In Part 1 of this blog series: Marketing of New Products, I discussed the systematic approach (Steps 1-7) entrepreneurs should take when developing new products to generate profit for their business.
This week, Part 2 will discuss various strategies you can use to market these new products.
A marketing strategy or ‘launch plan’ should come after the ‘testing phase’ of your marketing strategy. Meaning you have tested your new product’s prototype in various test markets. National or Regional.
In the past key marketing strategies involved creating flyers or competing for ad space.
Now with the invention of new media platforms (Social media & Blogging), entrepreneurs can take a more innovative approach when launching new products.
So what are some tips that will help you amp up your marketing strategy both pre-launch & post-launch?
Market to Influencers
Influencers are really the ones who can spread news of your product in a matter of no time. Influencers can range from popular bloggers, social media users with engaged followers, public figures, to experts in your field.
A great way to reach influencers is to approach them before your product is launched. That way influencers have enough time to review your product and write a brand-friendly review on their website that will influence customers to buy come time to launch.
Hire Brand Ambassadors
The difference between brand ambassadors and influencer marketing is that brand ambassadors are paid spokespersons for your brand. Whereas it might take a bit of convincing to get industry influencers on board in promoting your new product, brand spokesperson are PAID to champion your brand to target markets.
Worried about keeping the cost of your marketing budget low? Paying ambassadors can be done in multiple forms.
Have a brand ambassador internship program where your company can write a positive recommendation for brand ambassadors who go above an beyond.
Create Buzz Before You Launch
It’s so important to build suspense before you launch. The Pre-launch of a new product is really the time to gather momentum and get your target market excited about the launch of your product or service.
A great way to achieve this is to post behind-the-scenes photos of your product development process to social media sites. Even posting photos of prototypes would engage target markets.
Or, consider using a creative hashtag for your new product or service that would engage followers to learn more about your product before it’s launched.
Engage with Social Media Audience
One of the best components of social media is it’s capacity to engage. It’s not enough to just post information about your product. Social media should be used as a strategy way to build a dialogue about your brand.
An engaging Twitter chat inviting those in your target market is a way you could do this. Social media should also be used to aid in customer service because this new media platform allows you to hear the concerns & questions your target market has about your product.
Perhaps the engagement you’re hearing about your product launch is positive. Make sure to retweet positive tweets allowing followers to read them and add their own thoughts.
Get Creative & Go Viral
I’ve noticed lately that many brands are creating compelling YouTube & Vine videos to market their brand. It’s a low cost way to garner attention. A lot of times these videos have nothing to do with the product itself. However, they’re memorable enough to catch the attention of customers.
The great thing about this kind of content marketing strategy is that if you create a compelling video or blog post and it goes viral, the amount of brand exposure and attention placed on your company is priceless.
Partner with Other Companies
I really like the idea of partnering with other companies (sponsors) when it comes to spreading the word about your new product. With this strategy, you can reach the customers and social media followers of those companies and expand your reach even more.
I think of this strategy as mutually beneficial because then the company who promotes your product can create more brand awareness for themselves because they’re brand is in front of your target demographic as well.
For example, say that you are a beauty brand who is promoting a shade of lipstick for the upcoming season. A great way to increase exposure is to approach other companies in the beauty or fashion industry. Perhaps these companies have blogs that regularly review lipstick products.
While you’re giving them content to review and write about, you are promoting your product. While the other company is promoting their website through the blog review of your product!
Start Small & Build Momentum
With any launch it’s important to gradually build momentum and to sustain this momentum. How often is it that so much effort is placed on the actual launch of the product that the momentum dies soon after?
I would start the marketing process after the idea of a new product has been agreed upon. After prototypes are being developed, target industry influencers.
This is an organic way to build interest in your product. Then, after your prototype is completed, you can then work your way up to more complex marketing strategies for your launch.
Re-Launch Your Product
Never feel as if you are only allowed one launch of your product only. Times change, your target market changes, and certainly your product will undergo changes as well.
A lot of times after a new product is launched, customer feedback can inspire you to retool certain aspects of your product and service.
When you know better, you usually do better. With this newly gained hindsight, you can rework what worked and what did not. Then you can relaunch a new and shiny version of your product.
Show how the product affects consumer
This is an aspect that often times goes unnoticed. It’s easy to think that a way to market your product is to list all the cool things it does.
Yes, your product is probably pretty cool. But, if you can’t show how your product will improve the lives of your target market then you are going nowhere fast.
When you engage and learn from your target market through social media chats and market research, you have the change to see how your market thinks and lives.
A great example of this is the iPhone. Yes, the tech aspects of this phone from Apple are wonderful. But, the marketing of this goes far beyond this aspect.
Many think of the iPhone as part of their life. They can call their best friend who is miles away at college on the iphone. They listen to their favorite music on the iPhone while they’re getting their sweat on. Etc.
You have to make the case of how your product will find a useful and heartfelt place within your target market’s lifestyle.