Using a Blog as a Pre-Launch Marketing Tool

It’d be fair to say that a lot of people reading this blog also have their own blog. John Chow dot Com has inspired thousands of people to start their own blogs, however besides blogging about how to make money online (which seems to be the trend these days), have you thought about using a blog as the cornerstone of a social marketing campaign to launch a new product?

Even if you don’t have a product yet, you can start a blog to get ideas, and then eventually talk about the product as you build it over the course of a few weeks or months, like I’m doing at TheStoreSuiteBlog.com – I started this blog about a month ago to talk about the PHP shopping cart software we’re currently building called StoreSuite.

One of the ideas I came up with to start generating some pre-release buzz for StoreSuite was to give away 100 copies to bloggers. You can read about it here, but the general idea can be adapted when you launch any kind of product:

  1. Workout how many copies of your product (such as an eBook, membership or software) you can afford to give away. Generally it costs $0 to produce an eBook for example, so it comes down to how much time it will take you to support the product or deal with customer enquiries.
  2. Create a blog to talk about your new product and offer to give away copies to influential bloggers to help get the word out.
  3. Every time a blogger talks about your product, send them a free copy or note down their email address and send them a copy when your product launches

This idea is of course very similar to paid ReviewMe reviews, but it’s free, so you don’t need to pay for the exposure – instead, you’re using your product as currency and not real money.

This is a simple idea that works well. You could take it one step further (like I have) and blog as you’re building your new product. Talk about features you’re adding, or the latest chapter you’ve written for your upcoming eBook, etc. Even go so far as to accept feedback and feature requests on your blog and include them in your product. I do this from the StoreSuite blog and people really appreciate it.

At the end of the day marketing is about people, so why not involve them in your product even before it’s ready for launch? You’ll build a huge fanbase and you might even win some friends along the way 🙂

This post was guest blogged by Mitchell Harper, cofounder of Interspire who is currently working on shopping cart software called StoreSuite. You can follow along with his progress at TheStoreSuiteBlog.com