Planning for the launch of a new product is an exciting time. After building or developing it for months or even years, you want to make as big a splash as possible. But, as a start-up, you’re likely to be faced with one small challenge: budget!
But there’s no need to panic. You don’t necessarily need a big brand budget to create a big impact around your launch. With thorough planning, a healthy dose of creativity and a few tricks of the trade, you’ll be fighting those customers off come launch day.
Here are some of the best ways to capture attention around your launch - without draining your bank account:
With a limited budget, it’s important to take a focused approach, by carefully identifying your position in the market, and knowing who your target audience is. Spreading yourself too thinly at this stage will mean your message gets lost in the noise, and your money and effort get wasted. Instead, focus your efforts on a particular niche or core market and gain traction there, before casting your net wider at a later date. Don’t try to boil the ocean, as they say.
Don’t wait until launch day to start talking about your product. Instead, aim to build interest around your start-up journey from the word go, with updates and teasers on your website and social media. Also nurture a community of advocates by inviting a select group of your target audience to trial a beta version of your product, or by starting a waiting list to try it out. Start-up bank, Monzo, was able to build a huge buzz around its online banking offering, with a waiting list whereby the more friends you introduced, the higher you moved up. This helped them build a list of over 200,000!
Once you’ve got an engaged group of ‘fans’, offer them benefits and discounts for helping to promote your new product amongst their networks. Remember when Uber launched, it offered all customers a free ride for recommending the service to a friend? Having an incentive like this can rapidly increase your customer base and boost loyalty amongst your existing users. Also try to get your employees involved, for example by offering a prize or bonus to whoever can bring in the most leads or customers.
You might not be able to afford a shiny advertising campaign, but good old-fashioned media relations can be just as effective. Start by creating a list of the most influential media for your target audience, and drop them a line, or set up a coffee to update them on your plans. Then, as launch day approaches, draft an eye-catching press release about your new product or service to send out, and organise pre-briefings with your top targets. You should also set aside some products for journalist giveaways and trials, to encourage them to give you a positive write-up. For more handy tips, check out our blog on how to see your business in the media.
Media aren’t the only influencers you should be schmoozing. In many cases, bloggers, YouTubers and Instagrammers are just as influential, with followings of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. You may find some of them charge big bucks for an endorsement, but others may be happy with a freebie. So, find out who your target audience is following, and make an approach.
An original and well-executed PR stunt can catapult you into the public eye, and if you’re creative, they don’t have to be expensive. Check out our blog on start-up PR stunts, for some inspiration.
In case you haven’t already heard of it, Product Hunt is the place to be seen for new online products that are going places. Being featured here can lead to a huge spike in traffic, subscriptions, downloads and increased brand awareness amongst an influential audience of early adopters. Anyone can submit a new product, but appearing on the homepage is no easy feat. It’s important to have a carefully thought out plan that’s integrated with your overall launch campaign to ensure you have the best possible chance of being featured.
Need an extra pair of hands, or some specialist expertise to make sure your launch goes with a bang? Then freelance talent is the way to go. Freelancers are adept at handling big challenges on a limited budget and can advise you on planning, PR, social media and influencer marketing. And they’re flexible – so you can find someone to help for as little or as much time as you need.
Need some help for an upcoming product launch? Then find out how a freelancer or freelance team from The Work Crowd can help. Give us a call on 0207 632 8809 or dropping us a line here to find out more.