identify people going through the very problem your product is supposed to help with. Then, offer advice, show you care and lend a helping hand, without pushing your product of course.
The idea is to attract your customers with knowledge and trustworthiness. When they see that you’re one of them and that you’re here to help, they’ll click on your social media profile page. This is where you should include your product marketing information, including a link to your website so that the potential customer can click-through to learn more.
Feedback, Testing And Tweaking
You should now have a great product marketing plan that will help you get from point A to B – from product launch to sales goal success; but marketing your product involves much more than just coming up with a marketing plan and following through with it.
To achieve product marketing success, you should be consistently surveying your audience to ensure that your marketing strategy is on point. An important question to ask on your survey might be – what don’t you like about our marketing efforts and why? You might find that your colors are too harsh or that your customers are dissuaded by your choice of wording. You may even find that you’re targeting the completely wrong demographic. Take these results and test various elements, such as headlines, images, videos and other content, in order to come up with a rock-solid product marketing strategy that will help you sell more product and ultimately achieve the success that you’re after.