You have a new product that’s ready to launch, but something’s holding you back. You’re not sure if your product launch marketing ideas will be effective enough. You are concerned that “better” marketing strategies are beyond your budget. You are scared that if you’re not able to generate enough buzz for your new product, it will fail even before it had the chance to.
You have the right to be afraid. According to the Insights Association, 60% of new product launch ideas never make it to market. Of the 40% that do, only 60% are able to generate enough revenue to become commercially viable. Other studies found that between 30% to 80% of new products fail, depending on the industry. Pretty scary stats, right? But don’t let them prevent you from putting your new product out into the world. I’m here to tell you that it is possible to effectively launch your product and promote without spending a huge chunk from your product marketing campaign budget.
1. Start a blog and write guest posts
A blog is a very valuable resource for your product launching and marketing. It’s a great avenue to educate your target audience about your product or brand. You can feature important details in the blogs such as
- the benefits of having your product,
- discussing what it can do for its consumers,
- informing why people need your producta
- promoting public awareness of the benefits of having your product.
It’s also an effective platform for creating a big buzz about your product launch and publish useful updates and milestones stories throughout, from product promotions to launching and even up to marketing. To sustain public interest in your product you must:
- Update your blog regularly (at least once a week) with many details about the product. In your blog, share info and photos during the product’s development and let your target audiences know the stages you have successfully reached while in the process. Include this development documentation as part of the product launching event. You can also blog or post one product feature every week until the much-awaited product launching to keep your audience interested.
- Always share your blog posts with your mailing list, social media followers and key inﬂuencers in your industry.
- A good example is the California-based Mayﬁeld Robotics. They started a dedicated blog that provided updates on their latest product, Kuri. They showcased the adorable domestic robot recently in Las Vegas at the CES, (Consumer Electronics Show). Through Kuri’s Blog, they updated the readers on media mentions, Kuri’s product developments, and the heads up on the product launch. They even provided readers with insights into the robot’s design concepts by presenting an interview with the animation designer.
Complement your blogs by guest posting. This is a very effective promotion strategy. Guest posting in a reputable website or blog site is a great way to grab higher audience attention and reaching out readers who have not heard your brand. Popular web and blog sites already have large, established audiences. Occasionally contributing relevant posts to these sites is likely to attract more audience who will be interested in your product. Niche sites’ guest posting is another clever idea. Write a number of niche articles and pitch them to the publishers and editors of the different websites and media platforms of your target audience. These specific site guest posting can help win more targeted consumers. Guest posts need not be too marketing oriented or too promoting. Informative, formal yet entertaining posts will attract more readers and has higher chances of being shared and endorsed by readers thus enhancing your credibility. You can mention your new product in a guest post or contributing article. Occasional product mention in guest blogs promotes more excitement, intrigue, and interest to the readers compared to what frequent advertising or promotions do. Readers tend to scour articles with the features they’ll ﬁnd useful and beneficial for their needs. Most readers can sense plain marketing and promotions hype and difference from a genuine and authentic product promotion and review.
Guest posts are a great avenue to win valuable backlinks too. Backlinks are crucial in boosting your product’s search ranking. The guest posting implicitly hits two goals in one action. An excellent example of this product launching strategy is the Chapman Lever of Rigor’s promotion of the team’s ebook on GIF optimization. By pitching in occasional posts to Moz discussing useful tips to improve site performance when GIFs are used, he was able to provide the readers with a thorough guide on the effective use of GIFs. It then gave the Chapman lever team the credibility and the opportunity to invite the readers or audience to download the free ebook became a much-awaited announcement.
2. Get Influencers to Review Your Product
A lot of people tend to look for proofs, guarantee or reputable endorsement before patronizing a new product, service, player, innovator or brand. Oftentimes they dismiss the popularity claimed by market newcomers and challenge the marketing hype surrounding these upcomers. Most of the new introductions are eyed on but with skepticism. However, the present-day audience doesn’t just wait for things to happen. They act right away — seek product reviews from online sources or look for product endorsement from endorsers of good reputation.
These endorsers are known nowadays as influencers. They possess the popularity, credibility and oftentimes, authority to assess and give influencing reviews to a product. They are charismatic personalities who can effectively influence the public for a product’s acceptability and endorsement to the consuming public is first nature to them. Partnering with influencers increases the chances of convincing your target audience to embrace the new product or brand. Accordingly, research suggests that up to 90% of consumers read online reviews. 59% of the 90%base their purchase decisions on recommendations from the people of influences they know and trust – friends, family members and popular or influential people from the media or they follow online. Ask influencers to have a review of your product. Getting the loyalty of a reputable influencer is a good advantage. One way to do this is to give them an exclusive preview of your product. Another would be to send them some product samples and ask them to share their honest reviews of, and experiences with your product. Reviews from inﬂuencers in your niche can also help you win the trust of your target consumers, whom many may have never heard of your brand or product before. Ask the inﬂuencers to include the info about your upcoming product launch in their posts to help build up buzz for the launch. Giving giveaways is also a sure hit with prospective customers. Present these giveaways through your influencer and surely capture your target audience’s interest.
Through giveaways, freebies, or free samples of your product, you can win an appreciable fraction of your target audience. The free sample in exchange for reviews and posts about your new product can help convince other consumers to have a look at your product and may lead to the eventual purchase. Prizes, giveaways, and free samples can even get people excited about your product launching by awarding the winners of the giveaways on the product launch date. Promoting through giveaways with the help of inﬂuencers to gather audience interest is just the perfect combination. Influencers are already experts at engaging their audiences. Working with the right inﬂuencers to introduce your new product to your target audience increases their interest and in getting their free samples and giveaways thus live audience engagement is guaranteed which is the perfect avenue for prospective customers to have a first hand of enjoying your product. If the marketing budget becomes an issue, then micro-inﬂuencers is your target partners. Collectively, they can drive higher engagement rates and conversions than a single top rank inﬂuencer would and for just a fraction of the cost. Full Circle promoted their product launch giveaways through inﬂuential eco-conscious bloggers. The Mom Blog Society hosted the giveaway, and other eco-friendly blogs, like Budget Earth and helped promote Full Circle products.
3. Take Advantage of Crowdfunding Platforms
You may already have enough money to develop your product and to market your launch. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of crowdfunding platforms. A crowdfunding campaign can be an excellent way to generate buzz for your new product launch.
Crowdfunding for product launch marketing can help you build a network of people who are not only interested in your product but are also already invested in its development. They can make excellent brand advocates, and will often help promote your launch to their friends and followers, without you even having to ask. If you offer rewards to people who help fund your project, make sure that they are appealing and useful to your backers, while also helping to promote your brand. For example, if you’re launching a new line of beauty products, a reward could include some of your new products, and a makeup bag with your brand name or logo on it. One of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns was for the Pebble Time smartwatch. They raised more than $20 million from over 78,000 backers on Kickstarter. The campaign featured videos, images, and even an infographic, which highlighted the unique features of the product. Depending on the amount they pledged, backers received between 1 to 30 watches, in the color(s) of their choice.
4. Engage Regularly on Social Media
Focus on growing your social media presence when preparing for your product launch marketing. During your product development stage, engage your fans and followers by sharing regular updates about your progress and any exciting milestones you’ve achieved.
Even if you’ve already created a lot of buzz for your new product and you have a long list of people just waiting to get their hands on it, that doesn’t mean you should stop promoting. You need to sustain your prospect’s interest and engagement. There is a tendency for them to forget about your product or worse, the possibility to lose interest before the time you have your product launch. Regular updates on social media can help keep your prospects engaged and interested in your product. Social media platforms are also a great place to collect useful information for your product launch. Start a poll, and ask your followers questions that will be useful for your launch. For example, you could ask if people would prefer to buy your product exclusively on your brand website, or if they’d also like the option of purchasing it through e-commerce retailers. Salesforce promoted their Developers Spring 17 release by engaging their Facebook fans and inviting them to attend a webinar.
They’ve even invited people to ask questions about the release using a branded hashtag to further build buzz around the event. You need the support of consumers who are willing to spend their money on it for your product to be successful. The challenge lies in reaching those consumers. While you may be able to reach out to a signiﬁcant number of people through inﬂuencers, online publications, and social media; it may not be enough. To effectively promote your product launch, reach out to online communities and introduce them to your new product. Some excellent examples are the New Products and Startups subreddits on Reddit. As their respective names suggest, these subreddits can help you reach an active community of individuals who might be interested in your new product or startup. Share your ideas and updates with them and collect their valuable opinions to help you make improvements.
5. Go Big with Social Media Teasers and Countdowns
Social media is one of the most effective, yet inexpensive channels for promoting a product launch. They are the perfect platforms for providing your audience with teasers about your launch.
You could provide your followers with sneak peeks and exclusive previews of the product or behind-the-scenes updates about the product being made. Your followers can get hyped up for your launch by showcasing what’s happening behind the scenes. A good teaser would be cryptic images related to the product and ask them to guess what the images mean. When you are just a few days away to the product launch, update your proﬁle and cover photos with numbers counting down. These countdowns can help build buzz for the launch and remind your audience of the launch date. Samsung used social media platforms like Instagram to stir up curiosity about their latest product. They used an image of a simple black box with a bluish glow, and a caption telling people to, “get ready for #TheNextGalaxy.” The black box adds a mysterious element to this campaign and the only other information available is, “February 21,” which is the launch date. Other interesting behind the scenes to share your audience would be scenes on:
- What’s your team currently working on?
- How do they spend their time?
- What are some of the elements involved in your production?
These are great and interesting going on to see by your target audience and prospective customers.
6. Create Eye-Catching Visual Content
If you’re familiar with marketing, you already know that visual content plays a huge role in audience engagement. In fact, Social Media Examiner found that visuals are the second most important form of content next to blogging.
Visual content should be a key component of your product launch marketing plan. A few ideas for promoting your launch with visuals include:
- Explainer videos – Create a video to explain what your product is, what it does, and why it’s better than the competition.
- Infographics – Transform detailed descriptions of your product’s features and beneﬁts into a stunning, easy-to-digest infographic.
- Images – Create product updates, and countdown timers with the help of eye-catching images.
- Custom graphics – Promote special offers, discount codes, and contests on social media with custom graphics.
Other ways to use visual content to promote your product launch would to use free, easy-to-use tools for creating custom visuals for social media, email marketing, blog posts, etc. Canva, for example, includes more than 8,000 free templates, making it super simple to create a wide range of visual content, including posters, brochures, social media ads, and infographics.
7. Invite Influencers to Your Launch Event
If you’re going to work with inﬂuencers to promote your product launch, you could organize an event just for them. Try hosting a product launch event attended by relevant inﬂuencers who can share the news with a relevant audience.
The goal is to have them share photos and videos from the event with their followers helping you in your marketing efforts. When they share their experience at your event, inﬂuencers can help build hype for your launch. Not only will their fans be engaged by the content, but they’ll also be intrigued to ﬁnd out what all the buzz is about. They can either share their experiences through live feeds, photos, or videos. For example, Target worked with inﬂuencers to promote the launch of their Victoria Beckham clothing line. Inﬂuencers shared photos of themselves wearing items from the collection. Target also invited inﬂuencers like Shiva Safai to their launch event. Safai then shared photos on Instagram to help promote the launch. The content from all inﬂuencers for the campaign generated more than half a million likes and thousands of comments. The engagement rate stood at an average of 6%. Additionally, several items from the collection were sold out online within just a few hours of the launch.
8. Go Live on Facebook and Instagram
You can also make the most of the Live feature on Facebook and Instagram to engage your fans and get them excited for your launch. You could use Live to showcase what’s going on behind the scenes or to share your launch event with your followers. Whatever the case may be, it should help you stir the curiosity of your audience, and market your launch effectively.
That’s how Dunkin’ Donuts engaged their fans for Valentine’s Day. They used Facebook to provide a live stream of their test kitchen and to show how they create new products. At the end part of the Live feed, they showcased how they created a massive donut-themed wedding cake. The video generated 43,000 views. Another smart move is to ask questions as you engage your audience. When you post to social media as a way of marketing your product launch, one of your main goals should be to engage your audience and the surest way is by asking them questions or making them respond in posts, or comment while on Live feed or stream. Simply sharing your upcoming product post after post simply gives information.
There is no conversation or interaction happening, thus a one-sided interaction. People may enjoy seeing the photos and/or videos but they may not be too keen to engage with you. Therefore try to ask questions that will capture your audience’s attention when you share news or posts about the upcoming product. This opens up an opportunity for your fans to share their thoughts with you and connect with your brand. This high engagement rate may be a sign that your product launch marketing campaign is working. It can also have other indirect effects. When they have the opportunity to answer your questions, your potential customers may feel more involved in the launch.
This can build excitement and may compel them to keep looking out for more information on the launch. Before Bloomsbury Publishing launched its 20th-anniversary house edition copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, they share photos with the news of the launch. They asked their fans about which Hogwarts house they’re in and whether they’d be getting the paperback or hard image copies. They also encouraged their fans to start pre-ordering the copies. It goes to show that asking the right questions with your product launch posts can be an excellent way to keep your fans engaged for the upcoming product. It is a simple yet excellent solution for marketing your launch.
9. Accept Pre-Orders
Another excellent and inexpensive way to build hype for your product launch is by offering pre-order options. This may not have occurred to you because you were highly focused on the marketing campaign for your launch. But what you need to know is that offering product pre-order could be an excellent marketing tactic in itself.
Firstly, when you let your existing fans pre-order your upcoming product, you’re making an easy sale. But when you make them wait till the launch so they can start buying, you’re providing them with an opportunity to change their minds. Additionally, seeing lots of people pre-order your product could build excitement and compel others to check it out too. Nintendo, for example, made pre-orders available for their SNES Classic Edition. The launch was announced in June, and pre-orders became available in the U.S. in July. But as of writing this post, the pre-orders have now been sold out. This is an excellent example of how making pre-orders available can effectively market your product launch, and help you make sales even before it launches.
10. Have Leading Press News Outlets Share Your Story
Leading media outlets are the perfect channel for marketing your product launch. In one of the earlier tips, you learned that participating in trade shows can be an effective way to get featured in these outlets.
While this may seem like it’s already good enough, there’s no harm in taking an extra step to get yourself promoted by these outlets. Get some reputable online publications to talk about your product launch by sharing your story with them. Share them the story of how your product came about and how it will help solve certain issues. You’ll be giving them the opportunity to present a unique news story to their audience, helping them enrich their content. Better yet, reach out to one of the top publications relevant to your industry and give them an exclusive scoop – something no other media outlet knows or has reported. If they decide to share the news, it could reach plenty of relevant people. And other smaller media outlets may decide to cover the story too. Take for example this report on Fortune, where a story about Amazon buying a certain company to enhance Alexa. Alexa will be debuting in September, and the news report was published in July. This gives just enough time for the story to gain momentum and build hype before the launch.
11. Provide Updates via Email
Email is the cheapest way to reach relevant audiences and market your product launch to them. Even if they don’t have the time to check their social media accounts they may still have time to check their emails especially for work. So if you can send them email updates about your launch, you could keep them engaged.
If you’re an existing brand, you may easily have the opportunity to send out these emails to all your best customers. But if you’re a startup or a fairly unknown brand you could create a founder’s list and provide email updates to everyone that’s interested in the product launch. Your founder’s list will be comprised of an exclusive group of people who are interested in the product. You can try sharing news about the list on your social media and in any other post-marketing the launch, even on third-party websites. Taco Bell, for example, gave fans the chance to sign up if they want to be the ﬁrst to get updates when their next Test Kitchen seating will be announced. This isn’t a product launch exactly but it can still give you some idea how the whole founder’s list works.
12. Start a Hashtag Campaign
You might have seen hashtags like #throwbackthursday and longhairdontcare making the rounds on social media. These have been popular hashtags for a few years yet people still continue using them. These hashtags have been used to start and maintain conversations on social media.
Similarly, you can start a conversation around your product launch by launching a hashtag campaign. Come up with a unique (and preferably branded) hashtag that’s catchy and easy to remember. Whenever you post updates about your product launch, include the hashtag. This can be a great way to ensure that people remember your upcoming product and possibly even join in on the conversation using the hashtag. An excellent example is the #UnboxYourPhone campaign that Samsung has come up with to promote the new Galaxy S8. The brand has been marketing the hashtag for several months and has been including it in every social media post related to the new product. The phrase “Unbox Your Phone” has become a catchy marketing slogan in itself for promoting the new Galaxy S8.
The ideas above can help you get started promoting your next product launch without breaking the bank. Which of these will you try first? Do you have any questions about any of these strategies? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. And if you need help planning a spectacular product launch, you can always get in touch with me.