Successfully launching a new product or service takes a good deal of creativity and a strong gameplan. Marketing tactics to introduce consumers to new offerings can run the gamut, from immersive, in-person activations to attention-grabbing email drip campaigns. Properly timed outreach is a big key to getting people excited, but without unique creatives and a compelling message, a marketing strategy will only go so far in generating interest in a new product or service.
With so many different potential approaches to take, agency professionals have a lot to consider when planning a marketing campaign to launch a new offering. Over the course of their careers, the members of Forbes Agency Council have developed their own playbooks of creative ideas they can build upon and customize to highlight any newly launched product or service. Here, 16 members share creative ways to showcase new offerings that will earn the attention of target audiences.
1. Build Suspense With Engaging Prelaunch Experiences
Build up the excitement and suspense with a prelaunch campaign. Tease customers with partial images, fun facts or even little puzzles to figure out. Make them part of the experience. This can help increase engagement and interest before your product is even launched, putting you on track toward building your outreach lists at the same time. – Bernard May, National Positions
2. Pair ‘Street Teams’ To Do Creative Engagement Activities
Pairing “street teams” to enter a market by doing creative street-level engagement activities is a great strategy. It drives awareness, and now that we’re past the worst of Covid and various events are back, it has been an effective way of moving the needle. Passing out a new energy drink at a street fair that is the location of a triathlon, for example, could be coupled with branded car wrapping. – Leeza Hoyt, The Hoyt Organization, Inc.
3. Bring The Audience’s Connection To The Product To Life
The answer always begins with who you’re targeting. Why will this new product connect with them practically and emotionally? Creatively bring that connection to life. For Dunkin’, we launched its new espresso drinks by building a faux high-end cafe and disguising the new espresso drinks by serving them in fancy cups. We then filmed customers’ reactions when we revealed it was Dunkin’—and it was testimonial gold! – Kevin Moehlenkamp, Garrand Moehlenkamp
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4. Highlight Emotional Benefits For Target Audiences
Plan your launch campaign to be people-centric. Highlight the emotional benefits for your target audience. Whether you’re launching a consumer product or a B2B product, focus on the emotions your product will evoke in people in your target audiences. For a fintech product, this could be the ease of daily living; for the launch of a new fitness class, it could be the sense of community. – Melanie Marten, The Coup
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5. Develop A Timely, Compelling Bylined Article
Content is king. Consider developing a bylined article in addition to a traditional press release detailing the product or service. Thought leadership that captures the macro-level value proposition at the industry level will be more compelling to the buyer personas to whom the company is selling. The visibility and credibility of a timely and compelling byline is a powerful launch asset for every brand. – Ethan Parker, Treble
6. Prioritize What The Target Audience Needs To Hear
Don’t let your excitement about the new offering trump the customers’ needs. I think one of the biggest differentiators between great content and average or bad content is how well your company writes for the target audience. While that sounds fundamental, it’s amazing how many companies publish content that prioritizes what the company wants to say rather than what the target audience needs to hear. – Jeremy Jackson, SKY Marketing Consultants, LLC
7. Find Influencers Whose Audiences Align With Yours
Influencers may not be trained marketers, but they’re born marketers. They have intimate knowledge of what’s resonating with their followers, so identify creators whose audiences align with your target audience and seed your product or service. Give them creative license to create Reels or another video format in a way that’s wholly authentic to them, creating a foundation of awareness you can build on. – Cooper Munroe, The Motherhood Inc.
8. Capture Behind-The-Scenes Content At Small Launch Parties
Launch parties in small, exclusive settings that align with the brand—such as at a brunch—are a great way to get instant media coverage, celebrity endorsements and influencer content right off the bat. Try to keep the crowd and location on-brand. Get great behind-the-scenes content from photo shoots of founders and product styles. Digital, PR and social media content should all be synced and ready to push out before, during and after the party. – Jessica Kopach, The JKO Agency
9. Tell A Great Story About Your New Offering With Video
Video is a dynamic and engaging way to market your work. If done with style, it can help you add authenticity and emotion to the value it brings. That’s how you hook people and reel them in. Plan a dedicated campaign for this new item using a powerful (and shareable) video teaser. Be sure to embed it on your website and repurpose it as an asset for ads and social media. – Samantha Reynolds, ECHO Storytelling Agency
10. Consider Videos, Tutorials And Even A Podcast On The Product
Social media is probably the go-to way to launch a new product. Videos and tutorials are great, and kicking off an online promotional campaign is also a good option. Creating a podcast on the product may be more of a creative approach. An in-depth overview in niche media showcasing the product can do wonders for visibility. We can also talk about marketing campaigns leading up to the showcase, ads, landing pages, emails and more. – Nataliya Andreychuk, Viseven
11. Speak Your Audience’s Language On Different Social Platforms
Identify the social platforms your target audience is most active on and speak their language, based on the platform’s personality. TikTok is trendy, candid and quirky, while our trusted friend Instagram loves a good laugh and appreciates a peek behind the scenes. Doing so seamlessly fosters a sincere sense of authenticity and long-term connection. – Katie Schibler Conn, KSA Marketing
12. Focus On The ‘Tease’ And Keep Your Audience Guessing
A creative way to showcase a new product your company is launching is by focusing on the “tease.” Get your audience excited about the release of the product or service, but don’t give away too much information. Keep your audience guessing through various creatives. Everyone likes a challenge, and if you can create an engaged audience before launch, you will have a successful launch. – Marilyn Cowley, PREM – PR & Social
13. Take Consumers On The Launch Journey With A Sneak-Peek Video
A sneak-peek video is a fun and creative way to showcase a new product or service. Consumers love video, and it can be used in email campaigns, on your website and in social media. Take consumers on your product launch journey by giving them glimpses or hints regarding the new offering. This will engage your audience, build anticipation and keep your brand front of mind. – Chelimar Miranda, Medical Advantage
14. Create An Exclusive Offer For Mega-Fans And Influencers To Share
Utilize a core group of mega-fans or influencers who you know are talking about your brand in general. Create something exclusively for them—an event or a promotion that feels truly special and private—and then let them share it. This group can be made up of customers, paid influencers and journalists who have talked about you in the past; just ensure they are engaging types of people. – Daniel Kamen, Serial Scaling
15. Build A Microsite And Link All Pieces Of The Launch Campaign To It
Microsites are fun and interactive small-scale websites focused on specific offers, such as a new product or service launch. All other pieces of your launch campaign (social media, paid ads, PR and so on) should link to your microsite rather than your main website. This will generate hype around your launch without distracting visitors with your other Web pages and content. – Gavin Baker, Baker Labs
16. Use Humor, And Don’t Focus On The ‘Sell’ In Your Message
Humor always performs well. If you can get past the “sell” of a product or service and instead focus on the message of how the product or service makes your life better, it will be more successful. Most agencies have issues getting past the selling part of marketing. – David Kley, Web Design and Company
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Author: Expert Panel®, Forbes Councils Member