You’ve created your new, fantastic tech product. The next big undertaking is getting your target market as excited about it as you are, and doing so is just about as hard as it sounds.
If only generating buzz around tech products was as easy for everyone as it is for Microsoft, Samsung or Amazon. A simple hint of a launch from those brands generates tangible excitement among consumers.
The reality is that the vast majority of tech products aren’t consumer facing; software may not be as flashy as the seasonal iPhone release, but it’s still incredibly beneficial to businesses and consumers. The tech industry is also flush with unpredictable business cycles, vigorous competition and constant price erosion. Building hype around your product rollouts helps mitigate this.
Any brand can have a successful product launch with the appropriate planning, execution and creativity. Here are a few tactics you can use (with examples) to generate buzz around a new tech product even if you’re not Apple.
1. Make a Plan
This may go without saying, but an ad-hoc marketing strategy will be less successful than one with specific and reasoned tactics. The earlier you start efforts to build anticipation, the better. Also, ensure that the product itself is as ready as possible. Cutting corners with regard to product development and user experience would render any marketing effort useless in the long-term. Additionally, cover your bases and make sure your product isn’t infringing upon the intellectual property rights of other companies.
From there, do extensive research into the demographics and psychographics of your target audience. Here’s a checklist you can use to prepare for an infallible product launch.
2. Social Media is Your Friend
The correct multichannel social strategy can take your product’s public introduction leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. It’s much easier said than done, but nowadays anything can generate buzz if it strikes the right chords. Some things to keep in mind when creating your social strategy:
Multichannel is key; put consistent content across as many platforms as you can for increased consumer touchpoints and awareness.
You are never really starting from ground zero. Don’t forget the low-hanging fruit that is your pre-existing communication channels. Make the most of your website. An easy tactic for this would be to create a landing page with the necessary information about your new product or a pop-up window that is particularly hard to miss. Another option is to write an announcement blog with a strong call to action for readers to learn more. Further, think about your email lists. Let your current following know what’s going on!
4. Position Company Executive as a Thought Leader
Broadcasting your company’s CEO as a principal point of expertise in their industry can go a long way in building legitimacy in the eyes of consumers.
One way is to create thought leadership videos and bylined articles by means of Brandpoint’s Expert Series. It’s a fantastic opportunity to establish credibility by placing content on major publications like USA Today and the LA Times. It also serves as a phenomenal source of content for your personal LinkedIn account. Check out how Equals 3, a marketing tech startup that created an artificial intelligence platform to help businesses research and analyze their own data, used the Expert Series to drive promotion.
5. Get Out There
In the same vein of promoting the company as a thought leader, do your best to boost visibility among other industry leaders. Attend conferences and trade shows with tenacious promotional tactics and networking. Deliver a keynote, be a contributor to panels or leverage another speaker’s platform by asking a question with a well-planned preamble. Find applicable podcasts and reach out to be a guest or at least a quoted source in a segment. People are always looking for content.
6. Host Your Own Event
Generating buzz for an event can be a beast on its own, but it is worth the investment of time and energy if properly carried out. Today, people crave experiences. Host an event that satisfies that craving and anticipation for the product will follow.
Here’s an example from Namely, a human resources software company. They hosted an event that made the guests’ experience the priority. In addition to giveaway promotional material, they made a networking event where everyone gains.
7. Create Brand Champions
Spend some time researching websites, bloggers and other influencers that would use and benefit from your product. Pursue endorsements from those who possess influence with your target market. For example, if you have a marketing automation software, reach out to industry bloggers or even provide free access to the product to small agencies. Trust begets trust.
One example of leveraging industry bloggers is VideoFruit, a company that provides services to build email lists. The founder wrote a blog post for OkDork.com; the result was a 523% increase in web traffic. Guest blogging is still alive and well as a marketing tactic.
8. Publish Product Tutorial Videos
Build an engaging product tutorial video. Video performs exponentially better than other forms of content on social media. In fact, 72% of consumers would rather learn about a product or service by means of video, and a page or post with video on it holds the viewer for seven times as long as a page or post without video. Further, one in two consumers say video influences their buying decisions (Forbes). Don’t just screen share, though. Put thought and creativity into it!
Here’s an example by Fireflies.ai, a B2B AI software that can record, transcribe and analyze sales calls. They created an engaging animated explainer video for how the software works and the problems it solves.
9. Use Your Content to Tell the Story
Curate content that the target market would find interesting, and weave in subtle brand mentions. Do your best to put emotion and human interest into your promotional materials. When it comes to artificial intelligence and software, it’s easy to focus on the hard features and benefits. Instead, try and angle toward how the product can improve lives and the problems it solves.
Adobe Marketing Cloud hit the nail on the head with regard to human interest and the problem their product solves with their 60-second advertisement. They dramatize just how easy it is to misinterpret marketing data and the effects that can have on an organization.
10. Tease… Bait… Then Set the Hook
Creating buzz is all about strategic releases of new information. Keep an air of mystery around the product and every promotional tactic you use. This plays a large role when pitching to media outlets. Provide exclusive items with different angles for every placement you seek. Include a countdown on your social channels with slow reveals of information. Or, take pre-orders for discounted price points.
11. Give Some to Get Some
Creating buzz won’t happen unless you’re offering something that’s worth talking about. Here is where you should be creative. Consider hosting a contest that surrounds your new product, or create some other incentive that encourages your desired outcome of discussion and sharing. One trend for building anticipation is setting up random pop-up booths in densely populated areas. The spontaneity is highly valued.
Here’s a great example of how Google launched its Chrome browsing service in Thailand. Instead of a run-of-the-mill press release, they told an engaging story that wove in some of the browser’s capabilities. They even gamified some of the story, which significantly improved the user experience.
Creating sponsored content — especially in the form of a video — and distributing it across large and trusted publications is a surefire way to achieve your business goals. Consider leveraging Brandpoint’s Expert Series to garner anticipation for a new product.