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.
11. Invite Influencers to Your Launch Event
If you’re going to work with influencers to promote your product launch, you could organize an event just for them. Try hosting a product launch event attended by relevant influencers who can share the news with a relevant audience.
When they share their experience at your event, influencers can help build hype for your launch. Not only will their fans be engaged by the content, they’ll be intrigued to find out what all the buzz is about. They can either share their experience through live feeds, photos, or videos.
For example, Target worked with influencers to promote the launch of their Victoria Beckham clothing line. Influencers shared photos of themselves wearing items from the collection.
Target also invited influencers like Shiva Safai to their launch event. Safai then shared photos on Instagram to help promote the launch.
The content from all influencers for the campaign generated more than half a million likes, and thousands of comments. The engagement rate stood at an average of 6%. Additionally, several items from the collection were sold out online within just a few hours of the launch.
12. Go Live on Facebook and Instagram
You can also make the most of the Live feature on Facebook and Instagram to engage your fans and get them excited for your launch. You could use Live to showcase what’s going on behind the scenes. or to share your launch event with your followers.
Whatever the case may be, it should help you stir the curiosity of your audience, and market your launch effectively.
That’s how Dunkin’ Donuts engaged their fans for Valentine’s Day. They used Facebook to provide a live stream of their test kitchen, and to show how they create new products.
In the end, they also showcased how they created a massive donut-themed wedding cake. The video generated 43,000 views.
13. Accept Pre-Orders
Another excellent and inexpensive way to build hype for your product launch is by offering pre-order options. This may not have occurred to you because you were highly focused on the marketing campaign for your launch. But what you need to know is that offering a pre-order could be an excellent marketing tactic in itself.
First of all, when you let your existing fans pre-order your upcoming product, you’re making an easy sale. But when you make them wait till the launch so they can start buying, you’re providing them with an opportunity to change their minds.
Additionally, seeing lots of people pre-ordering your product could build excitement and compel others to check it out too.
Nintendo, for example, made pre-orders available for their SNES Classic Edition. The launch was announced in June, and pre-orders became available in the U.S. in July. But as of writing this post, the pre-orders have now been sold out.
This is an excellent example of how making pre-orders available can effectively market your product launch, and help you make sales even before it launches.
14. Use Visual Countdowns on Social Media
Visual content is crucial if you want to attract an audience. And even when you’re announcing your launch or providing an update about it, you should try implementing it as much as you possibly can.
This means even when you’re counting down to the date of your launch, try using visuals creatively in a way that would suit the product you’re launching.
That’s what Chobani did before launching two new flavors of yogurt. As you can see in the screenshot below, they’ve created the number 2 using kiwi and berries. And they talk about how, in two days, they’ll be announcing something special. They also try to keep their fans engaged by asking them to take a guess what the announcement might be.
15. Have Leading News Outlets Share Your Story
Leading media outlets are the perfect channel for marketing your product launch. In one of the earlier tips, you learned that participating in trade shows can be an effective way to get featured in these outlets.
While this may seem like it’s already good enough, there’s no harm in taking an extra step to get yourself promoted by these outlets.
Try getting some reputable online publications to talk about your product launch by sharing your story with them. Share with them the story of how your product came about and how it will help solve certain issues. You’ll be giving them the opportunity to present a unique news story to their audience, helping them enrich their content.
Better yet, reach out to one of the top publications relevant to your industry and give them an exclusive scoop – something no other media outlet knows or has reported. If they decide to share the news, it could reach plenty of relevant people. And other smaller media outlets may decide to cover the story too.
Take for example this report on Fortune, where a story about Amazon buying a certain company to enhance Alexa.
Alexa will be debuting in September, and the news report was published in July. This gives just enough time for the story to gain momentum and build hype before the launch.
16. Provide Updates via Email
Email is easily the cheapest way you can get through to relevant audiences and market your product launch to them. Even if they don’t have the time to check their social media accounts they may still have time to check their emails especially for work. So if you can send them email updates about your launch, you could keep them engaged.
If you’re an existing brand, you may easily have the opportunity to send out these emails to all your best customers. But if you’re a startup or a fairly unknown brand you could create a founder’s list and provide email updates to everyone that’s interested in the product launch.
Your founder’s list will be comprised of an exclusive group of people who are interested about the product. You can try sharing news about the list on your social media and in any post marketing the launch even if it’s on third-party websites.
Taco Bell, for example, gives fans the chance to sign up if they want to be the first to get updates on when their next Test Kitchen seating will be announced. This isn’t a product launch exactly but it can still give you some idea how the whole founder’s list works.
17. Start a Hashtag Campaign
You might have seen hashtags like #throwbackthursday and #longhairdontcare making the rounds on social media. These have been popular hashtags for a few years yet people still continue using them. These hashtags have been use to start and maintain conversations on social media.
Similarly, you can start a conversation around your product launch by launching a hashtag campaign.
You can come up with a unique (and preferably branded) hashtag that’s catchy and easy to remember. And whenever you post updates about your product launch, you can include the hashtag. This can be a great way to ensure that people remember your upcoming product and possibly even join in on the conversation using the hashtag.
An excellent example is the #UnboxYourPhone campaign that Samsung has come up with to promote the new Galaxy S8. The brand has been marketing the hashtag for several months and has been including it in every social media post related to the new product.
The phrase “Unbox Your Phone” has become a catchy marketing slogan in itself for promoting the new Galazy S8.
18. Get Influencers to Tell a Story
We’ve talked about how influencers can be effective in marketing your launch by reviewing the product or promoting your contest. You can also market your launch by inviting influencers to your launch event and having them share their experiences with their followers.
However, these aren’t the only options available for you. You can also effectively promote your product launch by having influencers tell a story around the product.
They can share their experience using the product without the content being explicitly about a product review. They can showcase themselves using the product or posing with the product strategically, for instance.
Take a look at how Aicha from The Fashion Heist posed with the new MINI car model to promote its launch.
As you can see in the screenshot above, the fashion blogger is posing with the car in a way that still looks natural for her. Since MINI Australia wanted to showcase the new model’s stylish features, it was perfect for them to partner with a style or fashion influencer.
According to a case study by Scrunch, the brand worked with five Australian micro-influencers who were relevant in the fashion and style niche. They got them to test drive the new car and create content to showcase their experience.
The campaign was able to reach 147,800 people and generated more than 8,000 engagements with the campaign content.
19. Share Behind-the-Scenes Teasers
You can also get your followers hyped up for your launch by showcasing what’s happening behind the scenes.
- What’s your team currently working on?
- How do they spend their time?
- What are some of the elements involved in your production?
These are all excellent ideas for marketing your product launch and build excitement well ahead of time.
In the case of BECCA Cosmetics, they had partnered with supermodel Chrissy Teigen to create a new Glow face palette for the brand. And before their launch they shared photos and videos to update their fans about the product.
One of the posts was a video that showed Chrissy in the process of removing some freshly-made palettes from the oven.
This video has been viewed 102,738 times. And as you can see in the screenshot above, there are several positive comments praising the model. Some of the comments also inquired about when the product will be launching. You can tell that the fans were already excited about the new upcoming product.
20. Ask Questions to Engage
When you post to social media as a way of marketing your product launch, one of your main goals is to engage your audience.
But when you simply share post after post simply giving information about the upcoming product, the conversation or interaction may seem one-sided. People may enjoy seeing the photos and/or videos but they may not be too keen to engage with you.
So try to ask questions that will engage your audience when you share news or posts about the upcoming product. This opens up an opportunity for your fans to share their thoughts with you and engage with your brand. This high engagement rate may be a sign that your product launch marketing campaign is working. But it can also have other indirect effects.
When they have the opportunity to answer your questions, your potential customers may feel more involved in the launch. This can build excitement and may compel them to keep looking out for more information on the launch.
Before Bloomsbury Publishing launched their 20th anniversary house edition copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, they share photos with the news of the launch.
And they also asked their fans abAut which Hogwarts house they’re in and whether they’d be getting the paperback or hardbaimagecopies. They also enWPuraged their fans to start pre-ordering the copies.
As you can see in the screenshot above, the post got a lot of people excited. They shared their Hogwarts houses, they talked about which versions they liked more, and some even asked questions about where the books will be available and if they can get it shipped to their country.
This goes to show that asking the right questions with your product launch posts can be an excellent way to keep your fans engaged for the upcoming product. And it can be a simple yet excellent solution for marketing 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.