It’s all done. Well, almost. Your new product is finally ready. Your team has invested time, effort, and resources into its development, and now, it’s all in your hands. You’ll have to make sure that the product launch goes as expected—and in order to do that, you’ll need to have a fail-safe strategy.
Launching a product is no easy task. Different studies have shown different results, but it’s estimated that close to 80% of the products released each year fail. While it could be argued that the reason is purely the inadequacy of the products themselves, there are studies that suggest otherwise. Quoting directly from a study by Harvard Business Review: “Companies are so focused on designing and manufacturing new products that they postpone the hard work of getting ready to market them until too late in the game”
While that might seem concerning, it’s actually a good sign. What that really means is that your product isn’t doomed to fail, and with a little preparation and planning on your end, you’ll be able to ensure your product’s success.
Some tips for building buzz around your product
Study your audience
Before you start creating your launch strategy, it’s essential that you know exactly who you’re selling to. Without knowing who your customers are, any strategy you create is just a shot in the dark. There are different ways to study your audience and learn what kind of launch strategy you need.
First, take a look at the profile of your existing customers. Summarize the data you have based on the different metrics—such as age, gender, income range, likes, dislikes, and hobbies. Get as specific as you can when you do this. Once you gather this data, you’ll find out what your audience is like, and then you’ll have a clearer idea of how you can market your product to them.
However, this will only work if your new product is targeted towards the same kind of customers that you already have. You might be entering a new business line, or launching a product that’s intended for an entirely different demographic. That’s why the best way to study your audience is through creating the persona of an “ideal customer.”
To create an “ideal customer,” all you have to do is jot down exactly who your target audience is. What age groups are you targeting? What’s their level of income? How much money do they make? What are their hobbies, and what do they dislike? The more specific you get here, the better your ideal customer profile will be.
You can choose either method to study your audience, or, better yet, do both. Ultimately, understanding your audience is the first step towards marketing to them.
Once you’ve studied your audience, you may also use this data to choose the right social media networks to be on, and the tone of voice that you’re going to take. If you already don’t, you may also choose to create a brand persona to help you with the launch.
Create branded hashtags
Branded hashtags are a great way to promote your product, both online and offline. Online, it helps generate buzz for your company and puts the spotlight on you. And it’s a very useful way for your followers to find and curate content relevant to the release. You can also use the hashtags offline, such as at corporate events. This will act as a supplement to your online campaign, as attendees to the events might feel tempted to use the hashtag in tweets they’re making about you, which will help create further buzz.
The power of branded hashtags cannot be overstated. It’s a tool that many brands have used successfully to their advantage. Here’s an example from Always, a brand that used the hashtag #LikeAGirl to spread their message of equality. They flipped a term that’s generally an insult, and used it in their campaign to communicate their values. The video has over 66 million views on YouTube, and they used the hashtag on their other channels, as well.
If you need a little help with finding your hashtag, don’t worry! Our guide on choosing the right hashtag for your brand should be able to help you.
Create trailers for your release
When you’re launching a new product, one of your goals is to get your target audience excited about the release—and creating trailers or teasers are a great way to do that. When done right, they can help you effectively grab the attention of your audience, retain it, and then build anticipation. A series of teasers, where you release information over several phases, can be quite an effective marketing tactic.
Given ongoing social media trends, it’s probably a good idea to release a video teaser. Take a cue from this video launched by Samsung, for their product, the Galaxy S9. Notice how this teaser talks mostly about the phone’s camera, while viewers are left guessing about the other features. You can take this route, and then use successive teasers to provide more information.
Also, remember that your teaser does not necessarily need to be a video at all. The goal of creating a teaser is to generate buzz around your release, and you can do that with other forms of media, such as images, or even GIFs. Networks like Instagram have specific features, such as the countdown feature, that you can use to build further hype for your release.
Partner with influencers
A great way to build buzz around your release is to find relevant influencers in your space, and then partner with them to promote your product. Influencers generally have a sizeable amount of followers and are respected in their field, so if you’re able to work with one of them, their audience will immediately be interested in what you’re offering them.
A great way to do this is to give your influencers early access to your product or feature, and if they put in a good word for you, you can be sure to generate some buzz. Couple this strategy with any of the other points mentioned in this piece to achieve the best results.
However, it’s important to remember that you can’t really work with any influencer at random. Finding the right one is a process, and that mostly involves finding someone with good engagement, who shares your brand’s voice and also has followers who are your targets. Read our guide on finding the right influencer for your brand for a more detailed discussion on this topic.
Tell a story
The best and most important step in creating buzz around your product’s release is to create a story around it. When done right, stories can be intense and captivating and can produce everything you want just before the launch of your product. Stories are inherently attractive, and telling a great story will ensure that anticipation is high.
However, storytelling isn’t easy to pull off. Every brand on social media is trying to sell a story to their audience, and not all of them will work. There are myriad reasons for this, but the most important tip to keep in mind is that you’ll need to stay true to your brand voice. If the rest of your promotion is done in a different tone, and the story is in contrast to the approach you’ve taken elsewhere, it’s going to look awkward, even if the story is great.
While you’ll have to stay true to your tone, you may consider using humor in your stories, as well. Humor is universally loved by everyone and can make your stories stand out even more. You can also check out our guide on storytelling in social media.
Generating buzz around a feature release may not seem like the easiest thing to do, but it’s definitely worth going for. If you’re able to do it, it can spell great benefits for your brand. It’s all about studying your audience and then creating interest in your product. Keep that in mind, and then follow the rest of these tips, and you’ll be able to do it in no time.
Know of anything we missed, or have something to discuss? Let us know in the comments section below, and we’ll be sure to get back to you!