The concept of a “product launch” takes on a variety of meanings for digital marketers, depending on your situation.
For some, it’s just as it sounds… either you or your client is releasing a new product and you want to “launch” it with a bang.
For others, the term “launch” refers to a rolling re-release of the same product several times a year. This is very common in the online education and training sector.
Whichever way you look at it, the principles are much the same. The purpose of a product launch is to gain momentum for your business and generate a spike in sales. The “launch” is designed using compelling psychological triggers like urgency and scarcity to persuade your audience to take action.
Instead of simply making your new product, old product, or updated product, available for anyone to buy at any time they wish, you build suspense for a release date and only make it available, in its most attractive form, for a short period of time.
The next time you’re planning a launch, here are 11 tips to help you generate buzz + a product launch plan template.
1. Start by emphasizing the problem (not your solution)
If you want your marketing message to really connect with your audience on a personal level, you should start by emphasizing the problem, not your solution.
This is the pain or struggle that creates friction for your audience, and that your product is in a position to fix.
The best product launches spend time engaging with prospects about their problems for a period of time before introducing a solution. Earn the right to ask these people to buy something from you by providing education and value that will help them get closer to solving the problem themselves.
2. Diversify your content
Many businesses don’t appreciate the importance of content when it comes to a successful launch. They focus on ad copy, strategic partnerships, and an array of other traditional promotional techniques. Don’t get me wrong, these elements can all play a part in a product launch, but there also needs to be an underlying tone of authority and credibility attached to your messages. This is where content comes in.
Your goal should be to architect the perfect combination of content across a number of different platforms in the lead-up, during, and after your launch. Think about aligning a sequence of blogs, emails, social media messages, videos, and ad campaigns, that all complement each other and contribute to the overall sequence and outcome of the launch.
The idea is that prospects won’t be able to escape your messaging during the launch period.
3. Create a teaser
Don’t lay all of your cards on the table straight away… create a teaser for your product that you can use in the launch lead-up.
This teaser might be a product demo video, a behind-the-scenes blog post, or a sneak peek on Facebook Live. Some form of content that sparks curiosity, but doesn’t give away all of your secrets.
4. Leverage unique hashtags
Creating a unique hashtag for your product launch is a great way to proliferate your message, reach more people, and keep track of all the social media conversations about your pending launch.
Your hashtag may include your business name, or it could be something completely different that relates to your product’s message.
Whatever hashtag you come up with, just make sure you test it on all the major social media platforms. It might already be in use for another business or subject matter that you don’t want to be associated with.
Use your unique hashtag in all your pre-launch social posts and encourage your audience to use it as well.
5. Get pre-launch testimonials
Even if your product is brand new, people want to see that others stand by its quality. They want to see themselves in the shoes of someone else who has overcome a similar problem to them in the past. In order to fulfill this need, you’ll want to get some pre-launch testimonials.
If your product is truly useful, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find people willing to pre-test it in exchange for a lifetime discount or certain bonuses.
After people have tested out your product, you can send out a survey to get feedback. This is a great way to collect genuine quotes from your pre-launch users. With their permission, you can publish these testimonials on your landing page, product page, social media, and elsewhere, to serve as social proof for your launch.
6. Entice influencers to get involved
Influencers can serve all sorts of roles to help generate buzz for your launch. For example, they can share related content on social media, or feature your business on their site to generate more traffic.
Social media sharing might seem like a simple thing, but when it’s an influencer sharing your product, it’s way more valuable. 71 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference.
Reach out to influencers who have a similar (but not competing) audience to yours. You might be able to set up a mutually beneficial relationship to promote each other’s products.
7. Take pre-orders
If your pre-launch marketing does its job, your audience will be interested in buying the product even before it comes out. You don’t want to give them the opportunity to walk away and forget about how great your product is. So, give them the option of pre-ordering it.
People love being a part of the insider group who gets first access, especially if there is a deal or discount for doing so. You could even build pre-orders into your product launch plan as part of the pre-launch campaign.
If you secure sales before the product is even available, you can almost guarantee your pending launch will be a success.
8. Use a countdown (and a real deadline)
A great way to generate interest and urgency for your product is by counting down to the launch date, and then again counting down to close the cart.
Saying something like, “This deal closes on July 15th” isn’t that exciting. But saying “This deal closes in 3 days, 9 hours, and 22 seconds” builds suspense.
It’s important that this is a real deadline. As a consumer, there is nothing worse than discovering you have been fooled by fake urgency. It turns you off the brand for good.
9. Limit your products
Nothing encourages people to act like scarcity does. As a psychological principle, people don’t want to miss out. This leads them to purchase products they aren’t even sure they want, just because they don’t want to miss out.
For your product launch, limit your stock, and be very public about this scarcity. Promote it on social media, on your landing page, product pages, and elsewhere. After launch when your supply is depleted, you can always add more to the inventory.
10. Interact with people
It isn’t enough to create great content and use psychological triggers like scarcity and urgency to create buzz for your launch. If you want to really connect with your audience and get them talking, you need to engage.
This is more than just regular old customer service. Participate in social media conversations and respond to comments on your blog posts and YouTube videos. It takes time, but the payoff is worth it when you build real relationships with your audience.
11. Plan and schedule the whole thing in advance
Managing a product launch is hard work. There are lots of moving parts and things to keep on top of. You can make the whole process a lot easier by planning and scheduling your marketing messages in advance.
Plan your content types, the sequence of key events, and create all of your marketing collateral before the launch sequence kicks into gear. That way, you can engage with your audience, fulfill orders, and handle any launch challenges that pop up.