How to Launch a Product Without a Press Release
Launching a product or service is an exciting time for a marketing department, but there are a lot of moving parts and planning to be done well before launch date — especially when it comes to your content creation and distribution strategy.
Depending on the size of your team, it’s easy to overlook content creation amidst the rest of the product launch logistics. Simply sending a press release about a new product is not enough to make a significant impact in your outreach efforts. One report found that just 3 percent of journalists worldwide rely on press releases from a newswire.
These five content assets will help you reach your audience to spark curiosity and interest in your new product while expanding your overall content library. With these content assets at hand, you’ll also have more opportunities to create sponsored ads, email campaigns and more.
1. Product highlights
Your audience needs to know what your new product does, and why they need it, in a clear and concise way. A webpage about your new product is a must. While you’ll want to highlight the product’s features and why it’s better than your competitors, keep the focus of the user by answer the following questions:
- How will each feature of the product benefit the user?
- How will it solve one of the user’s challenges?
- How is your product an improvement over a similar product the user might already be using?
Details of your product may be better included in an FAQ page where people who are closer to the purchase stage might browse for more information.
But another way to feature the highlights of your product is through an explainer video. The message should be like the webpage, but a video will capture and hold your audience’s attention longer. And by using a voice-over, you can emphasize the qualities of the product and appeal to the users’ emotions. A video is also a great content asset to embed in additional content around the product launch, so you don’t have to communicate the main benefits in every piece of content.
Explainer videos are a great tool for multiple types of companies to explain topics that might be complex or difficult to understand, like in tech, healthcare and other B2B industries. This collection of videos gives examples of different ways this medium can be used for clarity or to drum up excitement.
If the product doesn’t take much explaining, use the video to tell a story about the product and put it in a scenario in which your audience can relate. You want them to be able to see themselves with the product in a similar scenario.
2. Product tutorials
Tutorials are a key content element to improve a user’s experience with your product. They are different from product pages and explainer videos because they dive deep into using your product. Typically, a tutorial guides users through troubleshooting an issue or shows how to use a feature of the product in step-by-step detail.
For example, if your product is something complex like a SaaS program or digital tool that has many functions and hidden shortcuts, you can create a screencast and record a voiceover to walk users through the actions to take. SEMrush created a “Knowledge Base” help center that includes a search bar and many other options to become familiar with their tool and help their users sharpen other digital marketing skills.
While tutorials might not seem like a marketing priority before your product launch, they will save your entire team a lot of work in the long run. Your salespeople, customer service reps, project managers and more will be busier with handling new business, which will include a surge of questions. This is where tutorials are extremely useful. Customer service reps can answer questions by simply pasting a link to the tutorial.
The tricky part is anticipating the questions of your users. Consult your product development team to see if they conducted product testing focus groups. Here is where issues and questions about the product will be discovered.
Then, determine where you want to host the tutorials on your website. You might want to only make them available for current users. However, tutorials could be used later in the sales funnel when a user wants to see details about how the product works — it could be the content they engage with before connecting with a salesperson for a demo.
3. How-to content
In addition to tutorials and FAQs, how-to content (also included in the SEMrush “Knowledge Base” page) will help users solve a challenge related to your product. However, this type of content is not about your product directly.
For example, at Brandpoint, we developed a proprietary content marketing tool (BrandpointHUB) after learning that many of our clients struggled with keeping track of their content assets and maintaining an organized workflow. So, we created a blog post that answers the question, “what’s the best way to organize content?” The post focuses on providing tips and does not mention BrandpointHUB until the concluding CTA. This provides more use to the reader and keeps it from reading like a sales pitch.
4. Evergreen topics
While promotional materials are important to announce your new offering, a product launch is a FANTASTIC opportunity to build evergreen content. This means your content will remain relevant far past your product launch date and will help boost authority in your industry or specific topic. That post above is an example of an evergreen topic. It’s a consistent issue that our audience faces.
Your evergreen content will be most effective if it’s optimized for search engines. Start by conducting research to discover pain points or questions your audience has about issues related to your product or service. Then comprehensively answer those questions in your content.
It’s also worth auditing the content that already exists in your organization. Are there any assets that relate to your new offering that you can repurpose? Or are there high-performing posts where you can insert a call-to-action to your new offering for more conversion opportunities?
Bonus tip: If you’re expecting a surge in traffic to your website during the product launch, this is a great time to conduct a technical SEO audit to make sure your website is performing at its best. A slow page speed is one of the biggest problems you DON’T want to have during a product launch.
5. Influencer marketing and customer service
Spark curiosity about your product by starting the conversation about your product on social media well before launch. If you’ve already cultivated relationships with influencers in your industry, partner with them to publish a guest blog post or social media posts that tease your product launch.
You can also give influencers special access to the product and ask them to review it in a video published to their channel. Or, create a branded video and feature reviews by multiple influencers and ask them to share it with their followers. When a positive testimonial comes from an influencer that people already trust, it will generate buzz and excitement and give your brand credibility.
If you do not have a large social following, sponsor the social post or work with an influencer to get their audience to participate in a contest. As a requirement for entry, ask friends to tag their friends and have them join in on the pre-launch fun.
Depending on your industry, some social media platforms may serve as a customer service tool. It’s where users may go to inquire about the product before purchasing or customers of your new product may go to ask questions. Prior to launch, have a plan in place to ensure timely responses. To prepare, create a document of answers to expected questions or comments so your team can respond with care and speed.
Planning a successful product launch with effective content
When you plan content based around a new product launch, you’ll be armed with more opportunities to reach an audience and convert them into prospects and, eventually, paying customers. For more tips, check out our video series that includes topics on planning content based on the customer journey, building sales and marketing alignment, developing a product launch content strategy, and more.