3 Ways to Get More Online Exposure for a New Product

Opinion: How do you increase visibility without blowing through your entire budget?

When launching a new product, one of the most important things you can invest in is exposure. Without exposure, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to drive enough traffic to your sales pages to make the launch worth your time and effort. But how do you increase visibility without blowing through your entire budget?

There’s a reason why people study public relations, advertising and marketing at leading colleges and universities around the world. Earning exposure isn’t easy to come by in an era of content saturation and information overload. But gaining visibility isn’t always directly related to the financial resources you have in the bank.

Here are some cost-effective tips that should allow you to enjoy some positive results.

Offer free samples in return for reviews

Reviews are like online currency. They can help you buy your way into the hearts of customers. But what happens when you find it difficult to acquire reviews, or when you really want a review to be published in a highly visible place?

Well, there’s one trick the experts keep up their sleeves, and it’s essentially a quid pro quo. It involves sending a free sample of your product to an individual in return for a review or write-up on the product.

This is actually a fairly common technique used in a variety of industries. It’s what happens when movie critics are invited to a private screening of a film weeks before it’s released. But it works just as well for physical products.

Mattress Clarity is the perfect example of this. The website specializes in providing visitors with expert information on mattresses, and most of the products are tested and reviewed after companies send Joe Auer samples to try.

The Wirecutter is another good example, although it reviews a wide variety of products.

If you can find a blog or website that reviews products in your niche, it may be worth reaching out to see if they accept free product samples in return for reviews.

Tap into social influencers

Are you familiar with social influencers? These are everyday folks who just happen to have large social media followings. They tend to be charismatic and are highly engaged with their followers. Social influencers also enjoy building mutually beneficial relationships with businesses and brands.

Spend some time identifying the social influencers that matter to your customers. These influencers may not have anything to do with your niche, but if they’re engaged with your target market, then they hold value for you.

Once you compile a short list of influencers you believe are worth reaching out to, start following, liking and commenting on their posts. Moderation is good (you don’t want to come across as creepy), but the goal is to get noticed. Then, after a few weeks, directly reach out and feel out any opportunities.

Some social influencers will actually let you pay for product placement in one of their posts. Depending on how many followers the influencer has and their overall level of experience with accepting product placements, this could be costly.

If you can’t afford their asking price, don’t fret. There’s still value in the relationship. You never know when you’ll need that individual (or they’ll need you). Eventually, you should be able to turn this meaningful relationship into meaningful exposure for your brand.

Build an email marketing list

It’s easy to get caught up in flashy platforms like Snapchat, Periscope and Instagram, but there’s still tremendous value in email. Reliable and familiar, email continues to generate a huge return on investment for businesses that take the time to build sustainable lists.

Email list building doesn’t sound sexy, but it’s the heart and soul of many brands’ outreach strategies. Once you build a list to a considerable size, you can use it to push out information on new product releases (among other things).

And the best part about an email list is that you own it and can use it how you please. You aren’t going through a third party and, as a result, you control more of the process.

But if you’re looking to increase visibility for your product and drive traffic to sales pages, list building is only one-half of the equation. You also have to understand the techniques involved in persuasive email copywriting. Fully engaging readers is the key to healthy exposure.

Visibility is everything

While the saying that “any press is good press” isn’t technically true, it does speak to the supreme importance of visibility. When launching a new product, sales often depend on your ability to get the word out. You may have a few connections, but you aren’t going to achieve large sales volume with personal networking. You need to maximize exposure through strategic action.

The tips in this article are an excellent place to start, but you’re only limited by your creativity.

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Image courtesy of midnightboheme/iStock.