How to promote your startup with Product Hunt?
Product Hunt for startups — what do you need to know? In this article, we’ll look at what Product Hunt is and how to promote your startup with Product Hunt.
When you launch your startup, it’s important to market it as best as you possibly can. This can help you promote your brand, find new customers, and, most importantly, generate revenue.
However, there’s another terrific way you can promote your startup and get traction… Product Hunt.
Don’t know much about Product Hunt? Don’t worry; we’ll talk you through how to promote your startup using it, and how to get the best results. Consider us your official guide to all things PH.
- What is a Product Hunt?
- How to promote your startup with Product Hunt
- More top tips for how to advertise your startup with Product Hunt
- In summary: use Product Hunt to give your business a real marketing boost
What is a Product Hunt?
Product Hunt is an online community where startups can submit their latest products, and users of the platform can vote for the products they like the most. The account that submits the product is known as the ‘hunter’ of the product.
Product Hunt was launched in 2013 by Ryan Hoover. It originally started as an email list but became so popular that it eventually became a website.
If you’ve ever used Reddit, Product Hunt is a very similar concept in that people can post, and others can upvote the comments they like, so they are pushed further up the page. You can even earn karma points for posting, sharing, and engaging!
All new products appear on the home page for a 24-hour cycle, with the product receiving the most votes being named ‘Product of the Day.’ There is also a daily email that promotes the top ten products.
Getting into the top ten products can give you lots of valuable publicity and is a great way to promote your software or app to a new target audience. There’s even a cool badge you can add to your website!
Product Hunt is free of charge to use, and startups worldwide can take advantage of it. This means it’s a great channel to add to your marketing mix when it comes to promoting your product.
How to promote your startup with Product Hunt?
The first step is to create a Product Hunt account. When you’ve done this, it’s time to add your product, ready for launch!
Here’s the information Product Hunt will ask you for. The more details you can provide, the more likely users are to vote for you.
- Product name
- URL — a link to your website or the product page
- Tagline — a brief description of your product — no more than 60 characters
- Description — more detailed product information — no more than 260 characters
- Thumbnail — an image that represents your product. An animated GIF can make your thumbnail really stand out
- Gallery images — additional images that showcase your product, like screenshots or technical drawings. You will need at least two
- Video — this is optional, but it can be a fantastic way to introduce people to your product. Plus, you can use it on your social media platforms too. Your video doesn’t have to be high-tech; a screen recording is absolutely fine
- Links — any other relevant URLs, for example, a link to download your mobile app from Google Play
- Topics — you can add some topic categories here. This makes it easier for people to find your product
- Pricing and promo — here you can say whether your product is free, paid or paid with a free trial
- Twitter handle. You can also offer a promo code to the Product Hunt community, which is great if you want to measure signups or downloads
- Makers — Product Hunt will ask if you are one of the makers of the product. You can also add any co-makers, as long as they have a Twitter account or Product Hunt account
- Press — Product Hunt will ask if you’re happy for them to share your contact information with the press. This can be a fantastic way to get some extra publicity
- First comment — you can add the first comment about your product to kick-start engagement. While this is optional, it’s valuable real estate you can use to tell visitors a little bit more about you or thank them for downloading your product. Don’t forget to upvote this comment so it appears at the top of the page!
- Launch schedule — you have the option to launch immediately, or alternatively, you can schedule your launch up to two weeks in advance. We’ll talk about the benefits of scheduling your launch later in this article
Want to know more about promoting your business? Product Hunt has a great guide that teaches you everything you need to know.
More top tips for how to advertise your startup with Product Hunt
You’ve got your startup lined up to launch on Product Hunt… what next?
Here are our top tips and hints for ensuring your launch on Product Hunt is a monumental success.
1. Become part of the community
By becoming a trusted and valued part of the Product Hunt community, users are more likely to pay attention to you when you launch. Create an account as far in advance as possible, upvote products you like, and get involved in discussions. Other users will soon start to notice you.
It’s a fantastic opportunity to network and connect with people who can help your startup in the future too!
2. Know your goal
Before you launch, it’s important to know what goal you want to achieve by promoting your startup with Product Hunt. For example, do you want to achieve a certain number of downloads or signups or an increase in web traffic? It may even be the case that your aim is to appear in the daily top ten.
Having a definitive goal in place means you have something to work towards.
3. Pick the right day and time to launch
There is a lot of debate online about the best time and day to launch your product.
Product Hunt advises that there isn’t an optimal day to launch. However, the company has found that larger businesses are more likely to launch on a weekday, while smaller startups are more likely to launch on the weekend. There are many different variables that can affect a launch and the company advises it’s best to promote your product when you’re 100% ready to do so.
In regards to the right time to promote your startup on Product Hunt, there is a more definitive answer — 12.01 PST. As Product Hunt runs on a 24-hour cycle, this means you get a full day of publicity and space on the home page. Make sure you launch as close to this time as possible for the best results.
4. Market your startup like crazy
The reason why many startups fail on Product Hunt is that they launch their product there but don’t do any other marketing. You need to promote your product launch in order to encourage upvotes, traffic, and downloads.
You can schedule your launch on Product Hunt up to two weeks in advance. This gives you plenty of time to whip up some publicity although of course, the longer you have to prepare, the better!
Some of the ways you can boost your Product Hunt launch with marketing include:
- Promoting the launch on your website
- Adding link to your email signature
- Raising awareness on social media
- Creating product explainer videos
- Emailing your mailing list to let them know about the launch
- Make your team aware and encourage them to spread the word
- Getting a press release out
It’s important to be subtle with your marketing — promote the unique selling points of your business rather than just asking people to upvote. And don’t pay people to vote for your product — if you’re found out, your product launch will be canceled.
5. Target the right upvotes
Not all upvotes on Product Hunt are created equal. Upvotes from contributors and makers, as well as older members of the community, are worth a lot more to your business.
This means that if you want to promote your startup with Product Hunt successfully, you need to be strategic. Encourage your team members and supporters to sign up at least two weeks before you launch so they have a bit more standing within the Product Hunt community. Bonus points if they engage with other users and start gaining karma.
Similarly, target your marketing at existing contributors and makers. These people have more followers and karma points, which means their votes have more impact. A good tip is to look at contributors that have engaged with your competitors. This means they are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
6. Be prepared on the day
When you launch your product on Product Hunt, you have 24 hours to make a good impression. It’s important to plan your launch for a day where you can dedicate time to making an impact — don’t decide to take a holiday!
You and your team need to:
- Respond to any comments or questions as quickly as possible
- Identify Product Hunt users that might be interested in your product
- Maintain other marketing channels (e.g. social media) that drive traffic to your Product Hunt launch page
It may feel like a long 24 hours, but the more time and resources you invest, the more likely you are to succeed.
7. Test the user experience on your website and app
As the link to access your product is front-and-center of your Product Hunt page, you want to make sure users can easily access your website or app. If they can’t, they may downvote your product.
Before you launch on Product Hunt, test the customer journey on your website. Does your website load quickly? Does it render well on mobile? Do all your links work? If you have an app, test it thoroughly and fix any bugs or glitches.
Don’t launch your product until you’re 100% satisfied with your user experience.
8. Review the feedback
Product Hunt isn’t just about upvotes; you can also use it to get valuable feedback about your product.
Take the time to see what users have to say about your product and use this data to help improve. That way, even if you don’t make Product of the Day, it’s not a wasted experience.
In summary: Use Product Hunt to give your business a real marketing boost
We hope this article has provided you with some valuable insight into how to promote your startup with Product Hunt. While you do need to do a little work behind the scenes, it’s a great, low-cost way to promote your startup to the right people. Why not sign up today, have a look around, and upvote some products?
Our final tip: don’t be disheartened if your launch doesn’t go the way you wanted. While every startup dreams of owning the Product of the Day, not all of them can be.
The good news is you can launch your product again, although Product Hunt recommends you wait six months unless you have a major update.