Once you’ve spent days, weeks, or months perfecting your new product, the hard work is over, right? Well – not exactly.

Assuming you want to do more with your product than just stare at it while it sits on a shelf in your garage, you’ve got to start putting together a marketing plan. This may sound daunting, not to mention expensive – but thanks to the internet, there are lots of product marketing tips you can take advantage of, to effectively spread the word about your product.

Reach out to reporters and journalists.

Getting media coverage is an excellent way to give your product a boost in the public eye – and all it costs you is your time.

To get started, brainstorm some publications that you think might be interested in what you’ve created. If you’ve got an outdoorsy product, like our solar camping battery, you’d want to go after Outside magazine or National Geographic Adventure. If your product is specific to one field, like medicine, you’d want to reach out to journals and industry publications.

The goal at this point is not to earn a cover story, but to make these journalists aware of you and your company or product so you can start building a relationship with them.

To do this, you’ve got to get personal: Find the specific journalists who cover the kind of topics your product fits into and do your very best to contact them personally. Nothing will get you thrown on the slush pile quicker than a hastily written mass email.

After you’ve come up with a few reporters and outlets on your own, try using some online tools like BuzzSumo or Klout to find top bloggers and influencers to reach out to. Again, you’ve got to put time and effort into crafting a well-written, personal email that will help you start building that relationship.

Make sure to gather a healthy mix of large and small publications, as well as print and online outlets. And remember that when it comes to writers, they’re a whole lot more interested in your product’s story than a list of its specs and features.

Go after inbound marketing leads.

Inbound marketing means, in essence, that people come to you instead of you going to them. A Facebook or Google ad, for example, is outbound marketing. A whitepaper or blog post, on the other hand, is inbound marketing.

The great thing about inbound marketing is that, like contacting journalists, it doesn’t have to cost you anything.

You certainly can hire a writer, content strategist, or marketing firm to help you – and if you have the funds available, doing so can be a highly worthwhile investment. But if you’re looking to cut costs, you can also find plenty of free resources on the web to help you put together valuable content that will start bringing customers to you.

Some ideas to start with are whitepapers, blog posts, Vines (short 6-second videos), or infographics.

Get social, with a strategy.

You’ve probably already got a social media account set up across several platforms, but have you thought about a social strategy?

Posting frequently to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. is a good place to start. But to make your social media presence truly effective, you need some sort of goal to work toward. Are you trying to get noticed by influencers? Grow your email list? Establish a community of fans?

Whatever it may be, write your goal down and then work on using your social media presence to move you toward that goal. If you’re wanting to establish a community of fans, maybe you want to start giving sneak peeks of your product before it launches. You could focus on very image- and video -heavy posts or announce a contest where the winner wins your product.

There are all kinds of ways you can leverage social media to grow your audience, and hopefully turn that audience into satisfied product purchasers.

Are you working on developing small business marketing ideas? For more help, read our e-book From Concept to Product Launch: A Guide to Product Development.