May 21st, 2019 is one of the proudest days for ContentStudio team because our product got featured as the #1 product on Product Hunt that day! 🥳 and #2 product of the week for week #21.
It was one hell of an experience for us and also an amazing jump-start for ContentStudio. I think we deserve to flaunt our victory badge to you guys! 👑
We were featured on Product Hunt 1 and a half year ago with the very first version of ContentStudio and we got 343 upvotes without much preparation which clearly didn’t do justice to our product but still was a good score for beginners.
We kept on improving and made a pact last year to transform ContentStudio into a complete package that provides content marketing and social media management solution. We came up with the idea of revamping ContentStudio into a product that solves EVERY need of a content marketer. And, long story short, earlier this year we launched ContentStudio 2.0 with some major UX improvements and a number of new features that are loved by our users as you can see in more than 300 reviews on Capterra and G2Crowd.
Now, our product is much more stable and stronger than it ever was before. So, we thought of Product Hunt once again to market our product to a wider audience.
We have created a guide on our whole journey in which we have mentioned each and everything we did to achieve our goal of reaching the top and landing as the #1 product of the day.
Also, we’ll be leaving some hacks, tips, and tricks within this blog which we learned after doing a significant amount of research and going through the whole implementation process.
Here is your first tip.
Tip #1: Plan the lunch day beforehand and make sure that no big vendors like Google, Amazon, Apple, etc. are planning to launch their product on the same day. Because guess what, they’re going to hoard up all the attention of the users and definitely going to steal your thunder. Although, it is hard to be 100% sure but a little research is still necessary to cope-up with the competition.
To make things systematic and easy for you to follow, we have broken down all our activities into three stages.
👉🏽 Pre-launch Activities – The Preparation
👉🏽 Launch Activities – The Engagement
👉🏽 Post-launch Activities – Evangelism Marketing
Before starting our own story, let me first give you a brief intro on Product Hunt, the Hunters, and the Makers.
What really is Product Hunt?
Product Hunt is the Number One platform to hunt down the best and useful products, it’s helpful for all users whether they want to view new products or showcase their own. The two major roles for users on Product Hunt are the Makers and the Hunters. The Makers are the developers/owners of the product and the Hunters are the people who hunt the deem worthy products and represent it to the whole community.
What do the hunters have that you don’t?
You want your product to be seen among the audience who are actually interested in buying your product. So, this could be a HUGE opportunity for you to sell your product in the niche market.
Lastly, when the hunter approves your product and Product Hunt confirms your launch, you’re given a Maker’s badge which differentiates you (as an owner) from the rest of the audience. That way, people who are curious about your product can easily and directly ask you questions about it.
Now that we’re done with the backstory, let’s begin with our story.
Everything that you’re going to read below is extremely important and you should add it to your launch plan.
The first thing to do is, to prepare your Product Hunt Media kit. The following five things are included in this kit which you have to submit to your hunter.
- Animated logo
Video is the heart and soul of content marketing. What better way to grab the audience’s attention than an informative video with cool upbeat music? (the beat really depends upon the type of your video, though). Videos have both visual and textual content, so it is the best possible way for outreach.
Well, at least that’s how we did it. We got our animated video made from freelancer for $150.
Tip #2: If you don’t have enough time or other resources to create the video yourself, you can always outsource it. But, since this is the first thing any viewer is going to see, your video should be pitch-perfect. It should have at least a few major screens displaying the features from your application and, again, well-synced music. The video should be concise and to the point and it’s better to keep the video under 1 minute.
Besides a video, you should also collect or design a few screens from your application and it’s better to keep them unified according to your app’s workflow. We got our images designed by our in-house designer.
Instead of a still image icon for the product’s profile, the snazzier alternative is an animated logo. In our animated logo, we wanted to lay emphasis on the solutions we’re providing via our application, which are our product’s major modules i.e. Discover, Plan, Publish, Collaborate, and Analyze. We made sure all these modules are covered in our tiny gif icon.
We created our gif icon using Product Hunt GIF Maker. It’s an easy to use tool where you can just select a bunch of images and drop them within the dotted area and tada! your gif is ready.
Your tagline is basically your slogan that’s going to ring the bell immediately. Since a tagline is usually a one-liner statement, it has the capability to be stored in the reader’s semantic memory (if it’s catchy enough). The choice of words for your product’s tagline is extremely important. Be witty enough to shift the radar of your tagline to the type of audience whose attention you want to gain. By that, I don’t mean that you should design your tagline specifically for a narrow-ranged audience, but it should be worth a thousand words.
Since our area of expertise is content management and the alignment of team workflows, so this is what our tagline revolves around. Also, adding an emoji adds a warm effect to your tagline so you should do that too.
Tip #3: What worked really well for us was while designing our tagline, we checked how our competitors had pulled it off. So, it’s a must for you to check how your competitors are doing it, see which one did it better and try to top the best one.
The catch is to incite curiosity with your tagline and, in continuation, explain it in the description. Again, your focus must be on your target audience and make your words so appealing to them that they can’t resist developing an interest in your product.
Hunting your Hunter
The most crucial part of this entire process is finding a hunter. While you’re on this quest, make sure that whoever your hunter is, they have good number of votes, hunts, and followers. We found our hunter after going through the following two articles.
Fortunately, we already had Kevin hunted us the first time, so he was pretty much the first option for us to consider.
After selecting your Hunter, you can get them on board by asking them to try your product. That is how we asked Kevin for our first launch via a Twitter message.
Since we already had a connection with Kevin, we approached him the second time as well with this Twitter message.
Success Hack: Having a good hunter hunt you on Product Hunt can help in getting your product on the first page immediately.
Tip #4: You must build connections with people before launch so that as soon as your product gets launched, you can ask them to upvote it and write a nice review for it. For that, you obviously need to activate your company’s as well as your team’s Product Hunt accounts before time.
How else to end up on the first page?
The answer has been provided in the next two sections of the blog.
Your hunter has published your product, perfect!
But it doesn’t end here. Only a fool would leave it at that. The actual test begins now.
This is the time when you have to acquire the attention of as many people as you can get. How to do that? The summary is, invite your followers and engage with as many people as you can and however you can.
Welcome your audience with a warm first comment. The first comment from the Maker will invite people to leave their remarks and feedbacks more openly with an absolute feeling of being heard.
In your first comment, you can write about the history of your product, your achievements, milestones, product vision, the awards you’ve won, and most importantly; how you are different from all the other products and how you’re capable of solving the problems faced by people globally. The tone of this comment could be kept casual or formal but there is no hard and fast rule for that. Nonetheless, it should be totally consumer-oriented.
So, while you’re boasting off your accomplishments, don’t ignore the viewer’s position and explain what they can get from your product.
Tip #5: Your first comment is a perfect chance for you to be grateful to the hunter who hunted your product. Tag them in your first comment and let them know that you haven’t forgotten their favor. There’s quite a good chance that they’d reply back to your comment. You must engage with PH famous people in order to gain the attention of their followers.
Also, use emojis!
Create a list of at least 50 active users on PH and as soon as you get hunted, reach out to them and get them to upvote your product and comment on it. The algorithm that PH runs on detects if the users who engage with your product are active users or new sign-ups. The weight of the comments, reviews, and upvotes from the active users will hold a greater weight. The engagement value provided by these active users will definitely push your product towards the top.
Send out Emails
After being featured on PH, create an email for your subscribers’ list and ask them to be a part of your campaign. Since this audience already likes you and your product, you won’t need much persuasion for them. This is how we targeted our subscribers via email. We sent this email to our subscribers in the morning around 8:00 o’ clock.
Interact with your audience
Remember that your audience helps you achieve the top spot. I won’t say that you’re vulnerable to them but to state it differently, your fate is in their hands. You have to make your audience to like you. Thank them for their praise in the comments. The more activity happens on your product, the more it becomes noticeable for the PH algorithm.
So, don’t let the comment section rot as keeping it up & running is a major winning factor.
The hard part is over, but the fun part is yet to come!
The purpose again is to gather the attention of as many people as possible and get them to upvote, comment, and review your product. An additional task is to spread the word among your friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances; basically, everyone you know. Some may take it as a chore, but this is actually very fun because you can totally be candid and you don’t have to come up with something witty or smart when you’re sharing your PH venture.
Let me give you a sneak peek of how we did it.
Social Media Sharing
We asked our team members to share the live product link on their personal social profiles, and some of them did a great job at that.
You can also create a short video and ask your friends to help you out, just like our CS Rep – Adil did. And, you can see that he tagged our CEO, CTO, and COO as well which helped friends & families of all 4 of them to see the post.
You can also send personal messages to people who you have faith in; ask them to interact on your live post. The more actively and steadily people interact on your post, the better are your chances to gain the spot you’re aiming for.
Tip #6: While you’re tagging people in your post, be very careful about choosing them. If you tag too many irrelevant people in your post, it doesn’t turn out to be very helpful for you. Tag those people who have a lot of niche-related friends on their social profiles.
Tip #7: When you’re creating posts for all of your company’s official accounts on social media, don’t schedule your posts all at once. Post on all your social channels throughout the day. This way more people with different demographic backgrounds will see your post and will help you gain a nice and smooth flow of upvotes throughout the day.
The most convenient thing about communities is that they have people with similar kind of interests and needs. All you have to do is find an active community and create a post with a redirecting PH link.
Don’t limit yourself to only Facebook or LinkedIn Groups, try your luck everywhere and think outside the box when doing this kind of marketing. You can also find some of the amazing groups and audience on Slack ( a communication channel ). Some of the groups that we contacted are listed below.
- SaaS Growth Hacks
- SaaS Founders and Execs
- SaaS Products & Marketing
- London Startups
- 🚀 Product Hunt 🔥Upvote Club
- Product Hunt Nordics
- Product Hunt upvote exchange
Tip #8: When posting on groups, it’s better to ask the group admins to do it rather than doing it yourself. The reason is that people respect the admin and when the admin posts something, most of the people don’t ignore the notification. If you’re not a popular member of the group, then it’s highly likely that your post is going to get ignored.
We prepared two emails for our users and subscribers. The first email was sent to the subscribers right after the launch (i.e. earlier that day at around 8:00 AM). And, the second one was for those people in the list who hadn’t opened their emails and clicked on our provided link the first time. We sent this email around 4:00 PM during the day, just to make sure that our email reached everyone on our list.
Notify your live visitors
Create a notification bar on the landing page of your website for the live visitors to view it. We created a top notification bar using Convertful which is a tool that lets you create on-site widgets to nurture the leads. We showed this notification bar to the visitors coming to our website but excluding those coming from PH.
Convertful also shows you analytics at the same time which helps you see the progress of the widget on your website. These are our statistics from the launch day. We got a total of 1,479 impressions, leaving us with 102 conversions via the top notification banner.
Update your milestones
Keep your enthusiasm alive and don’t leave your audience behind. They’re the ones who are upvoting and commenting on your post and who knows, they’re as excited about your win as you are. That’s also one way to engage your audience on social media. If you keep updating your milestones on the existing post, it’ll stay on top and more people can see the activity.
In our case, we updated our audience after an increase of every 100 upvotes.
Contact your SaaS circle
For some, your struggle may mean nothing but there are others who would understand the importance of your campaign and the price of each upvote. You can build a relationship of reciprocation among other SaaS Product owners. Ask them for a favor today and you can repay them later the same way.
We contacted some of the product owners to share our product’s PH link with their teams and users. One guy Sanket from invideo.io sent an email to his subscriber base for more than 5000 people. This was a great traffic booster for us.
Tip #9: As mentioned earlier, you should keep the stream of your messages, posts, and emails steady throughout your launch day. You can see in the graph below how we kept on nudging our subscribers till around 3:00 PM which helped us gain upvotes throughout the entire day. However, we could see a significant tweak in the graph after Sanket’s email.
Live Chat Broadcast Message
We created two broadcast messages for our website visitors using GoSquared. For:
- Unique visitors from PH
- ContentStudio users
We differentiated these two type of visitors and broadcasted a distinct message to both of them.
For the first category being the unique visitors from PH, we offered them a 20% lifetime discount if they signed-up that day.
As for the ContentStudio users, the message was a little different.
GoSquared also provides you campaign analytics on the runtime which helps you keep track of the incoming visitors on your website. These are the statistics from our campaign.
We received a total of 3.6k unique visitors from PH within a week.
Tip #10: When someone visits your website via Producthunt, you can see a tag ?ref=producthunt appended with the URL. This way you can easily identify these visitors and show them an offer accordingly. We used this tag to show our discounted broadcast deal to the unique visitors.
Write a guide
The guidelines for you above are our personal experiences which we thought of sharing with you. Likewise, you can also create an extensive post of your own and share your victory moment with everyone!
Tip #11: ProductHunt lets you copy an embed code and share your product on external pages. Add this embed code in your blog and ask your readers to upvote your Product on ProductHunt.
With all this hard work, we gained the #1 spot on Product Hunt on May 21st and #2 product of the week, with 1400+ upvotes and 3k+ visitors.
If you think this guide helped you learn something useful or helped you create a nice strategy for your product launch, don’t forget to share it with your friends and colleagues. If you have any suggestions or queries, don’t hesitate to connect with us and leave a comment below.
Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.