You should never launch a product blindly. Everyone knows this — yet it’s amazing how many companies are launching products without developing a comprehensive plan of attack when it comes to content. One of the most important aspects to a new product launch in 2016 is supplementing the launch with quality content and appropriate placement. Are you prepared?
Are you launching a failure?
According to McCombs School of Business professor Rob Adams, more than 65 percent of new products launched by established companies fail. This means only one out of three new products is ultimately successful. When you consider the amount of time, money and effort that goes into bringing a product to market, that’s a pretty lousy success rate. It makes you think twice about launching a new product, doesn’t it?
Don’t let this statistic scare you. Instead, let it motivate you to do your due diligence and invest in better product launches. The “if you build it, they will come” mentality of the 1980s and 1990s is gone. The marketplace is overflowing with products and services that are cheap and useless.
In order to create a successful product, you can’t launch within a vacuum. The only way to enjoy positive results is by developing a strategic launch that prioritizes the things that matter and does away with the frivolous elements that don’t.
Now, more than ever, it’s becoming clear that one of the things that matters the most is high quality content. In fact, it could be argued that the only way to ensure success is by making content a top priority. Are you prepared to do that?
4 valuable content marketing tips
When you look at content marketing through the lens of a new product launch, there are some specific techniques and concepts you’ll need to think about. Here are a handful of tips and ideas to get you started.
Gradually build anticipation
As you know, a product launch starts well before the actual launch. The goal of content marketing is to build up anticipation and generate buzz in the weeks and months prior to the launch date. The best way to do this in 2016 is via social media.
You should start building your social media following the moment you decide you’re going to launch a product. Ideally, you’ll need 9 to 12 months to garner a significant enough following to have an impact. However, depending on the brand equity you already have, it could require less.
The mistake many brands make when attempting to build a social media following is that they immediately start blabbering off about themselves. News flash: nobody cares. Until you have a proven product on the market, very few customers will care about what you have to say.
This is why you have to begin months in advance. “Position yourself as an expert in your respective niche by sharing excellent content,” entrepreneur Murray Newlands suggests. “The idea behind this is after building a reputation by providing great content you will have earned the right to promote your product when it’s finally done.”
Leverage influencers in the industry
In the weeks leading up to the launch, you’ll have to ramp up your efforts and start gaining some credibility. One of the best ways to do this is by contacting industry influencers and authority figures and encouraging content creation.
If you’re launching a physical product, one of the most popular and effective options is to send products to bloggers and ask them to post reviews or do product unboxings. Here’s an example of a product unboxing from Joe Auer of Mattress Clarity, a leading mattress review site.
While product unboxings may seem boring to you, they are extremely useful for customers who want a genuine, uninhibited look at what you’re offering. There’s something about seeing the product physically come out of the box that’s reassuring and trustworthy.
Utilize as many mediums as possible
One of the problems brands often encounter when carrying out a content marketing strategy is a lack of diversity. If you’re only developing blog posts, for example, how many people are you actually going to reach? You’ll only connect with a fraction of the people who end up on your website. In order to increase exposure and engage with different types of customers, you’ll need to utilize multiple content mediums.
We’ve already discussed video, but you should also consider guest appearances on podcasts, Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions, and guest blogging opportunities. The wider you cast your net, the more exposure you’ll enjoy. Just remember to keep the message of the content consistent.
Keep the discussion going
One of the biggest mistakes marketing teams make during a launch is abandoning content once the product officially hits the shelves. While the situation certainly changes, the demand for content does not.
“Once your product is launched, you’re going to quickly generate insights that you didn’t have before,” entrepreneur Ritika Puri explains. “You’re going to need to switch directions and course-correct — often on the fly and very early on in your marketing strategy.”
Use the momentum you’ve gained prior to the launch to fuel your content marketing efforts in the days and weeks after. You’ll begin to gain feedback from customers and — whether positive or negative — this information can be spinned. Suddenly, things like case studies, white papers, testimonials and surveys become options. Don’t miss out on these opportunities.
Make content a priority
Content makes the business world go round. It’s the heart of social media, search engine traffic and digital marketing. If you’re attempting to launch a new product independent of content, then you’re setting your brand up for imminent failure.
The good news is that developing and executing a thorough content marketing strategy in conjunction with a product launch isn’t very difficult. It’ll take time, effort and money, but the sacrifice is minimal when compared to the enormous boost it will provide before, during, and after the launch.
Keep this in mind as you consider new products both now and in the future.
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