Launching a new product or service isn’t what it used to be. New tactics are required to get the notice you deserve. So here are some steps for a successful launch in these fickle times:
Start early. Get a head start and begin preparing long before you plan to launch. A rolling launch is a great way to keep the conversation going. Start your outreach activities 6-8 weeks before the official launch date and then keep the news going up to, and beyond the official launch date. The steps below describe how to do this.
Make the product or service available to important influencers as a first step. Influencers can be friendly customers, prospects, or even bloggers who have a sizable online presence.
Brief industry analysts during this early phase as well. Scheduling calls with these folks takes time so do this early.
Seed the social space with “leaks.” Target people who are naturally eager to learn about your offering.
Don’t expect a “big bang” release.
Keep the release rolling. You don’t know when reporters will have time to write, so give them some opportunity to write about the offering after the official launch date. Continue to produce fresh news like announcements concerning novel uses of the product, customer stories, details about how the offering provides return on investment (ROI) to customers, etc.
Do something unusual during the release cycle. Some examples include creating a funny video, doing a stunt centered around an industry event, publishing a survey that supports the value of your product, or creating an interesting story that describes the need for your product.
Get partners involved. Channel and marketing partners who have a financial stake in the success of the launch are natural allies.
Make it easy for people to learn more about your product with free trials, downloads, product videos, and demos.
Ignore the elements of the launch that do not drive business.