How Can I Gain the Attention of Early Adopters?

Whether you’re launching a new product or a new blog, reaching early adopters is essential.

Early adopters may be small in number – for example, only 11% of web users know how to use RSS. But this small group packs a big punch. Using the RSS example, those 11% of RSS subscribers are by and large active web publishers.

By attracting the attention of this early adopter crowd, you can achieve:

  • Search Benefits: Early adopters make up the “Linkerati,” a group of web influencers who regularly link to worthwhile content from their highly trafficked websites and blogs. In most cases, the more quality links to your website or blog, the better the search visibility.
  • Social Benefits: Early adopters are the connectors of the web. They’re actively talking and engaging throughout the social web. By getting them discussing your brand or product, it increases the propsensity to spread.

To reach this sought-after but select crowd of influencers, leverage these three tips:

1. Engage in emerging channels. Early adopters have “shiny new object” syndrome; they engage in the latest channels frequently because they are the latest. Those channels could include Google Buzz, Foursquare – wherever early adopters are checking out as the potential next big thing. For example, Starbucks was one of the first brands on Twitter. It’s now one of the most successful brands on the microblogging site and boasts 800,000+ followers. For reaching early adopters, those who engage early may reap rewards (of course, quality of engagement matters too).

2. Leverage popular archetypes. You don’t have to invent the wheel when it comes to reaching early adopters. Identify the most popular of archetypes – the types of images that are going viral or the types of blog posts that go popular on social channels – and create your own content leveraging those formats. For example, infographics are currently popular among the early adopter crowd. Create your own unique, visually appealing infographic that educates customers about your brand or product, and may be shared more readily than a more traditional format.

3. Don’t worry about the masses. When trying to reach early adopters, put the masses on the side burner – temporarily. Speak to early adopters at a high level, provide technical details and don’t be afraid to use technical jargon.  The early adopter crowd will appreciate being treated like they “get it.”

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