Starting a new business or introducing a new product always involves risk. A company can never know for sure how popular its brand or its latest product will be. Building a strong customer base via public relations can help you succeed.
Enlist the help of the public
Sales forecasting for a new product is tricky. Even if other products in the line were successful, there is always a chance that a new one will fail. To help make the new launch a hit, enlist the help of your already-established customer base.
Send a survey to your repeat customers to narrow down what would and wouldn’t appeal to them about a new line or product. Social media has made this kind of research easy. A simple choice on Instagram between product packaging, names or ingredients can quickly provide a lot of information to the company.
Using this technique also promotes brand loyalty by making the customer feel valued and important. Whenever someone is asked their opinion, it makes them feel good.
Before a new product or service is available for purchase, create a sense of anticipation with your client base. A few weeks before the launch date, start promoting the new product.
By announcing the new item well before it’s available, a sense of anticipation will promote interest and can even create a sense of urgency in being one of the first to acquire your item. Allowing the current customers to pre-order is a smart public relations move. Seeing how many orders are made before the product is available can indicate the direction that sales will go when the item becomes a regular product in the line.
Provide the new product or service well ahead of time to several customers or brand ambassadors with the understanding that they will give honest reviews. All types of reviews are a good idea but video reviews and before-and-after photos, when appropriate, can be the most persuasive.
As a standard PR technique, be sure to include as many different types of people in the reviews as possible, including age and ethnicity. Customers need to believe that they will have success too and this will be easier for them if one of the reviewers is a similar type to them.
Run a contest
A good way to increase social media followers, and the customer base, is to run a contest for current customers. Choose a valuable package from your products as the prize and enter anyone in the raffle who likes the post and tags two friends.
The potential for this is huge since most people have trouble resisting a contest. If even half of the tagged friends eventually become customers, you have dramatically increased your followers and clients.
Knowing that you periodically run contests is great for PR in general and does not cost the company a lot.
Providing loyalty points after purchase is an excellent way to attract and retain customers. Many people try different companies before settling on their favorite. One thing that can keep customers returning to you instead of moving on is to provide benefits of some kind.
Earning points after every purchase towards new merchandise is a great way to both attract and keep loyal customers. Likewise, providing gifts or samples with a purchase also attracts new customers.
When a potential customer is not familiar with the entire line, free or inexpensive sample sizes are a good way to help them make decisions.
Although not strictly a reward, a robust customer service department can also be a great PR tool. Knowing that there will always be easily accessible help and advice can make the difference in a customer’s eyes.
Consider the tactics that would work the best for your specific service or product and start planning your PR campaign. Sites like Instagram have made it easier to attract future customers and to keep your current customers engaged, excited and happy.