Getting started with your first product should be a joyous achievement. If you’ve done our market research, created a minimally viable product and incorporated feedback from your target clientele, it’s time to bring that bad boy to market. But how do you launch your product to your extended audience and get people to share this new milestone?
What is a Product Launch?
A product launch is the process of officially introducing a product to the market. This may include any number of marketing and sales activities. Product launches are so important because they are the first opportunity for your product to gain visibility outside of a small test group. When you launch your product, you’ll want to ensure that all aspects of the launch are in alignment with client demand and need. For an online business, the product launch is arguably the most important marketing step besides creating the product itself. A successful launch has the power to demonstrate the value of your product while also helping you find your first new customers for your offering.
The best product launches create anticipation, build excitement, and ultimately, make money. If you master these three keys, you’ll find your product to be a hit once it launches. The launch itself is just a date. The activities leading up to the final day will determine how successful you are in creating this trifecta of results.
Before you introduce your new product to the world, you need to plan its debut. This includes deciding on your marketing strategy, and creating marketing content and collateral (copy, images, web pages, PDFs etc).
Once you have decided on your marketing strategy and created the assets that will support your new product release, you then need to execute the strategy and deliver your marketing pieces to your audience. This can be done via email, social media, live engagement or any combination of all three. If that sounds like a lot of work, it is. The best launches are planned weeks or months in advance of a new offering coming to market. Remember you want to build anticipation and excitement. This means dropping hints about the new offering, enticing your audience with relevant content that speaks to the problem that our product or service solves, and finally spilling the beans at just the right time, so people are eager to invest.
If you need expert direction, or support in planning your next or first launch, this is the perfect activity to tackle in a VIP Day with a marketing coach or Business strategist. During a VIP Day, an expert consultant will walk you through crafting your launch strategy, drafting your marketing assets, and preparing the infrastructure you need to execute a successful launch plan. Find out more about High Tides VIP days here.
Now we’ve spoken a little about building anticipation and excitement through dripping content. But a great launch also means that you have created enough buzz to generate organic traffic as well. Users on social media and other channels may see your launch assets and use them to talk about the challenge or problem that your service helps to solve. Moral of the story? Share, engage, rinse and repeat is a good way to multiply your marketing efforts when you are in launch mode. Consider how much time you (or your team) can spend in daily engagement with your target audience, if social media is one of your primary marketing avenues.
Part of a pre-launch strategy could include market research in the form of a beta test. We won’t go into detail here, but this is an opportunity for you to run focus group like tests on the new product, incorporate the feedback and gain invaluable testimonials that can be incorporated into marketing materials for our full launch later on.
Another option is to pre-sell your product or service before it debuts to the public. This can be done in nearly any marketing channel (email, social media, events, paid search, cold outreach). Invite your audience to purchase from a limited amount of presale stock. The scarcity and exclusivity factors can drive sales.
Launching a product isn’t over until you’ve sold out. Keep the launch party going by connecting with your new customers throughout the service delivery period. At High Tides we recommend setting aside time to interview or survey clients halfway through their services and again at nearly the end of the service period. This has the dual benefit of giving you a heads up if something needs to pivot before service has ended AND conveying to the customer that you care enough to deliver what they need, not just what you have already presented.
Remember that with every new product, no matter how much market research you have done, there will be room to improve and serve your clients even better. Leave the door open for actively asking for feedback and incorporating changes as the new product continues to be sold. Stay focused on how the product has served the customer. Don’t take it personally if you find out there are ways to make it better (there always will be). Remember the feedback your clients give you is a gift for you and for your future clients. You will both benefit by continuous enhancements to your offerings as time goes on.
Finally, take some time for self-restoration because… You did it! Pouring yourself into your launch will be time-consuming and require a lot of energy.
Having an accountability partner to ensure you’re thoughtful about all the pieces can get through your first launch with ease.