- by Rory Ramsden
Do you want to know how to use social media to boost the impact of your product launch? Have you established a strong presence on Facebook? Do you have a blog?
Then the velocity launch strategy is for you. It was developed by Michael Stelzner of socialmediaexaminer.com [if you haven’t read his book ‘Launch’ then you are missing out] and focuses on using social media to launch a new product. That could be a book. It could be a white paper. Or it could be a new free video series that you have created. Or even an event. You can put this to work in a multitude of ways. You can even change up some of the elements to suit your purposes
Here’s Mike’s 7 step process…
#1.Pump Priming – No launch is ever going to be successful without a teaser campaign so make sure that you have pinged your community’s curiosity button in advance. Do this by putting your product whatever that might be in the framework of the bigger picture. What inspired you to create it? What makes it relevant to their lives? And what’s in it that they will benefit from? Don’t lay out all the details but drop hints about all these things and make your people curious
#2. Make an Announcement – This is the shot across the bows that will stop them in their tracks and make them want to read your email. Just give it to them straight. Tell them what you’ve got, What it does for them and what they’ve got to do to get it. If you’ve done something like this before that is relevant, offer it as a gift. If you haven’t and for instance you are promoting your book, offer your people the first chapter as a download. Then invite people to join you on a webinar where you promise to go into more detail and reveal a surprise guest… You want to build the anticipation by dropping some heavy hints here
#3. Webinar – Your webinar topic wants to tackle one of the elements in your product and give your community real value. This is NOT a sales pitch. You want to make sure that your virtual guests leave with something actionable. Something that will give them an almost instant result if they take action. Give examples of people who use your system or something very like it to get stunning results. Best of all, get these people on the webinar with you to answer questions later. Before you let them do so, just make a passing reference to your upcoming product launch and leave it. No sales pitch. Move on to listeners questions… “Oh, and before I forget, you can find out more by going to my secret blog” Giving your audience something that no-one else knows about will peak their interest even more
#4. Secret Blog – Here you want to give move the free line by giving a couple more tips. These could be simple a ‘How to” video series relevant to your product which will help your prospects even more. [ So far, you have just focused on giving value. No pitching allowed] A good idea is to interview a pro and and offer another download of top tips. Don’t forget to mention your ‘Facebook Wall event’ on your blog [Best to send out a mail to your list telling them too] Don’t forget to put your Facebook Friday event in the context of your product…
#5. Facebook Friday – Now I’ve never tried this but Mike swears by it. He gets some of his presenters when he has a “Summit” going on to answer questions right there on Social Media Examiners’s Wall. This 60 minute event is a free-for-all. Your expert gets to strut his stuff and get great exposure and you get to build up excitement even more in the lead up to your big launch day [Another way of doing this would be to do a LIVE stream event using Chatroll] When the chat event is over. Your very next post on your wall should introduce your contest.[Tie this into your blog too]
NB: Don’t forget to create a Facebook Event on your fan page and encourage people to write on your event wall. You want to change the graphics on your Business page to feature your product launch as well.
#7. Contest – Facebook contests really boost engagement so slip one into your product launch sequence here. This idea is a raffle [what do you guys call them?] Basically the first one drawn out of the hat wins. If you are staging an event, give away 2 free tickets for the first entry ‘out of the hat’ that describes their biggest social media challenge [choose a subject that is relevant to your product] Only those who Tweet about the contest get to qualify. The kicker comes when you announce the winner on your blog and link to the winning entries [also on your blog] Tweet and post on your wall too… The traffic generated is tremendous
By now you will have a fully engaged community buzzing with excitement so it’s time to put your tickets on sale [if you’re staging an event] or open your shopping cart if your selling a product. Will your launch period be 5 days ? It’s good to limit the length of time involved. I’ll write a post about how to boost sales during the launch period in the coming days but for the moment this case study shows you how to do a product launch using only social media marketing.
Remember, you can adapt this product marketing strategy and use it as your ignition sequence to build interest in a ‘traditional’ online launch. The beauty of using social media is that you can engage prospects on the move. 63% of Twitter users access social media platforms from a mobile phone.
Have you used Facebook and Twitter during a product launch? How did you ensure that you boosted excitement and engagement? Leave a comment below and tell me how well you did…