launching a product virtually Drawing of a new product launch.

Launching a product virtually? Read these tips

Tips for launching a product virtually.

Autumn will be here soon. Time for changing leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, and product launches. Yes, product launches. Fall is the perfect time to announce new products. It hits the sweet spot between summer vacation and the winter holidays.

Many of our clients are planning product launches for the fall. And they all have the same question: Given the pandemic, how do I launch a new product or service virtually?

When planning a virtual product launch, there are three things you need to consider carefully: content, placement, and events.

Cut through the clutter with compelling content

Content always matters for a product launch. But now, it’s one of the few ways you can reach your buyers. In the absence of face-to-face meetings and live events, you need stellar content that cuts through the clutter and grabs buyers’ attention.

How to make sure your content will hook your audience? Start by making a Message Map, so you have a clear way to express the benefits to your buyers. Remember, your buyers are always thinking, “What’s in it for me? Why should I buy this new product or service?”

A Message Map helps you express the benefits to your buyers in a clear, compelling way. Once you’ve created your Message Map, test it. Look through your audience’s eyes and ask:

  • Why should they buy this product or service (what’s in it for them?)?
  • Will they understand the benefits?
  • Do they care what this message is saying?
  • Will they understand the message?
  • Did you use words your buyers use when researching the type of product or service you offer?

When you’re confident that your Message Map conveys the benefits to your buyers in a clear, compelling way, you’re ready to create your marketing launch content.

Remember that the goal of your marketing content is to hook your buyers so they want to learn more, rather than explaining every single feature of your new product or service. Launch content should state compelling benefits and include a clear call to action.

Revisit your content placement strategy

Of course, creating compelling content doesn’t matter if your buyers don’t see it. Now is the time to pull out your marketing plan and revisit your placement strategy.

Have your buyers’ content consumption habits changed during the pandemic? Are they watching more TV, spending more time online, getting their news from the same sources? Do you need to funnel more marketing dollars into digital ads and paid search?

If you can, ask your clients if their content consumption habits are changing. If you can’t reach your clients directly, work with your sales team to get the answers you need to ensure you place your content where your buyers will see it.

Make the most of virtual events

“One of the reasons you go to an in-person event and sponsors pay top dollar is to get your name out there and connect with people. You know, the small talk that happens organically when you pass by an exhibit booth, bump into someone in the restroom or elevator,” says Jodi Sniegocki, Education and Events Director at Modern Healthcare.

Screen showing a virtual event or conference.
Making the most of virtual events can help your product launch succeed.

If you’re attending or sponsoring a virtual event, work with the organizers to ensure you still have ways to interact with your target audience. Are they hosting virtual networking sessions and booth visits? Is the chat feature robust? Can you schedule meetings via the virtual event platform? Get as comfortable as you can with how you are going to connect with your audience virtually.

Planning your own virtual event or conference? Sniegocki offers these tips for choosing the right virtual platform:

Research. 

Know what you want your virtual event platform to offer. What is the reason people attend your event? Look at past feedback surveys. What have your attendees liked; what do they want to see more of?

Aside from the education, do you have an opportunity to provide those other must-haves in the virtual space? What do your sponsors and exhibitors really want from this event? Leads, logo recognition, and speaking opportunities can be accomplished in a variety of ways.

Test. 

Make sure your speakers and sponsors are kept informed every step of the way. The more they know, the more prepared they will feel. And make sure to host a dry run with them. Show them how the platform will work, what they can expect, what they can and cannot do. Most importantly, make sure they can gain access.

Testing from the exact environment they will be using on the day of the event is critical. Firewalls and access restrictions are much different between corporate and home offices.

Ask for help. 

Don’t try to do it alone. You need the support of your teams: marketing, sales, IT. Schedule roles and responsibilities just like you would for your in-person event. You’ll want a person/team to respond to technical issues, someone to monitor and respond to chats, etc.

COVID-19 has forced marketers to a fully virtual and digital world. By creating compelling content, placing it properly, and making the most of virtual events, you will have a successful virtual product launch.

Need clear, compelling messaging for your stakeholders? We can help. Email us today.

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