• The Rolling Circle

9 ways to create buzz-worthy product launches through Social Media

Product development is a long and tedious process with a lot of time and resources involved. Any new product needs to ensure about the awareness of its arrival in the market. Brands develop products and release them in the market so that people buy them. For buying them first of all people must be aware of their uses, features, availability and cost. High stakes are involved in launching a new product as a considerable amount of effort goes into it and there are certain expectations of the brands associated.

Due to such serious implication of a product launch, planning for the maximum impact and awareness might feel like an overwhelming process. In earlier times, press releases were the most trusted means of announcing a product launch, often with a prominent personality hired for the launch event. Then came the era of experiential marketing as a means to successfully launch and test a product. Now with the deep penetration of online marketing, it is a very useful means for creating the setting of a gala brand launch. The best part about it is that you have ample time and scope to plan it and engage with people to create the desired awareness about the product.

However, companies, including startups, planning a product launch often underestimate the value of social media. By using a variety of social media approaches and platforms, a marketing team can generate extraordinary awareness and excitement about a forthcoming product in almost any product category from lifestyle to healthcare. All these without any strong relationships with established media outlets, an impressive budget or riding on a famous brand name.

Here are some proven ways in which social media can create “buzz” for the introduction of new products or product features. It always makes sense to focus on what’s innovative in the new product design and how that benefits the consumers.

1. Know your target audience

Generally, a lot of research is already done in the product development stage to identify its customer base and the shape of the industry it caters to. So it makes sense to target the same customer base with a communication tone that resembles to the industry.

Understanding the type of content a potential customer would like to see serves your purpose to engage him or her. Identifying the traits that would excite him or her about the product would further drive your cause.

In case you were involved in other successful launches, you can take a cue from what worked in the past. The goal is to improve upon those strategies and achieve even better results.

2. Create measured hype with teasers

Teasers are great way to give someone a heads up. They create the right kind of curiosity and anticipation for an important event. A proven means to get the users excited is to launch a teaser campaign. It is a powerful tool that assists to grab attention and build anticipation. For the right kind of optimization, find out the platforms that would be useful for your product and be consistently active on those. Apart from that, email marketing will also allow you to share more details.

3. Behind-the-scenes videos are great curiosity enhancer

Sharing candid video about what’s going on behind the scenes around your new product is a great way to create buzz . You can also use Instagram's IGTV feature or Facebook Live video to give your loyal followers a peek into behind-the-scenes footage of your brilliant team. These behind-the-scenes videos, are valuable content, and they will help you build excitement among your audience before the actual product launch. Triggered by that excitement, people will start talking about your upcoming product launch.

For instance, Wendy Nguyen - YouTuber and fashion blogger with nearly 665,000 Subscribers, helped promote Marissa Webb's Fall 2017 Collection. During New York Fashion Week, Wendy posted a behind-the-scenes video giving her community backstage access to the making of Marissa Webb’s look-book. The YouTube video was able to successfully create buzz and generate excitement for Marissa Webb’s Fall 2017 Collection, garnering more than 45,000 video views and 1,000 likes!

4. Add a mystery around the product

Creating an amount of mystery around your product on social media is another great way of creating buzz for your product launch. It’s a great way of developing excitement and generating enthusiasm within customers.

The buildup to Apple's product launch events is unlike any of its competitors. Apple manages to generate unparalleled hype with their combination of mystery and minimalism.

This technique is evident in their invitation for the iPhone 5 event. It features the number 12 (the date of the event) casting a shadow of the number five, which hints at the release of the iPhone 5.

5. Collaborate with influencers

Launching a product successfully becomes easier with a loyal and enthusiastic group of fans promoting it first. But if you don’t want to take chances, then you can collaborate with a group of influencers. This will assist you in successful launch of your product - and it is also likely to boost sales. Influencers can help you increase buzz for your new product launch event. Both the popularity and demand of influencer are continuing to increase. In 2017 alone, 86% of marketers chose to work with influencers for their marketing strategies (Source: Linquia).

You have to identify relevant and suitable influencers for your product’s pre-launch event. You can use various tools and platforms to find relevant influencers. Always find and collaborate with the influencers whose personalities align with your brand and product. For example, to create a buzz around their new product, Clinique teamed up with men’s fashion and lifestyle expert Alex Costa. He posted an image on Instagram talking about the new product, with the hashtag #CliniqueForMen. The post definitely helped create a buzz around the new product, as it successfully generated nearly 4,500 likes.

6. Organize a contest

Everybody loves to win a contest. They love more to win some prizes or free gifts. You can always organize a relatively easy contest that encourages the audience to take part. Remember they will not love to participate in a contest that demands time or much brain work. It is a fun activity for them and not any task.

Choose a lovely, attractive prize – it could even be the product you’re launching. Plan and organize a contest that encourages your followers to spread the word. A common tactic is to have followers like, tag and/or share the post to be entered to win.

7. Develop educational and informational videos

Contests and influencer-generated content may be a great way to stir the curiosity of your target audience. But if your audience is not aware of the features and benefits of the product, what will they talk about? To generate a conversation about your product, you need to develop informational and educational videos about it. Make sure that the videos are also entertaining and engaging, so you don’t lose your audience’s attention. If it’s entertaining enough, many people will be prompted to share the video with their friends.

It's true that producing videos takes more effort than text posts. But they can have a bigger impact on how your audience perceives your new product. One of the best product launch ideas is using short videos to highlight some features of the product. Show specifically how the product can be used in daily life. You might even want to develop a whole web series with extremely short, catchy videos.

For example, Apple created a series of short videos to promote the Apple Watch in addition to providing a guided tour video of the product.

Apple's simple strategy allows the imaginations of brand loyalists and industry aficionados to run wild. Once the event was planned and the invitation was sent, the public did the talking for Apple. The vague and almost non-existent details of the event created the hype for the unveiling.

8. Create your own brand hashtag

Choose a few relevant and catchy hashtags to use in posts promoting your product launch. On social channels, the hashtag will generate conversations and help your brand stand out in the crowd. It will also help other users learn more about your product through your unique hashtag.

You can also use the hashtag offline. Promote the hashtag at events related to your launch to encourage attendees to share their experiences online. Each post and share will expand your reach.

9. Keep your product launch event exclusive

Another great way of creating buzz is to give prospective customers exclusive pre-launch access to your product. This works particularly well if you are launching an information product or service. This is one way that Pinterest created buzz. Access to their beta site was by invitation only—you registered for an invitation, which normally took a couple of weeks to arrive. When Pinterest finally launched and opened up to the public, they got massive online coverage, including in the Huffington Post, Inc., BBC News, CNET, Gizmodo, and TechCrunch.

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