So you’re just about to launch a brand new product? After months of hard work perfecting the final product, you want to make sure its launch falls nothing short of spectacular!
More and more consumers are discovering and researching new products via social, which makes social media a fantastic tool to get the word out about your new product and create a buzz in anticipation for your brand’s new release, in turn generating new followers, leads and sales as soon as you hit go. It’s scaleable, cost-effective and full of opportunities to get creative.
So, how do you launch a new product on social media? In this guide, we have covered the key steps to ensure you have a smooth and successful new product launch.
33% of consumers prefer to learn about brands or companies on social media - Sprout Social 2021
Build a launch plan
All good social media campaigns start with a good plan. Sharing a single post on launch day probably isn’t going to be enough to get the results you’re looking for; being prepared with a launch plan will mean you are maximising all your marketing and social media channels to the best effect.
Your launch plan might include;
- Campaign goals and objectives - What does success look like? What are you trying to achieve?
- Timeline - What will be done when?
- Channels you will include - Where is your story going to be told? What channel features will you make use of to best tell your story?
- Creative direction - Will your launch campaign have a particular look and feel? Perhaps all posts will follow a certain theme?
- Offline campaign support - What can you do in your store, in your delivery boxes or make happen in the real world to support your launch?
- Influencers & partnerships - What influencers and brands can you leverage to help spread the news of your new product far and wide?
- Campaign assets - Have a wide range of beautiful, on-brand digital campaign assets designed and ready to go.
- Build a social media content calendar - Plan, create and schedule content into your social media calendar, we use Sprout Social.
- Launch - Go live and make a bang!
- Track and optimise - Monitor the performance of your launch posts, consider what is working and what isn’t so much, and feed this into your future campaign communications
Get people talking
Ahead of the launch date
It’s important to build up some hype before the launch date to get people excited and talking about your brand’s new product. For our client RocketGro, we decided to do a 3, 2, 1 countdown over three posts to highlight that there was an exciting announcement coming. You could also tease some sneak peek previews of the products to get people guessing what the product will be and generate engagement. Additionally, you can use social media to feed into the wider marketing launch campaign. For example, you can incorporate email marketing by inviting people through social media to subscribe to your newsletter to be the first to hear about the new products when they launch.
During the launch campaign
To help keep the momentum going after you’ve initially launched your new products, you might consider a campaign hashtag to get those who have got their hands on your new product interacting with each other and sharing their thoughts online. You can include a postcard or leaflet in the delivery to encourage social sharing, and the launch hashtag will be a great way to pull all of the content into one place for listening and even resharing as UGC.
Once your products are out in the real world, it’s a good idea to keep reminding your audience of the products to stay front of mind. You’ll want to think of new and interesting ways to showcase them, whilst highlighting the key benefits and features, and most importantly, where people can buy.
So - your new product is launched and your launch campaign is over, but it doesn’t stop there. It’s important to keep the conversation going around your new product. You can pick out certain features or benefits and tell stories around them, perhaps share behind the scenes videos about how you came up with the idea for the product, explain how it is made, shoot an unboxing video or film yourself packing up all the new orders to be sent out to customers.
You will begin to start gaining feedback from your customers, so you can share the shiny reviews or testimonials of the new product to show how happy they are.
To get as many people interested in your new product, you need to stand out from the crowd, so it is the perfect opportunity to think outside of the box. As our client RocketGro was launching a range of four new products, we had to be creative to think of an impactful way to launch the products simultaneously but also make the most out of every product. To initially launch the product range, we used a triptych - utilising the Instagram grid to our advantage so that the whole product range was clearly visible on the feed whilst avoiding the imagery being cropped to accommodate the grid format.
Another top tip is to drill into the uniqueness of your product and play up to that on social media. The social media sphere is such a saturated market that in order to be successful you need to be original. We suggest focusing on the key features of the product which makes them unique, whether that is the packaging, usage or the benefits of the product itself.
For our client RocketGro, apart from the distinct uses of the products, we also wanted to draw attention to the packaging. We played up to the colourful packaging on the feed by posting in threes to keep the triptych in place, be impactful and also have a clear visual guide on the feed that clearly indicates which product is which.
It is also worth considering creating content that has a unique look and feel so that it stands out from the rest of your regular content whilst remaining on brand For example, for our client Fish For Thought our recent campaign which focused on the freshness and reliability of their produce, was depicted through a series of black and white videos. By choosing to have these videos in black and white with a navy filter overlayed not only signified that each video was part of the same campaign but also was a clear juxtaposition to the rest of our recent content. We were also able to remain on brand by bringing in one of their key branding colours through the navy filter, ensuring the content was still reflective of the brand.
Include a paid social plan to increase sales
As well as having strong organic content, it is always useful to consider putting some budget aside for paid ads. Whilst you can draw up a whole paid social strategy for your product launch, you can also simply launch your products organically and then pay to further boost the posts.
Whilst organic social content helps build trust and authenticity, paid content helps to convert followers and impressions into sales. Paid social media can help you reach a bigger, more targeted audience so that more people see and take action on your content - perfect for spreading the word further about your new product you’ve been working your socks off to get to market.
For our client Dartmoor Whisky distillery, we used Facebook & Instagram advertising to support the launch of their whisky and first year of whisky sales. The campaign generated an average 15x return on ad spend (ROAS).
Work with relevant influencers
To make the most out of your product launch, influencer marketing is a key strategy to consider. Not only does it broaden your reach but it also helps to showcase your product or service in action, bringing them to life. Depending on the influencer or influencers you choose, it can also add to the authenticity of your product. For example, if you select a well-respected influencer who is known for their candour even on paid ads, if they speak highly of your product, their audience will be more inclined to trust your product.
It is, however, important to find the right influencer for your brand, your product, your audience, your message, your goals and your budget. Whilst it may be tempting to go for an influencer that has a huge following, this might not necessarily be the right choice for your brand. It is important to think about their values and if they align with your own.
Always make sure you draw up a clear plan of action for influencer marketing to ensure you are getting the most out of it. If you aimlessly send out products to influencers with no repertoire between your brand and them, this strategy could fall short and you may not see a positive outcome and have wasted money or gifted product. It is a good idea to discuss with your chosen influencer your aims and the outcome you would like to achieve. For example, by sending them free products, you could ask them to review the product on their stories or you could draw up a more formal arrangement for a feed post. It is also important to consider the format of the content that you would like the influencer to produce, whether that be photography or videography as well as the format they present it in. Of course, many influencers charge a fee for all of their hard work, content creation skills and social reach, so always approach gently and don’t assume they will be happy to post for free.
Make the most of platform-specific features
It’s easy to overlook the built-in tools for each social media platform but they are there to be used and can make all the difference! For example, simply tagging products on Instagram and keeping your Instagram Shop updated can create a more seamless experience for a potential customer, making it easier for them to make a purchase.
Moreover, consider using alternative formats of content that deviate from the traditional beautifully curated, still life photography. For example, Instagram Reels are a relatively new format that the platform offers and with Instagram prioritising video content, it is without a doubt worth experimenting with short-form video content to maximise engagement.
For example, for our client Fish For Thought, we recently reshared a user-generated Reel that racked up almost 5,000 views, performing better than recent feed posts, highlighting the significance of new and emerging trends.
Launching a product on social media can appear to be a daunting task but once you have a clear plan of action, using our top tips you will soon see the benefits of launching your new product on social media.
Are you launching a new product and unsure where to start, or just need some extra support? Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you perfect your launch.
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