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Promote Your Product Quickly by Tapping the Internet's Influencers The founder of the online product showcase Grommet explains how to become an Internet sensation.

By Grant Davis

In 2009, when Jason Carignan and his partners launched the Vapur Anti-Bottle, they made a concerted PR effort to get exposure for the product from traditional media. And it worked. The Today show featured the Vapur, a reusable, foldable water pouch with a variety of spout options, and within 60 days the new company had sold out of its first production run of 10,000.

A nice success story to be sure, but Carignan's true surprise came from the blogosphere--that raucous, untamable collection of independent influencers who write about stuff they love for audiences of several thousand, or even millions. One such influencer was The Grommet (formerly Daily Grommet), a Boston-based product-launch platform filled with unique, previously undiscovered offerings. "They produced a story about the Anti-Bottle, built a store for it, filled it with content and made it very personal," Carignan says. "It wasn't a simple, anonymous referral like you see on Amazon."

Another influencer was a military- and tactical-gear site that raved about a new Vapur product, the MicroFilter, a heavy-duty drinking pouch topped by a filter straw that removes more than 99.9 percent of the bacteria from any water source. "We got orders from many top outdoor retailers that came through that blog reference," Carignan says, adding that a MicroFilter even saw use on a South Pole expedition.

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