By now, you’ve probably figured out that the market is a crowded place. Businesses need to do everything within their power to differentiate themselves from the competition, especially as they look to generate buzz for a product launch.
It’s easy to fall into the horse race mentality, and create the same type of content, design and marketing materials as your competition. But when everything’s the same, you haven’t given customers a reason to choose you.
Here are nine ways to promote your new product that you may not have thought of before:
Change your space
If you have a public space, such as an office or a storefront, why not let a visual artist turn it into a billboard for your product? It could be a great offline way to stand out and make yourself visible. Just see what Carnival Cruise Lines did with a standard fire escape.
Use your product in new ways
Your product may have one large problem that it solves, making people’s lives a little bit easier. But if there are other benefits or uses, showing people that versatility could be a major selling point. It might be time to hold some demonstrations, showing people all the different ways it can be used. Just think, Play-Doh was invented as a wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s, but didn’t become a household name until it was marketed as a modeling compound for arts and crafts projects in the 1950s.
Running a promotion that fosters human decency can be good for public relations. For example, Starbucks recently offered a free drink if you paid for someone else’s. And promotions that make your customers feel like they’re receiving a real bargain can help drive sales volume.
Promote at events
Do you want to reach a captive audience, but don’t have the budget for a television commercial? One website made it rain money in Seattle, showering fans at a Seattle Mariners game with $1 bills wrapped in paper with the website address. It was still cheaper than a TV ad and generated buzz for their business.
Use promotional products
Do you want to stand out at that next conference, trade show or corporate event? Instead of solely handing out marketing materials, give your audience something they’re bound to use again. For example, USB flash drives with your company’s catalog preloaded on it can be a great way to continue to spark interest. And go that extra mile, perhaps hiring an artist to turn branded shirts into more creative billboards with a fresh design.
Get them to your site with QR Codes
Quick response or QR codes can make for a great, interactive call to action. You can use them in brochures, billboards, artwork or any offline marketing materials to generate traffic to your website. Come up with the perfect tagline to generate curiosity, and then drive that traffic back to an online sales page that keeps their interest. Thanks to increased readability, you can even get creative with the codes themselves. Check out this example from the HBO series, True Blood.
Create how-to content
Instead of focusing on selling people, focus on giving them value. Help them to be better at what they do with your product or in the industry you serve. It’s the right thing to do, and it will help your business stand out in a crowded market. A bike store, for example, might get attention with a video about how to maintain your bike.
Participate in social groups, communities and chats
Businesses realize they need to be involved on social media in order to market and grow. Instead of working so hard to grow an audience from scratch, participate in already existing conversations. Facebook and LinkedIn have industry-related groups. Google Plus is home to many relevant communities and Twitter has some very interactive chats. These are the places where people are already talking about your industry. It’s time to make some connections and prove your worth.
Give it away
Giving people something free can be a great incentive for participation and engagement. The GasBuddy app relies entirely on user-updated information and a phone’s GPS to tell people where the cheapest gas prices are. They incentivize people to report the gas prices in the area by giving away free gas cards.
When you’re ready to engage in these or any other buzz-building activities, help them live on beyond the actual promotion. Bring a video recorder along, post the video on your site and promote it via blogs, texts and social media. That way people can appreciate it time and again from the confines of your website—and you can continue to generate new traffic and eyes on your product.