7 Tips for a Successful Product or Service Launch
So, it's time to launch that new service or product that you've been excited about. A launch as we used to know it as certainly changed, it's not enough to hire that PR firm and draft that press release, it's going to take more than that. Competition when it comes to press is fierce and what's "newsworthy" changes every five minutes, not to mention after that five minutes it will be tough to stay relevant with the amount of news that is pushed out to consumers on a second by second basis.
Encouraging news for those that want to get noticed, right? It is true that getting noticed can be a bit more difficult in today's world of constant information, but here are some tips that might help in reaching those you are targeting.
- Plan early, don't wait until the last minute. You need to have a plan in place and gear up at least 8 to 12 weeks in advance. Reporters get news every day. They aren't waiting for your story. By gearing up early you can start to find the reporters that you need to target and begin building relationships with them. Tip: Relationships are key when it comes to getting in the media.
- Find your influencers. You need to find the influencers that impact your target market. Introduce them to the product or service that you are getting ready to roll out. Give them the news first. Give them a trial and/or sample and encourage them to share a review or post it on their social channels. Public relations has transformed over the last few years, now we have to look at multiple sources to get our information out and one of those sources includes influencers. Online influencers have succeeded in building audiences that pay attention to them through their blog, social media channels, video, etc. and because of that their influence is often greater than that of mass media.
- Use the social media platforms to plant leaks. Find those people that are interested in your product and or service, brand advocates if you can and inform them of the "coming soon" information or even leaked videos or photos. This will build sizzle and interest. Not to mention everyone likes to feel like they are the "first to know."
- Keep realistic expectations. Unless you are a big brand name you may not see a huge reception of your new product and or service launch. Don't get discouraged, be consistent in sharing the news and try to make the launch as personable as possible. Remember, consumers love to interact with companies that they feel they have a relationship with.
- Press is not one and done. As mentioned previously reporters and influencers are bombarded with news stories every day. We receive about 5 to 10 product and or service launches in our inbox on any given day. We aren't always insiders on when reporters have the capacity to write an article or when influencers have the time to get to your emails, so try to be patient and stay in touch with them, don't overwhelm them, but don't let them forget your name either.
- Be creative. You need to remember your objective is to get their attention. The influencers and press that you are reaching out to get several press pitches a day. What will you do to be different? Put your creative cap on. Perhaps it's a funny video, a meme, a public service announcement that will get attention. Maybe a press kit sent through the postal mail with a fun or useful chachka will grab their interest.
- Make it easy for people to learn more about the product or service you are offering. Create videos, demos, whitepapers, information sheets. Don't make them hunt for information. The easier you make it for them to get the word out, the better chance you will have of them sharing your information. I think sometimes we make it so difficult for the press and influencers to get the word out and the get the information that we need that they shake their head and hit the "delete" key.