Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

​7 Cool Ways To Handle a New Product Launch

There’s no better time to promote a product than at its launch. After all, curiosity is a powerful impetus, as is the perceived exclusivity of being one of the first to try something out. Furthermore, the buildup to your launch offers a unique opportunity to build suspense, and make people excited about the product.

Of course, to truly capitalize on this opportunity, you need to ensure that your launch campaign stands out. Here are a few ideas for boosting your day one marketing success, and making your product launch one to remember.

1. Get Influencers On Board

Influencers using the Ztylus product

One of the most powerful ways to promote a new product or service, particularly on social media, is to use influencer marketing. This style of marketing uses the power of social proof, by leveraging the trust and familiarity influencers have built with their followers.

Of course, your product still needs to be relevant to the community, or it is unlikely to have any impact. Work with your chosen influencers to determine what sort of things their audience is most interested in, and whether using your product is of any benefit to the influencer.

Remember, the item they use does not have to be the one you are launching; it can instead be used as a talking point, giving the influencer the opportunity to mention your upcoming launch in the process.

2. Set Up A Referral Program

Example of a referral program using ReferralCandy

Continuing with the power of social proof, another great way to collect additional leads and spread the word about your product is to set up a referral scheme. Not only does this widen your brand’s reach, but it also adds a level of interaction to your launch campaign.

Incentivizing your followers to refer others allows them to feel directly involved in the launch, while also working towards some kind of reward. This could be anything from a discount, to a free sample, or a digital reward such as a launch-themed forum badge or title.

Referral schemes can also be continued as part of your overarching marketing strategy, and can include different tiers with varying associated rewards. For example, a points-based system may reward customers for getting a friend to create an account, again if they sign up to the mailing list, and yet again if they make a purchase.

3. Pique Interest With A Teaser Campaign

The 11k Club – a club tens of thousands of people applied to join without knowing what it was about

An element of mystery can be a great way to command people’s interest pre-launch without investing too much in visual marketing at this early stage. Teaser campaigns can include anything from a countdown timer on your website, to releasing “coming soon” adverts which hint at a launch, without identifying the product itself.

To get your audience involved, supplement your teaser campaign by starting a conversation on your social media accounts, encouraging followers to take a guess at what you have in store.

Take advantage of targeted marketing solutions such as Facebook ads to make sure your message reaches the right people at the right time. Teaser advertisements are the perfect format for this as they are both eye-catching and mysterious, playing on people’s natural curiosity to draw them into your marketing campaign.

4. Beta Testing

While beta testing may not always be feasible, it can be a brilliant way to gather preliminary feedback on a product, while also building excitement about its launch. Those involved in the test can then feel that they directly influenced the product’s design, making them feel more invested in its success, and more likely to spread the word, or make a purchase themselves.

For those not involved in the beta, you can share snippets of feedback, and development updates. This not only allows everyone to feel connected to the development process, but also adds to the suspense as followers await snippets of information that is otherwise exclusive to the beta testers.

5. Plan a Launch Event

Whether you hold a launch party, or simply plan an online event, having something planned for the moment your product is officially released can really boost engagement in those valuable first few hours. The reason this is so powerful is that not only do followers have something unique to look forward to, but they are also all encouraged to engage with your brand at the same time and for the same reason.

This means that social media will be flooded with posts about your launch, spreading the word further, and helping to build a powerful sense of community amongst all involved. If you do hold a physical event, this is the time to share snapshots or video clips, and encouraging your followers to do the same. After all, in the digital age, you don’t all have to be in the same place to party together.

6. Hold a Launch Contest

Blast from the past: An early ‘school spirit’ contest run on MySpace

Contests can be extremely popular, as even when someone does not have an immediate interest in a product, they are more likely to give it a chance if they believe they can get something free along the way.

This strategy can also be tied in with other launch tactics. For example, there could be a prize for the customer with the most referrals, or for successfully guessing what the launch product is. This latter option has the added benefit that anyone who entered will be keen to check in as close to launch as possible, in order to see if their guess was correct.

Contests are a great way to build excitement and positive feeling around your launch, while also offering an opportunity to create fun, unique interactions with your audience.

7. Announce Milestones

 

Image: pixabay

Keep the excitement about your launch going throughout the campaign by announcing major  milestones. This can include the number of preorders made, customers referred, or even posts shared. You could even offer rewards for reaching certain targets, such as a sneak peek at a design idea, or a hint about the upcoming release.

Milestones are a handy way to keep the conversation going, and ensure you always have something new to say. They also serve as a means of promoting the growing popularity of your launch, which can be an effective means of winning over even more followers.

One of the great things about a successful launch, aside from the obvious benefits to your business, is that popular strategies can be reused for future launches. Having a winning formula in place can further boost your launch campaign as customers will already know what they can look forward to. This means building suspense for future releases can be as simple as starting a countdown.

Of course, each launch still needs to be unique. Moreover, all marketing needs to be flexible, and able to change to suit shifting trends and consumer needs. As such, it is important to plan ahead and do your research each time you plan a new release.

Over time, you will become more and more in tune with what works for your audience, and what sort of campaigns suit each type of product. So before long you will have a launch formula that is entirely your own, and expertly tailored to win over buyers, both old and new.

 

Patrick Foster

Patrick Foster is an ecommerce entrepreneur, coach and writer at ecommercetips.org. He has over 10 years of experience helping merchants setup and run successful ecommerce businesses.