Your company is rolling out a new product or service, and you have to get the news out there – fast! How should you build hype and generate buzz?
Nothing is more frustrating than spending countless hours on a new product, only to find that the launch fails and you haven’t met your revenue target. Yet despite the frustration, that’s what happens to a lot of products.
Unlike the days when you could just write a press release and blast it to all traditional media houses, today, the internet exists and media fragmentation is a thing.
The Internet has changed the way products and services are launched. Companies now rope in influencers; leak information to reporters, bloggers, and consumers; and live-stream launch events globally. The insatiable 24/7 news cycle and the dominance of social media make launching a new product far more complicated than it used to be!
In this article, we’ll examine the best strategies for making a buzz before the launch of your product. If you follow the techniques outlined here, you should have customers begging to buy even before you sell.
1. The Plan
Well, first things first If you waited until launch day to ask this question, you’re way too late. If you’re going to launch a new product, you need to have planned a successful launch strategy months before launch day. See sample illustration below
The first and most important realization behind this, however, is understanding that product launches take a lot of work. Sometimes, the launch will take even more energy and resources than working on the product itself. But that’s OK, because the product is likely to be unsuccessful without the launch.
You need to understand the scope of the product first.
Get a clear idea of which techniques you’re going to use, how long they’ll take, and what resources you need to make sure you use them successfully.
Once you have that in mind, you can plan the details and create a calendar to make those actions happen on time.
Without a solid set of tactics, however, no launch will ever be successful.
2. Find interested people before you launch
Very few products are successful without a dedicated group of fans promoting the product first.
To make your product successful, you need to get a core set of promoters onboard as early as possible. They are sometimes referred to as the early adopters.
If this happens before the product even launches, that’s best. The early adopter finds joy in simply being a pioneer product user. They get a buzz off of finding solutions that work sooner than others.
As a matter of fact, if your product isn’t perfect and still has lots of hitches, a vast majority of the early adopters will forgive you if your product or idea you are implementing isn’t perfect yet.
3. Onboard thought leaders early
One of the most effective and least costly methods of promoting a product is having major influencers promote it for you for free. That’s what Fibre did when they launched in Lagos in 2016.
It goes without saying that your product will have to be truly stellar for this to work, but if you get it right, you can have a massively successful launch.
You should work to provide online influencers with pre-launch info and even product demos if possible to get their good word in early. If you can, get testimonials as well and use them to promote the product.
4. Promote through influencer marketing
While it isn’t a free way to market your product, this can be a great alternative if you don’t have connections with influencers at the top of your industry. You can pay to promote through major influencers online and off.
This is a good way to spread the buzz more quickly than through traditional marketing.
This is Instagram influencer Aimee Song, marketing Estee Lauder
5. Conferences and trade shows
To get fans excited about what you have to offer early, make appearances at conferences and trade shows and display information about the product.
Whether you set up a booth or you simply display your logo/product on screens, it will generate significant buzz. Ensure you make connections and get contact information so you can reach out to people later.
6. Build your email list early
One of the most important things to do before you launch your product is to start generating an email list of potential leads.
This doesn’t have to be a list of buyers. It can just be a list of your current fans or even friends who have expressed interest in your product. But you need to make sure you have a list.
Once you launch, you need to use effective email marketing to reach out to those people as early adopters.
7. Master the art of the tease
When Microsoft wanted to launch the Lumia phone a few years back, they didn’t make a giant statement about it. Instead, they used the subtlest of imagery to excite people about the product. Their ad only showed a corner of the phone with the date “11.11.2014.”
It was a great way to build interest and let people know there was something to expect without giving away outright details. If done right, product teases pique the interest and generate activity within the right circles.
8. Content Marketing
Content marketing is a great way to drive leads in an ongoing fashion, but it can be just as effective when you’re looking to launch a new product. In fact, content marketing can be one of the best ways to launch a new product, and there are a variety of ways to do it.
Here are some of the techniques that are used often.
Provide guest-post blog content on other websites: When you appear on someone else’s blog, you show that you have valuable content to provide and you make people interested in reading more about what you have to offer.
Remember to make sure you link everything to a landing page about the product you’re launching so you make the best use of this tactic.
Include images in your marketing campaigns: If you’re using social media to promote, you should be using images. This is one of the most effective ways of communication since people are more likely to be persuaded by content with imagery. So, use images on social media and in your blog posts. For example, one of the best types of images to use is infographics.
Create and spread shareable infographics: Infographics are images that display facts and statistics in a creative and engaging manner. It’s the perfect way to generate a buzz about the product you’re launching. Making a good infographic takes a significant time commitment to dig up the info but it is well worth it.
Appear as a guest on podcasts: Similar to guest posting on blogs, you can and should be a guest on the podcasts of others. Don’t focus solely on the biggest podcasts, though. Some of the smaller ones have a more engaged audience, and this targeting might actually provide better results. Look for audiences that are interested in the product or genre of product, and present a compelling story behind what you’re selling.
9. Virality on Social Media
There’s a reason most big product launches use social media nowadays. Social media is a great way to target relevant communities. It’s safe to say you have seen more than one viral social media campaign.
You can also make your product go viral. Here are a few ways to do that.
Create viral quizzes: Everyone loves quizzes on social media, and if they’re about your product, it’s a great way to spread the word. For example, create a simple personality quiz showing how different users can adapt your product to their own needs.
Hold giveaways and contests: The simplest way to get attention for your launch is to hold a contest. Make this simple and give away something basic, perhaps even the product you’re going to sell. People will want to share this to earn whatever you have to offer.
Let users generate their own content to share: User-generated content is a great way to get people to share your product with their friends via their own content. To promote the next season of Game of Thrones, the GOT team created a custom filter for users to transform themselves into characters from the TV show.
See snapchat filter of GOT
Use referral marketing: One of the easiest ways to get fans to share your product is by allowing them to use referrals. This can encourage new people to sign up for your product since it’s already been vetted by a friend.
10. Create Anticipation
The best products are the ones we’re excited about before they arrive. To drive this kind of anticipation and to make your product a true success, you need to use some carefully crafted strategies that are designed to encourage excitement early on.
Take pre-orders: If you’re launching any kind of physical product, you should start taking pre-orders before it’s available for purchase. This is a great way to drive excitement and sales before your product even hits the stories.
Build a wait list: People want what they can’t have. To have a successful launch, you need to create exclusivity. Create a wait list people can join with their emails. This compels people to sign up earlier, building up your email list and creates a sense of excitement when the program finally does open up.
Start with a beta release: If you have a software product, there are two good reasons to do a closed beta release. The first is that you can get a set of people to test the product before you release it the larger public.
This helps you remove bugs and prepare it for market. But second, and most importantly, you can make sure everyone knows it’s only available for a few people — not everyone just yet. This builds anticipation for when the beta opens to the general public.
Hold a countdown to the launch date: As the date draws near, you need to provide a constant reminder so everyone knows when to expect the product to be available. Use a countdown on your site. This is a simple way to keep people engaged without constantly promoting what you have to sell.
With some careful planning and a mix and match of the aforementioned tactics, you can create a tidal wave of excitement and buzz about your product/service before it’s even available for sale.