Your best product marketing tool is right in front of you
Those of us focused on growing consumer products are constantly looking for ways to spread the word to new audiences. One trend that seems to be increasing is the use of celebrity and influencer endorsements. Perhaps celebrities and influencers are now more accessible than they were in the past, and both celebrities and entrepreneurs alike have seen the success stories and want in. We’ve seen Jessica Alba’s Honest Co. grow into a $1B business, watched DJ Khaled drop wisdom bombs on Snapchat amassing 3 million or more views per video (with monetization surely coming next), and we see people like Kylie Jenner promoting a detox tea on Instagram that she probably doesn’t drink. While it might be tempting to try to emulate these strategies there is a far more sustainable method to get users for your product.
You are much more likely to find success and growth by turning to the actual users of your product. If that’s Kim Kardashian for you, awesome. But for most of us it’s not.
Think of celebrities as billboards for your product, and actual users as the soldiers of your brand. Most of us can’t afford billboards.
Here’s the key: Celebrities can help you increase downloads, but actual users will help you keep your users engaged and build brand loyalty. If you create influencer relationships with your best users then you can achieve both goals. Here’s the formula I use and recommend:
- Reach out to your top users, ask for their feedback, ask why they love your product, how they use it, and how often. So much of the marketing copy I use day-to-day comes from actual conversations with people.
- Give early access to new products and features. A little goes a long way. Use early access codes, and links to invite friends.
- Brag about your users. Authenticity is key in marketing and more people will relate to non-celebrity users. Feature these users on your blogs, social media, email, landing pages, homepage, etc.
At about.me, my team creates influencers out of our actual users to market the product everyday. We take real people who use the platform, with all sorts of following numbers and niches, and use their stories all across our marketing efforts. Whether it’s a social media post, a landing page, a blog interview, or an email feature — we make sure to show how real relatable people use the product.
Moral of the story: Convert actual users to influencers and use their stories to market your product.
Examples from about.me: