Now before we get into the crux of this article fact is there are a lot of articles claiming the best,only and other superlatives of good way to successful Product Hunt launch, but as a disclaimer this article only chooses Ultimate as the collective goodness of all the ideas behind those articles put into one.
Table of Contents:
- What is Product Hunt?
- Reach and benefits of Product Hunt
- Knowing and using The Product Adoption Curve
- Pre launch checklist
- Public Relations
- PR strategies and opportunities
- Press releases
- Press kits
- Last but not least let’s find a “Hunter”
- Launch day.
- Post launch
What is Product Hunt?
Product Hunt is a tech-lover platform that allows and offers featured innovations or products to the public to gain and garner support. Through interactions with your product through votes, reviews and sharing praise Product Hunt brings something essential to the product market. Almost 50% of products featured in this platform alone are rejected even while offering their product for free. So 20% of that figure, find an audience that like the product so much. Then comes the third tier-if customers like using the free version it doesn’t guarantee an audience will pay for it. It’s truly (Product Hunt) had become the industry marker of success on those 3 levels: 1.Do I like it, 2. Does it work? 3. Will they pay for membership?
Reach and benefits of Product Hunt
Product Hunt is an emergent force in the tech industry, gaming and publishing industries or communities. The effectiveness of the site allows the products that rank best to receive and expect thousands of visitors just like it’s tech giant uncle-Google. Thousands of eyes the day the product features and more the following day once they reach the top ten. Benefits range from having an audience with a large, passionate, influential community to getting essential feedback on the practicality of your product EARLY.The Product Hunt community has a list of 250 000 registered members and a larger number of lurking guests who choose not to register. The majority of that community is career professionals-authors, entrepreneurs, press and investors and all it takes is a feature to get their attention. Just to put things in perspective here are some of the origins of some of the leaderboards:Lexus,Amazon,uncle Google and even Kung Fury.
Knowing and using The Product Adoption Curve
When innovation first makes its way into a market it may take a few years to penetrate and diffuse. The Product Adoption Curve is like an S-curve that shows a clear way of breaking down CUSTOMERS into 5 distinct segments: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, laggards.
Stage 1: Innovators
The first to adopt or buy into an idea,any idea are called “innovators”. They are typically tech enthusiasts who are just looking for their places stored and locked away. They usually represent about 10% of the target population and jump in early to not only as investors but also addressing their critical issues.
Stage 2: Early adopters
In companies early adopters are not decision makers but adopt the role of opinion influencers key to persuading others. They are extremely socially adept operating at the core of extensive communication networks,internal management circles, industry fora(epicenter) and other private spheres.Think proverbial angels on the shoulder…Soon as there are enough early adopters technology diffusion turns self-sustaining that finds it’s way down to the early majority and in the process while competition and change in standards
Stage 3: Early Majority
These are the chill crowd ready to wait until they see a steady roll of mainstream users and certain technical standards reached from the early adopters. That’s when they are ready to jump in with real investment for what they feel they can get return on;what they would seem solid needs. Commonly they are about 40% of the target population and in the corporate world are the decision makers and they don’t allocate a budget unless there are proper references. Early adopters and majority basically need the benefits of the tech much less than those in the other stages.
Stage 4: The late Majority
These are the early majority (sharing characteristics) but a tentative risk averse majority that are unsure about their capability to master innovation. So they take up about 30-40% of the target population that wait until products are more developed, have a higher level of user friendliness(in comparison with other generations) and tailored to the mass market
Stage 5: Laggards
At this stage they just hate technology and just never want to change. Usually they use technology because it’s becoming to widely used and critical to whatever goal they wish to reach therefore they are forced to use the tech. Tech sellers usually disregard them because of the low price threshold they maintain, high suppose needs and slow to non-existent profit they hold. Laggards are like 10% of the target population.
Pre launch checklist
1.Research can find a lot on the web, but these are a good start.
2.Check your competitors on PH: Try to understand what they’ve done well and what didn’t work for them.
4.Create personal accounts on PH for every team member
5. Link Twitter, FB, etc profiles with PH to upload your contacts: This way it will be easier for your friends to find you and leave feedback.
6. Fill out the list of people to reach out to personally: You can ask them for feedback on your launch day. Works best when a person is already on PH. Prepare a personal message for them (next step) and send it on launch day.
7.Personal message template: Do not overdo personal message. PH is not for spamming.
8. Social Media posts templates: Don’t forget to add @ProductHunt
Set a target: Figure out the numbers you would like to reach,would settle for and just cannot live with(specific measurable metrics)- Including but not limited to:
- Upvotes and comments
- Follows/mentions(social media)
- Ask yourself: What turns customers on?
So to get customer perception right, you should look into what turns your consumers on, so to speak, and then to use it to your advantage when you want to attract them. Getting high-end customers on your side takes a play on such things as quality, lighting, packaging, cleanliness and hygiene and general details. The market segments your customers can be divide into and organized will also correspond into the different consumer groups they fall into. These groups are useful in gaining information on timing down the data of consumer habits and nature, which will help bring you closer to having a successful launch. Tons of products are put on Product Hunt daily so a safe estimation would be that only the top will get most of the traffic, as per the 80/20 principle.
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The world of public relations is the realm of reach. When people or businesses look for ways to expose their products to more people there are a number of ways to go about that but Public Relations is the art and science behind some of the most successful business and product launches. All businesses need public relations, no matter what status or stature because customers not only shop with their needs in hand but also with a form of loyalty as a the pretext for brand trust.
POSITIVE PERCEPTION! Get it use, keep it never lose it. “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”—Abraham Lincoln
Let us begin by looking at companies that lost positive public perception and the effects to their business.
The Beverley Hills Hotel and the Sultan of Brunei
The Sultan of Brunei was hit by a boycott to his iconic Beverly Hills Hotel in the midst of campaigning bidding for New York’s Plaza hotel, along with London’s Grosvenor House and the Dream Hotel in Lower Manhattan. The Beverley Hills Hotel boasts 100 years of service with some of the most infamous names: Rudolph Valentino, Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles and more common is The Eagles cover “Hotel California”. The bad image came from his introduction in Brunei of Sharia law, which incorporates punishment by public flogging, amputation and death by stoning for homosexuality, adultery and abortion. Celebrities like Elton John, Ellen DeGeneres and Jay Leno publicly went against the Sultan’s call making him lose millions in cancellations. Protests continued until the Sultan walked back the comments and eased the law.
Ever since a documentary by CNN dubbed “Black Fish” exposed the inhumane treatment of Orca whales in their custody the company’s image was tarnished. Formerly home of many families experiences and tourists pleasures the company stock fell drastically 33% after attendance dropped and PETA going after the company’s image. Revenue dropped so much the company had to pledge to make upgrades to it’s formerly archaic practices but the damage was already done. Legislation soon imposed with the sole aim at making sure the whales would be released out of captivity.
As far as public image completely ruining a company’s image and disrupting future plans none register as clear an example as American car manufacturer and distributor General Motors. Reports emerged of an 11 year backlog delay of recalls of cars equipped with critically faulty ignition that caused a number of deaths. Public disgust and fury led to televised Congressional Hearings, grilling GM CEO on the failure to address this critical issue.GM suffered $1.2 billion in recall-related charges, plus headed a $400 million compensation package for the victims and those who suffered from this act. But the trust they had..gone forever. “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it”. Benjamin Franklin
It is important to understand the different types of media that exists, They are:
Owned media by definition is any form of media owned by your company. This is the core,base and home of your media as in what you control and let the world know about you. This disseminates through social media posts, blog content, email newsletters and website copy. You cannot control how you are seen but you can control what you let them know about you(how you present yourself). describes channels you control. It’s the content created for your website and blog, e-books, white papers, presentations, etc. You fully control the content and its distribution. (If you can add, edit, and delete the content, you probably own it. Knowing that social media is definitely NOT owned media,owned media then becomes content engaging customers and growing relationships throughout the customer lifecycle. Owned content provides to serve both broad and niche audiences isn’t naturally scalable, but can provide long term growth benefits without converse rise in costs.
Earned media is the strategic use of conversation to create improve or create interest in your product. if is essentially word of mouth and as such the best form of PR strategy to build good repute. This is probably why it is the hardest to obtain;it constitutes much effort and persistence… therefore,’earned media’. Earned media (or earned media coverage) comes from media relations and involves pushing your company, service, expert, opinion,product and ideas mentioned in a news story – online, in print, and on the radio, TV, podcasts, etc. When a newspaper or industry trade publication (blog, magazine, website) features and quotes your brand broadcasted on local and national TV morning shows or the evening news. When most people envision PR they think of earned media because it incorporates all this and mentions on social media, reviews, feedback, and blog posts that mention you. As far as legacy is concerned,earned media is a symbol of public relations’ value of third party endorsement is essentially the most credible format but a negative story can bring a bevy of bad events; loss in stock price,shareholders trust and public trust which makes it so elusive.
They say “people don’t buy products they buy brands”. This may existentially point towards repeat business or of people as a community but the underlying presumption is understandable. There is a psyche attached to consumer behavior and buying patterns which is why they choose and continue to choose certain brands of the same product for years on end. Paid media is advertorials, sponsorships, advertising and sponsored content (i.e., content you pay for). It may or may not incorporate ads on the radio, TV, and in print as well as any other paid activities. Paid media normally involves online ads, such as pay-per-click and Google Adwords, social media advertising for Facebook and Twitter, sponsored posts,(banner) ads and let’s not forget YouTube ads that have become rampant recently. This is the chosen form of media for millennials.
To find journalists and media outlets, click HERE to find the right fit
- Business events/Zoom meetings
- Community relations
- Corporate and social responsibility
- Crisis management
- Employee relations
- Media relations
- Social media
Business Events/Zoom meetings during COVID-19
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic business events are not at all a practical idea. This is where platforms like Zoom meetings come in. The virtual environment has actually, according to researchers, allowed moderators to better control the flow of discussion and questions from the audience. Through private messaging one another behind the scenes, they were able to discuss how a session was going and make adjustments in real time. “For example, we had one panelist who we thought was contributing a little bit too much,” he says. The moderators responded by using private messages to help others to speak, and they made a mutual decision to ask questions made to draw comment from others. Businesses can market their brands more effectively even if not so much conventional to a countless number of more people via conference or live streaming.
The nature of business events has changed and the those who have adapted to the new format makes them more adept to surviving if not thriving through these torrid times.While those still waiting on the sidelines for things to “go back to normal” will be left behind.
Community Relations translates to creating building and fostering a good-willed and good-natured relationship with local communities around your business. You may be involved in charity,special discounting,donations ANYTHING that helps build bridges between you and the community.
Corporate and Social Responsibility
This relates similarly to community Relations but branches off to the larger community(the world) and society as a whole. This is a monumental topic placing much regard to ethics-business practice , philanthropy, environmental responsibility on a local,regional and global scale. This is an essential part of PR and will involve examples of good corporate and social responsibility and the opposite. These days the most relevant and sometimes outspoken groups that are quite influential in terms of how relevant a brand can become are ” the millennials”. This group initial meaning (of the term) was a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century Researchers and popular media referring to the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years ;1981 to 1996 widely accepted. Why is this group so important: they represent the largest and most diverse generation in American and world history, at 81.1 million (US population). #metoo movement is why sexual harassment in the office has been seriously revisited. The millennials are powerful, opinionated and very smart.The top 5 companies that are said to be taking CSR seriously are:
- Johnson and Johnson,
- Coca cola,
Expectations of a company worthy or commendation in this day and age
- Reducing carbon footprints
- Improving labor policies
- Participating in fair-trade
- Charitable giving
- Volunteering in the community
- Corporate policies that benefit the environment
- Socially and environmentally conscious investments
Crisis management is the process of recognizing, managing and working towards a solution that reverses negative perception or press surrounding a business or brand. PR is probably the best way to handle situations concerning your brand, anything that could potentially ruin it that is. It’s importance then requires quick, adequate, strategic, response. With the right PR tools crises can be avoided and sometimes cleverly turned into an opportunity by online chatter monitoring, constant quality testing and checking or material that might be misconstrued or offensive.
Employee relations is the process of creating, fostering and constantly cultivating a positive employee perception of your brand or company. Internal PR,as it is more commonly known, involves dedicating resources to employee newsletters/communications, free training packages, employee perks and benefit packages,skill boosting opportunities, employee appreciation events and participation and corporation with unions employee groups. This keeps employees highly motivated, hardworking and may help them advocate for the company or brand.
Media relations refers to growing positive mutually beneficial relationships with journalists, publications and other news outlets. More often than not this activity involves creating and writing press releases, scheduling interviews and organizing press releases. This process brings in excellent mainstream exposure for your brand,products and ensures the market easily markets the product.
Social media is an important if not critical tactic of earned and paid PR. For the majority of companies, social media provides a wonderful alley for PR and marketing-its efficiency in influencing the public, attracting followers, sharing product and brand related content and positively affect the image of the brand and company. Consistency is vital if just sharing information with the general public so media strategy maintaining positive, accurate and verifiable data flowing to your customers and general public brings extra credibility leading to positive remuneration in terms, hopefully, in profit. Care must be observed at all times because a simple mistake or tone-deaf tweet — can be enough to keep corporate public relations departments running.
Press releases are the proverbial cornerstone for all good Public Relations campaigns. A proper press release will assist you in getting a story on the local new,get national media coverage and more importantly become part of an excellent influencer marketing campaign. The secret should be to make sure you help a reporter out. There is an art of producing a quality press release: if done right it will empower you to understand what is newsworthy in your business and/or brand while staying away from common mistakes. Besides the SEO benefits, the natural healthy assumption is that bloggers, journalists and influencers anyone…want to hear a good story,YOUR story especially those you have targeted. Once a good story, readable,enjoyable, funny(if possible please DON’T force it) and authentic will get you free PR. The last comment- it MUST contain a news story.
And here is what a press release should NOT have:
- Plump exaggerations and false promises
- A teleprompter script sales pitch
- Self praise/congratulatory – “I/we are amazing, honestly!”
- Dripping with unimaginative acronyms and baseless hype
- A tacky list of boring technical information about a new product or business
- Simply the fact you are launching a report (you need a news hook)
- A glorified CV/biography of your founder
A press kit is a page on your website that holds resources and information expressly for reporters and publishers. “Media kits” as they are more affectionately known when done right make it easy for reporters to get informed about your product and brand with quality access to photos and marketing materials they can feed off of and use. When compiling a press kit you hope to imply; Hi we love the press here is everything you need to know about us and here is where to reach us!”
Benefits of a press kit
Beyond the free press a media kit holds a collection of noteworthy press releases that are recent that provide social proof and excellent referencing. Add to that a product and service fact sheet that is easily confirmable, clear and precisely accurate. FAQ(Frequently Asked Questions) especially if the industry, product, or service is technical in nature or changes on a consistent basis makes the research process for whomever uses simple. It can be distributed easily and helps reporters and publicists with the kind of information you want to put out. Add some case studies to essentially make the research process professional with no promotional angles and this will compliment the information perfectly. This substantial step gives relevance (if done right) to the extent of not only providing information but showing your intent when it comes to culture,plans and brand philosophy. Finally, CAREFULLY, involve some information on some of the accolades and awards you have received without sounding tacky. This will show the importance of your product and state the relevance of finding your place in the market.
After collecting all this information and compiling a press kit you are ready to reach out to a journalist via email.
Don’t forget to create an excellent logo
A few months before the launch you have been:
- Exploring collections, posting comments, feeling your way into the inner workings of the website. , Product Hunt’s algorithm rewards users who make an effort to build their profile by getting involved with community and supporting other products.
- Grow an email list months before launch which should include influencers, advisors, and friends who will support you during launch day.
- If you have been doing a great job with your newsletter you should have subscribers, work towards sending out a special message to them specifically about your Product Hunt launch.
- Cheat-code: Make a list of your company’s mentors who have a solid following on Twitter and synchronize their tweets on their page with your PH page link with a description on launch day to show their support.
Find a Hunter
In the weeks before:
A hunter is a PH influencer, one who has accumulated followers of his own whom will get a notification ping when he or she submits the product either via email or through the PH notification system. Any one of the top 500 Hunters on Product Hunt adding your product is like an endorsement that will greatly improve the probability of your product or brand finding the right eyes, and pockets. Remember…this all still depends on the number of upvotes you get when you are featured.
Produce a special kit for the hunter which will include:
- Name of the product (max 60 characters).
- The URL you promote with the URL links to your app as well, if you have one.
- Tagline (max 60 characters).
- The platforms your product runs on.
- Media — 5 and 10 images showing different parts of your product. Utilizing gifs and emojis is essential for messages and posts..gives them a character portrayal worth investigating at a minimum. PH’s entire brand is built around emojis & gifs (cats get you extra)plus if you have a YouTube video, add it on.😚😹🤸🔼🎉🎊
- Free stuff works everywhere. Give something out to the community: discounted items for one..
Ugh The nerves! No need to worry this guide will walk you through the day’s activities.
- Publish “ProductHuntized” page
- Post on Reddit
- Post on Slack
- Post on Facebook
- Post on LinkedIn
- Post on Twitter
- Post on Hacker News
- Send personal messages to friends and colleagues
- Send e-mail to signed up users
- Reach out to owners of revelant PH collections
- Pop the bottle and take time to smell the roses. Celebrate! Thank your community
If you have taken to heart the elements in this article and have been meticulous with the details plus surgical with the public relations relationships your product got featured in the top ten and is on the way to changing lives for the better. Congratulations! Remember to express your accomplishments and share them with everyone who was involved with the process. Share your joy with the world ready to cheer you on to greater success. Put up a special shout out to the hunter!
- Analyze your performance
Check your hit-list against your goal list and figure out which were successful. Once the launch is done and you have followed the checklist check up on the social media mentions and take note of the most influential comments and a few outspoken negative ones(if there are any). Tie this information down for future releases and launches as a sort of blueprint. If you can make it into a scalable repeatable step by step process then you have your golden ticket.
Product Hunt is an excellent channel for innovators, journalists investors and the general public to linkup and engage in market making for vital products. From an economics standpoint is interesting to know that the things we have and find on the market are not decided by governments or a secret community of wealthy families but a gathering of intelligent, well wishing professionals with the spirit of social entrepreneurship infused commerce underlying the activities on the surface.
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