Do you have some cool new product features that you’re about to launch but don’t know how to tell your target consumers about them? Or maybe you want to tell your current clients about features they can upgrade to? Or maybe both? This post is here to help, because launching a new feature and marketing it effectively is no easy task.
The trick to a successful feature launch is starting your marketing plan way before the product is actually ready. Outlining your goals, messaging, and strategies that you want to tap into before the feature actually launches is the best way to proceed, and here are some hints on how to pull it all off.
Create Buzz Before the Launch
Before you actually launch your brand-new feature, you’ve got to get consumers excited about it before it’s actually released. You can do this by:
- Posting “teaser” social media posts with pictures or short video clips highlighting aspects of your new feature
- Creating an anticipatory “coming soon” video and putting it on your homepage
- Giving beta access of your new feature to a select few people, and asking them to blog or post about it on social media
- Sending out an email to your customers and leads telling them that you have some exciting new things coming up with your product
Work with Influencers
Influencers are people who specialize in a niche and have a large and loyal following on blog and/or social media. Influencers are so powerful because they create authentic content and can talk organically about your brand in ways you can’t talk about yourself without seeming self-promotional.
It’s a common misconception that B2B brands can’t utilize influencer marketing effectively, but we’re here to tell you that there are influencers in every vertical. You just need to find them, and you likely need some help. Innovative tools like GroupHigh and BuzzSumo are ideal options for influencer identification.
Once you’ve found your target influencers, think of a creative way to work with them to create maximum buzz around your new product feature. This can include giving them access to your product before it actually launches, or you can have them use your new feature in a project they are working on. Just make sure to ask them to write a blog post about their experience with links to your site, so all their loyal readers can get the scoop.
Tapping into email marketing for a new product feature is a given so let’s explore some creative ways you can tap into email to announce your new feature.
- Buying an email blast from a like-minded publication and tapping into their network
- Considering a newsletter insert from a thought leadership site
- Emailing your leads and incentivizing them with a gift card for joining a demo of your new feature
- Reaching out to your current consumers and offering them exclusive early access to your new feature as a “thank you” for being customers…this also creates a sense of urgency for them to upgrade their current plan to the plan that includes your new feature
Strategic Blog Posts
When launching a new feature, it’s key to create a handful of exciting blog posts to accompany your launch. Of course, you want to post blog posts on your own website, highlighting aspects of your new feature through screen shots and video, but you also should place some guest posts on popular sites that highlight your product as well.
When guest posting, sites will generally not take a self-promotional “sales” post. So, instead of trying to get a guest post that only talks about your new feature, think of a thought leadership topic that discusses why this feature would be beneficial, and then subtly insert a link to your brand. This strategy will be far more effective in both engaging readers and getting clicks.
Many of your target consumers may wish to visually digest information, so you want to create a short video surrounding the launch of your new feature. Highlight the components of your product and address pain points that it solves. Once your video is ready to go, consider these ways of sharing it:
- Marketing emails
- Blog posts
- Social Media
- The homepage on your site
- Press release
Social Media Ads
It’s key that you utilize your social media channels in the launch of your new feature. To ensure that news of your new product gets in front of as many people as possible, you may want to consider purchasing some social media ads. You should “a/b” test them to see what messaging and visuals are getting the most clicks.
LinkedIn will be especially helpful, and it lets you target multiple segments, including company size, job titles, location and more.
Tap into Your Customers
By now, you should know who your happiest customers are. Try giving them early or free access to your new feature and ask them to share with their own networks about your brand’s new product. It also would be beneficial to ask them for testimonials about their experience with your new feature that you can incorporate on your site. People are far more receptive to a feature that has already been used and has positive recommendations that accompany it.
Write a Press Release
Writing a press release about your new feature can help you gain traction and buzz about your launch. Here are some things to keep in mind when writing your press release:
- Addressing how this new feature makes consumers’ lives easier and focusing on pain points it may solve
- Including a video or screen shot
- Quoting your CEO on why this new feature was brought to the marketplace
- Including a quote from an influencer or consumer who tested out this new feature
- Providing an email address for the press to contact
Once your press release is up, you can send it to like-minded websites with a personalized email to see if they want to write about your new feature.
Run a Webinar
When you start marketing your new feature, it is sure to pique a lot of interest, but consumers might not be quite ready to buy or upgrade. Meet these prospects on their buyer’s journey and provide them with a webinar, where they can see your feature in action and learn more.
Your webinar should be about 30 minutes and should weave in how your new feature solves their problems, in addition to showcasing the feature in action. Leave time for questions either in your webinar hosting platform or on Twitter, and make sure to answer all that you can.
You can include a link to sign up for your webinar in the same marketing emails that announce your new feature so that your target consumers can decide if they’re ready to buy (or if they want to learn more).
New Feature Checklist
We know we threw a lot of ideas at you, and we don’t want it to be overwhelming to plan your new feature launch, so here’s a checklist that wraps up everything we just discussed:
- Create a video that highlights your new feature
- Run a pre-launch social media campaign
- Identify influencers to talk about your product
- Reach out to happy customers
- Give early access of your feature to influencers and consumers
- Identify email blasts that you can purchase
- Write out all your marketing emails
- Create and schedule out your social media posts
- Purchase social ads on LinkedIn
- Identify guest post opportunities
- Write blog posts for your brand’s blog and your guest posts
- Schedule a webinar
- Write a press release
- Distribute your press release to like-minded sites
Do you have any suggestions for announcing a new feature? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter @Feed_Otter