How to Build Pre-Launch Interest in Your Product

You probably know that if you build it there’s every possibility they won’t come. It’s not enough to rely on the value of your product alone to make it a success. It’s not fair, but it’s reality. Great marketing and execution can make mediocre products successful; good products without great marketing often fail. From now on, think of marketing as an integral part of your product, not a separate entity.

Dig your well before you’re thirsty. Develop the habit of working on your marketing before creating your product.

Creating pre-launch buzz is an essential component of any product launch: it’s effective; it can be done relatively cheaply; but it requires time and planning, especially if you do not have an established list or audience to market to. Some simple ways to build buzz include:

  1. Offer a closely-related free product. Create a free-product that your target audience will find useful. This is your “trigger wire” – a product that offers a useful, positive outcome but does not offer a complete solution. It’s designed to build your list, give your prospects a feel for the quality of your work and to build trust and grow your profile. Choose a product that will maximise social media coverage for you – something that will be widely shared and referred to. For example, if you’ve created a course teaching others how to setup and operate profitable restaurants, your free product could be:
    – a restaurant Twitter marketing kit;
    – free professional menu designs;
    – a staff-training program for dealing with difficult customers;
    – an infographic of why restaurants fail etc.
         Each of these freebies produce a valuable result but they’re not, in themselves, complete solutions to the bigger challenge of starting and operating a successful restaurant. However, in exchange for the free product, you get to build an email list of prospects interested in running a profitable food business. Your prospects also associate your work with quality and good value. This makes selling your paid-for product, e.g. The Ultimate Restaurant Startup Course, much easier.
  2. Don’t make people wait too long. A three-month run up to launch is plenty. Any more and you’ll lose the interest and attention of your audience; less that this and you may not have sufficient time to build buzz. Activities that you might engage in based on this timeline are:
    – 3 months out – Build a web/landing page to promote your product; create a Facebook Page, Twitter account and, if relevant, other social media channels such as YouTube or Pinterest; free product offer; reach out to influencers; free review samples to influencers.
    – 2 months out – one piece of “epic content“; keep driving traffic to your landing page with high-value content and Facebook ads; launch competitions and prize-draws;
    – 1 month out – another piece of epic content; be interviewed; offer free samples the right way; post daily blogs/tweets to keep prospects updated about the progress of your product; offer screenshots and sample product photos, e.g. book cover design, software screenshots etc; start a daily countdown to product launch with small pieces of useful content for each day.
  3. Buzz does not stop on launch day. On the day of launch, email your list to let them know sales are going well – remind them that today is the last opportunity to redeem any discounts and coupons etc, e.g. “Our launch for The Ultimate Restaurant Startup Course has busted all our expectations. Huge thanks to everyone who has supported our product – we know you’ll get huge value from the course which has already helped food entrepreneurs like you launch highly-profitable restaurant businesses.
    It’s not too late to take advantage of our 30% discounts which expires at midnight EST – just click here to order – and, of course, you’re protected by our no-quibble 30-day money-back guarantee. See you on the inside!”

23 ways to build pre-launch buzz for your product

There’s a lot you can do to build buzz for your launch. Social media expert Jeff Bullas outlines 23 of them. From his article:

Your product is ready…You push publish and it’s live. You have finally launched the product and… Silence… hat happened? You messed up, that’s what. You didn’t build pre-launch buzz. Here are a few ways that you can build real buzz before your product is released and avoid failing:

  1. Consider the product and how it changes lives or an industry. It all starts with the product itself. How does it disrupt the status quo? Your new product should be destructive and creative. It should eliminate an older way of doing something and offer a new, innovative means of achieving the same goal.
  2. Demonstrate the issue clearly and show how you solve it. Begin your ad copies and social media campaigns by identifying the problem (“Don’t you hate it when…?”, “Are you frustrated with…?”). And then, just leave them hanging. Say no more. For a while, anyway. Repeat the problem identification message for a period of time. Then, after a little while, turn it into something more positive: “Wouldn’t it be great if you could…?” Now, you’re generating curiosity. And buzz will follow.
  3. Create an explainer video. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of video marketing. That’s because statistics show that video increases engagement. Sit down with your marketing team and craft a well-produced video that creates a sense of anticipation about your upcoming product launch. Distribute that video to the usual quarters (YouTube and Vimeo at a minimum) and be sure to share it on your social media channels.

Read the full post here:

Takeaway points

  1. Having a good product is a great start but you need to have a pre-launch strategy in place to maximise your chances of having a winning product.
  2. You should start building buzz 3 months before your product launch.
  3. Develop the habit of marketing your product even before your it’s finished. Dig your well before you’re thirsty.

Action steps

  1. Think of creating a free product closely related to your paid product that you can use to build your list; get publicity and generate buzz.
  2. Build a web/landing page to promote your product.
  3. Start writing your first epic content piece to generate traffic to your site and to grow your list.

Photo credit: seventysevenrpm via / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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