How to Properly Market a New Product Launch
Releasing a new product into the world requires months of planning, production and marketing. If any elements don’t work together, it can create a chain reaction impacting the entire release. A well-executed launch helps set you up for success.
There are tens of thousands of new product launches in the food and beverage category alone each year. You must prepare or risk getting lost in the rush. You’ll need to think outside the box to get your product to stand out from all the advertising noise both online and offline.
Fortunately, there are some specific steps you can take to make sure your release hits the world without any errors. The smoother your product launch, the more likely you’ll hit your revenue goals. Here are the things to help you strive for a strong start.
1. Choose the Right Time
When you release your product could be almost as important as how you release it. Try to avoid major events that might distract from your own efforts. If a competitor has a launch planned, make sure yours happens first.
Never release immediately after or at the same time. You don’t want to give your users any reason to take their business elsewhere. Does it make sense to release your product on a certain date? For example, if you sell boots, you’ll want to release them in the late summer or early fall and not just before spring.
2. Improve Communication
Great communication is the number one thing you can do to ensure your product launch is successful. You’ve likely spent a lot of time gathering email addresses for your target audience. Now is the time to use them and let people know about new products on the horizon. What can they expect and when can they expect it?
Use your mailing list and ensure your subject line and language within the email all match user expectations. Ask them if they’d like a reminder when the product is available. You can segment those who say yes into a separate list and send them occasional notices about how long until launch day, building buzz and excitement.
3. Create Shareable Content
You may already have a street team of loyal fans talking up any new item you release. However, you have to give them content they can easily share in order for them to effectively reach new leads.
Shareable content includes videos highlighting what the new thing can do, interviews with people who have tried it out and believe in it or tidbits about how your brand overcame challenges to bring the item to life.
Pay attention to what your competitors offer when they launch a product. What can you do better? What elements are they missing?
4. Enlist Beta Testers
If you want to share how amazing your new product is, you must have people try it and talk about the benefits of the new product. Enlist the help of beta testers to make sure everything functions as promised. Utilize their feedback as testimonials to generate some positive press.
You may even want to seek the help of influencers to beta test your products. Influencers have very select audiences. Look for someone whose followers engage with them and comment, share and like their posts.
Once you have a list of potential influencers, send the prototype to them to try out. Ask for feedback and if they’ll share their thoughts with their readers.
5. Prep Your Website
Marking will drive a lot of traffic to your website where people will order your new product. Make sure your site is ready for the influx of new visitors.
One of the top things you can do to improve your site’s experience is speed up your loading times. In a recent Deloitte study, researchers found speeding up webpage loading times increased conversions. For example, a mere 0.1 second improvement resulted in 8.4% higher conversions for retailers.
Compress images, invest in a better hosting plan and figure out how best to deliver information within milliseconds.
6. Prep Your FAQ
What questions are people most likely to ask about the product before making a purchase? Prep your FAQ so they can easily find the answers. You also can use your FAQ to program a chatbot on the site and automatically answer the most common objections.
Think about the problems people might experience in using the product as well. Is there a question about how to turn it on? How do you replace the batteries? What can it do and can’t it do?
7. Network with Other Businesses
Want to generate even more talk about your upcoming product launch? Find other businesses you can network with and share information with each other’s lists. You want to locate companies with complementary products to yours. For example, if you sell kitchen utensils, you might team up with a grocery chain or a cooking school.
Nearly every town has a local chamber of commerce. Contact yours and find out what networking events and opportunities they offer. The best way to meet promotional partners is organically. You can pool your resources and advertise together to reach more people for less investment.
Create a Checklist
There are many things you need to do to properly market a product launch. Make a list of the elements you want to embrace and check them off as they’re completed.
You’ll work with product development, sales and management to get the word out. Coordinate with all the departments by using project management software. Learn to ask the right questions and listen to responses for the best flow to your marketing work.
Don’t be afraid to try different tactics. Keep what works and lose what doesn’t. By the time your product is ready to ship, you’ll have enough orders to spur you to the next series of marketing messages.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.