Online Business Technology

How to Enter a New Market with a Viral Product

The moment Gillian Gallant saw a Paper Shoot Camera on TikTok, she knew it would be popular in North America. Like a disposable camera, the straightforward digital point-and-shoot takes pictures, but without the burden of purchasing and preparing film. Gillian approached the camera’s creator George Lin in Taiwan using her skills in marketing to propose managing North American distribution of the product.

How did Gillian get the sole rights to a product that went viral and finally sell Paper Shoot Cameras to over 70,000 customers?

Share your enthusiasm

What is Gillian’s task? convincing the creator that she was the ideal candidate to aid in Paper Shoot Camera’s market entry in North America. Initially, Gillian and George corresponded by email in a casual manner, but when the line went dead, Gillian reasoned that she had nothing to lose.

Gillian sent George a lengthy email outlining her enthusiasm for the product and her plans for it, as well as how she and her business partner would work hard to manage the company. “I think the passion I portrayed in that email to him, I think that did speak to him and gave us that opportunity for him to see that we would be a really good fit for his product,” says Gillian.

Recognize your target market

Paper Shoot Cameras would be well-liked by younger millennials and members of Generation Z, Gillian understood right away. “Younger generations that grew up with technology don’t remember a time where they didn’t have it,” Gillian claims. The newest iPhone fails to amaze them as much as something that just returns to the fundamentals and provides a break from technology. In the past, Gillian used sales data from her Amazon sales to gauge consumer interest in disposable cameras.

Market via a variety of social media platforms

A social media manager was Gillian’s first hire. Within a short period of time, the business created a popular TikTok video that was manipulated to make Timothée Chalamet appear to be carrying a Paper Shoot camera. However, Paper Shoot Camera persisted in broadening the range of its marketing platforms by posting on TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Understanding the kind of content that does well on each channel is necessary when posting on them. I consider an Instagram profile to be somewhat similar to a website, Gillian says. You’ll want to ensure that there is a ton of information available for folks to browse. According to her, TikToks and Reels are more transient than Instagram posts, which should have more evergreen material.

Gillian’s biggest challenge was figuring out how to distribute and ship to the US as she is situated in Canada. Since the USPS requires a credit card with a billing address in the US, Gillian explains, “We haven’t been able to get a United States credit card, which means I cannot get a USPS account.” Gillian ultimately used an American-based third-party logistics company to assist her in setting up shipping accounts.

The majority of sales for Paper Shoot Camera still occur online. Although the business doesn’t currently have retail partners, Gillian has sold the cameras at events like Coachella and SXSW. It’s extremely amazing to see people in person and their reactions to it in real time, Gillian says, noting how their eyes light up anytime they see it.