Congrats on your new patent. Now tell people about it!
Every year, over a quarter of a million patents spring from the fertility of American ingenuity. And many of them come from enriched R&D departments in competitive manufacturing sectors.
While it is exciting to see that so many great manufacturing minds are at work, if your hard-earned concept is just one of many new ideas, it may get trampled in this stampede of innovation.
No matter how much of a breakthrough your industrial patent is, if no one knows about it, then it really doesn’t exist. Taking your B2B idea out to the trade press is a must for most marketing directors, but it is an opportunity as well.
In the first year of your newborn product or component there are two distinct phases when it comes to taking it out to the trade press.
1. Making Waves
Release the product releases!
Some guidelines and ideas when it comes to the “birth announcement:”
- You may feel you have an earth-shattering product, but don’t let the glitter cloud your thinking. What counts when crafting the copy for the product release is what your potential buyer needs, so promote how this product is a new and innovative approach to meet those needs. Don’t go all nerdy and have the features bury the benefits. You’ll have plenty of time and the right places to talk about those later.
- Keywords will be important to attract interest to your product release, especially if you are introducing a totally new product and not just a tweak. Through the Internet, buyers will be hunting for solutions to their problems and the keywords in your release will bring them to your doorstep. Here is a great guide for determining how to properly work keywords into your release content.
- Saturate the trade media by using the paid PR distribution services. These postings will prompt initial search engine traffic.
Don’t assume the trade magazines will notice your press release.
In fact, since they get dozens of releases a day, chances are slim they will notice your new product without the help of PR services.
So swing into action. A few days after that first volley, send your release directly to your target editors with a short, tactful cover letter detailing why your product will be of interest to their audience. This exercise makes you think about how the WOW factor translates into benefits for the readers.
Following up all of your releases with a phone call to the editor is never worth your time, but if you truly think the product is revolutionary, pick about a half dozen editors, dial them up, and make sure you are set with a snappy elevator pitch for why they should look for your release.
Certainly choose those editors who know who you are. They are your low-hanging fruit.
If your company is attending trade shows during the three to four months following product release, you have the perfect reason to invite editors into your booth for a first-hand look at the product. Along with getting the release into their hands, the sit-down is an excellent time to discuss potential editorial coverage of the product.
2. Riding the Wave
Earn your follow-up media placements.
As you approach product launch date, start thinking about how you will talk about your new concept in 600 words or more in the form of guest editorials in your target trade publications.
Do not expect these articles to see print any sooner than a few months after the launch. Reason being that, in most cases, you want to keep the new product under wraps until its introduction date, and lead-time for print publications is usually around two months or more.
The waiting period is not all downside, though. After you get the OK from an editor to submit an article, you have a few weeks to a month to prepare that article; during that time there will be some market experience with your product that you can address in the article.
As for content, think about your market issues and how your product solves them. Certainly work in keywords and especially long-tail keywords, which detail what the market has to deal with and is concerned about. These articles will work quite nicely as blog content as well.
If you are fortunate enough to have your product go through a beta test, you have that site to talk about. These stories are especially important because readers don’t have to be concerned about being the first to try the product.
Make a Splash with a New Patent
You have a number of means at your disposal to burst into the market with your patented idea. The trade press not only fortifies the impact of your blogs and social media, but is the tip of the spear when it comes to hitting your market targets.