How to Promote a Product



Products don’t sell themselves, Fortunately, there are many ways to promote a product in your store.



Affiliate programs

If you’re struggling to make sales and you don’t have the cash to hire sales or marketing help, consider adding an affiliate program to your store. Affiliate marketing programs enable other people to promote your product for a commission. You’ll only have to pay them if they make a sale.


Affiliate programs typically work by creating a custom URL for each person promoting your products. They can share this link on social media, in a blog post reviewing your product, or even in a YouTube video where they’re showing it off. Through the custom links, you’ll be able to track who is driving sales for you so you can compensate them.


A little bit of education is usually helpful if you plan on introducing affiliates. Remember: they’re promoting your products for you, so in some sense they’re handling a marketing function of your business. If you don’t provide best practices, they’ll make up their own.



Email marketing

Email is one of the most consistently effective channels for acquiring new customers. And while channels like search can take a while to start generating organic traffic, email marketing can start working right away. That’s why you should be using email to promote your store.


There’s no need to spend all your time writing and sending emails. Make it easy on yourself by setting up a collection of automated email campaigns that are designed to increase your revenue.



Gift guides

What do you do when you’re struggling to find a good gift idea? If you’re like most people, you Google “holiday gift ideas for co-workers” or “unique birthday presents”. Then you scroll through the piles of gift guides that pop up in the search results.


Why not get your own product included in these gift guides? They exist for just about every industry, type of person, and holiday you can think of. Look for the lists that rank on the first few pages of Google and reach out to see if you can be included. They could drive a lot of traffic back to your store.


Remember, you need to provide a reason why you should be included. Mentioning your product and a repurposed product description on the list has to add value to the author or editor of the post, so be sure to highlight what makes your product a distinct or unique addition to their current list.



Pinterest

Pinterest is the place to be if you want to buy or sell products online. Not surprisingly, many people use Pinterest to build wish lists. This makes it a great place to promote products, especially well-designed products that photograph well.


What’s even better is that pins tend to stick around for a long time. It’s not uncommon for pins to get viewed for months after they’re posted. Optimize your pins by posting when more people are online, using the right keywords, and using captivating images. You can even run contests to extend your reach.



Facebook shop section

You can take your Facebook marketing a step further by adding a Facebook Shop Section to your Facebook page. This option makes it easier for people who discover your products on Facebook to buy them.


If you have a Appily store, add Facebook as a sales channel. You’ll be able to create your own Shop Section on your Facebook page where fans can learn about your products, look at pictures, and click the buy button to make a purchase.



Facebook Custom Audiences

Billions of people are on Facebook, and as an advertising platform, it offers very targeted options for running paid ads. Facebook Custom Audiences in particular, is a useful way to advertise a product.


With Facebook Custom Audiences, you can advertise to your website visitors or email subscribers. These ads tend to be very effective because you know more about who you’re targeting and can tailor your ad accordingly.



Land your business in the press

Getting publicity is a great way to reach new customers and help more people discover your product. It’s also notoriously difficult to do. Mainstream journalists are inundated with press releases and pitches for stories. Improve your odds by targeting bloggers instead.


Instead of sending bloggers press releases, reach out with a personal email and ask if you can send them a sample. You can target bloggers in your industry, product-focused websites, and even social media influencers.



Search engine optimization

Although it takes a while to get going, search offers one of the few opportunities to build predictable, compounding web traffic.


An effective search strategy involves a number of steps, from forming a keyword strategy, to conducting more granular keyword research, to optimizing your site architecture and performance, to building links back to your website. Like I said, it’s an uphill battle, but it’s one you can fight in the background as your store starts to gain traction.



Referral marketing

Referral marketing, also known as word of mouth marketing, is one of the oldest marketing methods around. Referral marketing is all about getting other people to talk about your product in a way that will drive awareness and sales.


These days you can use the web to drive even more referral marketing. Not only does it allow you to reach more people, the web makes it easier for other people to share your content and for you to track its impact.



Use Periscope

While Periscope is still a comparatively new social platform, it has definitely demonstrated marketing potential. Many businesses are already promoting themselves with this live-streaming tool. Although you’ll no longer be an early adopter, fewer companies do short, live video well versus, say, posting tweets or Facebook updates.


There are many ways you can use Periscope to promote a product. In particular, you can use Periscope to offer a demo of your product, answer questions through a Q&A, and even take your customers behind the scenes to show them what’s special about the way you do things.



Blogger outreach

One of the most difficult parts of starting a new business is promoting a product when you don’t have an audience. If you don’t have your own community built up, you either have to pay to drive traffic to your website, or tap into someone else’s audience until you have your own.


Blogger outreach is a great way to build prestige around your product and get it in front of interested shoppers. Ask authoritative bloggers to feature or review your product. If they have an engaged audience that trusts their opinion, it could drive a lot of traffic and sales.



Referral marketing

Referral marketing, also known as word of mouth marketing, is one of the oldest marketing methods around. Referral marketing is all about getting other people to talk about your product in a way that will drive awareness and sales.


These days you can use the web to drive even more referral marketing. Not only does it allow you to reach more people, the web makes it easier for other people to share your content and for you to track its impact.



Pop up shops

If your business is online, you don’t have to open a retail store to get the benefits of selling in person. You can run a pop-up shop instead. Chances are there’s an unused space in your city that would love to have you come in for a week or even just a weekend—and open shop.


Running a pop-up shop will help you create exclusivity around some of your products, get covered in local media, take advantage of seasonal shopping, unload old inventory and chat with your customers in person to learn more about them.



Blog posts

Blogging is a great way to promote your store. With the right approach, blogging can be an effective way to drive traffic and promote the lifestyle around your products. In fact, one study by HubSpot found that the more you blog, the more traffic your website gets.


Use your own blog to drive traffic and promote your products. When done effectively, blogging drives search engine traffic, attracts customers and captures the attention of the media and high profile bloggers who could write about you.



Reddit advertising

While most businesses don’t use Reddit ads, they can be quite effective. In fact, sometimes the least used advertising networks are the most profitable because the cost is lower, and there is more opportunity to stand out.


Try advertising on Reddit to promote your product. You can create a sponsored post in subreddits related to your business. Use it to talk about your product and offer a discount. The key is to make sure it blends in with the other posts in the subreddit.



YouTube

YouTube has become one of the world’s largest search engines for finding fresh content. What’s more, YouTube videos can also rank in traditional search engines like Google. This presents a huge traffic opportunity.


You don’t need to create a viral video to get results on YouTube. You can still promote your products with interesting or helpful videos. Many people may already be looking for your products or brand on YouTube. By creating a branded channel, with your own videos, you can control the narrative.



Instagram

Instagram has over 400 million active users and its visual focus is perfect for promoting products. Half of those users are on Instagram every day. Any brand would do well to share their products on this network.


There are several ways to use Instagram to promote your store. You can share captivating images of your products, share a stop motion video of one of your products in action, run a contest, or reach out to influential Instagram accounts and ask them to share your product.



Run a contest

Contests are an easy and affordable way to get your brand in front of a lot of people. By giving away your product, you can make sure your contest gets in front of the right kind of people: potential customers.


Make sure the platform, the timing, the messaging, and the steps people have to take to enter your contest are well thought out.





Next Steps:

Whether you’re trying to make your first sale or you’ve been open for business for a while, it’s always good to find more ways to promote your products.





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