In the world of business, the challenge often lies in effectively marketing your product. Many years ago, when we embarked on our journey with HotPicks, creating specially shaped guitar picks, we faced this very challenge. Getting the word out was no easy feat. We’d dial up independent music stores, one after the other, in a slow and steady rhythm.
Back then, there were only a couple of major retailers dealing in musical accessories, especially guitar picks. I had my eye on a significant distributor, thinking if they carried our picks, it could make a real difference. However, they promptly reminded me, “Steve, we’re distributors. You need to create demand.”
Around that time, a new platform emerged – MySpace. This was back in 2003. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to connect with our customers and showcase our innovative guitar pick designs, including iconic skull picks and heavy-metal-inspired creations.
It became evident that big, established bands wouldn’t be endorsing our picks anytime soon. And if they did, they expected hefty payments – a budget and influence we simply didn’t have. Their knowledge of marketing on a social media platform tailored to musicians and music lovers was close to none.
But I knew a couple of basic truths: you need to love your customer, and it’s not about you.
Marketing Your Product Or Service On Social Media
Many marketers focus their discussions on the product and additional services, driven by the desire to boost sales. However, in my view, this approach wasn’t the most effective back then, and I believe it still isn’t today.
So, we came up with a simple yet effective idea: we decided to hold a contest where garage bands could be endorsed by our company, HotPicks. The key was to shine the spotlight on these up-and-coming bands and give them our endorsement. If they received our endorsement, they could purchase our guitar picks at cost. Moreover, they could promote themselves by having their website printed on the back of the guitar picks, which they could then share with their friends and fans.
This was a groundbreaking move. It was the first time an endorsement worked this way. Instead of endorsing famous bands, we were endorsing garage bands and helping them market their music. All they had to do in return was encourage their fans to vote for them on our MySpace page during our monthly contests.
This simple strategy allowed us to connect with a vast community of garage band enthusiasts. Each month, the winner of our contest received a small advertisement in Guitar World magazine, featuring their band. We included a tiny image of their endorsed guitar pick in the corner of the ad. This wasn’t about us; it was all about the garage bands.
Before we knew it, hundreds and hundreds of garage bands were applying for our endorsement. Our guitar picks started appearing everywhere, creating a buzz and a real demand. Soon, we had that distributor we’d been aiming for.
After all, what garage band wouldn’t want to claim the title of the first band to be endorsed by HotPicks?
In conclusion, the journey of marketing your product on social media isn’t just about the product itself. It’s about understanding your customers, finding innovative ways to connect, and sometimes, it’s about shining the spotlight on others. This experience with HotPicks taught me invaluable lessons, and I hope these insights help you on your own marketing journey.