Ready to launch a new product? You’ve already done the hard work, now all you have to do is put it out there, right?
Well, not exactly.
The truth is, knowing how to launch your product may be the hardest part of all.
Where you launch it and how you market it can be the difference between utter disappointment and raging success. Today we’re sharing 5 proven viral marketing techniques to 10x your product launch effectiveness.
We’ll skip the obvious tactics like focusing on content marketing and social media marketing. Instead, we’re going to focus on actionable viral marketing tactics that will help you reach your target market as fast as possible.
1. Exponentially scale brand awareness with viral referral campaigns
Long before the days of digital marketing, companies relied on good old fashioned word of mouth marketing as a way to get new customers to use their product.
If an existing customer liked a product, they would spread kind words about it, encouraging new customers to try it out.
Viral referral campaigns operate under that same basic premise. However, they go one step further by enticing the existing customer with an incentive to spread the word and bring new customers to the table.
DropBox, Uber, Lyft, and Robinhood are prime examples of these viral campaigns. Those companies grew exponentially by offering perks to users to refer friends to sign up.
- Uber offered a free ride to anyone who could get another rider to sign up.
- DropBox offered more free storage if you referred a friend to sign up for an account.
- Robinhood, well they went about it a whole different way.
Robinhood had a million users on board before they even launched.
First, they invited potential users to access its private beta. From there, users were granted access to a landing page where opting-in meant all you had to do was enter your email address.
Subsequently, that put people on a waiting list to gain access to the service. The more those people shared the invitation with other users, the higher they climbed on the waiting list.
If you have a useful product, people will want to use it. Give them a reason to share your product with their friends on social networks and they will.
To pre-launch your product with a referral program, Viral Loops has an effective tool that you can use (and it’s directly inspired by the Robinhood success story).
2. Develop an affiliate program for maximum revenue
If you’re willing to give up a percentage of each sale, you can get bloggers to promote your product to your target audience for you. Affiliate programs, such as Share a Sale and Impact, let you launch a program where bloggers can earn a small commission for every sale they help generate.
Affiliate marketing is an easy way to draw traffic to your site and get new customers to make a purchase.
But there’s one thing to consider before signing up: profitability.
Before venturing into affiliate marketing, calculate how much profit you’ll make with each sale. Make sure that the commission you offer is less than the profit you’ll earn from the sale. Otherwise, a sale could end up costing you money instead of making money for you.
3. Skyrocket visibility with a successful Product Hunt launch
When it comes time to launch your product, it’s best to promote it to everyone you know. Product Hunt makes that easy to do.
You can scrape the email addresses of your LinkedIn connections and email everyone you know to ask them to check out your new product on Product Hunt. You can also reach out to people who follow Product Hunt on Twitter and ask them to check out your Product Hunt Launch.
The snippet is taken from the email that we sent out during Junto’s Product Hunt launch.
Product Hunt was a huge success for Junto’s launch.
At the time, we were seeing ~4 website visitors per day. Our team was featured on Product Hunt on a Saturday morning in late 2016. That weekend, we saw 1,823 website visitors, 15 of whom requested a marketing consultation with us.
4. Poach dozens of your competitors’ customers (in under an hour)
One of the best ways to find new customers is to target customers that use similar services and figure out a way to poach them from the competition.
There are a few ways you can do this.
Start by visiting a competitor’s Twitter page and pull up their list of followers. In Chrome, you can use a tool such as Link Klipper to export a full list of those followers.
You can also use the process that we outlined in our Twitter Leapfrog Method to craft customized Tweets to select individuals. You can then offer those individuals exclusive deals to try out your product before anyone else.
5. Drive sales with external product reviews
External product reviews can drive sales exponentially, but it’s going to take some work to get those reviews.
One way to do this is to offer free products or payment to bloggers in your industry.
Look for bloggers that have a history of writing honest reviews in exchange for products like yours. To do this successfully, you first have to identify those bloggers.
Type the following into Google:
This search will pull up a massive list of websites that have written reviews about your competitors. However, you’ll need to sift through those results to find the most relevant ones.
Once you’ve identified the bloggers you want to connect with, send them a note asking if they would consider writing a review about your product.
What makes this approach so important is that many of the bloggers who try your product will end up linking back to your website in their review, which will help you to rank higher in search engines when your most likely customers search for you.
NOTE: If you agree to payment, free products, or compensation, make sure the bloggers link back to your site with a “nofollow” link as opposed to a “dofollow” link.
Google has strict standards on any form of payment that results in a dofollow link. A nofollow link will still help your site and will protect you from a potential Google penalty.
How you handle viral marketing campaigns can make all the difference. With these tips and tricks, you can improve your product launch by 10x or more.
Scale product visibility with viral referral campaigns the way Uber, DropBox, Robinhood, and Lyft have.
Develop an affiliate program so that bloggers can promote products for you.
Pre-launch your product on Product Hunt and promote it to everyone you know.
Find customers from your competitors by using a tool like Link Klipper to export a list of your competitors’ Twitter followers.
Last but not least, offer free products or payment to bloggers to provide you with external product reviews.
There’s no point in launching an amazing new product if you don’t know how to market it. But if you employ one or more of these viral marketing techniques, your product launch might be the next big success story.
Interested in hearing more digital marketing secrets? Join the Junto email list for monthly updates on our favorite proven tactics.
Guest author: Pat Ahern is a digital marketing expert who drives results through creativity and innovative thinking. He is a Partner @ Junto.