You’ve done your research on new product launches. You know your audience better than your colleagues and have precision-crafted your message. But, with an average of 30,000 new CPG products launching every year, cutting through the fray to connect with your ideal customer and future brand ambassadors takes additional finesse.
Spreading the word about your great new product requires that extra bit of research to kick your launch off to a blazing start. To help marketers out, we are highlighting five essential methods you can strategically use to promote your new product’s market debut (no “spray and pray” approaches here!) These techniques will help bring awareness to your new product and build a sense of anticipation before (and when!) your item hits shelves. So let's dive in!
According to NeilsenIQ, 70% of all new product launches were variety extensions of existing brands. If this is the case for your new product, you have a built-in audience primed to tap in advance of the launch. These potential fans are on-board with your existing product, so piquing this group’s interest on social media is a quick way to generate buzz for your new product.
So how do you get that conversation started? Try introducing a product-specific hashtag, like #comingsoon, that sparks interest in online discussions. Then, regularly release accompanying teaser images in your online posts to build anticipation toward launch day. Until launch, posting a countdown clock on your social media pages can boost intrigue for those coming to your sites for other information.
Even if your brand isn’t a variety extension, you can still use these same methods to build anticipation. Posting in social media groups that match your target audience can help pique interest outside your owned channels. Let them know about the launch date, and provide an exclusive offer (discount code or freebie) for them to share any announcements about your product. Spreading the word on social media is an excellent low-barrier way to generate buzz about your new product.
A vital complement to your new product launch strategy is introducing video content. If you haven’t incorporated video yet, there is no time like the present to use this medium to boost awareness of your new product.
A strategic pre-launch video campaign allows you to create compelling stories that can engage your audiences across social media channels in addition to other popular video and paid advertising platforms. Video’s engagement rates are traditionally much higher than static image posts, so although they can be more effort to produce, one can edit a single video to multiple lengths to fit many platforms, maximizing their value and distribution.
The bottom line is that a video in your audience’s feed will stop their scrolling more frequently than static media. Capturing a potential customer’s attention is becoming harder and harder to accomplish these days, so marketers can’t wait to employ video as a tactic to engage and delight their audiences.
A new brand ready to make its debut will need a little more than reliance on organic social engagement and video content to spread the word, no matter how great your social and motion graphics teams are. Therefore, the importance of integrating a paid media strategy is critical. Paid digital advertising tactics will help you grow your reach and showcase your new product to a broader audience.
Start by defining your goals for your paid advertising campaigns. Next, look at your marketing funnel: at this initial brand-building stage, growing awareness is most likely top of mind; however, meeting people in market for your item’s category may also be important to you. Finally, your strategy should align with your goals, so you can eventually measure the success of your campaigns and make further optimizations after an initial benchmarking period.
Display advertising and paid social media allow you to target consumers who fit your product’s ideal demographic. In addition, these awareness tactics will enable you to cast a broad net using both the captivating images and the compelling videos discussed earlier to attract future brand ambassadors.
Moving a bit further down the funnel, investing in search marketing can help you capture audiences who are already in market for products similar to yours. Keyword research into similar category groups can help you get in front of the right audience at the right time when they are actively searching for a product like your own, and you can’t beat that!
Part of launching a new product is assuring that your marketing delivers quick results. Retailers are giving you a chance to prove your product deserves shelf space, and you want to demonstrate the velocity your item can generate. One of the top ways to drive new item success, shopping list marketing, presents an opportunity to get your branded item onto digital shopping lists and into digital carts when shoppers are in-market for products like yours.
So what is shopping list marketing, anyway? At its core, this mobile advertising strategy allows brands to market to customers who are actively making their in-app grocery shopping lists. When consumers see your promoted product, they can easily add the branded item to their list without being removed from their user experience. This solution helps boost awareness and measure purchase intent when consumers are in pre-shop mode and drives trial and sales of your new products.
Shopping list marketing is a highly-contextual complement to other marketing channels, delivering against your awareness and performance goals as a part of your new product launch. You can read more about why brands should launch new products with shopping list marketing in more detail.
Establishing the best channels to connect with your target audience is critical, especially for new products. A combination of search engine marketing, paid social, organic social, trade shows, in-store displays, and email marketing might all be on your list of outreach methods (amongst countless others).
Perhaps old-school sandwich boards would be a quirky fit for a particular brand! Likewise, sign-spinners might seem silly, but for a strategic launch, these old-school techniques could pare well with the right product and draw customers in-store to sign up for digital lists (and not to mention delight retailers with foot traffic).
The bottom line is that there is no single “correct” channel for new product promotion. Instead, invest in many avenues that appeal to your target audience, but be strategic and intentional. Then measure the success of your outreach through your predetermined metrics to help you further tailor your approach to promote your specific new item.
Launching a new product is a huge undertaking. Still, with the right combination of tactics under your belt, you will be able to connect to your target audience in an impactful way, getting them to line up to buy (and hopefully bring friends) when your new product hits shelves! Remember, you’ve already come this far; you’ve got this!