As an online retailer, cracking a sale is as symbolic as it is necessary. However, at some point or the other, we have all heard that if a product is good enough, it should be able to sell by itself – no effort needed. Well, really? Haven’t we also heard of marketing geniuses creating some of the best products we know? So what’s the truth here? The truth is that to enable a product to sell by itself, the one thing you absolutely need to do is embed marketing into its very essence. Build marketing into the product and see it transform into a self-running sales machinery. But how do you do that? Here are 5 tips to get you started.
#1 Get the word out before the product: Whether it’s an app, a service, or a product – before you do the actual launch, pitch it to your network, social media channels, online forums, friends, family, and basically whoever you can. Gauge people’s reactions – are they happy/interested when you tell them what your product does or do they draw a blank. Do you have a hard time explaining the value of your product? Based on these reactions, go back and iterate on your product till you get a positive response from public. This will save you a lot of time and hassle post launch and if say your product is able to pique people’s attention in the pre-launch pitching phase, you would have already built a healthy customer pipeline by the time it’s out in the market.
#2 Approach online influencers: With 84% of global consumers reporting they trust reviews and recommendations made by experts in the field – influencers could be your best bet in getting close to your audience. Influencers could be anybody – bloggers, journalists, entrepreneurs, or vloggers (video bloggers) and they can do wonders to improve your social media visibility. Try sending a free sample of your product to these people and who knows if they like it, you might get a mention in one of their posts. That will not only get you some good online traction but people will start looking at you with approving eyes even before they have tried your product.
#3 Excel at that one thing you call your USP: Some of the best products we know do one thing really well – they define their Unique Selling Proposition (USP) right at the start. Having a differentiator – something your product does really well from competition, is important in order to stand out in today’s crowded marketplace. Instead of trying to load your product with a million features just because everyone has it, try putting features that actually matter to users and make them really intuitive, easy to use, and quick. Don’t forget to broadcast your advantage clearly through ad campaigns and you will have the public and critics alike lauding your product for sheer simplicity.
#4 Manage customer expectations honestly – no ‘hidden truths’ please: Unsure of how to make a marketing plan without a few gimmicks here and there? Paul. W. Farris, in his book Marketing Metrics says,
“When customers have high expectations and the reality fall short, they will be disappointed and will likely rate their experience as less than satisfying.”
If you are advertising a free-trial for your product which is actually a limited time trial and customers will have to pay to be able to use it fully, you are running a danger of being blacklisted in their minds right at the start. Be honest, bold, and don’t shy away from asking for a fee.
#5 Incentivize buyers: Free samples, contest giveaways, buy-one-get-one offers, and in-store demonstrations are proven techniques for risk-free experimentation. Statistics show incentivising buyers will relevant, well-designed incentive programs can increase sales performance by 44%. If you have a local/home-grown product or service, organize informal get-togethers where people can sample/try it and remember, the simpler it is to try the product, the more takers you’ll get.
Viral expansion could get your cash registers ringing sooner than you expect!
Producing share-worthy products that delight the users is a sure-fire way to getting your product to sell itself online. Word-of-mouth, the oldest form of marketing still reigns supreme, even in this age of online marketing where it has taken on the form of reviews and recommendations. Get the right social media visibility, make the right connections, attract the right audience and then? Sit back, relax, and see your every marketing dollar reap exponential returns.