There's no doubt blogs have emerged as one of the best online platforms to launch products and services. The dynamic nature of content flow and the community around it makes it an ideal choice for delivering new products.
But a product's 'launch' and a 'successful launch' are two different things.
The former is easier to attain and the latter is equally easy as well provided you follow some simple steps. It's not the product that often fails, but it's the way it is launched that contributes in poor sales. If you're a small business or an individual planning to use your blog for your next product launch, follow this simple guide that'll show you some of best ways to guarantee a successful product launch.
But how does one define a 'successful product launch'?
In business terms, a successful product launch is determined by the increase in pre-launch orders even before the product is released and spike in sales soon after the product is launched.
So let's see how we can ensure that our new product do not wait for weeks for the first order after it's launched on our blog. The steps mentioned here are more tactical than technical so that everyone can implement them with ease.
Build Anticipation through Teaser Posts & 'Coming Soon' PageOnce of the common mistakes businesses make while launching a product on their business blogs is to directly write the launch post without any kind of prior announcement.
The most common excuse to follow this approach is to keep the competitors in dark about the product's features. Really?
In today's cut-throat competition, your competitors will come out with similar features in no time no matter when you public the details of the forthcoming product. A better strategy is to create hype about your product long before it is released.
Depending on the volume of potential buyers and the product itself, the teaser campaign can be started from six to one month before the product launch. The more anxious potential buyers are about the product, the more successful will be your launch.
Here are two essential components for your teaser campaign. You can either include both these components or can opt for one of them. If you're selecting one of them, I'll strongly advice you to go ahead with the teaser posts.
- Coming Soon page - Clever marketers use this page for two different purposes. Firstly, it is used to showcase features of the upcoming product, and secondly, it is also used to build email list of anxious potential buyers. This way, you're not only building anticipation but are also paving a way to easily spread the message to the potential buyers as soon as the product is launched.
- Teaser posts - If you're already delivering your posts to decent number of RSS subscribers, it's a powerful medium in your hand to build anticipation for the upcoming product. Choose a single day per week and gradually start revealing the features of the product in each of the teaser post.
- Do not reveal the official name of the feature. (Your competitor may apply for a patent or a trademark)
- Extensively use and showcase results of a feature through snapshots, teaser video or through an infographic.
- Compare features with previous versions, if applicable.
- Always conclude with how a specific feature will address a specific problem.
- Talk about next teaser post with some vague hints about the goodies.
Share Beta Version with Influencers in Your NicheAs soon as your product's beta version is ready, make a list of all the influencers in your niche and send the product to them. This is one of the potent weapons in your arsenal that will help you spread the word about your upcoming product in an effective way.
Even if one of the influencers decides to talk about your product with his followers, your entire exercise of sharing the beta version with leaders will pay off. While sending the beta version, never ask them to share it with their readers.
Let them decide on their own after using your product.
If your upcoming product is downloadable digital software, all you need is an email copy with a link to the beta file.
Sending emails to influential people is an art. If you do it the wrong way, it may land in their trash can. Here's an excellent guide to email successful people and how to get responses from them.
Once you've sent the beta version to the leaders in your niche, hop on to the next stage of follow up. Generally, you should wait at least a week before you even attempt to start a follow up campaign. The bigger the name, the longer is the wait!
I'll strongly suggest you to send only one follow up email and that too short, simple and straight to the point.
And last but not the least, if you find an influencer talking about the beta version and sending a surge of traffic towards your blog; do not forget to preemptively tell him about giving the release version for free as well. This is a killer technique to create a never ending flow of prospects coming through influential people.
Announce Additional Benefits/Goodies for First X CustomersAs soon as your anticipation-building campaign comes to an end, write a dedicated post announcing the additional bonus/features/gifts/goodies first 10 or 20 (or whatever you feel is the right number) customers will get without paying anything extra.
Do not publish this post just before the product launch. Keep a one week buffer period between the launch date and the bonus announcement post. This way you and your network will have enough time to spread the word about the announced benefits.
Use a tabulated checklist of benefits or goodies in this post to emphasize the same. This methodology is known to convert very well as an average reader tends to consume it easily rather than picking things from long text paragraphs.
Following things must be kept in mind while writing such kind of post.
- Do not disclose the price structure.
- Do not disclose the actual product launch date.
- Do include the value/price of free goodies customers will get.
- If possible, include a dynamic counter showing the number of customers left, who can claim the additional benefits for free.
- Do not forget to emphasize that it is a one-time offer.
Publish and Push Both Product Launch Post and NewsletterWhile launching your product, instead of feeding the product launch blog post to your email list, create a separate newsletter featuring the new product. Utilize both channels (regular blog post & a custom newsletter) to push the product launch details to maximum possible readers.
But, should we publish both of them at the same time?
It's a capital mistake to push your newsletter the same day you're publishing the product launch post on your blog. The reason is quite simple. A good percentage of RSS subscribers are also the part of the email list on a typical blog.
Delivering both post and newsletter with almost similar content in their inbox on the same day is only going to trigger annoyance due to redundancy. This may backfire instead of giving you any kind of benefits.
Send your newsletter anywhere between 2 to 7 days after the product launch blog post. Also ensure that your newsletter layout and content arrangement is quite different from the launch post. This will help you push the product details twice in a completely different way to your feed subscribers as well as to your email list.
Start a Series of Case Studies and TestimonialsProspects always look for credible data before they make their mind in favor of a product. Real customer testimonials and their case studies are some of the best ways to present that credible and trustworthy data in front of your readers.
As soon as the product reaches your customers' hands, shortlist some of loyal subscribers and people on your email list to share their experiences with you. There's no harm offering them an incentive for the same. Collect as much data as you can from each of the customer who's sharing the product's advantages with you. Following things must be kept in mind while publishing a testimonial post on your blog.
- Explain how a customer was able to solve a specific problem through your product.
- If possible, include photo of the customer.
- Include quotes from the customer.
- Share statistical data in a tabular format, if applicable.
You can also send a short survey to the existing customers and can share the results in a separate blog post showcasing the usage trends for your new product.
Publish Contest and Giveaways PostAlong with testimonials, you can also publish a special post announcing the contest and an associated prize that includes few product giveaways for the winners. This is the best way to further spread the word about your product through your blog.
You must share this post on popular social media platforms as well to expand the reach and visibility. Through your contest post, you can get another chance to capture emails of the participants. This email list can be used to send custom newsletters featuring your product benefits in different ways.
Keep the contest duration extended and continuously update the contest post with the details about the progress. This will give both you and the participants' ample time to share the post with as much contacts as possible.
Regularly Publish Product Tutorial PostsNo matter what you're trying to sell through your blog, support and guidance is an integral part of the entire process. Whenever you come up with new help manuals and tutorials for your product, share them within your regular blog posts to keep the users updated about the same.
Include usage best practices with examples from current customers. While writing these posts, generously link to testimonials as well as product squeeze pages on your blog. This will help you divert potential customers to the key landing pages showcasing the features and benefits of your product.
Create parent-child categories for these posts so that visitors can easily browse these product tutorials. Using hierarchical categories can also help you pull the right child tutorial post for the reader depending on the parent tutorial post he is reading at that time.
Use Sidebar and Footer Sections for Product PromotionRight from the launch day, include custom banners and creatives in your blog's sidebar and footer to give entire inbound traffic a chance to know more about your product. Link these banners with your key landing pages that describes your product's features in detail.
You can also use custom floating top and bottom bars to divert visitors towards optimized squeeze pages to get more leads. Use custom hyperlinks within these floating bars to describe the benefits of your product.
Frequently change the featured content within these sections to cover all the features offered by your product. Experiment with their placements and layout.
Rinse and RepeatCollect data associated with each step discussed above and optimize it for your next product launch. Business blogs are often ignored in the product launch cycle. It's up to you how you leverage this powerful medium to boost the sales of your new product.
The key here is to continuously update your blog in such a way that your readers get to know more about your product and its benefit.