Whether you've recently launched a new company altogether, or whether you are offering an add-on product or plan to an existing business, it can be extremely tricky to market it effectively. Something new might mean an exciting adventure to come, but it also means starting all promotional campaigns right from the bottom. So what can you do to push people towards jumping on your product and buying sooner? Follow these four tips to give your product launch a running start:
1) Plan Promotion Months in Advance
If your project isn't scheduled to be released for another couple of months, consider planning out the preliminary promotion strategy at least a month in advance for a digital product. Put together a calendar of the various events you need to prepare for.
Let's say your company is working on building a new software tool. Start hyping up your users and audience by counting down the days until the tool becomes publicly available. Collect leads from those who are interested in getting early access to the tool. These will be the individuals most interested in what you have to say.
For the launch of it's new and free chart maker, Venngage started producing content and alerting its audience many weeks in advance to build up anticipation. As a result, the team received interest from over 2,000 unique individuals who wanted to try the tool before anyone else.
Buffer did something similar when preparing for it's launch of Respond. They didn't give away too much information about the product, but existing users of Buffer who were already advocates for their social sharing platform grew curious and eager to take the new product for a test run. Much like with Venngage's chart maker, existing Buffer users were given the opportunity to get early access to Respond.
Building an audience in advance is a great strategy for building up anticipation and excitement. That way once the moment finally comes for you to launch your product, waves of people will be eager to give it a try.
2) Ask Influencers to Vouch for It
Another great strategy for marketing a new product is getting influencers within your niche to talk about you. One way to do this is offer certain influencers free access to your product before anyone else can use it. The combination of receiving something for free and having exclusive access could be just what their ego needs.
How can you do this?
Start by putting together a list of relevant keywords that pertain to your new product. Use a content researcher tool like Buzzsumo to find articles or blog posts that have been written about a similar topic or keyword.
Build a list of contacts and start reaching out to them. Work on crafting a compelling pitch to grab the influencer's attention. The last thing you want is to lose a prospective relationship because your email pitch indicates that you don't know anything about them. Do your research and make sure your pitch isn't ignored.
Ask influencers to link back to your product's sign-up page or special offer once they have accepted to give you a shout out or recommend you to their audience. This can be a great opportunity for driving some referral traffic back to your site.
3) Ask People for Reviews
If you have a brick and mortar business, people's opinions of you can go a long way, and if you don't have a solid line of positive reviews, it's easy for potential clients to simply find the next best retailer.
One remedy is to ask past and current customers or users to write positive reviews about you. Offer them a small incentive, like a limited time discount, or a small gift to sway them towards helping you out. If your company truly does deliver a positive experience, it's all the more easy to get your past customers to write about you.
Ask people to write reviews for you on Yelp, Google and even Facebook. The social currency will boost people's faith in you, and propel them towards trusting you for their needs.
4) Offer a Promotional Code or Deal
Build up excitement about your product by offering a special promotional code or deal that's only available for a limited time. It will create a sense of urgency and people will be likely to act on the promotion faster. When you've created a deal, post it onto a social deals site like Dealspotr and share it with a wider community to expand the reach of your promotion.
Michael Quoc, founder of Dealspotr, suggests making your deal as shareable as possible.
"Two keys to a successful digital coupon campaign are urgency and shareability. You want to make your offer very compelling with a key call to action and a clear end date to create a sense of urgency. You also want to make your offer easily shareable, either through an image or promotion code, so you can get the viral impact through social channels."
Airlines use this technique all the time. Porter Airlines is an example of one that creates a sense of urgency on a weekly basis. It seems as though every time I visit their site, they have a "Limited Time Offer", where you save 25% on flights until midnight that day. Have I ever given into the pressure to buy immediately? Absolutely. Have those prices ever changed drastically? Not really. It's mainly a tactic to pressure you to buy sooner than later. Jonah Berger, author of the book Contagious refers to this concept as the rule of Scarcity. When society believes something is about to run out, they stock up on it as much as possible.
You can also try pitching your product to Appsumo. They feature deals specifically in the software and tech space. But in order to get featured, your deal needs to be completely unignorable. The benefit is that Appsumo will promote your offer to their massive database of nearly 1 million engaged members in the business and tech sphere, so in the long run it's a great way to get the word out!
5) Create Engaging Content to Sway People
Content marketing is a long, but highly effective means of promoting a product. In fact, it's an ongoing process that I highly recommend. This includes creating engaging blog posts, videos, infographics or SlideShare presentations to reach a wide audience, and get people to find you.
If you're considering a video marketing strategy, take a look at Tastemade's videos. They are short, captivating and instructional. How does your product provide a useful and practical alternative to a specific task or subject? How can you showcase this information to your audience in an engaging way?
Infographics are also an excellent form of content creation. You can repurpose existing blog posts into visual form. Use an infographic creator to visualize specific data in a matter of minutes rather than spending an arm and a leg on an agency or in-house designer.
SlideShare gets 70 million views a month, and is traffic referral beast. If you want to increase your blog traffic, or your site traffic, you can redirect a lot of SlideShare's visitors back to you. You can design a SlideShare presentation using a simple PowerPoint template. Check out the SlideShare homepage to figure out what design elements and content types are most likely to get featured on the homepage.
On top of engaging users, integrating a solid content marketing strategy will help you with SEO, and help your product rank on high-converting keywords. Many businesses plan out their content marketing strategy and build a blog months and sometimes years in advance before even launching a product. It's a great way to build an audience before even trying to sell them anything.
The idea of launching a new product is very daunting. There is a lot that can potentially go wrong. Your idea of a successful business model might not be what the general public had in mind. It's important to plan our your marketing strategy in advance, so that you can really hit the ground running. Consider the above five tips as a starting point to nudge you in the right direction. Eventually you will find the strategy that works best for you.