Gearing up to launch your next product?
Product launches aren’t easy, and successful ones are near impossible. But launching with a bang can make a massive difference to the selling lifecycle of your product or service.
If you’re in the process of ironing out your launch strategy, this post is just for you. We’re sharing 10 tactics to ensure your success. We’re also offering 2 ready-made Canva templates for each tactic, so you can execute today.
Ready for take-off?
01. Design a Teaser Campaign
A great product launch should begin with a teaser campaign.
Teaser campaigns are designed to offer glimpses of products and information to serve as clues, which builds excitement and expectation prior to your launch. This way, when the big day comes, users are excited about your product and ready to share or buy it.
Check out Coldplay’s Twitter teaser campaign that helped to launch their new album in 2014. The band hid the lyrics to the songs on the new album in libraries across 9 different countries and then built anticipation for the album’s release by managing the hunt with promotional social media teaser posts like this one:
Want to release your own teaser campaign? Customize either or both of these Canva social media templates with your own colors/fonts and let the excitement build.
Notice how both posts feature imagery that revolves around the focus of the new venture, in this case coffee. Notice also how both posts provide just enough information about the venture to spark users’ curiosity without giving too many details away. Finally, note how both posts also provide a Twitter handle as a means for users to continue the conversation, spread the word, or find more information about the venture quickly.
02. Designate a Hashtag
Hashtags make it easy to categorize your product and ensure that any piece of content or information, that you put out or your users do, is easily accessible and collected in one place.
They come in super handy around a product’s launch. Because hashtags pool content together, it makes it easy for potential users or customers to learn more about your product with just a few clicks. Users can also share information and point others to this precious pool of info by just including them, making spreading the word simple.
As you get ready to launch, give careful thought to your hashtags. Make sure that they are unique, easy to remember, and as simple as possible. Naturally, your hashtags should be tied to your product or any action you want your users to take. Avoid long strings of words and use words that are easy to spell.
An excellent example you might even have been a part of is HBO’s #CatchDrogon campaign. To build excitement around the Game of Thrones Season 5 Premiere, it asked viewers to embark on a giphy dragon hunt, and they included #CatchDrogon in all the promotional graphics they shared on social for the campaign.
You can read more about the cool stuff they did here.
As your product grows, you’ll find yourself creating multiple hashtags. One can be the name of your product, another can feed into your teaser campaign or launch, and if you decide you want to engage users via contests, you’ll create unique hashtags for each contest too.
This doesn’t mean that you have to use all of them all the time. In fact, as a rule of thumb, try to not attach more than 3 hashtags to anything you post. And, of course, use hashtags only when they are relevant.
Below, you’ll find two posts designed using Canva that aim to promote the adoption and use of hashtags among targeted users. Note how both hashtags aren’t difficult to find–viewers don’t have to dig for them.
03. Engage User With Contests
We all love winning cool things, don’t we? Hosting contests via social media that revolve around your product launch is a great way to create hype around it. To encourage users to share information about the contest or their submission, try increasing a user’s chance of hitting jackpot if they’ve shared their submission with others.
The contests you create don’t have to be complex either. You can define a theme and ask your audience to share shots of them playing it out using a hashtag, ask them to complete a story based on a pre-defined prompt, or ask for the audience to help name your product. If you need a little more inspiration, check out what Heinz did using contests here.
This contest Travel Country ran on its Instagram page is also a great example:
To publish your own contest, use these Canva templates:
Keep in mind that you do not have to include all the details about the contest in the image itself. You can include information about prizes, rules, or deadlines within the post. If you do wish to include all the details in the image itself be sure to use hierarchy to structure all the information you are presenting.
04. Create a Founder’s List
People love being part of exclusive, special groups. That is exactly what you’ll offer if you decide to develop a founder’s list as you launch. Essentially, you’ll create a special group with people who’ve expressed interest early on. You’ll provide exclusive updates to them only and share special “insider” content with them. It can do wonders to create brand loyalists!
So how do you create this magical list? Let your audience know you are creating a list to share the inside scoop. While not everyone will be interested in adding yet another newsletter to their inbox, those genuinely interested in learning more about your product won’t hesitate. These are precious followers you’ll want to cultivate relationships with. Down the line, when they are passionate about your product, they’ll definitely help spread the word.
Social Media Examiner employed a founder’s list for its Social Media Marketing Society program. All of the social graphics used for their promotion were consistent:
05. Organize a Countdown to Build Excitement
Doing a countdown will both give you a way to build excitement for your product and, a reason to publish reminders about it. It’s quite easy to organize too: all you have to do is create a graphic for each day with only the number changed.
Check out fashion brand Mango’s take on the countdown for their new collection:
— Kendall Jenner (@KendallJenner) February 18, 2016
We want people to be constantly exposed to information revolving around your launch. Keeping the buzz this way is one surefire method to do exactly that.
Ready to try it for yourself? Check out some countdown graphics we’ve put together — one with an image and another without — to show you a couple of the many different ways to attack this strategy.
06. Develop Consistency Across Social Media Platform Posts
Keep the look and content on posts across different social media channels consistent. In other words, if you’ve shared a post on Facebook about pandas featuring an illustration of a panda and copy about how cute they are, it should do the same on Twitter. Don’t swap the illustration for an image.
Check out the example above for BBC’s introduction to Pearl Mackie, the newest companion in the wildly popular series, Doctor Who. They’ve not only been using the consistent images, they’ve also been constantly publishing related content.
Posts should also be consistent with each other. In other words, if you’ve decided that you’ll be working with top view photography, be sure to do so all the time. Big, bold, white type on one post? Be sure to style it the same way on the next. This will keep your social branded and feeling like it is coming out of the same place.
Check out both posts above. Notice how both feature the same kind of imagery, with no individuals in it, from the same point of view, and have the same filter applied to them. Both post also feature the same typeface, making them feel branded and like they are coming out of the same place.
07. Post Constantly–and at the Right Times
Social never goes on vacation. Keep your stream of posts constant prior to and after your launch. You want to build a place in your users minds and strive to maintain it by not letting them forget you. The only way to do so is by constantly engaging them.
One great example is Samsung’s launch of Galaxy S7.
To be able to post constantly like Samsung, spend some time every month planning out your social media calendar. Decide what kind of content you will be posting every week and begin to develop visuals and copy for them. This way, you won’t feel like you are constantly sinking under the pressure of thinking what to post.
This kind of planning is also what allows you to create engaging and extended campaigns. If you’ve decided you want to hold contests for example, you can plan a post around their announcement, a post to remind your users to participate in it, and a final post announcing the winner.
Below we’ve shared 2 posts that benefit from schedule and can help you maintain a constant social media stream going. The first announces a contest and the second, posted a week later, reminds users to enter it. Notice how it is easy to tell both posts are related because their styling has been kept consistent.
Be mindful of the days and times you post at. Posts shared on a Friday afternoon, for example, won’t have much traction and will ultimately be a waste of your time. Here is an awesome article sharing details on optimal times across a variety of social media platforms.
08. Design Fun Quizzes
I totally bite the social bait when it comes to quizzes on my Facebook feed. I am guilty of procrastinating by taking quizzes on social to find out what Disney Princess I am or what kind of shark I’d be–and know I’m not the only one trying to pinpoint her identity via social media quizzes.
Take advantage of this and design quizzes around subjects that relate to your product. Make them fun. The quirkier, the better. We all love to share funny bits, making quizzes a great way to spread the word about your product and its launch.
To get people to take your quizzes, you’ll naturally have to announce they exist on social. Create a post sharing the quiz and linking to the platform that hosts it. Strive to feature imagery that relates to the quiz content while trying not to diverge from your own brand’s styling. Remember, pre- populate your social media share buttons for when users get ready to share their results. You always want whatever your users post to point back to your product.
Email marketing software company, Aweber, offer a good example of using quizzes on social here:
09. Don’t Neglect Your Calls To Action!
Build calls to action into your posts. It isn’t enough to just share information about your launch, how awesome you product is, or cute puppy photos. Would you like users to spread the word? Want them to participate in a contest? Let them know!
— Harley-Davidson (@harleydavidson) April 9, 2015
And don’t forget, make them beautiful. You want to make sure that as your users scroll through endless seas of social and calls to action, yours stick out–and for the right reasons. Curate both your images and your messages. To dive deeper into calls to action and make the most of them, check out Amanda Oliver’s awesome post on the subject.
10. Jump Into Conversations
As your posts garner attention, you’ll begin to see comments come in and conversation develop. Jump in. Engage with those who are engaging with you. This is an excellent way to build a strong following and build brand loyalty. Address concerns, share more information if it is being requested, or just thank praise when it comes.
Jumping into conversations extends beyond the comment section though. What’s trending on social? Does it relate to your product? What do you have to say about it? Build a post around in response. Not only will it create another touchpoint for users to engage with you, if you’ve put thought into it you might hit social media gold and get shared like crazy.
Tesco offers an example of this here. They took advantage of Valentine’s Day last year to connect with their audience thanks to a very punny image.
If you’ve nothing to comment on, celebrate what does happen within your community and keep the conversation going that way. It can be as simple as celebrating a new high number of followers.
Celebrate significant dates like Earth Day, Christmas, or any special date significant to you or your following.
There you have it: 10 tactics to help you launch a product using social media. You don’t have to make use of all 10. You should determine which make sense for you and, given your audience, which would be the most successful. Focus your efforts on the strategies that will generate the biggest return for you.
And remember, social media takes time and effort. You won’t see a huge following or response overnight, especially if you are entirely new to the scene. Be persistent, post high quality content, cross your social media t’s and dot i’s. You’ll begin to see your following grow in no time.