5 Things Tech Companies Need for a Great Product Launch Strategy

, Nov 19, 2013

CATEGORIES: PR
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A tech product launch strategy needs content more than anything else.As a tech PR firm, March is pretty experienced when it comes to product launch strategies. A product launch is a complex puzzle, whether the launch is coming from a start-up or a mature company hoping to rebrand. The most important thing to have, of course, is time. The pre-launch strategy should be mapped out well in advance, and illustrate how the product is going to get from start to finish.

The success of the product launch is often directly related to the success of the pre-launch campaign. Did the PR team secure enough interviews to create buzz? Are there video testimonials from beta customers? Which analysts are going to talk about the product in the coming weeks?

But a pre-launch is only the beginning. When every business is a media company, there’s no excuse to not have a library of dynamic content ready for people who hear about the product on the day of the launch. That’s why you need these things to help guarantee that the PR from the product launch doesn’t go to waste:

1. An Email Newsletter

Email consistently ranks as one of the top lead generation activities for B2Bs in particular, which is why when a product gets launched, you need to make sure you’ve got an email marketing plan in place.

Oh, and somewhere for people to sign up. Make sure there are multiple ways to subscribe to the company email list. If you’re anticipating heavy traffic, allow users to self-segment by asking for fields like “job title” and “industry.”

At March, we offer two ways for people to join the email list: at the footer of the site and if they download one of our extremely helpful and compelling eBooks.

After a product launch, you’ll want a way to keep in touch with everyone who’s interested. Email should be the number one way to do it. If you make the announcement at a tradeshow, sign people up directly or collect business cards in a raffle. Segment those lists into different groups and track opens and clickthroughs to better personalize content in the future.

2. Customer Case Studies

There’s little that’s more effective than actual proof that customers use – and like – your product. Whether a written case study or a video testimonial, any collateral that shows the voice of the customer should be proudly displayed on the front page of the website.

At trade shows, make sure to have that collateral present at the booth and offer material as hand-outs for interested prospects.

If you have a more in-depth white paper or case study about how the product works, consider setting up an online form that collects email addresses and other data, so you can start building an email list of leads.

3. An Interactive Press Release

Press releases are a staple of the product launch. Journalists and analysts refer to them as a way to quickly take a look at the latest developments on the tech scene. But make sure the press release isn’t boring. The best way to do that is to use content marketing tactics.

PR Newswire recently conducted a study on the effects of multimedia content on press releases and found:

  • A photo increased views by 14 percent
  • A video increased views by 20 percent
  • A photo and a video increased views by 48 percent
  • Photos, videos, presentations, or PDFs increased views by 77 percent

Optimizing a press release also means proactively pitching journalists and analysts who might be interested in the topic. In the weeks leading up to the release, try to leverage interest by sending a draft of the release to influencers.

4. A Target Audience

You won’t be able to really determine the efficacy of the product launch unless you know who you want to target. Sure, your web traffic could spike and you might get 1,000 leads, but how many are qualified? When it comes to using PR to supercharge lead generation, it’s important to remember that it’s quality that counts.

By having a target audience in mind, you can better evaluate the launch’s success. The audience can also guide the content you’ll want to develop in the days ahead in order to nurture those leads.

5. A Dynamic Online Presence

Have you ever heard huge, earth-shattering news about a company and then gone to the website? A lot of times, the website will look the same as it always did, puttering along with the same static front page, as if nothing is amiss.

Don’t have one of those websites. A new product should mean a new website. Show the company’s latest offerings on the home page, along with the collateral that supports it. Create landing pages, resources and blog posts that illuminate why the product is important to the market. Make the journey smooth, compelling and easy.

Likewise, make sure no social media channel is left untouched. Use Twitter to announce the product. Throughout the day, tweet other bits of content related to it. Post a picture of the product on Facebook. Use Pinterest to break up an eBook into different screenshots. Have Instagram? Take a picture of the company’s launch party. Share the news to relevant communities and groups on Google+ and LinkedIn.

Measure, Measure, Measure

Analytics are going to be the judge and jury of any product launch strategy. Web traffic, eBook downloads, email sign-ups and leads captured should be tracked throughout the day. Set up goals for what you’re trying to do with each channel and make sure you have a way to see whether that channel delivered.

Since PR has become so deeply involved in the content marketing game – creating infographics, eBooks, presentations, case studies and videos – that means lead generation from a product launch can be fueled by PR from start to finish. And things won’t end there. Lead nurture today is all about creating even more relevant content. So, above all, make sure that a product launch gives you a way to get in touch – and stay in touch – with prospects.