9 Tips to Create a Successful Product Launch Event
A careful and considered product launch starts months before the day the product is actually released to the public. It starts online, in the media, and in the hearts and minds of consumers. It then continues to resonate after the product has hit the streets, to maintain the product’s momentum and the public’s interest.
A product launch is a big deal, and big deals should be announced with a big party. That’s the idea behind a product launch event. Invite a very select audience and create the buzz your product deserves by throwing a big bash.
If you announce your product as a big event, it will be seen as a big event. Let’s examine some tried and true tactics for creating a buzz-generating product launch.
Keep Your Audience Informed
Your product will feature several significant milestones on its way to getting ready for public consumption. An exciting way to build anticipation for the day your product hits the streets is to send an email or tweet celebrating these landmarks – be sure to include a shareable element to keep the conversation going.
Always keep in mind that even the people who are excited about your upcoming product can get distracted by another shiny object. Keep your audience engaged and invested in your product through regular updates and maintaining the conversation on social media.
Find a Venue
Discovering the right venue can serve to highlight your product. This is why you want to get this decision finalized as soon as possible. Here are a few factors to consider when searching for the ideal setting:
Overall Capacity – It is essential to know how many people you need the venue to hold, but you also need to be aware of all regulatory matters around capacity maximums.
Price – If you find the perfect place, but it is a little out of your budgetary range, there may be some negotiating tactics you could use (for example, agree to a date that is in a slower period for the venue).
Layout – Likely your product launch will take place in a large auditorium, but if you want to have smaller interactive sessions or special press demonstrations, you’re going to need a location with a versatile layout.
Location – If the majority of your attendees are from out of town, it may make sense to have the event close to where they will arrive. If most of the attendees are local, perhaps a central location or some hidden gem makes sense. However, it is usually advised that you don’t ask local guests to commute too far out of their way.
Features – Do you need a lot of seats, audio-visual equipment, food service, etc.? Always check to make sure the venue can accommodate all of your needs.
Parking – Not all venues have dedicated parking lots; you may need to find accommodations for people who drive to your event.
Select a Theme
The theme you select is the unifier for your event. It should be related to your product and/or your industry. Once you’ve picked a theme, all communications surrounding your product launch, any activities at the event, and all merchandise and handouts should incorporate the theme.
Be Thoughtful When Promoting Your Product and Its Launch
The best way to generate buzz about your upcoming product is to address how it solves the problems of its intended audience. It’s a slight twist on traditional marketing, which is more focused on the product.
For example, traditional marketing may address the number of features that a product has. A thoughtful, customer-centric approach is to discuss how those features will help the intended customer. The topic hasn’t changed (the product’s features), but the way you approach talking about them has.
Utilize Social Media for Mystery Teaser Campaigns to Build Suspense
The power of social media for generating buzz cannot be overstated. Creating a little mystery about your upcoming product can spawn conversations as people speculate about the possibilities. About a month before your launch date, you should head to social media and post teases about the upcoming launch.
Each platform has its strengths that you should play to. You will want to post images that reveal just enough to generate curiosity and conversation. Make sure to include a hashtag (one that fits with your theme, naturally) so that others can incorporate it in their discussions. Also, remember that you can schedule posts in advance, so they go out when you intend, and you do not have to stop what you’re doing every time something needs to be posted.
Utilize Industry Influencers
Consumers tend to trust the recommendations of people more than messages they receive from marketers. An influencer is an online personality who personally validates your brand to their audience. It is one of the most effective ways to reach new customers.
When you work with an influencer, you are not only communicating to their audience, you are sending your message to their audience’s audience. And then that audience can to drive traffic to your site, increase your social media presence, and increase your sales – all due to them sharing their experiences with your brand.
Just make sure that you are working with the right influencers for your brand. According to recent research, micro influencers – those with a following of 10,000 to 100,000 – are actually the most effective social media partners because their content appears more authentic to their followers.
Identify your influencers, then send them the product before it’s released to the public. Let them play around with it and give their unvarnished opinion. That can be the unnerving part of influencer marketing: to capitalize on their authenticity, you can’t craft the message for them. You have to let influencers tell your story in their way.
Show, Don’t Tell
As the release date nears, create a series of videos that highlight the best and most unique features of your product. Yes, it can be more labor intensive to create a video, but they can create a big impact on an audience.
Again, these videos should highlight how the product solves a problem or makes someone’s life easier. Show people utilizing the product in their day-to-day life and feature how easy it is to use.
Let People Make Pre-Orders
If your marketing has been sufficiently effective at drumming up interest, there may be a crowd waiting to get their hands on your product. Plus, the availability of pre-orders is one more thing you can promote on social media to generate interest in your product launch.
“Broadcast” the Product Launch Event
There will always be people who would love to be at your product launch event but cannot make it in person. Give them the ability to be part of the action by broadcasting the launch on Facebook Live and Instagram.
You can also use these channels to showcase peeks behind the scenes and personal testimonials for people who were able to go hands-on with the new product.
Through careful strategy and planning, you can create a product launch that will send your newest creation flying off shelves and into the homes of consumers. For even more tactics to get you ready for launch day, give one of our Event Architecture experts a call at 972-323-9433.