Make noise with your next product launch!
Your brand is getting ready to release a new product to the world. Initially you may have had an event planned, complete with a VIP guest list and media invitations. In addition, you probably had a schedule of trade shows and exhibitions to attend. But with limits on public gatherings you now need to adjust your focus and depend solely on an online audience. The good news, is that this audience has grown since the pandemic lockdown of 2020, and that means you have a huge opportunity to create excitement for your product. That said, execution is everything. Today, we look at the five key steps to generating online buzz for your new product.
5 Effective Steps to Releasing Your Brand’s New Product Online in 2020 and Beyond
1. Start SEO ASAP
Getting Google to recognize and rank any new content (product releases included) takes time. For this reason the first thing you need to do is to create and publish product content, even if the product is not yet available for purchase. This should be done at least 4-weeks in advance to give it time for product URLs to be indexed and repeatedly crawled by Google. Include product photos, a comprehensive product description, and be sure to optimize product page meta-data with keywords that explain what the product is. If you’re not yet ready for widespread public viewing, you can keep it off of your website’s menu so that it is not found via navigation until ready. If it starts to rank early (within a week or two of publishing) and begins to drive traffic, you can place a “coming soon” (but state the release date) message along with your product images, description, and pricing information.
Waiting to search-engine-optimize your up and coming product page/s on or after the release date will cost organic traffic, and ultimately sales, for the weeks it takes to begin ranking. Start today.
2. Tighten Up eCommerce
Consider your new product launch to be an opportunity to revisit your eCommerce strategy. You don’t want anything to get in the way of attracting customers, or frustrating their ability to buy your new product. Revisit how your website has established product categories, product feature messaging, shopping cart management, shipping methods, social media sharing functions, and more. Follow this 5-step guide to optimizing your eCommerce site before adding your new product.
3. Build Anticipation on Social Media
Use Instagram and Facebook as your primary channels for building anticipation, although you should communicate your product release on all social networks. This should be done at least 2-weeks in advance, but optimally 4-weeks. If you want to keep an exciting new product under wraps for the interim, you can at least provide sneak peaks via imagery and textual hints. Feel free to tease your audience but be sure to provide a countdown to the product release date or they will grow tired of the messaging. “Coming soon” isn’t good enough – they need to know exactly when it’s coming so they can plan (i.e. budget) to make their potential purchase.
In addition, reach out to existing fans/followers on your social networks who tend to be early adopters of your products, especially if they “influencers” who may share the news of your impending release with their own friends and followers. Feel free to incentivize these brand advocates by giving them early access to your new product (if viable) or give it to them for free on the release date. Giving loyal social media fans and followers swag can go a long way in generating sales from new or casual customers.
4. When to PPC
Even with SEO and social media in order, it’s a good idea to fuel your new product launch campaign with pay-per-click (PPC). While you should not release your Google Ad campaign until the day of the product release, you should begin the planning process at least 2-weeks away from launch. Set your budget and use the AdWords Keyword Planner to define your keyword targets. They should vary somewhat (but semantically support) from your SEO keyword targets, so that you’re targeting Google search from a variety of angles. This will help you identify early-on what keyword terms drive more qualified traffic. Looking at the Bounce Rate (BR) and Average Session Duration will help you map out where adjustments in both SEO and PPC landing pages may be needed. Even if you don’t have the budget for an ongoing PPC campaign, you will at least want to run one for 2-weeks from the date of your new product launch. The more fuel on the flame the better – it’s a worthwhile investment that can pay for itself exponentially.
5. Collect Emails to Alert Customers to the Official Release Date (and Promos)
A new product launch serves as motivation for prospective customers to hand over their email addresses. This is especially true of products that will be available in limited supply or are fashionable/trendy (so to speak). Consumers love being “in the know” and want to the among the first to get their hands on a new product. They are more likely to subscribe to your brand’s newsletter if it means that they will get first dibs and/or benefit from early purchaser promotions such as a discount or free swag with purchase. Once you have these emails, you can begin an email drip campaign. In an email drip campaign, you send out a pre-determined series of carefully timed marketing messages to subscribers. Think of it as an email-based countdown to build anticipation for the product release. Beginning 6-8 weeks from your new product launch, start collecting emails via the following:
i) Provide a call-to-action (CTA) email grab form on your website’s homepage and other high-traffic pages. This CTA should inform visitors about the new product launch and indicate the incentive (i.e. beta-access, discount, etc.). You may also use old and current products as contest give-away incentives. Of course, to enter a contest or claim any offer users must provide their email. Don’t ask for any other information beyond their email address – keep it simple!
ii) Once the CTA landing pages (with email grab functionality) are established, encourage social media fans/followers to visit your website where they can view the new product launch offer in exchange for their email address. Make sure the email subscription comes with social sharing features so that they can share the offer with their own friends and followers. You may also add an email sign up app to your Facebook page to reach out to those interested in knowing more about your new product and accompanying offer.
You have a lot to contend with as the date of your product release approaches. The above digital marketing plan may be effective, but it’s also time intensive. Bring in a partner to assist or fully manage the launch. Contact Strategis Consulting Group today to discuss how we will build eager anticipation for your new product.