You did it. You put all your time and energy into designing and manufacturing a new product for your ecommerce store. You’re finally ready to add it to your website and start selling it to customers. The question is, how will your customers know you have a new product?
Getting initial traction on a new product is a challenge. Unless you have a connection with a big celebrity who tweets about your product and sends your new product flying off the shelves, you’re going to have to test out a variety of digital marketing and sales tactics.
If you want to get customers and other people in your target audience excited about your new product, invest in building awareness about your product. A strategic plan will help increase the likelihood of your new product’s success.
It takes time, money, and experimentation to build trust and drive actual sales of your new products. Here are 13 product awareness tactics worth trying the next time you’re ready to launch a new product on your ecommerce store.
1. Send an email to your VIP customers
Before launching any new product, send an email out to your most loyal and active customers. These are your biggest fans — the people who come back to you over and over again to buy your products. The purpose of this email is to get your brand advocates (the people who are most likely to trust you and buy from you) to order your new product before anyone else.
To drive sales using this tactic, write an email that makes this select group of people feel special. Help them understand that the first batch of inventory for this new product is extremely limited and that you need their help testing it out before you can release it publicly to everyone else on your website. You could also offer a big discount or promotional code in the email as an additional incentive to get this group of people to buy.
Another option is to give your customers early or exclusive access to your new products. For example, the sock brand Bombas offered its email list exclusive access to a brand new performance sock. Not only does this generate excitement, but it also presents the customer with an opportunity to feel special — not to mention a sense of urgency to take advantage of this offer before it becomes available to the public.
2. Plan a photoshoot day
Successful product launches today are all about captivating visuals that increase brand awareness. With visuals, potential customers can get a crystal-clear idea of what it is that you’re selling — what it looks like, what it might feel like, how it functions, etc. Well before you launch your product, capture and edit the visual content of your products that reflects your brand image. That way, not only will you increase product awareness, but you’ll also increase brand recognition.
To cover all your bases, consider which style of photos, videos, gifs, and interactive media will attract your target market. Select authentic and transparent visuals for your product page that will increase trust and customer loyalty. Plan ahead for the rest of your marketing efforts and capture imagery that will work across social media channels, in advertising, and in other brand awareness campaigns.
Need help creating great product visuals? Check out this helpful product photography guide.
3. Leverage influencer marketing
To be competitive in the ecommerce space, hire and work with influencers who can help you tap into relevant new audiences. Influencer marketing will also help you develop and build an online community. Through influencers, your new product will gain exposure while you increase overall brand visibility.
One reason influencers are a valuable resource is that you can gain immediate credibility and trust in communities that you might not have much influence in yet. This can be extremely useful if you’re launching a new product and don’t yet have raving fans or loyal brand advocates who can help ensure a successful launch.
To see this tactic in action, check out what Beardbrand is doing on its blog. Through guest postings and videos of bearded influencers using its products, it educates others on how to grow, manage, and style a beard. This provides value to the customer and boosts credibility and product awareness for the brand.
4. Tell the origin story
Origin storytelling is another effective brand awareness strategy for building a supportive community eager to purchase your new products. Storytelling is a great way to connect with customers on a more human level, and it’s a great way to differentiate your product from competitors. A customer may be more interested in purchasing your new product if they feel a connection to your story.
The origin story of your new product can permeate throughout your brand messaging. This will help people understand why you decided to design and make this new product in the first place. It will also convey what it means to you and how it can serve to improve your community. Stories show how much thought you’ve put into your work and can help people get as excited as you are about your new product.
Stories that people can relate to can turn a small business into a brand name. This is the case with the now popular multivitamin brand Ritual. Ritual shares its origin story by highlighting a relatable experience many women have when they get pregnant: only using products with healthy, safe ingredients. The CEO and Founder, Katerina Schneider, shares this common experience in podcasts and the Ritual website to drive product awareness and trust.
5. Run a contest or giveaway
You can also build a lot of buzz around your new product by launching a contest or a giveaway for your followers to participate in. Tools like Gleam and Rafflecopter make it incredibly easy to build and launch viral contests and giveaways that can be embedded into your own website.
In your product awareness strategy, incorporate social media posts that promote your contest or giveaway. Since social media platforms tend to prioritize content that is trending, generate content ideas that reflect current trends.
For example, Zenith Bookstore has done an excellent job of promoting its giveaways on social media. By using TikTok, a popular platform for its target audience (TikTok has a niche community called “BookTok”), Zenith increases its chances of having a successful giveaway for its new books.
If you’re not a brand name yet, consider running a contest where you give away a certain number of your new products to a few lucky winners. When contestants provide their contact information, such as an email address, add it to your email list. They might not be the lucky winners, but they’re clearly interested in your product. Take advantage of these leads and follow up with them about purchasing your product.
6. Develop mutual partnerships
Another great way to increase awareness of your brand and new products is to collaborate with partners that align with your products and business. Similar to influencers, partnerships help you reach potential customers that you might not have had access to on your own. However, in a partnership, you also build awareness about your partner and their work.
There are a number of ways you can collaborate with partners when it comes to product launches. For example, you could co-host an event and invite both of your audiences. Or you could send co-branded email marketing campaigns to both of your lists.
Another great option is to produce bundled collaboration product packages that generate profits and product awareness for both brands. For example, in 2019, Nike and Sharpie collaborated on a sneaker that could be drawn on with Sharpie pens. When a customer purchased a new Nike shoe, it included custom black and blue Sharpies for drawing on the shoes.
The key to your success is all about finding the right partner. Find a company that sells products that complement your own, with similar audiences that support the same cause, mission or movement as you.
7. Throw a live virtual launch party
Another way ecommerce retailers are connecting to more people is by hosting virtual launch parties using tools like Facebook Live. As social networks become noisier and more competitive, brands and retailers are using video and live video, specifically, as a way to stand out.
To raise awareness about your new product, host a virtual launch party at your headquarters. Invite local customers, vendors, partners, community members and your team members — designers, engineers, customer service reps, etc. Have your team introduce and talk about your new product, and make it fun! Ask audience members both in person and on Facebook Live to chime in with questions. Offer exclusive promo codes to attendees and run an exclusive giveaway during your Facebook Live launch party.
Some of the most globally famous live virtual events are the keynote speeches at Apple events. There is always a ton of hype and excitement before these launches, as they usually announce new features that increase customer satisfaction and excitement to purchase.
Pro tip: Make sure you are overly prepared for your live event. Otherwise, you might end up like Tesla did with its famous Tesla Cybertruck fail.
8. Generate a sense of exclusivity
To generate a sense of exclusivity, provide your customers with insider access to updates and timely notifications. For example, Nike has an app for customers to shop with. When new products are available, it can use the app to send exclusive reminders and announcements. This drives immediate sales and excitement about its new or soon-to-be-released products.
Use a similar exclusive communication system to sell your new products with a limited-time offer, such as a pre-order discount or promo code. Once your product is out, try limiting the inventory quantity in an effort to drive more interest and immediate action from your list.
9. Create a bundled product offer
If you’re worried that your customers might be hesitant about a new product, consider bundling it with one of your most popular products. Offer to reduce the cost of your most purchased items if customers agree to bulk order it with your newest product. This attractive offer helps speed up the customer’s decision-making while you get your new product into the hands of people who already love your other products and company.
Koh, a cleaning supplies company, offers its shoppers start kit bundles. Its kits are at a discounted price and can include new products it wants to get into the hands of customers.
Promote your bundled product offer in Facebook ads, email campaigns, and throughout your website. Use urgency by limiting the time people have to order or the number of bundled packages available for purchase.
10. Promote educational content
To boost product awareness, create content that teaches customers how to use your product to solve the problems or pain points they have. Promotional blog posts are too salesy and will not drive sales for you. Instead, become a value provider and a brand that’s willing to freely educate customers on various topics they are interested in. Educational content allows you to become more involved and active in the community that you’re ultimately trying to serve.
For example, since OXO creates household and kitchen products, its blog content includes recipes, camping kitchen guides, ice tea hacks, and more. Each of its posts educates its audience and adds value to the brand and the products it sells.
Need help creating a content marketing strategy for your ecommerce business? Take a look at this article from our blog.
11. Get photos and feedback from customers
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways to convince new customers to buy from you. As soon as you launch a new product in your store, your main priority should be to get it into the hands of people who can and will share their feedback with you.
Word-of-mouth marketing leverages social proof and unbiased opinions from others to help new potential customers make a decision about your product. Reach out to happy customers to get photos and testimonials about your new product. Share that feedback with your social media followers and on your product pages.
Lulus, a women’s dress company, asks its customers to review its products and include photos of them wearing dresses. Lulus then highlights these “fan photos” on the product listing web pages. Moreover, it requests that the customer provide their height and weight to give potential customers a better idea of how it will fit them. This provides its audience with social proof as well as further insight into the likelihood the dress will fit their body type.
12. Lead a movement
Another great way to build brand awareness and awareness for your products is by leading or supporting a movement that you know your customers care about. For example, Chaco and YETI are both brands that promote living an adventure-filled yet environmentally conscious life. They build and sell products to support that lifestyle, and they celebrate people and stories that they know their demographic can relate to.
On social media, both Chaco and YETI promote hashtags that build community and support around their movement. Chaco uses the hashtag #FitforAdventure, while YETI uses the hashtag #BuiltForTheWild. YETI’s goal is to “keep the wild, wild” by focusing on its environmental impact. And Chaco runs a sustainability program that repairs old sandals so customers can wear them again on their future adventures.
If you’re not sure which movement will resonate with your customers, start by evaluating your brand identity. What do you stand for? Why are you selling these products to these people? Why does it matter, and what are you trying to help them achieve? Once you know the answers to those questions, you can start to shape or lead a movement that people will support (such as adventure, sustainability, peacefulness, happiness, health, etc.).
13. Make it a professional team effort
Successful new product launches are rarely a one-person job. Get help from professional designers, marketers, and developers to increase the likelihood of new product sales. In ecommerce, design and function are crucial. It has to be easy for customers to access and use your website from any device, your product pages need to look good, and people need to be able to differentiate your brand from other brands selling similar products.
Work with professional marketers that understand brand building and can market your new product in a way that reflects your brand voice. Hire developers who can create effective and user-friendly online shopping experiences. Look for professional designers who can provide strong brand awareness content that will boost your new product.
For example, it’s no surprise that Coca-Cola puts in a lot of effort to promote and market its new products. Its Instagram feed is full of artistic content that takes a professional team effort to pull off.
If you’re not sure who to hire, ask your potential hires to share brand awareness examples they’ve developed in the past. Look for content styles or a user experience that your audience will appreciate and that aligns with your brand.
Track your product awareness performance
In order to know what tactics are working, track key ecommerce metrics and overall sales performance. After each campaign or marketing approach, measure brand awareness levels and determine if they translate into new product awareness and, ultimately, sales.
There is no one way to boost new product awareness. You may find that just one, two, or a combination of all 13 tactics listed here will be the most effective strategy for your brand. The key is to continue experimenting with methods that improve your SEO and keep your brand top of mind for your customers. That way, when your product launches, your customers will be primed and ready to purchase.
Related: Also check out our guide and discover some of the best selling products for your ecommerce store’s success.