The Ultimate Guide to Epic Product Pre-launch
So the product for which you are spending countless nights deserves some pre-buzz before its grand launch. It’s obvious that you are investing a lot of time, money and efforts on the launch of this product. All this hard work must result in success but the truth is that success does not come overnight especially for a New product or brand.
Despite creating a very strong product, I see many of the startups getting failed within twelve months of the launch. No one even knows about them let alone making a purchase. They keep on thinking about the reason for this miserable failure but aren’t able to find any. This has become a very common phenomenon.
Every day, new products greet the market which already has thousands of other products competing against them. Yes, it’s true that in order to stand out, the product must be of quality. But this is also the truth that no matter how great your product is, it will be very hard to survive if you don’t promote it well & on time.
And that’s where my friend, the pre-launch strategy comes into the scenario.
While your product is getting ready for the market why don’t you invest some time in making market ready for your product? Here are few tips based on some real pre-launch strategies that would help you to set-up your own:
1. Check product-market-fit
It is not exactly the part of a pre-launch strategy but everything with product marketing starts and ends up with the product only. No matter how well you launch or how effective marketing you do, if there are issues with the product, it is meant to fail at the end. So, if you are reading about pre-launch & haven’t checked your product-market fit yet then start it right away. Make sure the product solves the pain point better than existing solutions available in the market. It should be innovative, creative and strong at the same time. However fancy it sounds but the concept of product-market fit is common sense as it is based on science & research.
Best way to start is by defining your niche and the problem you want to solve. After that, Collect, collect, & collect! Gather data from market research, competitor analysis, & technology advancement in your niche. Run some good surveys (Old-school method but it still works :)) to get feedback from your target audience. Try not to sell your product in these surveys instead focus on the problem you are trying to solve. Below is a good example I recently came across on FB survey by Own Shampoo:
Now, is the time to check if your product solves the problem solve in a better way than existing products. If yes then go ahead & if not then keep innovating until you are sure that you have found at least one USP which will simply make your product stand out.
2. Make a viral pre-launch landing page
Good news is that it’s not difficult to make a good landing page. Every good product solves a problem. All you have to do is to highlight it. Instead of pushing the features, talk about the value you are going to deliver.
Customers are now tired of listening “buy me, buy me”, they want to know how the product is going to make their lives easier, happier or comfortable. Talk about the problem first. Remember those infomercials which used to start with some like,
Are you tired of growing belly? Are you not able to fit in your suits anymore? Do you feel tired all the time?
Well, all those ads used to start talking about a problem. Problem generates curiosity. Mentioning problems in the starting will make users stick around. It helps the audience to relate themselves to the issue they are facing.
A curious customer helps a lot in creating the buzz you are looking for and if you can include a thank you page like below then you will definitely nail it!
Harry’s a US-based startup drove 100K signups inside just 7 days, using the viral thank you page after sign up. Awesome right?
3. Influencer marketing or Bloggers Outreach
In order to ensure your product creates a buzz, you need to create trust first. In every niche, there are certain influencers who have a very strong hold. You can contact these influencers asking them to review your product. Even Apple does it today! Much before launching their product. Apple gets bloggers, media & influencers on board & let them know about their great vision.
See who is writing about your competitors, and pitch them your product. Offer a free review copy or set up a meeting to give them a complete walkthrough. Use network, call friends for reference, tweet or follow. Do anything & everything to reach out to these influencers, bloggers or media. Even a single such influencer can cause a stir if the content is well circulated.
4. Run a Contest
People love to get things for free. And this is why contests are meant to be successful. All you have to ensure is to create a curiosity around the product and users will start pouring in. There are certain tools which make it mandatory to share the contest in order to participate. Once the contestants share the contest page on social media, it starts creating a snowball effect which makes it all viral.
Many of you might think crowdfunding is for those who are looking for funds. Well hold your horses, you can still do crowdfunding to create a buzz around your product. There are several crowdfunding platforms which can help your product expose to entirely new audience. People love to invest in the product they love.
Well, pebble time never thought they would raise 40 times more than their goals!
6. Promote the right way
Gone are the days when we businesses had to spend humongous money for advertisements. Now with online promotion, this can be done easily, fastly and with a limited budget too. Don’t wait till your product is launched. You can start right away by creating buzz around your product. Since you have a landing page you can also generate some real leads :). Here is how to do it:
A) Is your product related to luxury, women or fashion? Head out to Pinterest and go for promoted pins. Pinterest works perfectly with the products which are image oriented. Such product images can drive great attention and traffic to your business. All you have to make sure is that the image you use is attractive and meaningful enough to reflect your product effectively.
B) Facebook ads is another effective way to test out your audience. Facebook helps in hyper-targeting the audience. You can target based on a city, age, gender and likes. Due to such precise targeting, Facebook is the hot favourite of all seasoned digital marketers. You can start with like campaign with a message.
C) Keep adding new and attractive content to your social media profiles. For starters, creating social media posts may be overwhelming, but you can easily create awesome images like one below by RawPressery using free social media graphics tools such as Canva & schedule your posts using Hootsuite. Starting a new product requires lots of budgets so don’t forget the power of Free tools & DIY.
7. Make a viral pre-launch video
Again, making a viral video is not expensive. If you have identified your USP and target audience then coming up with a simple video like DollarShaveClub is all you need to get 25 million views!
Dollar Shave Club is one of the finest examples of creating a video ad that went viral! The key is to add some humour in a controversial way. Creating a video doesn’t always mean huge budget. In fact, the above video was done in $4500 which is a lot less than average video spent that is $50,000.
Pre-launch is all about creating a buzz around your product and company before the product is released. With the above-mentioned tactics, you can ensure that people talk about your product even before it’s launched. Get the pre-launch done right and you will start hearing that “Ka-Ching” very soon 🙂
Prince Kapoor is Freelance Marketing Analyst and Blogger. While not working, you can find him in a gym or giving random health advises to his colleagues which no one agrees on :D. If you too want some of his advises (on health or on marketing), reach out to him at @imprincekapur