July 21, 2020
The Launch of a new Product for any business or entrepreneur is one of the key milestones during the product/ business lifecycle and a lot depends on the success of the launch for continued sustenance of that product in the market.
Launching a new product involves many months of detailed planning and will need the intervention of all the key stakeholders including the local press and news media and your customers in tow. With the current COVID-19 pandemic; Product launches have had to be postponed or cancelled. Some inspiring business leaders are contemplating Online product launches using Digital media including Search and Social media websites.
Digital marketing tools and techniques can prove to be a viable solution for launching a new product that is not only cost-effective but can also be measured based on the outcomes you set as a part of your marketing goals. Launching a product digitally with a sound and well-devised strategy can help you reach more prospective customers with more visibility for your product with measurable results.
As a part of our Digital Marketing services, we have been a part of product launches for our clients and this experience gave us the inspiration to write this piece of content to help other marketing agencies, marketing departments and entrepreneurs who are contemplating product launch using Online Digital media.
Before you get started, look at starting with a Goal that you want to achieve with this product launch. The ultimate goal is to get your target audience to see your product and line up to buy it. But in the ‘real’ world; that rarely happens and to be practical and expect reasonable results, you can consider the number of People who viewed your Product and the number of Enquiries as one of the product launch outcomes. Likewise you can use any other measurable outcome as a goal for your product launch.
We have also put together a Spreadsheet checklist that you can download at the end of this blog. So let’s get started.
A Pre-launch marketing strategy is essential to create excitement and awareness about your product so that it helps create a ‘build-up’ of interest amongst your prospective customers, and the same energy can be carried forward during and post launch as well. Here is a list of items you will need to have for an effective launch.
Identify your target audience of prospective customers and list down their pain points that your product will help solve. Download a sample customer persona sheet excel sheet.
List down the benefits of the product in non-technical simple easy-to-understand language. Create a sheet that summarizes the USP of your product.
Identify existing clients who may find the product relevant and beneficial and talk to them to check if they would be interested to participate in a pilot launch program where they would be able to use the product and provide their suggestions and feedback. Include an incentive of a reduced price or other freebies that would make your offer interesting.
A Product or Market offering is that part of your business where you will completely explain the concept of your product or service including purchasing, manufacturing, pricing, packaging and distribution of the product or service.
Identify an internal core team comprising product development, sales and marketing, customer relationship & technical support staff. Assign roles and responsibilities suitable to their skills and experience that would be crucial during pre and post launch. Identify external vendors who would play an important role including your website development partner, printer, PR or Advertising consultant, Trade association members and even maybe your banking and financial partners who may be interested in funding your promotion and product marketing activities.
Talk to your website developer and ask for suggestions on how this new product would be included in your website including design of the creative images that would go on the homepage of your website
Creating content and promotion on marketing channels as a part of your product launch activity will need to be done depending on whether it is intended to be used as a part of a short-term or long term marketing plan.
Planning your launch activity will depend on whether your product serves a customer’s need for a certain period of time or for a longer period (every-green/ can be sold throughout the year) . It also depends on the marketing channels you choose to promote your product. With this clarity you can break-up your activities into Short-term and Long term plans
The first step is to create a product launch strategy and start a promotional campaign. The content should target the audience and their perceived needs or benefits. Create content to explain why they should buy your product. Your content should also create a buzz in the industry and your goal can be on building traffic to your product pages.
Examples of content required
When you decide to put your product information on the website, plan to have a dedicated page that has information laid out to attract the attention or a buyer.
How do you use Influencer marketing? Identify experts from your industry who write blogs, send out weekly or monthly e-mailers (that you subscribe to) or have a very active presence on social media such as Youtube, Instagram or LinkedIn. Send a demo of your product to the influencer and request them to review your product. A lot of people trust the opinions of influencers, the best example is recommending any Gadgets or beauty products by famous personalities from TikTok, Instagram or YouTube with positive reviews.
Create frequently asked questions to help guide your customers into making decisions. The item will try to answer the customers’ questions about the product, its features, its specifications, its users, and the pricing and support. Have the new product launch PPT for sharing with your customers and build awareness of your product.
Strong visual content on social media gives people a reason to follow your brand. Take advantage of free tools and resources like Milanote, a place for your designers, developers, product managers, and even your clients to collaborate for a product launch. Here you can get everyone involved in a creative project on board and tackle challenges together.
A private board is your space to explore your creativity, but with a few clicks you can share your work with the wider team. Sharing features such as secret links and read-only boards mean that only people you invite can see and edit your boards.
Lead generation is an essential aspect of digital marketing efforts in the new product launch checklist. Here’s some stuff that qualifies as giveaways- Whitepapers, PDFs, industry-related reports, discounts, freebies like a trial period, shipping, and local support. Other than your giveaways, create exclusive offers for existing customers. This will help in reaching out to people to get repeat customers.
Build your email list using giveaways. Update your email list to specify your potential consumers, use email marketing to introduce a new product to your customer base. Create a highly engaging email marketing campaign. Generate pre-orders from customers. Disseminate information over a period with well-timed emails and familiarize your customers with your product. Also, utilize user behavior study by apps to personalize your mailer.
The activities involved take-up more time for momentum to build-up and will need constant review based on what is working and not.
List down relevant bloggers and related trade websites and E-magazines who can be contacted to feature you business and product. You can use the below websites to find bloggers and submit press releases.
Pinterest is a great free social sharing platform that allows you to upload pictures of products, recipes, portfolio images. It also provides great SEO value by providing you the option to link the pictures back to your website or blog. Imagine Pinterest as the source for your audience where they can search for image resources related to their problem area. Like if an Architect is searching for inspiration for wooden flooring patterns for his Living room design, he may use Pinterest to search for references. If you are a wooden flooring supplier, then it makes sense to upload your most recent wooden floor project portfolios or product images.
Based on your initial product launch checklist, you may now have a probable list of problems that your audience is looking to solve with your product. You can now create a resource that will help your audience in doing their jobs better. Going by our previous example of our Architect; as a wooden flooring supplier you can create a Guide on how to choose Wooden floors based on Budgets, Room types & size, etc. This guide can be converted to a PDF document and given away as a downloadable free giveaway in return for the email id of the architect. A Win-Win for both you and the architect. An Opt-in list created with targeted and relevant users will help you in getting your product in front of them with targeted email newsletters.
Plan a series of blogs with topics ranging from Industry problems and pain-points, Best practises relevant to your industry, Important social or economic issues that your target industry is going through etc. Each of the blog topics should ideally set the stage for your product to be introduced as an answer to the issues you have highlighted in your blogs.
Always remember to write blogs that answer any questions faced by your audience. Blogs are not meant to be used as promotional material for your company or product. A method to research topics can be Google. Using our previous example of Wooden floors and the Architect, you can use a keyword like ‘Wooden Flooring Patterns’ in Google search and scroll down to the end of the page, to see results like this. Make note of these phrases and further continue to use different combinations of keywords that you can use to formulate your blog content strategy.
Quora.com is another resource for questions about anything on this planet! Use the questions that have the most number of answers related to your blog content. Using the answers you can frame content that will provide your readers value in one way or another
Optimising your website and blogs for your product / industry with keywords that represent the “problem-statement” which your product is able to solve is part of the SEO / Content marketing strategies to be considered. Ongoing research for ‘long-tail’ keywords and writing new blogs, articles and case studies with these keywords will help you get to your goal of generating more traffic to your website and visibility and awareness about your product.
A webinar is a great way to draw prospective customers. Remember to talk about the core problem that your audience is battling and use the webinar to take their inputs on how this problem is affecting their business or day-to-day work. Use the webinar to take questions and also as a pitch to your new product along with a special offer for webinar attendees. Don’t forget to enable the recording of the webinar session – that you can later use in your Video marketing efforts.
Use the recorded webinars, recorded sessions of Facebook live to be repurposed on YouTube and similar Video hosting websites. The video content should focus on the expertise of your team, product along with the benefits for the customer. The Video title and description should contain SEO optimised keywords of your product, industry and audience problem statement.
Social media influencers play a big part in building up a brand or tearing it down. As much as people like to read reviews of users who have used and assessed the product, they trust the influencers’ words much more. Write an excellent copy of the product, and post it on the influencer’s website, get the social media influencers to post about your product to keep your product trending after the launch.
Running an awareness campaign using Google Ads; targeting keyword searches related to your product industry niche can also form a part of your ongoing marketing efforts to get more awareness for your newly launched product. Including a free-trial, money-back or similar trust building measures are important and can be included in your Google ad description. With a well-optimized Ad campaign, you will be able to reach your target audience and also generate the much needed publicity for your product.
Remarketing is an exciting new product launch marketing strategy. Launch a display remarketing campaign to target the users who have visited your website or apps. You can create personal ads and promo offers to target these visitors and display them to visitors and users.
Once the launch date is nearing, the marketing efforts also shift gears. You should try to get the maximum out of the marketing efforts. Train your internal teams to handle customer queries or issues faced as a part of your test marketing efforts. You may also keep an email template ready with a brief introduction of your company and the product brief that includes 5 important features & benefits which can be readily shared with your local newspaper journalist.
As described earlier, your website will need a brief introduction about your new product along with photos. You can also plan to include some of these activities as a part of getting your digital presence ready for the launch.
Writing press releases is an art of its own. Before writing the press release, have a clear marketing plan for new products. Journalists receive hundreds of such PRs, and your press release should set your product apart from the others. Get in touch with the key media people and work with them to develop their content. Tailor the press release to suit the media channel. Instead of generic PRs, write a bold statement highlighting how your product is the solution to a specific requirement.
An important new product launch step is to use social media to the fullest. Facebook is a primary marketing tool. Use Facebook ads and be sponsored to generate leads, create awareness using creative images as daily posts on your facebook business page and also share it on your facebook personal profile. Use promoted stories to maximize the visibility of your posts. Share creative images and videos on Facebook and also use these images as your Profile pictures/ Status on WhatsApp / Facebook. To create some buzz about your product launch you can even create a quiz contest on social media around your product or industry to attract attention and user interest.
This is by far the simplest and effective arsenal in your marketing inventory by incorporating a brief one-liner in your email signature. Most email software including Gmail allow you to create custom email signatures and you can include hyperlinks to the product page of your website.
Presenting the world on Video can be intimidating and it may sound cliche; that most of the professional video bloggers have started off somewhere by making mistakes before making it big as Video influencers. So it does not matter in terms of how you look on camera or your speaking skills. Live video is actually helping companies do product launches at the shortest possible time and reaching millions across the globe. If you are still not confident in doing live video, you can actually record videos and stream them live using additional software tools available for a fee.
You can look at pre-recorded videos or screen capture videos as another option. Tools like Vidyard & Hippo Video are easy to use video hosting tools that can help you to record your computer screen with your background audio, making for a very effective marketing pitch compared to just an ordinary email.
This summarises the list of things you need to successfully launch your product using Digital media. To ensure you can keep track of your launch progress, we have also created a spreadsheet based checklist of important activities that you can use to help you launch your next product online using digital marketing.
There is no right or wrong way to launch your product using Digital Media, what is important is to put down your objectives before starting the launch and then keeping a track of your activity and understanding what worked better for you.
Are you looking to launch a new product online? Will you use digital media channels to launch your product/ service. Do you have any questions and comments, do let us know.