When brands launch new products, only 25% of them remain successful after launch. By understanding the challenges that go beyond generating brand awareness, justifying the budget, and establishing credibility, companies can increase their chances of success.
While other marketing elements like ads, email campaigns, and beta testing should happen on or around the launch, public relations needs to start months before because it takes a while to generate tangible results. Even the best PR professionals will tell you that good PR cannot be done overnight. Nevertheless, when done well, PR can be a hugely influential component of a product launch marketing strategy.
Currently, there are over 5,000 companies in the marketing field alone and over 30,000 new consumer products introduced to the market annually. So, unless your company is well-known, you will have to cut through a lot of noise to get to your target audience. This is where a good public relations strategy comes in. Ultimately, good public relations will play a vital role in building awareness for your new product before you even launch it.
A product launch marketing strategy can be divided into pre-launch, launch, and post-launch. Each PR stage plays an essential role in helping your company to capture media attention and inspire your target audience.
This article will highlight what needs to be done at each stage to launch a product effectively.
1) Set Goals
Before you can even begin to figure out who your target audience is and how to use PR effectively, you need to set goals so that you can later measure the success of your launch. These goals are meant to serve as a guide and help you stay on track during your planning process. With a combination of clear goals and a plan to follow, each action you take supports a purpose, thus helping you use your time and resources wisely.
While every company may have different PR goals, some examples of product launch goals include:
- Establishing your new product name, brand, and position clearly and effectively.
- Building awareness and credibility for the company, product, or service
- Creating immediate opportunities for sales, VAR, and distributor channels
- Cross-selling your new products or services to your existing customer base
- Using partner co-marketing to extend awareness and strengthen the product/company brand
The best method for setting goals effectively is using the SMART model. By setting specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals, you can ensure that you have accomplished your goal in the end.
2) Research Target Audience
Developing a product that meets consumer needs and addresses their pain points is just the first step of the process. You need to have a complete understanding of your target audience as well as your competition so that you understand how to stand out from the crowd. You need to properly define all your target audiences, including where they can be found, so that you can choose the best communications channels to spread information about your new product.
An effective way to help narrow down a target audience and effectively plan marketing activities is by creating and using buyer personas. Buyer personas are hypothetical representations of a company’s ideal customers based on accurate data on demographics and online training, as well as informed guesses about their backgrounds, motivations, and concerns. Once you have created these personas, you will be able to further tailor your marketing efforts, and speak to your audience in a relatable way.
Along with understanding your target audience, you need to know your competition as well. You need to figure out why consumers should choose your product over the competition.
3) Tell Your Story
Storytelling is one of the most powerful techniques that you can use for your PR and content marketing. The reason for this is because consumer behaviour has changed, and consumers now prefer more personal stories. Consumers want to know the faces behind the brand name. For this reason, giving them a sneak-peak into the passion that drives your brand is a sure-fire way to connect with them. Creating this type of behind-the-scenes content allows companies to develop a unique brand story and engage with audiences.
Every brand’s approach to storytelling will be different, depending on the resources available. Even so, some common assets that can be used to tell a company’s story include a blog and social media posts, news releases and fact sheets, a strategy for targeted outreach to trade publications and relevant news sites, demo videos, relevant visuals, presentations, paid campaigns, and social media events.
With all these components, companies can get customers excited for a product before they even see it. Excitement and hype can be built over time using a comprehensive content marketing strategy.
4) Make Prototype & Ask For Reviews
Testing out a new product is essential when launching new products. So, to avoid the risk of investing in a product that is defective before it hits the market, you should get media professionals and consumers to test the product and give feedback. This step allows you to avoid attracting undesirable customer reviews that can damage your credibility in the industry.
Once you have developed a prototype or test model of your product, you need to start requesting feedback from testers, loved ones, media professionals, and others people who can help you eliminate the problems with the test product. It is necessary to go through this step because making subtle changes can mean a world of difference in the quality of your final product.
5) Put Media Outreach On Overdrive
Media outreach is an essential part of any product launch marketing strategy. An effective public relations strategy can help a you launch your new product by sharing your story and creating a buzz over your upcoming launch. From traditional media relations to influencer marketing, there are so many ways to generate publicity for your new product.
A comprehensive media relations strategy can generate media coverage for a new product, thus increasing awareness and building credibility. To generate media coverage about a company and its latest product, companies should use tactics like press releases, email pitches, PR mailers, and more.
Press releases are public relations content tools that are designed to help you share important information about the product launch with the media. A professional press release is a good way to maintain a good relationship with a media contact and help them think of you as a thought leader in your industry.
In addition to press releases, email pitches are another way to share information about an upcoming product launch. Email pitches can include a product image and an offer to provide a sample product for review. However, if you do not have a physical product to send, you can also provide a discount code or offer media professionals the change to test your product digitally, if possible.
Having said that, if you have a physical product, the best way to get the media to cover your product is to send a sample for people to touch and try out for themselves. This PR tactic will help you capture the attention of media professionals more effectively, as well as getting them to experience the product first-hand so that they can write about it more authentically.
How Pressfarm can help
You can use an in-house PR expert for this. However, if you don’t have an in-house specialist, agencies like Pressfarm can help you to connect with the best journalists in your niche. Pressfarm’s services cover both content creation and content distribution. Once you sign up, we write a winning press release as well as some compelling guest posts for you. In addition to that, our skilled designers create a modern, eye-catching media kit for you. With this content you can create a memorable brand image. Once the content creation is done, the next step is to get this content in front of the right eyes. As part of the Campaign package, our media team distributes all of this content to respected media outlets in your industry.
We also submit your startup to high-ranking startup directories and online professional networks. Furthermore, our account executive reviews your information and builds curated media lists containing journalists in your niche. With these lists, you can continue doing media outreach for your brand long after we are done working on your campaign at Pressfarm. Ultimately, our content distribution strategy is designed to boost your online visibility by helping you to feature in relevant search results across different search engines. Sign up for one of our affordable packages and start generating the publicity your brand deserves.
6) Increase Visibility/Establish Authority
Regardless of what stage a company is in, creating an active brand presence is an absolute necessity. When it comes to PR, all activities are designed to build brand awareness and identity for a brand and its products during a social campaign. Besides connecting with media professionals, building a dedicated website and continuously distributing content is essential to bringing in results. Whether it is through the media, social networks, or bloggers whose audience matches a company’s target customers, you need to be sure to include all information related to the product, whether it is how to place pre-orders or posting demo videos, or display visuals that will help consumers understand the product better.
Buyers want to know precisely what they are signing up for. For this reason, sending a clear and straightforward message on high-authority platforms as well as your company’s owned media allows your potential customers to understand the product. Once these people understand how your product works, it’s easy to convince them to buy.
On the other hand, if your product offering is not clear and concise, there is a very high chance that your audience will not even consider buying it. Since customers want to buy from brands which they trust, building credibility at this stage is also important
1) Respect deadlines
Whenever you’re working with the media, you need to remember that timing is of the essence. The media as well as your potential consumers will follow your every move from the point where you begin your marketing. For this reason, if you fail to launch on the promised date, people will know. While consumers may not be too disappointed or upset by it, media professionals will get upset if companies fail to keep to schedules and deadlines because they have their deadlines to meet.
2) Be Original
As mentioned previously, you need to set yourself apart from your competition. The launch of a new product is a great chance to attract attention and boost your position in the market.
1) Collect Feedback
Once you have launched your product, it is time to start getting feedback and customer opinions. Search engines like Yelp, Google, and others have made it easy to receive customer feedback. Regardless of how successful your initial launch was, public perception of a brand can be destroy you if you made the mistake of overpromising and underdelivering.
Another reason why a PR expert will be an asset to your company is because they can help you create an effective crisis management plan, which is necessary if anything terrible happens. Whether it is a product issue, a company-wide scandal, or something else entirely. Proper crisis management can make the difference between a successful company and one that fails.
Of course, common sense is that if your company receives a negative review, you need to be empathetic. Respond positively and provide a short-term solution that addresses a consumer’s immediate concerns. A long-term solution that will guarantee future customers will not encounter the same problems. However, it can be challenging for companies to set emotions aside. Especially when they have put so much time and effort into creating a product. This is why you’re working with a PR expert. Since they don’t see your company as their baby. This person will be able to approach the situation with a level head experience.
2) Say Thanks
Say thank you may not seem like an important step. But the people you work with will greatly appreciate your gratitude. This is especially the case with media professionals. It is crucial that you maintain your relationship with them even after the launch. If you don’t do this and instead wait until you need something before you reach out again. They will start feeling like a means to an end. This feeling is enough to sour your relationship with a media contact permanently. As a result, it is important to keep reaching out to commend your contacts on stories they’ve recently written, and offering them news tips. Doing these things when it doesn’t directly benefit your brand will help you. Build a positive long-term relationship with each media contact in your list.
3) Reassure Customers
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that once your new product starts generating sales. It’s time to put your feet up and let things happen around you. Instead, you should use this time to build relationships with your customers. So that you know how they’re getting along with your product. In order to do so, you should send them tailored messages showcasing more content about the product. Offer them avenues for providing feedback so that they know what to do if they have any questions.
Public relations might seem like just a tiny part of a successful product launch. But it is a big part of each stage of your launch process. As you can now see, an effective PR strategy is one of the most important elements of the success of a new brand.