By Mojca Zove
Imagine walking in a casino with $10,000 in your hands, and simply betting it all on red. No strategy, no taking it slow.
Just relying on pure luck and hoping you win.
Is this feeling familiar? This is actually how most launches feel like.
But launching a product doesn’t need to feel like playing a game of roulette — quite the contrary.
You don’t need to wait for that big moment of launch to “test your luck.” You can make your product a success even before the launch with these simple tricks.
The goal is to create the “want effect.” You need to build excitement and expectation in the days, weeks, or even months leading up to the actual launch.
And there’s nothing that builds excitement quite like giveaways and contests, especially if you’re giving away a product that’s not even out yet.
A contest in its nature creates excitement and that “want effect” that you need to generate if you want to make your product a success before the launch. And because your product won’t be out at the time of the giveaway, everyone would want to be a part of this special promotion.
Getting something before everyone else? A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The lucky few participants who will win your new product will do a great deal of word-of-mouth marketing for it. They’re after all the first ones to get it, and they’ll feel the need to share that exclusivity with their audience.
This is a very similar strategy to what Kube did, using a KickoffLabs campaign. They collected 30,000 email addresses during their prelaunch phase, all with $0 invested in advertising!
No matter how creative and hi-tech today’s marketing can be, you should never underestimate the power of good old word-of-mouth.
As for all the other contest participants — maybe they didn’t win your product this time around. But they were still a part of something exciting, something big, something new. They’ll want to continue nurturing that relationship. Use the personal connection you’ve built with them, stay in touch, and prepare them for the official launch. That will give your new product an extra boost.
When you’ll go and get ready for launching your giveaway or contest, make sure to form it in a way that enables and empowers the viral aspect of it like Kube did. You’ll achieve that by giving your audience an incentive to share your announcement prelaunch page with their friends.
Want to know how to do that exactly and get some specific ideas for it? Check out our article: Online contests: What types of businesses can benefit from them?
Imagine the following scenario:
Summer days are coming, and you were already thinking of getting yourself a new grill. Overwhelmed by all the opportunities, you’re experiencing a serious case of decision fatigue. Not sure which one to get, you don’t buy anything at all.
But then one of the people you’re following on Instagram reviews a brand new grill, using a brand new smoking technology. The grill isn’t yet publicly available, but there’s a waiting list you can get on.
A few moments later, you’re already on the list, sharing the landing page with all of your friends so that you can move up the waiting list.
This kind of a combination of influencer marketing and a waiting list is solid gold for generating traction before your product hits the market. Seeing a product in use by an influencer your audience trusts will bring more people your way than you’re ready to handle.
The only thing you need to be careful of is to start planning this in advance. Preferably months before the official launch. You need to have time to collect the influencers, contact them, prepare a strategy, launch that strategy, and successfully collect new leads for the waiting list.
But do all that in time, and you’ve got yourself a winning prelaunch strategy.
When you’re trying to generate that prelaunch buzz, you have to think about both short-term and long-term strategies.
Launching a giveaway, as described earlier, will generate instant results. When done correctly, leads will start pouring in almost immediately. Encourage people to share the giveaway with their friends, and it will grow organically.
However, you should also think about implementing strategies that might take a bit more time to move the needle when it comes to lead generation but will enable you to reap those sweet results for years to come.
Enter content marketing.
If you want to become an authority in your field, someone people trust, you have to give your audience a reason to trust you. And what better way to do this than through high-quality blog posts or valuable video content.
Define what attracts your target audience; what do they want to see and read. What convinces them to buy.
Then create content that will reflect that.
With this strategy, you have to be persistent and consistent. One blog post, one video won’t do the trick. Instead, plan this kind of content in advance, so you’ll get the most out of your time invested in content creation.
Top tip: No idea where to begin? Pick up your phone and record a behind-the-scenes video for your brand, showing your audience how you create your product from scratch. Success guaranteed!
Once you’re going to utilize all these techniques and start generating new leads, make sure to stay in touch with them, and don’t let that list go cold.
If you want to make your product a success even before the official launch, email your contacts regularly, sending them product updates and behind-the-scenes news.
Treat it like a Kickstarter launch, even if you’re not running a crowdfunding campaign.
Show your contacts what you’ve been working on, let them in on the secrets. Make them feel like members of an exclusive insider’s club that receives VIP content.
Not only will you deepen the relationship you’re building with them, you’ll also grow your authority and draw them closer to a purchase. They’ll know your new product in detail, why would they want to buy something else now?
The marketing of your new product should start way before the official date of launch.
Doing that preliminary work will not only help you get a better feel for what your audience needs and craves for but will also allow you to make small adjustments to your marketing plan before the official launch.
The trick is to start early. Because the early bird always gets the worm. Or leads.