How to market your invention during the coronavirus crisis

If you’d like a different, more interactive approach to a virtual event, try coordinating a longer-lasting or ongoing event and then create a Facebook group for participants.


Who could have been prepared for what has become a sudden and intense societal shutdown?

The coronavirus crisis has forced us to figure out a new normal in our personal lives and in our work. Meanwhile, we have had to juggle the stress and anxiety of caring for sick loved ones, family and friends;  navigate a changing business landscape and potential layoffs; and much more.

This likely requires a pivot in your approach to inventing and marketing your invention. Here are some tips for using social media to market your invention while social distancing.

Go live.

You may not be able to interact with your customers or target audience in person, but you can still do so online.

Consider going live on Facebook or Instagram once a week. Pick a topic of discussion—anything from what you’re working on to how people can use your invention—and then start promoting the livestream a few days ahead of time through posts, email blasts or stories.

When you go live, you’ll be able to have real-time conversations with those who tune in as they ask questions and leave comments in response to what you’re saying. This is a great way to provide an up-close-and-personal, behind-the-scenes look at the way you create products and grow your business.

Host a virtual event.

Social media platforms make it easier than ever to host a virtual event, or to promote one hosted elsewhere. For example, consider hosting a webinar about a certain aspect of inventing—such as prototyping, licensing or working with a specific material—then use your social channels to promote the webinar and encourage people to sign up and tune in.

If you’d like a different, more interactive approach to a virtual event, try coordinating a longer-lasting or ongoing event and then create a Facebook group for participants.

For example, if you created a new, easier way to mop floors, you could host a seven-day house cleaning challenge, then create a Facebook group for everyone participating. You should market the challenge and the Facebook group in advance, and encourage people taking on the challenge to invite their friends to participate and join the group as well.

Once the challenge begins, you could publish a post each day telling members what spot in their house to clean and asking for tips to make that specific chore better and easier. This would boost engagement and give you an opportunity to interact with those participating.

Start a conversation with hashtags.

Using hashtags is a great option if you have a large audience on Twitter or Instagram.

Consider the housecleaning challenge above. You could encourage people who participate to post about it on their own channels using the hashtag #QuarantineHouseCleaning, then use the hashtag to find those who are participating and interact with them. This could ultimately grow your relationship with your customers and target audience.

You can also look at what other hashtags are trending during this time, and jump on them to create new content and expand your reach.

Offer to do a video call.

If you need to have a meeting with a customer, client or partner but would rather do it face-to-face, remember that Facebook offers video calls!

You could also use other options such as Zoom, Facetime, Google Hangouts or Skype if you feel more comfortable with those platforms. Regardless, if you’re looking for a way to connect with people to grow your business, video calls are a great way to meet with someone while maintaining social distance.

Be aware that everyone non-essential should be at home.

Keep the current social climate in mind as you craft posts or ads.

Suppose you invented a new game. Rather than posting about the best snacks to serve at a game night, you could post tips for hosting a virtual game night using Zoom.

Or, suppose you invented a product that helps you grill the perfect steak. Don’t use a picture in your posts that shows a large group of people on a patio or deck or around a grill. Instead, use a photo focused on just the product or on one person grilling steaks.

Make sure you’re thinking carefully about what content you are posting and whether it makes sense to post at this time.

If you’re having trouble finding images to post, depending on your invention and the context it’s designed for, this may be a great time to find and utilize user-generated content.

For example, if you’ve invented a product for the home, now is a great time to ask people to post pictures of themselves using your invention with a specific hashtag for a chance to be featured by your account.

If you’re posting content on Instagram Stories and it’s related to being at home, consider using the “Stay Home” sticker to encourage others to stay home and hopefully even extend your reach and get your content seen by new users.

Tell your audience how you’re staying home.

Have you thought about using your social media profiles to connect more deeply with your audience and encourage them to maintain social distancing?

This is a great time to show your customers and target audience that you’re just like them, which makes your brand more relatable. One way to do this would be to give a virtual tour of your home office and talk about how you’re social distancing while trying to manage a business and invent new products.

Don’t forget to ask your audience how they’re staying home as well. This will increase engagement and help you keep building connections!