As important as it is for your start-up to have a tried and tested unique product or service to offer, it will go no where unless you can successfully convince people they need it. People won’t know about it unless it is advertised to them. The advertising process should include several things. Three key areas are outlined below:

1. An Educational Component:

Many people will tell you they learn better by seeing and doing than they do by merely listening or reading. It is important to present your product or service in visual or hands-on form as often and in as many ways as possible. Let them public actually see what you are selling through vivid photographs, diagrams or videos.

Part of the educational process includes explaining what your product or service does, how it works, and how it will help them. This educational component can include instruction by written word, seminar, audio, video and a number of strategic opportunities where customers can try your product or service for themselves.

Why not host special workshops or classes where customers can learn how to use your product? Why not broadcast your services through speaking engagements? A great idea is to offer customers a chance to use your product or service over a certain time period for free. That can work for anything from giving a homeowner a free trial of a doggy-doo scooping service, to giving a small business owner the opportunity to try out new software for 30 days. It might range from putting your product on display at a home show where customers can touch, feel and experiment with it, to giving conference attendees the chance to use your virtual reality technology product at a technology conference.

The more knowledge and information people have about your product, the more likely they will be to buy-in. And once they learn about it, they are more likely to tell others.

2. Connection to Something or Someone Else:

In your marketing program, if you draw attention to the differences between your product and another well-known product in the market, you will provide a context to the customer. Connecting your customer with something they are familiar with will give them a starting point. Then they can evaluate how your product might better align with their needs. By drawing attention to some open gaps in the market, a customer might understand how your product would be the ideal solution to solve a number of problems.

Sales fly through the roof when a product becomes accepted by the masses. People look to others to see what they’re using and want to keep up with them. A customer with a genuine need for a product or service might look to others for reassurance before making a decision. Knowing that others are using it with success may be all a customer needs to be convinced especially if he is the type that likes to cut to the chase and not do a lot of research.

Many customers make purchases based on referrals from friends or positive reviews they’ve read. It’s important to create a buzz about your product so that recommendations will be made automatically by happy customers.

3. Storytelling Opportunities:

Your start-up might have something so trendsetting to offer that people don’t even know they need it. Often it is helpful to have powerful people or celebrities endorse a product. In the initial stages, it can be effective to have a company spokesperson explain the need, and outline advantages of the product or service.

You might pitch your product or service through news releases, newsletters, email marketing, TV commercials, print ads and more. There are many PR companies that can do all of this for you if you don’t want to do it yourself.

Look for key storytelling opportunities. Try to get into the press—whether good press or bad. Even bad press can start exciting conversations that introduce your product to the public.

Set up interviews and place them online either in audio or video form. Feature your story, product or service on a television talk show or reality TV show. Offer your new product or service as a prize at an event. Have a celebrity refer to it either on television or in their blog or Twitter account.

An extremely popular and easy marketing method to use as well is article marketing. This involves simply writing your story in such a way as to demonstrate the value of your product or service, and then publishing your story online as an article or blog post. Always provide links or a biographical section that will point readers to your website and contact information.

Marketing today is like picking up bricks and building a wall with them. The first brick is the first step you take to broadcast your product or service. In many cases, once a few bricks are put in place, other people will help build the rest of the wall. For instance, reporters might write their own articles on your company. Bloggers might blog about you and your products. Your social media network might spread the word about your products to their friends. Newscasters might mention you in their evening reports. Once you put your first brick in place, there might be little you can do to stop the momentum. So if you’re ready to go, get the word out, cover as many bases as possible, answer key questions, and you’ll be on your way!