Case Study: How to Generate $7 Million Revenue For A Product for a Problem No One Wants to Talk About
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Having a taboo product makes it nearly impossible to promote.
Nobody wants to hear about awkward (but necessary) products every day.
It’s even harder to create viral buzz around it too.
Marketing a product that buyers use awkwardly, like toilet paper, is tough.
Usually, when you watch commercials or see ads, they make you feel good.
But what if your products relate to a problem that people don’t like to share openly?
Think of products like skin care, bathroom-related products and more.
But you need to get people talking about your product if you want to drive big revenue numbers.
You can’t afford to skip promotion or ignore viral possibilities just because it’s tough or awkward.
Thankfully, there are a few ways you can promote products like this!
Bobby Edwards founded Squatty Potty to help people use the perfect posture when going to the bathroom.
It’s not a very exciting or buzzworthy product, yet he was able to drive over seven million dollars in revenue with creative marketing tactics.
Today we’re going to look at exactly how Bobby was able to drive such high revenues to such an awkward product, and how you can market your product like he did.
Let’s jump right in.
Bobby Edwards founded Squatty Potty in 2011 in St. George, Utah.
His goal for the product developed out of necessity.
Bobby’s mother was chronically constipated and had serious issues going to the bathroom.
They tried almost anything to help her problems, yet nothing seemed to work.
He did copious amounts of research and found that posture was a big factor in bathroom troubles.
But the problem was a lack of products or ways to help your posture.
There was nothing out there to solve this common problem.
And that’s how the Squatty Potty was born.
The first design wasn’t perfect, obviously.
The stool was a great start, but it needed some tweaking.
He started making them in the house with newly acquired design skills.
His mom even asked him to produce several for her friends, and they found amazing success with relieving their problems.
At this point, Bobby knew he had a gold mine on his hands.
So, how did he start promoting such an embarrassing topic and product?
Bobby started off small.
He wasn’t able to generate $7 million in revenue overnight or with just one promotional campaign.
He started off by researching how other brands with boring or standard products were making big sales.
He watched videos on YouTube of content from Orabrush who were able to generate millions of hits on videos about bad breath and tongue brushes:
He took inspiration from their ability to drive over 26 million views on a single video about a boring, taboo product.
He thought that if they could put a funny spin on a boring industry, he could do the same thing.
He started developing simple product videos on his own and posting them to Facebook and YouTube.
He posted the company’s first video on YouTube in 2012, and it now has over 3 million views:
After producing hit videos on YouTube and Facebook, Bobby still lacked the sales and growth that he needed to scale the business.
He started conducting huge marketing campaigns with influencers in his space.
He reached out to everyone and anyone that could benefit from the product.
Contacting people like paleo diet industry leaders, mommy bloggers, health and nutrition blogs and more.
Using this strategy was his ticket to success.
He said that it was the best thing he ever did for his business for growth and scalability.
Eventually, he found incredible success and viral buzz through influencer marketing. He even landed a showing on ABC’s infamous show, Shark Tank.
From there, Squatty Potty took off even further and captured the interest of huge media brands.
And he was starting to drive sales through the roof with these free promotional videos.
He was featured on Dr. Oz, too:
On top of that, he was also featured on a WebMD Facebook video talking about posture when using the toilet:
The buzz and promotion kept rolling from there.
WebMD drove him tons of valuable, converting traffic. But that wasn’t the last of it.
With huge features in major publications, NPR started to get in on the promotion:
Bobby credits his viral sales growth of such a taboo product to taking advantage of influencer marketing.
Using his influencer marketing strategy, he found a creative way to promote a product that nobody wanted to talk about.
Here’s why you should be using influencer marketing and how to creatively promote an awkward product.
So, why did Bobby decide to use influencer marketing tactics to grow his business?
Why not stick to the traditional outlets like PPC and SEO? Why not just produce more content?
Because his product, Squatty Potty, wasn’t all that interesting to read about.
It wasn’t a topic that was easy to create viral buzz around.
In fact, he said that influencer marketing was responsible for his best and biggest growth of his business.
And he isn’t alone. Influencer marketing budgets are actually on the rise:
Most marketers in the latest eMarketer study said that influencer marketing budgets would increase from 2016 to 2017.
Why? Because influencer marketing works.
Squatty Potty is a first-hand account of the success of the marketing tactic.
On top of that, banner ads don’t work anymore! In fact, Bobby even tried using them and said his conversions were terrible.
Banner blindness has lead to the downfall of banner-style ads in the PPC industry.
If you’re unfamiliar with banner blindness, it’s a fact that people are so bombarded with ads on a daily basis that they start to ignore them. They subconsciously tune them out or consciously take efforts to block them.
And it makes sense. Here’s how many ads the average person sees:
That’s nearly 2,000 ads every single month!
It’s no wonder that ad block usage is on the rise:
Apparently, people are tired of seeing PPC display ads.
They don’t want to be overwhelmed by ads every time they browse the internet.
So running display ads isn’t working anymore.
Here are the top reasons that people who use ad blocking technology cited as their reasons for using it:
The top issues all revolve around one big, central theme:
People are getting sick of seeing too many ads!
On top of that data, eMarketer predicts that by the end of 2017 there will be 1 in 4 people using ad blocking applications every time they use the internet.
So what do you do instead? Well, Bobby didn’t find success with display ads, so he turned to influencer marketing.
In fact, according to TapInfluence, influencer marketing produces a much higher ROI than banner ads:
Influencer marketing is growing every single year. And ad blocking applications are too.
Meaning banner ads are slowly becoming a thing of the past, and influencer marketing is ready to fill the gaps.
The time is now to switch to a new platform and tactic that will still bring in tons of sales.
Here’s how you can follow Squatty Potty’s plan and creatively promote your awkward product using video and influencer marketing.
Now that you know exactly how Squatty Potty achieved their $7 million revenue growth, it’s time to put their exact plan into action.
Let’s get started.
Squatty Potty took an important first step before becoming a viral sensation: They researched how other product producers were making their content.
How were they getting viral traffic on such boring products?
How did they market such a taboo product and still get people to show interest?
These are the key questions that Bobby had to face.
And luckily for you, it’s easy to do on your own.
For this example, we can pretend that we are a small ecommerce company that sells organic dish soaps and laundry detergent.
Pretty boring, huh?
But that’s the point. We want to take a boring, standard, everyday product and turn it into the viral dream that all entrepreneurs reach for.
Start on Google by searching for companies that make similar products:
You should instantly see a few brand products come up in the Google Shopping ads.
If you don’t find any, you probably will see a few posts like this:
Simply click on a list post like this to inspect what brands are popular in your space:
Once you’ve done that, you can head to YouTube to see if these companies have a channel that posts active videos.
For example, one of the products we found when searching for organic dish soap was Mrs. Meyer’s:
They are an organic cleaning company that focuses on producing safe, friendly cleaning products.
Pretty boring and standard. Most people don’t even think about the cleaning products they buy.
They simply buy it and start cleaning.
But they have nearly 10,000 subscribers, and their most viewed video has almost 50,000 views!
Here is their most popular video:
Bobby used this exact strategy when conducting his research.
He noticed that informational videos on his product were a big success.
And that’s exactly what Mrs. Meyer’s has used in dozens of videos to get their product off the ground!
Thankfully, they aren’t hard or expensive to create either.
Here’s how you can create these simple yet effective videos to promote your products.
Creating simple, great product videos is super easy.
Most companies are doing them for a reason:
They are fun to watch and can help you educate your audience on your product without boring them to death with paragraph after paragraph of info!
It’s no secret that video usage is on the rise when it comes to marketing a product or service.
Here’s how to get started creating your videos for free.
Head to Biteable and create a free account by clicking the “Get Started – It’s Free” button:
Once you fill out your account information and create a profile, you can start to choose which type of video you want to make:
For this example, it would be best to use the “Business Explainer” template, unless you are feeling creative and want to start from scratch.
Click “Select” to start editing this template.
From here you will have the ability to edit just about anything in your video!
You can edit the design, text, font and more.
If you click the big “+” button, you can also add new templated animation to your video:
You can add anything from pictures to videos and footage of your product into the video.
Biteable is one of the fastest, easiest ways to create videos for your products that adds character and excitement.
Once you’ve created some great product videos, it’s time to drive growth and traction using influencer marketing.
Bobby credits his success with Squatty Potty to using influencer marketing.
He started sending his products to paleo bloggers, mommy bloggers, health fanatics and fitness junkies.
He sent a free Squatty Potty to almost anyone in his related space that had influence online.
Why? For the promotion.
He knew that these bloggers would love his product because it related to their niches.
He effectively turned an embarrassing problem into a funny topic of discussion and promotion.
And you can do it too.
One of the best ways to find new influencers is by using HYPR.
HYPR allows you to access tons of data and analytics on the world’s best influencers.
Everyone from social media stars to micro-influencers with smaller, niche followings.
Thankfully, HYPR allows you an in-depth free trial, giving you 100 searches for free.
To get started, click “Try for Free” to create your new account.
Once you’ve created a new account, you can instantly begin searching and analyzing influencers.
You can filter your results by social media platform, total follower count and keywords related to your product.
For example, if you are looking to target influencers in the mommy blogger sphere, just search that keyword:
You should instantly turn up tons of results that are heavily specialized to your target niche.
Simply click on any of these profiles to get more data about their influencing power:
You can even see data on their power to influence and create an engaging audience:
This tool is super diverse and allows you to browse tons of different influencers to target.
If you don’t have any initial luck finding good influencers, there’s one trick that you can use:
First, Google search for influencer lists:
You should be able to turn up list posts like this one:
Click on the post and scan the page for interesting influencers that might be a great fit for your products:
Once you’ve found an interesting influencer, head back to HYPR and search for their blog.
This should instantly turn up a result featuring that blogger:
Once you’ve compiled a big list of outreach targets, Bobby recommends that you simply send them free products.
Contact them and ask them if you can send them free demo products to try out.
Be sure not to ask for direct promotion or anything in advance.
If they love your product, they will promote it happily to their fans!
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool for your ecommerce business.
It could be the difference between making or breaking it.
Get started with influencer marketing today to see huge growth like Squatty Potty.
Marketing a product is easy when you have a popular product that everyone can happily identify with.
For example, a new basketball shoe or the latest and greatest product from Apple.
Everybody wants a piece of it.
But what do you do when you have a boring or awkward product that is hard or nearly impossible to promote?
For example, what if you sell skincare products for acne or skin diseases?
It’s almost impossible to make marketing and promotion interesting.
Let’s face it: nobody wants to hear about awkward products or admit to using them.
So how do you promote it? How do you create viral buzz around it?
Start by researching niche products that are boring or awkward like your own.
See how they get people to become interested.
Next, create videos that are funny yet informative.
Lastly, reach out to influencers and build your growth steadily.
What unique marketing tactics have you found success with? How do you promote an awkward or less buzzworthy product?