You have a new product that’s ready to launch, but something’s holding you back. You’re not sure that your product launch marketing ideas are going to be effective enough. But you’re concerned that other, “better,” marketing strategies are beyond your budget. You’re scared that if you’re not able to generate enough buzz for your new product, that it’ll fail before it ever really has a chance.
You’re right to be afraid. According to the Insights Association, 60% of new products never even 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% and 80% of new products fail, depending on the industry.
Pretty scary stats, right? 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 promote your product launch without spending a huge chunk of your marketing budget.
In this post, you’ll learn ten effective and inexpensive strategies for marketing your product launch. There are other elements that can cause new products to fail, such as insufficient audience research, or poor product quality. But with the product launch marketing ideas below, you’ll be prepared to address two of the most important elements – budget and promotion.
1. Start a Blog
A blog can be a valuable resource for your product launch. It’s a great way to educate your target audience. You can provide useful details about the new product, what it can do, and why people need it. It’s also an effective platform for building buzz about your product launch, as you can also publish useful updates, and milestones about the launch.
Update your blog regularly, (at least once a week), with details about the product. You can share info and photos during the product’s development, and let folks know what stage you’ve reached. You can also write a post about one particular feature one week, and another feature the next week.
Be sure to share your blog posts with your mailing list, social media followers, and key influencers in your industry.
California-based Mayfield Robotics started a dedicated blog to provide updates about one of their latest products, Kuri. They recently revealed the adorable domestic robot in Las Vegas at CES, (Consumer Electronics Show). Through Kuri’s Blog, they update readers about media mentions, and product developments. They even provided readers with insights into the robot’s design through an interview with the animation designer.
2. Write Guest Posts
How do you grab the attention of an audience that’s never heard of your brand? One of the most effective strategies is to reach out to them through a reputable website or blog related to your product niche. This is where guest posts come into the picture.
Many websites and blogs already have large, established audiences. And when you contribute to sites that are relevant to your niche, their audiences will be more likely than the average consumer to be interested in your product.
Come up with a list of relevant blog post ideas, and pitch them to the publishers and editors of those niche-specific sites.
Your guest posts can help you win over those target consumers with your expertise and knowledge. Don’t write guest posts that sound too salesly, or which are clearly just promoting your product. Write informative, entertaining posts people will read, learn something from, and hopefully even share.
Every now and then, you can mention your new product in a guest post, and entice readers with the features that they’ll find useful. But don’t go overboard! Guest posts should not sound like marketing content, (even when they are).
Guest posts are also a great way to earn valuable backlinks, which are crucial for boosting your search ranking. That means you’ll be achieving two goals with just one action.
An excellent example or this marketing strategy is how Chapman Lever of Rigor promoted the team’s ebook on GIF optimization through guest posts. He submitted a guest post to Moz with useful tips for improving site performance when using GIFs. He provided readers with a thorough guide on the subject, and then invited them to download the free ebook for more information.
3. Attend Trade Shows
In addition to guest posting on reputable websites and blogs, another excellent method to reach an established and relevant audience is through industry publications. And the best way to get featured in notable industry publications is by attending trade shows. This can help you get maximum media coverage with a single effort.
Let’s say you’re launching a new tech product. Your aim should be to get featured in high-ranking online publications that cover technology and tech news, such as TechCrunch, WIRED, etc. Otherwise, you can aim for a feature in any top-ranking publication with a reputation for marketing and business-related news.
Kolibree recently unveiled their Ara toothbrush at CES 2017. They introduced it as the, “first toothbrush with artificial intelligence,” and received several features in top online publications. As you can see in the screenshot below, publications like Business Wire, Dezeen, and Engadget featured the story.
4. Get Influencers to Review Your Product
Before people decide to buy your new product, many of them will want some sort of proof that it’s really as awesome as you say it is. And they’re probably not going to take your word for it. Which means that there’s only so much you can do with traditional advertising.
What do people do when they’re thinking about buying a new product? They go online to find out what other people are saying about it. In fact, research suggests that up to 90% of consumers read online reviews. And 59% base their purchase decisions on recommendations from the people they know and trust – like friends, family members, and the people they follow online.
I’m going to assume that you don’t have enough time (or money) to reach out to the friends and families of your target audience to ask them to review your new product. You can, however, partner with some of the influencers your target consumers follow, and ask them to review your product.
The important part is to work with influencers who have significant reach and impact in your target niche. You could give them an exclusive preview of your product, or send them some product samples. Ask them to share their honest reviews of, and experiences with your product.
Reviews from influencers in your niche can help you win the trust of your target consumers, many of whom may have never heard of your brand or product before. Ask the influencers to include info about your product launch in their posts as well to further help build buzz for the launch.
Acura successfully pulled off the launch of their TLX range of cars using this tactic. They started the #TLXExperience campaign by inviting a handful of influencers in the automotive industry to drive an Acura TLX car around the Canadian Tire Motorsport Race Track. Influencers like the team at Marcus Troy were part of the campaign, and shared their TLX experiences with their fans through blog and social media posts.
5. Promote Giveaways through Influencers
Another idea to build buzz for your product launch is with giveaways promoted with the help of influencers. Through giveaways, you can win over a small fraction of your target audience with free samples of your product. And their reviews and posts about your new product can help convince other consumers to make a purchase. You can even help get people excited about your product launch date by announcing the winners of the giveaway on the same date.
Promoting a giveaway with the help of influencers is a perfect fit because they’re already experts at engaging their audiences. When you partner with the right influencers, you can introduce your new product to a relevant audience of consumers more likely to be interested in participating in the giveaway.
If you’re looking to get the most bang out of your product marketing buck, focus your efforts on micro-influencers. They can often drive higher engagement rates and conversions than top influencers, and for 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 helped promote it.
6. Take Advantage of Crowdfunding Platforms
You may already have enough money to develop your product, and 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 can help you build a network of people who are not only interested in your product, but 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 smart watch, which 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.
7. Engage Regularly on Social Media
In preparation for your product launch marketing, focus on growing your social media presence. Then, during the 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 it. If you don’t keep prospects interested and engaged, they may forget about your product, or lose interest in it by the time you actually 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 ecommerce retailers.
Salesforce is promoting 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.
8. Go Big with Social Media Teasers and Countdowns
Social media is one of the most effective, yet inexpensive channels for promoting a product launch. And they’re 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. Try updating them with cryptic images related to the product, and ask them to guess what the images mean.
When it’s just a few days away, update your profile and cover photos with numbers counting down to the day of the product launch. 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. The following screenshot shows 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.
9. 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.
In addition to the ideas mentioned above, there are many other ways to use visual content to promote your product launch. And there are many 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.
In the screenshot below, check out the basic, yet attention-grabbing cover image Evernote created to promote their Facebook Live events.
10. Reach Out to Online Communities
For your product to be successful, you need the support of consumers who are willing to spend their money on it. 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.
The Startups subreddit even has a monthly “Share your startup” thread, where startups can inform the community about their new business or products. As you can see in the following screenshot, this thread allows you to share your explainer videos, what you’re looking for, and which stage you’ve reached. You can even provide the subreddit subscribers with a special discount, which can further help in promote your launch.
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.