To keep your business moving forward and thriving, you really can’t rest on your laurels. Continuing to grow the brand requires innovation and bringing new products to market, and the way you approach an online product launch can make the difference between a massive success and an underwhelming flop. Just like a first impression when meeting someone new, product launches are an opportunity to put your best foot forward, and you really need to have a solid idea of how you’ll market your new offering long before an actual launch so that it can go off without a hitch.
So how exactly do you handle a launch and get people as excited about your new product as you are? There are some aspects you need to keep in mind, but don’t worry - it’s not rocket science! Let’s break down the various parts that come together to form a successful product launch marketing strategy.
Before you get into the details of building an actual marketing plan for a new product, you have to ask yourself one key question: Who is this product for? Each consumer has their own wants and needs, and chances are that your new launch won’t appeal to everyone - no matter how great it may be! Ideally, demographic research was a part of your product development, as bringing a new product to market without a clear goal is inefficient at best. Whether you have a pre-existing idea of who you’d like to reach with your product or not, it’s crucial that you recognize your target demographic before developing a plan, as that can massively impact the way you approach marketing.
Once you have an idea of who is most likely to buy your product, you need to zero in on what exactly makes your company’s offering unique. Unless your product launch is revolutionary, chances are that there are some competitors who are developing or have developed a similar product themselves. These differentiators that separate your product apart from the rest will shape the way you handle the product launch marketing. It’s all about sending a message and focusing your new product marketing plan around the aspects that provide value to the consumer.
What good is having a new product if no one knows about it? Sure, traditional advertising methods that you’d use for your business in day-to-day use can be great for a product launch. However, a comprehensive product launch marketing strategy will make use of all the resources available - and a big part of that is relationships with media outlets and influencers. Regardless of your company’s industry, chances are that there’s some sort of online publication that covers products related to your launch. Oftentimes just providing a review model will be enough to get some valuable news coverage, but even if payment is necessary, getting the news out about the launch is a huge part of its success. Social media influencers also have an incredible amount of pull with their user base, and a small investment allows you to take advantage of the hype of interested followers.
Very few companies are run by a single person. Chances are that you have partners or employees that are heavily involved in the creation and promotion of your new product, and it’s important that they have the resources they need to effectively promote the new launch.
One of the biggest factors that separates a product launch from more typical business advertising is how time sensitive promotion is. Small missteps can sink a launch before it even gets off the ground, and it’s those first hours and days leading up to the launch where the product is brand new and appealing where you have the greatest potential to significantly increase those initial sales. Having trained media personnel on staff that are clued in on the message the company is trying to send and the avenues being used for promotion can ensure more efficient work in that critical window - separating the hits from the flops.
Now it’s time to get into the details: the actual marketing. Following the steps above are a key part of setting up a new product marketing plan, but what about the promotion itself?
In truth, a lot of the advertising for product launches will take advantage of the same avenues you’d use for general brand promotion. Well-timed social media ads that appeal to your target demographics, a new SEO optimized page on the website, ads sent out to your email list, and a whole host of other opportunities are out there ready and waiting to start your launch off on the right foot.
There are, however, a couple of marketing ideas that we’d like to offer that are more specific to a product launch.
This isn’t exactly the most glamorous part of a product launch, but having no-nonsense information readily available online that explains how the product works and its various uses give interested customers a clear picture of how your new offering will add enough value to be worth a buy. Any new product needs a dedicated section that isn’t obscured by buzzwords so the customer knows exactly what they’re buying into.
Prepping materials for customer support might not seem like it does much for promoting your brand, but giving customers immediate access to help once they’ve purchased your product can cut down on negative reviews in a critical part of the release. While disgruntled customers might not have a significant impact on day one sales, negative feedback can spread quickly, so it’s crucial that support systems be set in place and a huge emphasis placed on public relations during this time.
This ties in a bit with the media section, but is worth restating due to how effective press releases can be ahead of a product launch. Media outlets are busy and don’t have a lot of time to really dissect the benefits that your product launch offers consumers. Taking the time to build a solid press release that gives a clear and concise idea of features and the company’s goal with the launch can make for more favorable and extensive media coverage.
We’ve gone over a wide range of considerations you should keep in mind when developing a marketing strategy for your upcoming launch, but they all tie back to one key point: preparedness.
Product launches don’t happen every day, and building hype before a launch and maintaining it immediately afterwards is only possible with a good amount of time and significant attention to detail. Having everything in place before the actual launch can be the difference between a stressful marketing nightmare and an exciting step forward for your business.
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