Selling your product online can be tough. You may have the best product in the world but it doesn’t mean a thing if no one knows it exists!
On top of that, there are so many channels to market your product that it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you. In this guide, we’re going to focus on streamlined marketing techniques that work, but won’t cost you a fortune.
9 Strategies to Market a Product
Bonus Marketing Tip
You may think that the typical loyalty card (like coffee shop cards) wouldn’t work for online stores. In truth, it totally depends on how you design your program. Loyalty programs come in all shapes and sizes. They can suit a wide range of products and ideal customers.
Point-based loyalty is probably the easiest to track and is most popular for online sellers.
Blume is a great example of this. It is a skin and personal care brand for Gen Z women. As part of the Blumetopia community, you can earn points in a range of ways.
Simply following the brand on their social media will rack up points. You can also earn points by buying products and referring friends. The points are easy to trade for free products or merch.
What could make good points prizes for your customers?
Sure, Coca-Cola may have the means to run social media accounts on every existing platform, but most of us are on limited marketing budgets.
That means we need to be a little more targeted with our resources.
There’s definitely pressure to be everywhere, but the smarter thing is to focus on creating original content for two main platforms and simply repurpose it for the others.
If you’re stuck on which platforms to focus on, here’s a shorthand:
Whichever social media channels you choose, make sure your visuals are strong and striking.
Make sure you nail your product photography by either hiring a professional, or checking our guide on taking your own awesome product photos.
Any photos and videos should show your new product off in a way that hooks your audience’s interest.
Does your audience love social media? Influencer marketing is still a very strong option for your sales strategy.
You don’t even need a young audience for this to work. Although we associate influencer marketing with teen TikTok and YouTube stars, those aren’t your only options. Gifting your premium embroidered baby blankets to a major mommy blogger can result in a huge uptake in sales.
It doesn’t have to be a mega influencer for this to work. In fact, in some cases, the micro-influencers with a small but highly-engaged following are more valuable.
Approach outstanding content creators in your niche to give an honest review of your product. It can result in major online sales if they continue to shout about your brand!
Christmas. Easter. Mother’s Day. Thanksgiving. Does your product lend itself well to certain holidays throughout the year?
Jo Malone is a great example. Its luxury candles and scents are wonderful Christmas gifts. So the Jo Malone Christmas campaign always highlights the beautiful packaging and luxury feel. The company emphasizes how ready-made its products are for gifting to a special someone in your life.
Pandora is another example. As a jewelry company, it focuses most on Valentine’s day.
Your product may not work for gifting, but it could align with major events in the year. A tennis racket company could capitalize on the Wimbledon tournament, for example.
Think outside the box and you’ll surely find holidays and events you can latch onto for an awesome marketing campaign.
Social proof is one of the best ways to market your product. Actual customers with real-life experience can do all the talking for you.
But the question is, how do you get quality testimonials?
Of course, a great product will naturally accumulate a collection of glowing recommendations. But customers sometimes need a little reminder. There’s no harm in emailing previous customers to ask them directly for a short review on your website or Google page.
(Psst: Google reviews boost your rankings on Google overall. Encourage customers to use them if you can.)
You can even reward reviewers with a discount code for their next order!
Once you have genuine customer reviews to show, use them strategically to call in attention. It’s great to add reviews to your website and social media platforms periodically.
Photos of your customers using or wearing your product goes down really well. It adds authenticity and trust to your brand.
On that note, make sure you choose an eCommerce platform that allows customer reviews below your product description. The best place for customers to see your reviews is right before they click “add to cart”.
Experiential marketing is likely the biggest investment on this list. But there are ways of bringing costs down while still appealing to your customer base. The idea is to provide an experience or event for your customers. Usually, it’s an interactive way to introduce new customers to your product.
As an online business, the internet is your greatest helper. Virtual events and workshops are a wonderful way of reaching your customer base.
Boston restaurant and online dumpling seller, Mei Mei, does online cooking classes. They focus on Chinese staples like noodles and dumplings. Not only does this market their unique dumpling recipes, but it also becomes an extra income stream.
How can you involve your customers with your product? Maybe some Instagram Lives where you demo the product and answer burning questions? Maybe a free workshop on how to do something mundane that involves your product?
Virtual events like these are the ideal way of bringing experiential marketing to your online selling strategy with minimal fuss. All you need is internet connection, a webcam and time to rally your customer to take part in your live event.
Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is still incredibly effective if you do it correctly. What most companies get wrong is the format. They use email like a flyer you would send by snail mail. Flashy sales lingo stuffed with images of your latest products. That might work on a certain number of people, but your audience wants value!
Email is another space to connect. You can provide personalized valuable insights through email. This is the ideal place to give a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how your product is made. You can give industry insights and words of encouragement to your audience.
If you make your newsletter a shining light of value, it’s less likely to end up in the spam folder.
Providing content for other websites is a great way to put yourself in the spotlight. The key to a good guest post? Give pure practical guidance to your intended audience.
First, you need to choose the right publication that would appeal to your potential customers.
Then, when writing the guest post itself, be very careful about pushing your product too hard (aim for two mentions – max). Customers know when they are being sold to. If you mention your product too much, you’re essentially creating an advertorial. The blog or magazine can then ask you for sponsorship money – let’s avoid that!
Let’s say you’re selling natural cleaning products. You could write a guest post on a home care website about alternative cleaning ingredients to the usual harmful chemicals. Why are they harmful? What are the benefits of your type of product? You are the expert at this so you are the best to educate everyone else.
In short – aim to provide value, not push your product. By virtue of you delivering excellent, high-quality information to the publication’s audience, you’ll naturally attract interested customers.
Finally, who doesn’t love free stuff? Giveaways are a marketing staple. As business owners, we’ve always found ways to give samples and freebies to customers to get the word out. It’s only improved with social media.
The art of the Instagram giveaway is far less complicated than you may think. It’s a fantastic tool for brand awareness and customer loyalty. The mechanics are simple.
First, decide what you want to achieve with your giveaway. Is it engagement? More followers? Widespread awareness? Community building? Your intent will determine what format you take for your giveaway.
Next, decide if you’re doing a solo giveaway or teaming up with other similar brands in your field. It can help spread awareness of your brand if you create a bundle deal.
Venus Williams’ protein shake company, Happy Viking, teamed up with other wellness brands to create a giveaway bundle.
The cross-promotion boosts visibility for all brands involved. Plus your audience feels extra taken care of when you create an amazing free pack for a lucky winner.
For Happy Viking, the rules are:
This is a pretty standard format for giveaways as it ticks all boxes.
If you are intending to do a giveaway, make sure you are explicit about the terms and conditions. Is your giveaway open internationally? What exactly are you delivering? Can people enter more than once? Make it known so that your audience can enter the contest with confidence.
Marketing your product in new and innovative ways is only really worth it if you make more sales right? Often as business owners, we get wrapped up in vanity metrics. Vanity metrics are things that look good on the outside but don’t really push the needle.
Followers are great if you are an influencer. But are they converting into sales?
Website hits are a wonderful ego boost. But are your visitors buying from you?
Try not to get into the weeds of measuring likes and follows. Here’s what really matters when measuring marketing success:
I’ll be honest. Marketing products from your online store is going to take dedication and planning. But with these innovative, refined techniques, you can find your audience and turn them into loyal customers.
My parting advice is to focus on what works. Don’t waste time maintaining a Facebook page if it brings you no awareness, sales, or joy. Double down on the marketing efforts that truly work for your brand, and skip the rest!
Olivia De Santos is a freelance writer, wedding planner and entrepreneur from London, UK. She's a world traveller, wordsmith, film buff, mental health advocate and shea butter enthusiast.