- by Rory Ramsden
Are you wondering how best to use social media in your upcoming product launch? Not sure where to start?
I’m not surprised. Social media marketing [SMM] covers such a wide range of platforms from Facebook to Twitter to Linkedin and on to the newest flavor of the month Pinterest.com that it’s hard to decide what to do. The best place to start is by finding out where the people in your market hang out. You may well find that they are never seen on any of the above.
If you are into knitting and crocheting for instance, go direct to ravelry.com [Alexa.com rank # 2778]. That is where you are most likely to connect with your community. Yes, they may have Facebook accounts but they go to Ravelry to talk to the people in their knitting circle.
Does that mean that you should ignore the 900lb gorilla that is Facebook or not bother with Twitter?
Of course not, but it does mean that you should not use them exclusively
Here are 4 most important goals for your social media marketing ‘launch ignition’ campaign…
#1. Topicality – This is all about tying your launch into the zeitgeist; Making it is as culturally relevant as possible; Tying your entire product launch to an event or incident that makes it relevant NOW. Your reference points want to be the main financial, social and technological drivers that put your offer in context
Use Twitter to target keywords that highlight these trends. Follow people tweeting about them. Retweet the issues that are relevant to your launch. Make contact with the key influencers by ‘Dming’ them. Take your conversation off line and invite them to join you on a webinar in which you dive deeper into the facts. Don’t forget to reference what you are working on but cage any desire you might have to start marketing. Your goal is to set the stage…
#2. Teaser Campaign – The purpose is to inspire prospects to start seeking out information about you, and/or your product. It’s designed to create enough, “Hmmm, that seems interesting, I wonder what that’s all about” type reactions to stimulate a few Google searches, or get some forum posts, or to just incite enough curiosity to stick in their minds somewhere.
You can do this with a video trailer that apparently sets out in one direction by acknowledging some piece of common culture like an announcement for a new car for instance, sort of like a new car commercial, then … whoops… it’s suddenly about turn with a complete change of direction and that piece of common culture is blown away by a completely unexpected twist. It’s like ‘Whoa, what happened there‘ as it makes a hard left and says, no, this is not what you think it is. You thought I was talking about X, but I’m really talking about Y.
#3. Stimulus Campaign – This really takes place about two weeks before the launch. The purpose of an agitation campaign is to bring the primary problem that your product will solve into sharp relief. But it has to do it in a very clever way. It’s based on an inciting event.
Make no mention of your product. Your goal is to frame the context in which it should be put and stimulate the pain and fear that people are wrestling with due to a major current event.
This could be the Google Slap or the FTC coming down hard on the use of Testimonials or indeed the death of the long copy sales letter. These events cause turmoil and heartache to online businesses. So much so that some are forced to quit. Others lose direction until solutions to address the new reality start to appear.
#4. Get Feedback – The interactive nature of social media presents you with a prime opportunity to get feedback. You can do this by running competitions, sweepstakes and surveys with valuable rewards. Then tweak and adapt your product product launch strategy so that it is truly congruent with your fans and prospects expectations.
In the lead up to your product launch, it is vital that you listen to what customers and fans are saying. Inviting experts to answer questions on your wall is one way. Hosting LIVE question and answer sessions on Google+ Hangouts is another. Inviting your community to join you for an online training session [webinar] yet another.
You’ll get insights you never dreamed possible. The questions give you a window into the minds of your prospects. They will tell you what their possible objections are. Don’t forget to test the reaction to new ideas, concepts or additional pieces of digital content. Your audience will quickly tell you how important they are.
It is important that you focus on ‘utilising’ social media as part of your bigger product marketing strategy, rather than ‘relying’ on it to launch the product. Social media certainly presents you with a fantastic opportunity to extend and compliment the impact of your overall marketing and online PR activities.
Interestingly, the most success is often seen by those brands that are able to effectively integrate their social media, marketing and PR efforts into a focused, innovative and overarching narrative – creating engagement, interaction and consumer ‘buzz’ across multiple platforms as a result.
How successful have you been in integrating social media in your product launch marketing?
Your feedback would be very useful so leave a comment below and don’t forget to share, tweet and +1