In this crowded market and fast-paced world where about 250,000 new products are being launched globally every year, introducing a new product has proven to be a big challenge. The typical failure rate of new product launches, as stated by Lynn Dornblaser–an analyst at market research form Mintel who tracks new products–can be anywhere between the 85%-95% range. With so many new products constantly being rolled out, most unfortunately hit the shelves and app stores unnoticed.
It helps when your product is innovative and provides great value to customers, but without the proper exposure, it’s likely to end up drowning in the vast pool of products that never had their time in the spotlight. The problem with most businesses is that they wait until the day of the product launch to start marketing, and then they wonder why no one takes notice. Marketing for a product should start long before that. Why do you think Apple has always been successful in their product launches? It’s because they generate buzz around their products months before their release.
Recent technological advancements and the constant increase in the number of mobile phone users make communication easier today. With the ease with which we can communicate with large audiences anytime and anywhere, you’d think it’s easier for businesses to promote their products and engage with customers. In this saturated market, a product needs to be groundbreaking and extra marketing efforts are required in order for a product to stick out and be memorable to customers. Traditional marketing strategies just won’t do it anymore. If you want to get your customers hyped for the online launch of your new product, consider incorporating these marketing tactics into your marketing strategy.
We all know that familiar excitement when a trailer for an upcoming film that looks promising is released, or our favorite artist posts a 30-second teaser for a song in his album. It gets us all hyped up for the day that the entire film and album finally comes out. That’s exactly how you get your potential customers excited for the release of your product. Build anticipation by giving them just enough to know what your product all about, but not too much that the mystery fades.
It’s the same strategy Apple is notoriously known for. Months before the release of a new iPhone, they would create buzz by announcing the release of a new product but giving out just the right amount of information to get people to speculate about the rest. It creates so much hype that when they finally release their product, it sells out effortlessly. While you may not be as influential as Apple (yet), you too can get people excited about the release of your product by trying out these strategies that rely on the elements of suspense and mystery to build anticipation.
Tweet hints. The character limit on Twitter makes it perfect for teasing short details about your upcoming product. For better engagement, don’t forget to use visuals to accompany the tweet. Research says tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.
Post videos. Video is a powerful medium that allows you to engage with customers more than any other medium. According to Hubspot, video viewers are 85 percent more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it. Post videos of the behind-the-scenes progress of your creative processes or video interviews with your staff about the product. You can also post teasers and mini commercials to keep them interested in finding out more.
Take pre-orders. Pre-orders are not only beneficial in securing a certain amount of sales and revenue, it also makes customers look forward to the actual day your product launches and they could get their hands on it.
Create a countdown and post a “coming soon” message on your website.
These strategies might require a lot of time and effort, but when done successfully, it would pay off well for you and your business. Come product launch day and you’ll already have a huge following that can’t wait to get a hold of your product.
Another strategy that has been tried and true by successful brands is creating an atmosphere of exclusivity in order to generate buzz around their product. Humans like the idea of having early or exclusive access or being one of the few people to own something. It’s why waitlists and pre-ordering work so well for businesses. If a product has limited availability or exclusive access, people are more likely to join in on the trend and immediately jump on the first chance to get a hold of it. In contrast, if a product can easily be bought anywhere, anytime, its value decreases. It would easily be overlooked and taken for granted.
Robinhood, a trading app that launched in 2014 is a perfect example of a brand that successfully leveraged this strategy on their pre-product launch. They had users to sign up for a waitlist on their website, and for every time they refer the app to their friends, they move up a spot on the list and the sooner they’d get access. This tactic has resulted in 340,000 people signing up for early access, at a time when their app was still in the beta test phase. It helped that their product was appealing and valuable to many people–especially to millennials, but it also garnered a lot of attention due to the urgency and early access tactic they used.
Another new product that created buzz on its first launch in the crowded global marketplace is the OnePlus smartphone. Also launched in 2014, the product, at the time of its launch, could be bought exclusively through the OnePlus website on an invite-only basis. This attracted the attention of many people who wanted to get their hands on the elusive product. The invite-only basis strategy was initially implemented to ensure the demand for the product, but it ended up appealing to more people than the brand expected.
Robinhood and OnePlus have both been successful in launching their product, and you too can replicate their success. You can create a sense of urgency and an atmosphere of exclusivity by creating a waitlist or referral program (or both) for early or exclusive access to your product. With plenty of competition doing traditional marketing techniques, this strategy can make you stand out and have customers racing for access of your product.
Introducing a new product to the market can be challenging for businesses that don’t have a well-established reputation yet, which is why it’s important that you ask help from people that do. Engage with bloggers and influencers in your niche and get them to talk about your product even before it comes out. People are more likely to take suggestions from people they have already formed their loyalty to, and by picking the right influencers to promote your product, you’d have a wider audience that can be convinced to try your product.
Crowdfunding is not a new concept anymore, but it’s only lately that businesses have realized the unique marketing opportunity it offers for launching products. When done right, a crowdfunding campaign can be even more effective in gaining publicity than simply posting product promotions on social media. A donation, no matter what amount, means more than a simple like, share, or comment and amounts to “the deepest form of social media engagement possible.” Also, when someone donates to your project, you already have the guarantee of their support.
Exploding Kittens is a game card project by The Oatmeal, a popular web comic. The campaign was originally launched with the goal of collecting $10,000, which was the required amount to get the game funded. However, what started out as a small campaign turned out to be an online sensation, and the “most-backed project in Kickstarter history,” as the project raised a whopping $8.8 million over the entire course of its campaign. What made people buy into it, though, is that for every donation they make, they get free comics. And with that and The Oatmeal’s already popular reputation, the campaign easily caught on through word of mouth and without advertising.
Engage with influencers. Get everyone talking about your product months before it launches by working with bloggers and influencers. Start by finding the right influencers to promote your product. Don’t just pick anyone famous, though. They have to be interested in your product and be a good fit it and its message. Find influencers who are well-respected in your niche and whose audience you’d want to convince.
Start a crowdfunding campaign. Get funds for your project and get people to support it at the same time. Create a crowdfunding campaign, but don’t just ask people for donations. Give them something in return. For example, for every donation they make, they’d get your product. Basically, they’re giving you money so you can produce their orders. This is a good way to gain publicity through word of mouth.
What urges you to share a post or retweet a tweet? It’s because you found the content interesting, funny, or worth sharing, right? The mistake most businesses make when promoting on social media is not taking their audience into account, which makes their posts easily overlooked and usually go unnoticed. Before you post a promotion, make sure it’s something people would find valuable or worth sharing to their friends. Especially if you’re promoting an upcoming product, your posts should get the customers hooked until the actual product launch.
Hold contests. Hold a user-generated content contest in social media. Users like having their skills and talent recognized and showcased. And who doesn’t like free stuff? You can ask users to submit a photo based on a theme and whoever you choose would receive a prize, or maybe your product when it’s finally released. This will help keep your users engaged with your brand and keep them interested until your product launch.
Create shareable content. Don’t just simply post product promotions. Create content that provides value to your followers and something they would want to share with their friends.
Create branded hashtags. Hashtags are important in curating social media content for all your pre-product launch marketing efforts. It’s also a good way to get people to easily remember and recognize your campaign. Use it in all your content and ask users to use it when participating in your contest.
The success of a product launch is an important determining factor in the overall market success of a product. By entering the market with an already developed fan base, you are securing the sales for your business and paving the way for its further success. Otherwise, no matter how high quality and valuable your product is, it’s likely to go unnoticed. That’s why planning, research, and implementation of marketing strategies on the months leading up to the actual day of the product launch is crucial and should be given careful thought and consideration.
By following the marketing tactics mentioned above, you can build hype around your product and have customers anticipating its release. What other buzz-generating marketing tactics have you observed being implemented by other brands?
Andy has grown to be one of the most influential names in digital marketing in greater Seattle area.
Graduating with his MBA, focus on Marketing, he has acquired the skill set and experience needed to bring clients under Kayzoe Marketing the highest level of strategic marketing possible.
As CEO and Director of Search Engine Optimization he has been able to get Kayzoe and his clients ranked in the top positions of Google time and time again.