What is a product marketing strategy?
There’s no strict definition of what a product marketing strategy is, but to put it simply—it’s a plan that you create to understand how you’re going to reach your target audience and turn them into your customers. It can be a colorful visual or a simple list, and it should include these key elements: who you’re selling to, how you should promote the product, and what your goals are.
Define your target audience
Defining your ideal customer is the most crucial point in your product marketing strategy. Every business owner wants to sell their product to as many people as possible, but there’s no one-product-fits-all. This is why it’s so important to advertise your product to people who will be interested in buying it and talking about your brand.
The first step in defining your audience is creating a detailed description of your target customer. For example, if you’re selling athleisure wear, outline who you see wearing it in terms of their identity, age group, income, location, style, hobbies, and so on.
The second step is understanding what problems these people might face and how your product can help fix them. To gather this information, you can search for feedback on your competitors’ products, research general market reports, or interview people who might be interested in your products.
Analyze your competitors’ work
Another important research point is to analyze your competitors and write down what works for them and what doesn’t. Explore their websites and social media profiles and use them as a source of inspiration to make something of your own.
Just keep in mind that copying ideas is still a no-go, and you should always be cautious when looking for inspiration. For example, if Nike is a brand that inspires you, don’t just replicate their style and campaigns to make an identical look or product (it’s also illegal). Instead, use their work to get some ideas and see how you can use them for your brand.
Specify your products’ strengths
Think about what makes your product stand out from similar products in the market. Use your product’s strengths as the selling points in your promos to let the buyers know why they should choose your product instead of any other. For example, if your product is made of recycled materials, or has a unique feature that similar products in the market don’t have, highlight it in the product name, description, and advertisements.
Determining promotional channels
After you’ve researched the market, got some ideas from other brands, and defined your target audience, it’s time to determine where you’ll promote the product.
There are multiple promotional channels to market a product (and we’ll discuss some of the most popular ones later in this article) but you don’t have to use all of them to have a successful product marketing campaign.
The market research you’ve done before will help you understand which channels work best for your product and audience. For example, if your target audience is Gen Zers who spend a lot of time on TikTok, that’s where you should promote your product the most actively.
Setting the goals
We’ve reached the last stop before you’re ready to decide how to promote your product which is setting the goals.
Your goals don’t have to be too ambitious or unrealistic—quite the opposite, they have to be something you genuinely believe can be achieved. A good tip is to make your goals based on the SMART methodology that’ll help you be more determined to reach the goals.
The acronym SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound; parameters you should try to base your goals on.
Here are some examples of goals you can set for your marketing campaign:
- Reach X amount of sales during the Y holiday period
- Attract X new customers in the month of Y
- Have X orders placed during the Y campaign
- Gain X social media followers on Y platform Z days after a post
- Have X new homepage visitors in Y days
If you’ve just started out, your product marketing strategy doesn’t have to be overly complex and hard to fulfill—choose a few promotional channels you know you’ll keep up with and set attainable goals. As long as you have a plan on what to do and how to do it, you’re on a great start!
Now let’s continue our ride and learn how you can advertise your products.
How to market a product
Let’s be honest, when it comes to 21st-century marketing, there’s no better (and more cost-efficient) place to promote your products than on the internet.
Statistics show that almost 60% of the global population are active internet users, but the billion-dollar question is, how do you turn these users into your customers?
Let’s go through some of the channels where you can promote your products and I’ll share a few recommendations on what content works the best on each channel.
Your website is the home of all your products and represents your brand the most. There are multiple ways to promote your products on the website, so let’s go through some of them.
Increase product discoverability
You’ve probably seen your homepage a thousand times and know it by heart, which is why switching things up and asking for advice from others can be useful. Change your product placement, highlight the new or most popular products, and ask your friends or family to give an honest review of your page layout.
It’ll help you understand how your first-time visitors see the page and increase the discoverability of the products you want to promote. You can also create collections that’ll help your new page visitors find the products they’re more interested in. The collections can be permanent, such as your bestsellers or new products, or themed according to the season, for example, winter essentials.
It’s no secret that people have and always will love discounts, no matter the product or occasion. Use discounts to attract more customers, increase the number of returning customers, and promote products that could be doing a bit better.
First-time order discounts
I think it’s safe to say that many of us have been in a situation when we’ve found a new store, but hesitated to make the purchase because we haven’t had the trust in the products just yet. Here’s where a first-order discount can help you turn those first-time visitors into your new customers.
You can place a pop-up or banner on your website for unregistered users that offers a discount when they sign up or subscribe to your newsletter. These discounts are an excellent opportunity to encourage page visitors to try your products without paying the full price.
Offers for existing customers
It’s exciting to see new people discover your store and place their orders with that first-time discount, but don’t forget to reward your loyal customers with offers as well.
Give special discounts on your brand’s birthday or when you achieve significant milestones, for example, reaching 1,000 subscribers on Instagram. By giving discounts, people will be more likely to place bigger orders and discover more of your products.
Have an SEO-friendly content
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization, and its goal is to provide search engine users with the most relevant information possible. To make sure search engines recognize your products as relevant and show them to more people, you’ll have to pay extra thought to the keywords you use in your product name and description.
When creating a product name and description, try to be as specific as possible and name the features that make your product stand out. For example, a notebook seller on Etsy has used the keywords “birth month” and “birth flower” to indicate how the notebook can be personalized.
Social media marketing
Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools that has probably ever existed, and it’s beginner-friendly because it costs nothing to get started. Statistics show that more than half of the global population are active social media users, making social media platforms a perfect place to not only market your products but also attract like-minded people and build your audience.
Create content that represents your brand
There are multiple social media platforms and each will require slightly different content. The most popular ones currently are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, and most businesses use at least one of them to promote their products.
Collaborate with micro influencers and brand ambassadors
Have you ever wondered why influencer marketing is so popular even among the most elite brands such as BMW, Chanel, or Hilton? That’s because finding the right spokesperson for your brand is almost a foolproof way of driving your discoverability and sales.
Micro influencers are social media influencers with around 2,000 to 50,000 followers. Even though they have considerably small audiences, their followers are more loyal and usually have more trust in the influencer’s product suggestions compared to, say, what they might read in an online review.
Run ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram
If you’re willing to spend some more money on product promotion, you can market products using paid Facebook and Instagram adverts.
Despite what you may have heard, Facebook is still the most popular social media platform out there, which means that your target customer is likely already using it regularly. That’s why paid ads on the platform are a great way to raise your brand’s awareness and invite Facebook users to check out your products. The ads can be targeted directly to your ideal customer and the results of an ad campaign can be easily measured.
Even if it might seem that our email inboxes are flooded with promos that no one ever reads, email marketing remains at the top of all marketing channels. The reason for it still outwinning the social media platforms is that almost everyone uses their email daily, and the number is still growing each year.
Run email campaigns
Whether it’s the holiday season or a new product launch—use it as the theme for an email campaign and send it out to your subscribers! Marketing emails are a great way to promote holiday discounts, offers, or any sale you’re having on the website. Remember to add bold texts and visuals that invite the receiver to visit your website, like in this email:
Send out regular newsletters
Another way to promote products via email is by sending out regular newsletters to your email subscribers. Newsletters are usually less “sales” than regular email campaigns and focus more on giving updates, inspiring, or educating the readers.