You’ve got a product that you’re proud to launch. But how do you get that product in front of your target market? Then, how do you sell it?
Creating a product is one thing.
Selling it is quite another.
You’ve probably done market research, you’ve listened to honest feedback, you’ve created prototypes, and now you’re ready for launch.
You’re ready to press the big red button.
But… how can you make sure that your launch is a big success?
Whether you’re launching your first product or your next product, this guide will help you understand how to market and sell any product online.
TL;DR Overview: How To Market (And Sell) Any Product Online
Short on time?
Here’s our cliff notes version of this article (with links to each section).
- What is Product Marketing? Successful product marketing requires that three different things be aligned. Your audience, your product, and your message must all work together in unison. The product must appeal to, and your message must resonate with, your specific audience. Go to this section to learn more about aligning those three elements.
- Part 1. Promoting The Product— Where you promote your product should depend primarily on where your target market already hangs out. The typical options are Facebook Ads, YouTube Ads, and influencer marketing. You’ll also want to email your entire list of leads (which, by the way, you should start collecting far before the launch of your product). Go to this section to learn more about each specific promotional strategy.
- Part 2. Selling The Product— There’s a big difference between promoting your products and actually selling your products. A sales funnel is easily the most powerful strategy for making sales online (regardless of what you’re selling or who you’re selling it to). Go to this section to learn more about the sales funnel.
- Part 3. Long-Term Marketing & Sales— You don’t just want your products to sell on launch day… but well into the future. SEO, consistently changing your ad creative and targeting, iterating your product, starting an affiliate program, and testing your sales funnel are all great ways to build long-term momentum for your business. Go here to learn more about marketing and selling your products well in the future.
- Pro-Tip: Storytelling is Your Greatest Marketing Tool— This is the biggest trick people use to market and sell their products online: storytelling. Go here to learn more about how to tell compelling brand stories (with examples).
What is Product Marketing?
Product marketing is the process of promoting or launching a product to a specific market. This involves creating demand for the product, marketing the product, analyzing competitors, and ultimately, selling the product.
But, of course, there wouldn’t be a need for articles like this one if product marketing was as easy as it sounds.
The fact is, launching a new product comes with a multitude of challenges.
You’ve got to know who your target market is, how to find them, what to say to them, and how to close the sale.
Those three things have got to be aligned if your product launch is going to be a success.
1. The Audience
Who are you going to sell your product to?
Ideally, you should know your target market better than they know themselves.
Test yourself: can you answer the following questions about your target market?
- How old are they?
- How much money do they make per year?
- What is the biggest thing that they stress over?
- What do they get excited about?
- Who do they follow on Facebook or Instagram?
- What magazines do they read?
You get the point…
The better that you know your target market, the easier it’s going to be to sell to them.
This means that your marketing efforts will only be effective if you know who your target market is and where to find them.
When Russell Brunson published his book, Expert Secrets, for example, he knew that many people who follow Tony Robbins are entrepreneurs and business people — the exact types of people who would buy his book.
The better you know who you’re selling to, the easier it’ll be to sell.
2. The Product
When most people want to create a product, they ask themselves a generic question like, “What would be a cool product to create?”
But at ClickFunnels, we believe in starting with a different question.
“Who do you want to serve and how do you want to serve them?”
Once you know who your audience is and how you want to serve them, creating a product to fit their needs is easy.
- I want to serve people who are struggling with their weight, so I could create…
- A weight-loss course.
- A diet program.
- An exercise machine.
The product you create should match the audience you want to serve.
3. The Message
You know who your target market is and you’ve created a product just for them.
Now you have to craft the message.
In some ways, this is the most difficult part of the process… because you have to connect the dots between what your target market wants or needs and what your product offers.
You have to create a bridge.
And if you don’t build a strong bridge, then your audience is going to fall through the cracks before they finish their purchase. That’s what happens when people look at a product and say… “I just don’t get it.”
Let me show you what I mean.
If you look at this page from Robinhood, you probably “get it”.
They are offering you lower commissions on your investments.
That’s a simple but effective pitch for most people. What’s not to like?
Now let me show you another product.
Does looking at that image leave you feeling confused? Yeah, us too.
Google Glass did terribly.
And the main reason was that when consumers looked at the product, most people said, “I don’t really get it? Why do I need this? How does this help me?”
That is the last thing that you want your target market to say about your product.
It’s important that you know why your product is valuable to your audience and how to communicate that effectively.
The best way to test your messaging before launch day is to call up some people who should be interested in your product and ask them what they think of your advertisements, your landing page, and even your product itself.
You’re looking for responses like, “Oh. Now that’s interesting,” or “Oh man. This would be so great to have!”
The best way to craft a compelling message is to tell a story. We’ll talk more about this in a bit.
The first part of a successful product marketing strategy is to promote your product… ideally before it even launches.
This is called the pre-launch.
The pre-launch is an important period of time before you launch your product — between a few weeks and a few months — where you promote your product, collect email addresses from people who are interested, and maybe even make sales.
The video game industry has this down to a science, for example.
Leading up to a game’s launch, most companies will release trailers, publication stories, and interviews consistently over multiple months. All the while, they’ll collect contact information and encourage people to “pre-order” the game… which either means putting down a deposit or buying it in full before it launches.
This is a great strategy for making your actual product launch a success.
It builds excitement around your upcoming product and it ensures that, on launch day, you have people lined up and waiting to buy.
You can use this same strategy to gauge interest in your product.
By announcing that your product is “in construction” and allowing people to sign up for a waiting list, you can determine how many people are interested in your product.
Then, of course, on launch day, you’ll want to get your product in front of as many people as possible.
But there’s still one big question we have to answer.
Whether it’s during the pre-launch… or for your waiting list… or on launch day… how are you going to drive traffic? Where are you going to find your target market?
That is, how are you going to actually promote your product to the masses?
Here are the main platforms and strategies you’ll want to take advantage of.
Email marketing is really powerful.
On launch day, you should definitely send an announcement to your entire email list.
And the bigger your email list is, the more purchases you’re going to get from that announcement.
That’s why building your email list before launch day is a really important part of the process.
In fact, you can use our squeeze page funnel to quickly and easily generate leads.
2. Facebook Ads
Whether you’re trying to get waiting list sign-ups, pre-orders, or actual purchases on launch day, Facebook is going to be one of the easiest places to run ads.
Knowing your target market well is going to be critical for running successful Facebook ad campaigns.
It will help you create targeting that fits your ideal audience and it will help you speak directly to them in the ad creative.
Either way, we highly recommend at least giving Facebook ads a shot.
And if you don’t know what to do for your targeting, just target people who “like” or follow an influencer that attracts your target market.
Oh — and get in the habit of consistently creating new ads… old ads get worn out with time. Even a great ad will only work for so long.
3. YouTube Ads
YouTube is another great place to advertise during each phase of your product launch.
But it’s most powerful for launch day.
As for targeting on YouTube, simply identify an influencer who already speaks to your target market, and then opt to put your ads in front of their videos.
It’s a quick and easy way to get in front of your target market.
4. Influencer Marketing
If you really want to give your product launch some oomph, then we recommend working with influencers.
This is probably the most powerful way to market any product.
You’re basically hijacking an influencer’s authority and using it to sell your own products.
Pretty cool, right?
The question is… how do you get an influencer to work with you?
Well, there are really only 2 options.
You can offer to pay them whatever they charge for promoting products or you can spend time building an authentic relationship with them.
But you can always find influencers to help your product launch. They might only have a few hundred people in their audience, but why not get as many of those micro-influencers as possible to help you promote your product.
The more of these people you work with, and the bigger their audiences, the greater results you’re going to get.
Part 2. Selling The Product
Unfortunately, promoting your product and driving traffic to your website isn’t where the battle ends.
You’ve also got to craft a high-converting sales funnel that will get people to take the exact action that you want them to take.
And believe it or not, we even have a sales funnel that’s specifically meant for launching your product.
You can sign up for a 14-day FREE trial by clicking here and we’ll walk you through creating your first high-converting sales funnel.
This will ensure that you convert as much traffic as possible before launch day and on launch day.
You don’t just want to sell products on launch day.
You want to sell products over and over again well into the future.
So how can you consistently drive traffic to your sales funnel? And how can you effectively convert that traffic?
Search engine optimization is really powerful for driving traffic.
You can check out our SEO guide over here.
2. Consistently Change Your Ads
But there is no such thing as perfect.
In fact, consistently creating new advertisements to run — every day or every week — is the most effective way to consistently generate leads and appeal to various submarkets.
Some of them work well… some of them don’t.
But it keeps his audience interested.
And that’s what counts.
Because when people keep paying attention to your ads, they’re more likely to eventually buy.
3. Iterate Your Products
The better your product — the more problems it solves, people it pleases, and the easier it is to use — the more you’re going to sell.
So we highly recommend getting feedback from customers and iterating based on what you learn.
Remember: your first product isn’t going to be perfect.
This should be an ongoing process.
4. Start an Affiliate Program
How cool would that be?
The more profitable you make your program for affiliates and the easier it is to use, the more affiliates you’re going to get.
And while we’ve paid out a lot of money to our affiliates, we’ve made even more money from the affiliate’s sales.
But if you don’t want to build out your own affiliate program, you could just go sign up as a merchant for platforms like ShareASale or ClickBank.
5. Test Your Sales Funnel
We highly recommend always testing at least one element of your sales funnel.
You’ll learn a ton about what makes your target market tick and you’ll be able to make high-converting changes based on your results.
Pro Tip: Storytelling is Your Greatest Marketing Tool
Storytelling is one of those tactics that most marketers know they need… but very few actually know how to tell a compelling story.
Stories are powerful because, as humans, we naturally love stories.
And we really love good stories.
Consider this story-telling copy from Warby Parker’s website…
It’s easy to latch on to because it’s easy to relate to.
And as weird as it might be, relatable stories make us want to buy from companies.
Why else would Purple spend tons of money making silly videos like this?
And why would Squatty Potty make videos like this?
The real key, when you’re using stories to sell products, is to make your product a fundamental part of the story.
That way, when they retell it to a friend, your brand or product is a necessary part of the narrative.
This could be as simple as a story about your company’s history on your About Page or a “Before and After” picture on an advertisement, or it could be as complex as a professionally created viral video.
But one thing’s for sure: for companies that succeed, storytelling will be an ongoing, fundamental part of their marketing strategy.
So how can you tell more compelling stories about your product and about your brand?
Are You Ready To Market Your Product?
What are you waiting for?
You have a product… and it’s time to start promoting it.
You’ve learned everything you can about marketing and promotion… but at some point you’ve got to bite the bullet and take the leap.
You’ve got to this the big red button, give it your all, and see what happens.
Learn along the way and you’re sure to succeed!