5 Creative Ways to Market Your Product

Andreea Ayers on November 15, 2011

If you are a mom entrepreneur with a product-based business, you’ve probably tried social media marketing to get your brand in front of your customers.

While Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are great ways to connect with your current and potential customers, there are other ways to spread the word about your products and find new customers.

Here are five creative marketing ideas for you to try.

1. Run a sale with a daily deal site

You’ve probably heard about –or even shopped at – sites like Zulily.com, TheMiniSocial.com, Jasmere.com, PlumDistrict.com, DealPulp.com and Heartsy.me, but have you thought about selling your products there? Many of these sites have tens or hundreds of thousands of customers who are looking to discover and buy new products, so why not leverage their network and get your products in front of them?

While you have to provide a discount on your products (in addition to the site’s usual fees of 30%-50% of your sales), the exposure you’ll get is HUGE! Some sites will sell your actual products while others will sell a gift certificate or voucher for any product on your site.

There’s a lot of pros and cons of working with daily deal sites, but if your pricing is right (i.e., your retail price is at least 4 times your manufacturing costs), this can be a great way to bring in new customers and get your brand name out there.

2. Sell your products to a monthly gift-box site

Monthly subscription box sites like Citrus Lane, Bluum.com, BabbaBox, Eco Emi, BirchBox, Blissmo Box and The Tasting Box are popping up all over the place. They are a great way to connect with potential customers and have them sample your products.

These sites curate products on a monthly basis and their customers pay a monthly subscription fee to receive a box of surprise goodies. Some sites will pay for your products and some will ask for free samples, so it’s best to check about their policies.

They will also allow you to include marketing materials with your products, so if you decide to participate in these monthly gift boxes, be sure to include a coupon for your products so that your new customers can come back to your site and order more.

3. Gift Your Products to Celebrities

Ok, this is not a guaranteed return on your investment, but if you hit the jackpot and are lucky enough to have your products photographed on a celebrity, it can mean a new level of fame for your business. Obviously this works best if you have a product that a celebrity can wear or use in public, such as clothing, jewelry or baby accessories.

When you send your products to celebrities, your packaging matters. Wrap up your products nicely and professionally, include a hand written note to the celebrity and include a self-addressed stamped envelope with a Thank You card to make it easy for the celebrity to respond.

Here are a few tips on working with celebrities:

  • To find their contact info, sign up for Contact Any Celebrity.  You’ll be sending your package to the celebrity’s publicist, not their manager, agent or lawyers.
  • Call the publicist’s office to confirm that they will accept your package and call back a week after you send the package to verify that they received it.
  • Send your package via FedEx (this can add up if you are sending a few), but the likelihood of your package being opened is higher if it’s sent via FedEx.
  • Include your business card and offer the celebrity additional products if they are interested
  • If you offer personalized items a celebrity (or his/her kids) is more likely to wear it or use it
  • If you want them to return the Thank You note, mention this in your letter to them
  • If you do get a Thank You note back, contact all of the celebrity magazines and let them know that the celebrity loves your products

It’s not guaranteed that you will get a Thank You note back or that your product will appear in a celebrity magazine, but if this does happen, your company’s credibility and sales will be positively affected.

4. Pitch your products to a trade magazine

You probably want to get your products in national women’s magazines like Self, Shape, Glamour and The O Magazine, but trade publications should also be a part of your PR strategy.

Trade publications, although they do have a smaller circulation, are read by your retailers and other companies in the industry who are looking for trends.

Having your products published in one of these magazines can mean new wholesale accounts for your company and you’ll be viewed as an industry expert. In addition, these magazines are often distributed at trade shows, so you’ll reach an even larger market than just their subscribers.

Here are a few publications you should check out and pitch your products to:

  • Earnshaw’s – for baby and kids products
  • Stationery Trends – for paper goods and stationery
  • Museums and More –for products that would sell well at a museum store, such as home and garden, gifts, decorations
  • Gift Shop Magazine – for apparel, accessories, baby and kids items, gifts, jewelry
  • New Age Retailer – for jewelry, apparel and products that appeal to the spiritual and new age customer

There are a lot more trade magazines that you can search for on Google for your industry. Once you find the right ones, download their editorial calendars (often found in the Advertising section on their website) and see what stories they are working on. If your products would be a great fit, email the editor and pitch your products.

5. Do a product review and giveaway with bloggers

This is something you should be doing as an ongoing part of your marketing strategy. While this doesn’t necessarily translate into sales right away, it can mean  more Facebook fans, Twitter followers, email list subscribers and more links back to your site (which Google loves!).

When you do a giveaway or product review with a blogger, keep in mind that you’ll have to send at least one free product for review and one or more for the giveaway. Pick a blogger who has a good amount of traffic (I recommend at least 3,000 monthly unique visitors – you can check this number with the blogger before you submit your products). Also, read through previous blog posts to make sure that you like the blogger’s voice and style and it fits in with your brand.

Once you get a positive review, you can share it with your customers, with your retailers, post it on your site and on your blog and Twitter and Facebook pages.

I hope this gives you some fresh marketing ideas to get your brand name out there.

Have you tried any of these marketing strategies? What were your results?

{Top Photo Credit}

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Andreea Ayers

Andreea Ayers is a mom of three and a successful entrepreneur who has sold two businesses. She currently works with entrepreneurs to help them grow their business by getting their products into stores and in the media. You can learn more about her at LaunchGrowJoy.com.

Comments

17 Responses to “5 Creative Ways to Market Your Product”

  1. The concern with daily deals sites is that customers will then always expect to get heavy discounts from you or they aren’t going to make purchases. I’ve heard about it time and time again. Perhaps that would work better with a gift certificate. But honestly, if you know you can get something for 50% off, aren’t you probably going to wait for a while to see if you can score the same deal (or better) again? Turning bargain hunters into repeat buyers is a serious issue, even if you do get your name out there.

    Working with bloggers is a great way to get reviews, but again, you have to really stay on your a-game because there are a lot of people out there which are pretty much just professional online sweepstakers. They enter whatever interests them with no intention of ever buying the products. I’ve hosted giveaways and given products for giveaways, and on both sides of the game the return to the companies is minimal. But you may be able to boost followers a bit (although they will probably never comment) and can get some positive words for your products to share.

    I’m definitely interested in trying out the monthly gift boxes and you can rarely go wrong with trade magazines!

    Great post. Lots of informative links!!

    • Andreea says:

      Tiffany, I agree with your first two points. You should only do group buying sites if your pricing structure allows for it and if you have a follow up plan for the new customers that you gained. I did this with my t-shirt business and I was able to convert a lot of the ‘bargain shoppers’ into regular customers because I followed up (i.e., suggested my products as gifts for their friends and family).

  2. As a mom getting ready to produce a new baby product this is a great article & helpful thank you.

  3. Awesome ideas, Andreea! Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us. :)

  4. Cloyette says:

    I just discovered your site on facebook and love this post. I am the owner of a fashion jewelry/accessory website (www.twinelegance.com) and I am always looking for new ways to promote my business. Thank you for sharing this information and I look forward to receiving your email updates.

  5. Natty Chic says:

    Thank you so much for this article! I recently launched an online fashion accessories website http://www.NattyChic.com and have been searching for creative ways to market. I look forward to more posts!

  6. Hi I’m the UCHI line designer (Uptown Chic) at http://www.uchimama.net . I make luxuriously soft ponchos (perfect for expectant moms too), interchangeable viewing neckline covers and my 3 in 1 scarf/ viewing neckline nursing cover/ring sling carrier. Most of my fabrics are high end and rare, including Tussah silk. I appreciate reading this article, as I’m experiencing the frustration of being “unknown” on the internet. Lately I’ve been visiting stores (local) that advertise selling “locally made” products. Some don’t even bother replying after a few weeks or giving any feedback. It is so frustrating.

  7. Tangee says:

    Thanks Andrea!

    You always have the best articles! I wasn’t familiar with gift boxes, just submitted to the appropriate ones for my line!

    Tangee

  8. Coco says:

    You can also use social communities for fashion and style to promote your product. There are sites that focus on discovery of new fashion related products. You can build a following of people that like your products and promote on it. http://www.socialbliss.com is an example.

  9. I work with a group of senior ladies who crochet and handknit beautiful designs that I create. We use all natural/organic materials. I need to market our products and know how to sell to stores. We can currently produce about 200 pieces a month.

  10. axilleas says:

    Hi there,
    I started a gemstone jewelry site http://thebeadedgarden.com about 2 month. I promoted my site via social networks facebook, twitter, pinterest, digg, and others. I got some traffic but the real traffic I get from adwords and facebook ads, in the end beside traffic I got a huge bill with few sales. I would appreciate very much any suggestions .
    Thank you.

  11. Carmen says:

    Thank you so much for the informative ways to market your new business/products. I recently launched my second invention/product Strap N’ Guard Pin-Straps http://strapnguard.com/ –I must say you got some really good points here…I’ve already tried some you have listed here and always open to try some new ways to market. My new business launched in January 2012 reaching 45 States and three additional countries to date, and one thing I have learned is that word of mouth moves your product expeditiously. If your customers are happy and satisfied with not only your product but all your services they’re most likely to share your business/products info. with their friends, family and so forth. Another way I learned is if you have a product that entails fashion/accessories wear them in public and take the opportunity to pitch it once a gal or guy gives you a compliment–this has happened to me quite a few times while I’m out in town grocery shopping or dining —I usually take that opportunity and hand them my business card and offer them a discount on the spot! Works all the time :)

  12. nancy rick says:

    My product is suitable for small upscale boutiques. While it costs me $5 to $7 per item to make, I feel overwhelmed by asking $10 to $14 per item, wholesale, with the store having to ask probably $20 to $28 per item, retail. Whew! Don’t know if they’ll give me $10 an item! I think my product is worth it, but unsure re: the willingness of the boutique asking $20 and up per. How do I go about rectifying those feelings of doubt in my mind? And do stores most always expect to double their money, or do they sometimes ask less than double wholesale cost when figuring their retail asking price?
    Many thanks for anyone who knows more than I do about all of this, in getting back to me.

    • Nancy, I’m in the exact same boat! I’m currently working on my sales pitch for a line of children’s clothing, but I’m quite unsure about how to approach the pricing aspect with local shops. When using the 2.5 wholesale scale my 2-piece outfits come out to $33 each (yikes!). Therefore I cannot see a local shop selling these for $60+. I played with lowering my wholesale price but now I’m wondering if that will leave me without much of an earning. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions about this aspect? Many thanks in advance!

  13. Great info – but mostly… I now want to shop for gloves!

  14. Jane says:

    Hi, thanks for interesting article, but did you try keyword research for your website? You can get free traffic from Google if you find good niche keywords. There are even tools which help you find such “niches”, for example Metrics11

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