Launching a new product is an exciting, adrenaline-filled time for entrepreneurs. Though a product launch varies in size and scope depending on the business, each one strives to create a splash, generate buzz and get people talking about the product at hand.
But getting to this level isn’t easy — it takes strategy and a few tricks to get your product recognized by the public. Check out ideas that every startup can implement to have a standout product launch.
This probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard about using storytelling in your business. That’s because storytelling is one of the most effective ways to build a brand, attract potential customers and talk about a product or service without being too promotional.
Stories are universal — they draw people in and create emotional connections to products by including human elements. The unique thing about storytelling is that you can create a story out of anything. From your company’s founding to your colleagues’ backgrounds to the idea behind your product, there’s a story in all facets of your organization — the hard part is deciding which angle to focus on.
There is not a one-size-fits-all formula to a good story, but it should have a little drama to make things interesting. You can choose to focus on suspense, challenges that were overcome, or how you beat a big competitor — something that will grab people’s attention.
Once you know what your story is going to be about, try breaking it up into segments so you can create several blog posts about it, instead of just one. By creating multiple blogs, you’ll be able to really detail, capitalize on, and maximize your story’s value to your audience.
Storytelling has proved to be a powerful means of communication because it intrigues, captivates and convinces potential customers that your company and product are different than the other ones on the market.
Once you have solidified your story, use it to build momentum and gain traction about your new product. The worst possible thing you can do is wait until the last minute to start promoting your product — it’ll quickly get lost in the noise.
The key with momentum is to find the sweet spot of when to start talking about your launch — you don’t want to start too soon, and you don’t want to wait until it’s too late. A good rule of thumb is to begin promoting one month before your planned launch. You can break up your launch story into four different themes and highlight a different one each week before the launch.
For example, if you were launching a new SaaS product, week one’s theme could focus on the “why” and talk about the idea behind why your company chose to launch this particular product instead of another one. Weeks two and three can be more product-focused and briefly mention an anticipated key benefit or feature. In your final week, you can let people know that your product is launching soon and to get ready for its release.
The “one-month” timeline familiarizes people with your product, while still creating a sense of urgency. Additionally, when you start promoting one month out, you’ll have time to get all of your content and design assets together, which is nice to have prepared in advance before things get too crazy.
Another big key to building momentum is to ensure that you’re promoting your launch wherever you can. Besides email, do some paid social and third-party advertising with a CTA for non-customers to join your mailing list and stay in the loop.
When you follow this approach, you’ll begin to strengthen your presence in the community and people will be geared up for your product.
Use savvy promotion tactics
Despite your best pitching efforts, it’ll be tricky to get a new product featured in the likes of The Wall Street Journal or TechCrunch as an unknown startup. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try, but it’s a well-known fact that big media outlets focus on reporting the big launches of the world. If you’re a startup, then it’ll be far more difficult to get recognized by these media juggernauts.
A better and safer route is to focus on local online publications and communities where your core audiences visit. Local publications are great because they have tight-knit, involved followings. Oftentimes, these will be pay-to-play types of deals, but they shouldn’t cost more than a couple hundred dollars to get a sponsored guest post, which will pay off in the long run.
In addition, check out online communities like Product Hunt or Reddit. Product Hunt is a great resource for entrepreneurs to launch B2B and B2C goods, so it’s a great way for different types of launches to gain exposure. If you can secure a top hunter to “hunt” your product on the day it launches, you’ll get even more traction.
Reddit is also a great way to spread the word about a new product, and there are plenty of subreddits out there to choose from depending on your industry. If you make it a habit to post in these forums before your launch, you’ll build up a name for yourself and have influencers ready to help the spread the word when launch day comes.
Having a standout product launch isn’t the easiest thing to accomplish, but it’s definitely doable with the right plan in place.