10 Steps to a Successful Product Launch
In a competitive market, launching a new product is crucial for brands to stay relevant and maintain their current customers.
Before you launch your next CPG (consumer packaged goods) product, consider the following PR strategies:
8 Months Out
Select the Right Digital Channels
Not all digital channels are right for every launch. Look at places where there are deep community wells, instead of hugely broad channels. Once you’ve identified those channels, spend some time engaging and listening to find out who the top tier influencers are – watch who they partner with to get an idea of whether they align with your product launch, and pricing.
Have customers use hashtags to engage in product-related conversations, which can be tagged on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. When customers tag your product on social media, it creates a sense of product engagement and excitement for customers that both current and potential customers can see.
6 Months Out
Embrace Influencers of ALL Types
We typically think of influencer marketing as a form of product promotion that allows product marketers to leverage the audiences of social media influencers to reach prospects and drive product sales. On Instagram, there are more than one million product review accounts with product-related hashtags, which is where product marketers should look for product endorsers. Outreach should start 6 months out to ensure a collaborative, effective campaign.
Social media influencers are popular on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook because of their large followings, so it is important that product marketers find product reviewers who have similar customer demographics as their target prospects. Influencer tips: – Look at product influencers’ follower demographics and product reviewer content to ensure it aligns with product messaging. – Engage product endorsers by asking them questions on social media, which helps you learn more about their product preferences and how they use your product. – Reach out to product reviewers via direct message on Instagram or Twitter, as well as on Facebook. Remember, product marketers should work with influencers six months prior to product launch.
Engage your existing customers on social media so they are engaged during launch. To create more customer loyalty, consider including your most engaged customers to help with the launch. And look beyond “social media followers” when you identify your most engaged customers. Cutting through the noise today often means authentic recommendations to a small, but targeted group COMBINED with other efforts to create social proof.
Look for product experts—people with large social media followings who are experts in the product category. – Pose open-ended questions to product experts on how they use your product, what their favorite features are and why; this is likely to garner organic product-related content on social media
Re-Think Launch Parties
In the post COVID world, there are so many ways to launch a product. Yes, traditional events launch parties with influencers may work. But when you identify who aligns with product messaging, look at your influencers with a digital lens.
Approach Bloggers to Post about Your Product
Bloggers often get overlooked in the age of social media influencers – but bloggers create extremely sticky content. Be creative with bloggers for your product launch. Product marketers can partner with bloggers who have product review blogs by providing them with sample products and product information. This allows product marketers a chance to get their product messages into the hands of product reviewers well in advance of product launch. It’s best to include product-related information in the product shipment package, along with a personal message from product marketers asking for product reviews and product mentions on social media channels.
Blogger tips: – Look for product reviewers who have similar customer demographics as your target prospects. – Create an outreach list of bloggers who have positive sentiment or product-related product reviews on social media channels. – Reach out to product bloggers via email with product information and a personal message asking for product reviews before product launch.
Hire a Public Relations Agency
Public relations firms are able to manage all aspects of brand product management from product messages to product campaigns. PR firms have experience in product launch field and can navigate product marketers through the product launch process, as well as manage product review blogger outreach efforts.
PR agency tips: – Look for a public relations agency that specializes in building brand equity with product launches. – Reach out to a product-centric PR agency six months before product launch to build product buzz and product hype.
4 Months Out
Create Compelling Content
CPG businesses should put out compelling free content well in advance of the launch—about two to four months before the product is available for sale— to create a buzz about the product among their current and potential customer base. Ensure to have a strong call-to-action, so interested users can easily find out more information on where they can buy the product once it becomes available. Share this content on social media and on product-specific landing pages. Keep in mind, you should publish your content 4 months out, so you may need to begin creating the content 6 months or more, out.
3 Months Out
Offer Limited Edition Products
Offering product variations and limited edition items can help brands stand out and create product buzz. Consumers ultimately want to be the first to own new products, and they want others to know that they were able to get their hands on these product releases before anyone else. While each product release comes with its own product description, it’s important to include words such as new, limited edition or exclusive.
Include a Product in Customer Surveys
Customer surveys are a great way for product marketers to measure customer sentiment around product features and benefits, as well as product satisfaction rates.
Sending product surveys to current customers about their product experiences can be beneficial because product marketers will learn how customers use the product, as well as product changes that might be needed.
Question tips: – Focus on product features and benefits to solicit product-related feedback from customers before product launch. – Use questions such as: “What do you like most about our product?” “What product features would you like improved?”
1 Month Out
Create a Product Landing Page
A product landing page is a long-lead product promotion that provides product marketers with the opportunity to create hype and product buzz online before product launch. The product landing page is a lead source for future product marketing efforts, such as webinars or product announcements. Landing page tips: – Partner with product review influencers to provide product information, product images and product videos to build excitement on product landing pages before product launch. – Create webinars to introduce the product to the marketplace.
Conduct Product Demos
Product demonstrations are an easy way for product marketers to share product product information. Host product demo for your influencers and journalists, giving them a chance to ask questions live. Product marketers should gain product product knowledge before product demos in order to answer product review blogger questions about product features and benefits. Question tips: – Provide product demo websites that will provide product information when product review bloggers want to learn more after the product launch. Record your launch demos for use in future outreach campaigns.
Product launch timelines can be extended and compressed, but keep in mind, successful product launches require collaboration and creativity, so giving yourself the time to have a successful launch pays dividends. Contact us regarding the specifics to your product launch.