Like her or not, if Kim Kardashian Tweets about a product, sales jump a lot. But you don’t need to pay Mrs. Kimye $20,000 to push your product.
Savvy entrepreneurs get their brand and products in front of targeted audiences every day through a variety of free online spaces, fans and influencers, as well as traditional mediums like local cable news reports, radio segments and magazine articles. Small business owners can also tap targeted “pay for play” product placements in community papers, and Facebook and Twitter ads, in addition to exposure in company websites, blogs, Pinterest, Vimeo and YouTube channels.
Shelli Martineau, a Seattle-based director of fan engagement at Affinity.IS and freelance digital marketing pro, said optimal results happen when companies use multi-prong exposure in one outlet, such as helpful shares on a company page plus targeted advertising on that same platform.
Before putting your own product placement campaign in motion, Martineau emphasizes doing your homework to understand your sales funnel and what you hope to achieve. Clarify the age demographics and interests of your target markets and create specific personas to represent sub-categories, such as businessmen, soccer moms, millennials, career women, etc. Craft campaigns for each
Go big, go national. Over the past 5 years a small Long Island, NY company has snagged free national product placements on numerous prime time TV shows, including NBC’s home renovation competition reality show, American Dream Builders and ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
The resulting exposure gave Barron Designs, and their subsidiary companies FauxPanels.com and FauxWoodBeams.com, expanded brand awareness, instant credibility, and most importantly - new business. Sibling entrepreneurs Steve and Ruth Barron continue to land new product placement opportunities that have lead to double-digit increases in revenues. They advise:
1. Create brand and product awareness with company-generated product placements via mentions, photos, and videos in all major social media channels, including Twitter, facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.
2. Monitor social media channels to discover and connect with TV and movie producers able to feature your product.
3. Don't be afraid to cold call and ask "Who should I speak with?", so you can send information about your product to the right person
4. Prepare a press kit and product samples for selected editors, writers and producers.
5. Get in touch with companies that have had similar (but not the same) products featured on major network shows. Ask for advice or introductions on your behalf.
6. Continue to "work” a variety of product placement channels, by sharing valuable advice, tips and client stories - with pictures and videos as much as possible - that serve the specific prospects.
Go local, win big. Karen Girardo sells a growing line of natural products nationally via JustNaturalProducts.com but profits from a local focus. Through strategic outreach, diligent follow up and hand picked paid vehicles, she has secured a range of product placement coverage in New Hampshire-based newspapers, magazines, radio and TV."I'm always looking for opportunities to generate free press and product exposure for my company,'' Girardo said. "I got coverage in our daily paper and on a local radio show as a result of being a part of Go Shop / New Hampshire Made paid advertising campaign. My story and products have been featured in many local media channels as a result of my personal outreach to those outlets.”
Girardo said success happens when you know your audience and what matters to them. She recognizes the value of online product placement activities via social media shares and blog posts (as well as PPC) but every time her products are featured in any local media platform, her website traffic and sales go up.