Welcome to ReferralHero, the most trusted marketing meteorologist around! If your sales have been stagnant and stifling, we've got great news and a storm of referrals in the forecast!
Unlike heat-breaking thunderstorms, successful product launches don't come out of nowhere. A groundbreaking overnight sensation comes backed with months (and sometimes YEARS) of planning.
Luckily, a few things stay true no matter what product you're launching. Things like the phases of a product launch and marketing plan, making the most of the opportunities that present themselves, and a few tried and true marketing strategies that hit right every time.
My goal is to get you ready to face the elements, build confidence, and conquer any product launch you come across! Ready to follow the forecast? Let’s jump in!
Phases of a Successful Product Launch
Breaking any big project into manageable pieces is a stellar way to keep invested and on track, especially when you’re heading up a team! Here’s what to watch out for during each phase of your launch.
Pre-Launch: Ramping up anticipation, recognizing trends, doing research, and getting the word out.
Waaaay before your product actually launches, you want to get your customers jazzed and ready! Whether you’re targeting a well-defined market or you’re starting from scratch, this means getting inside your target audience’s mind.
Make sure you know exactly who your product is for, and what the competition is doing to get them invested. You can use this information to get the word out effectively early on, setting you up for success down the road.
Take some time to set up some metrics for success, and have clear, concise goals in mind. Some great milestones to watch for and celebrate include:
- Releasing primary product elements
- Launching pre-orders (and getting a lot of them!)
- Getting exciting partnerships lined up
Patience is a virtue - have faith, and you’ll be ready for launch in no time!
Launch: Time to show the world (a.k.a. your target market) what you’ve made!
Now's the time to make some noise! Launching your product is all about getting the word out to your target market.
First and foremost, your campaign must be developed and targeted. You can even use a mixture of campaigns to pack the most punch.
You can even leverage viral content to build buzz, whatever you know will get your customers excited.
Ensure that the launch goes as smoothly as possible. This means getting your customer service lines up and running, and giving everyone interacting with your product in the first couple of weeks the best experience possible.
Some great milestones to watch for and celebrate include:
- Reaching your initial sales goals!
- Staying on top of customer support needs
- Getting a ton of great reviews
With a successful launch, you'll be well on your way to success!
Post-Launch: Reviewing what worked, making changes, and determining next steps.
When the launch is done, your job isn’t quite finished. The post-launch review period is one of the most important phases because it helps you get better every time!
When you understand what parts of your launch resonated with people, you can tap into that knowledge for your next launch.
Get feedback from your customers and take it seriously. They know what they’re talking about. Take that information and refine your messaging around this product until you find that sweet spot of continuous growth, or until you can focus that knowledge on what’s next.
Some great milestones to watch for and celebrate include:
- Improved growth and engagement
- Developing case studies
- Building brand advocacy
Once you identify best practices and the results of your hard work, it’ll be a breeze to refine your strategy going forward.
Product Launch Marketing Strategies
There are sooooo many ways to create a marketing strategy. You don't need to reinvent the wheel every time your team has a game-changing product to release. These are a few of my favorite strategies!
Referrals are a powerful and time-tested way to drum up interest in your product. The idea is simple: find people who are excited to talk about your business!
In exchange for the referral, the referrer gets a reward that's tailored for them. It can be anything from a discount or gift to cold hard cash.
Referral programs are super-convenient, not just for the referrer, but also for your business. People are waaay more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend than any other type of marketing, and it’s often cheaper than traditional strategies.
The biggest challenge here is making sure you have structure to manage referral leads on repeat. That’s where ReferralHero can help with our simple and effective platform for keeping everything straight.
Influencers are - get this - incredibly influential! It pays to have them working on your product launch because they already have a built-in audience that will listen to their recommendations.
You can connect with influencers by searching through their profiles and reaching out directly, or by leveraging a platform that specializes in influencer marketing.
Remember, working with influencers can be a bit of a balancing act. You need to make sure you get the right ones for your product, because they each have their own specific niche.
They also have their own rates and expectations, so thoroughly review any contracts and make sure it’s set up for everyone to be happy.
Social Media Push
Paid social campaigns are a great way to reach and engage your target audience quickly. You can create ads for certain audiences or promote existing content to a larger audience.
Social advertising lets you target specific demographics and invest in different campaigns for different goals. You can have complete control over your budget and target demographic.
You’ll also have access to detailed insights into the performance of your campaigns and key metrics.
Just remember that ad fatigue can become an issue if you’re not able to create fresh ad content regularly.
Remember, you aren’t selling a product, you’re selling a lifestyle. Curating a cohesive story about how your company and product can change your customers’ lives is super effective.
Make sure that all your marketing follows the logic of the story that you’re trying to tell. Your website, your social media presence, all of it needs to point to the exciting opportunities that come with your new product.
The challenge here is finding the right story that is specific enough to properly market your product, but broad enough to attract a wide audience. You’ll also need to ensure that the medium and timing are just right.
Content marketing is all about creating high-quality content that will engage your targeted audience and, ultimately, convert into sales. Depending on the type of product, you may create blog posts, infographics, videos, and more to introduce and showcase the product.
If you crack the viral code, you’ll even get some free advertising when people share your content with their friends.
However, creating content can take a lot of time, effort, and patience. It's also important to understand your audience to create tailored content that will be most effective.
There’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned email campaign. If you use smart, pithy copy and eye-catching visuals, this can make a way bigger impact than you might think!
Emails are cheap, time-efficient, and easy to measure. You can keep track of all clicks and opens, and use this information to further hone in on what works best for your product launch.
There’s always a chance people will ignore your emails, or worse, mark them as spam. That’s why you must take the time to craft your emails for your target audience.
Tips For a Seamless Product Launch
With so much to keep track of, it can be helpful to have a few core tips driving your marketing campaign forward.
Tip One: Get Out the Word Early & Often
Product launches are like a mini-version of the run-up to an election. The more people you can get “in the know” early, the better.
A common mistake many makers and entrepreneurs make is leaving their promotion until the last minute. The key here is momentum, and to get that, you need to start teasing the launch of your product weeks, or even months before the actual launch date.
Every time your product is mentioned online, its presence has greater potential to grow.
Tip Two: Keep a Focused Approach
In digital marketing, the more channels you use, the more difficult it can become to track your success. Even if you diversify your strategy (which I highly recommend) you’ll want to make sure everything fits together into a coherent launch story.
Use the channels where you know your audience spends most of their time. Whether you’re promoting on video, building an email list, or sharing content on social media, start with one or two spaces and grow from there.
A polished few strategies are better than a mess of five or six disconnected ideas.
Tip Three: Data Data Data
Even before you launch, get feedback from customers who matter most. By doing so, you can get an understanding of what features, aspects, and benefits your customers value the most.
Throughout the process, look at your metrics and follow the things that are working best. If you’re getting way more engagement with one demographic than another, don’t be afraid to shift your resources to use that momentum.
That being said, don’t forget to take what your customers give you with a grain of salt. With customer feedback in hand, make informed decisions on the direction of the company.
Tip Four: Get Creative with Your Launch
When most people think of launching a product, they think of a simple press release. Those days are long gone.
Nowadays, you don’t have to limit yourself to traditional tactics. Get creative and have fun with your launch!
Use videos, podcasts, and contests, and even put on events like launch parties to get people excited about your product. A great launch is all about creating an emotional connection.
Get your whole team involved with brainstorming different campaigns and ideas that will help you stand out. The perfect idea can come from anywhere!
Launching a product can be so much fun! With a little forethought, planning, and creativity, your team can be freed up to enjoy the highs of bringing your new product into the world.
Know what to expect in every phase of the launch, and diversify your strategy to get the most out of this exciting time.
With your team behind you and joy in creativity, it’ll be raining sales in no time!
Ready to double your business? Leverage the power of word-of-mouth and use the same referral program platform used to scale 1000s of businesses. Start your ReferralHero free trial today.