The dream of every new digital entrepreneur is to launch a product or service that is successful on the market. But to be successful, creating something that is innovative and attractive is not enough.
The segment, quality, or price don’t matter. This success largely depends on the strategies used before, during, and after the product’s market launch.
Not giving due importance to the product launch can harm sales as well as the brand’s credibility in the eyes of the public. After all, first impressions are what matter most.
Of course, a successful launch alone is not enough to guarantee the success of your venture. But the better that first contact is, the more likely you are to start a lasting relationship with your customers and convince them to buy from you regularly.
But don’t worry. It was with this in mind that we gathered everything you need to know for a successful launch in this post!
You’ll understand what a digital product launch is, why it’s important, the main types of launches, and how to put this strategy into practice in your business.
A product launch is more than just registering a new product in an online store and making it available for customers to buy.
It’s a broader strategy, the objective of which is to promote the purchase of a new product or service and generate a large stream of revenue in a short period of time.
But for this strategy to work and result in sales, it needs to be well planned in advance.
The basis of a successful product launch is warming up leads, stimulating the desire to buy months or days in advance. The idea is to generate a sense of urgency and high expectations for the product that will be launched.
But don’t think that the work is over after the product has already been launched and acquired by initial buyers.
The post-launch is another important moment in this strategy, with sales monitoring and KPI analysis, which are essential to define future launches.
Putting a new product or service on the market is always a challenge. With an increasingly competitive digital environment, it’s necessary to innovate marketing and sales strategies. And knowing the main types of launches can help.
These different strategies were first described in the Launch Formula, coined by Jeff Walker.
Below, you can see the four main product launches, according to the Launch Formula:
This type of product launch is aimed at the contact base, or leads, that the entrepreneur already has.
As this audience already knows the entrepreneur’s brand and offers, the chances of conversion and profit with the launch are greater.
However, it requires a much greater effort to promote and produce content, using different media formats, such as images, email marketing, and videos.
In addition, since it’s aimed at an existing lead base, it’s not the ideal type of launch for entrepreneurs who are just getting started.
As the name suggests, quick launches are quick, lasting between 4-7 days.
The idea is to offer a product in a very short time. So, some kind of benefit that stimulates the purchase needs to be included in the offer.
These benefits can be bonuses or access to complementary materials, discounts, or any other strategy that accelerates the purchase.
The seed launch is a special type of launch. It’s recommended for people who have little experience in the digital market or don’t even have a product!
In this type of launch, you attract people interested in your niche and get them to share their problems and desires.
Based on this information, you can create a digital product that is much more in line with customer expectations.
Finally, there’s the evergreen launch, which consists of repeating a previous launch so that more people can acquire the product or service you offer.
The main advantage of this strategy is the chance to save time by automating processes and reusing content used in previous launches.
As can be noticed, the launch is crucial for the success of a product on the market. But how can you outline a launch strategy for your new digital content?
Generally speaking, a product launch can be divided into 4 stages: market research, idea validation, building authority, and marketing planning.
Below you can see how each stage is organized and what is necessary to launch a product or service.
Stage 1: Market Research
Every day, thousands of creators launch their products into the market. In this context, it’s more and more difficult to create something that has never been seen before.
But have you ever stopped to think about how being an entrepreneur is much more than just having an original idea?
Entrepreneurship has more to do with finding the right opportunities and implementing solutions that help people with the problems they face every day. Therefore, the business person who targets urgent demands and shows how their product solves them gets ahead of the competition.
A creator with knowledge about home repairs can create a specific product for women who want to know more about the topic. By focusing on something this specific, they avoid a good part of the competition because they are targeting an existing demand.
And what is the best way of identifying said opportunities?
The answer is pretty simple: by researching!
Investigate your niche
After you have decided what market niche you’ll invest in, you need to research your market to identify gaps you can fill. Think about the time you googled a topic online and didn’t get all the information you needed, the results weren’t quite what you were looking for, or you couldn’t even find anything about the topic.
Understand the offer and demand for your product
There are different tools available on Google to research the offer and the demand for your product. The main one is Google Trends, which analyzes the search volume of a given term, both nationally and internationally.
The tool even allows comparing two keywords to find out which one has a higher search volume, for example: Italian food and Japanese food.
If you want even more precise results, you can track the evolution of the search for these terms in the last few months. This feature helps you identify if the search volume is a fad or a lasting trend.
Another tool that offers approximate data on search volume is Google Keyword Planner, from Google Adwords. To use it, you just need an Adwords account.
With Google Keyword Planner, you get to view the number of searches carried out for a term, besides assessing if the competition for ads is high, both are good insights to better understand your market.
Keyword Planner also offers a list of terms similar to yours and their respective search volume. This is a good way of finding specific keywords from generic terms, allowing you to be more assertive when it comes to your offer.
Check out some other tools you can use during this stage:
- SEMRush: SEMRush shows the sites that appear in the first search results for both organic and paid traffic. Some information given by the platform, such as average cost per click and competition, are great to optimize your sponsored links strategy and make sure your promotion is getting to the right people.
- Ubersuggest: Ubersuggest is a tool that suggests specific keywords related to the word you search. The list is based on reach searches by Google users, which is a great gauge to know what type of content your potential consumer is looking for.
- Google search bar: Have you ever noticed that when you enter a term on Google’s search bar it suggests related searches? For this technique to work, it’s important to clear your browser’s cache or use incognito mode. Otherwise, Google will use the search history stored on your computer to make suggestions.
Understand who your persona is
Imagine you have a product about watercolor painting for beginners. Who do you think would be interested in buying it: someone who has never researched about art or someone who actually buys painting supplies, like paint and brushes?
We’re sure you saw more potential in the second option!
Knowing who has already purchased or who has searched for the category of your product is essential to creating directed content and optimizing your results. To understand the buyers’ desires and objections, many companies create a buyer persona.
Personas are semi-fictitious characters created from research with real people. They represent who your real buyer is and help the decision-making process when it comes to marketing.
But what exactly should I research?
Besides demographic information, such as age, gender, and location, put some effort into knowing your buyer’s interests, pains, motivations to buy, and channels where they look for information.
These answers will come in especially handy when it’s time to create content, promote a product, segment ads, and more importantly, reduce your operating costs, since you won’t spend time nor effort with people who haven’t shown interest in your offer.
So, even on a low budget, you increase the chances of converting because you start getting to a smaller but more qualified audience.
Perform a SWOT analysis
The SWOT analysis consists of listing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of your business. This way, you can view the competencies you already have and the ones you need to develop if you want to have a competitive edge in your market.
Below, we’ll show you how to make a SWOT analysis:
- Create a 2×2 table;
- In the first row, list your business’ strengths in one box and weaknesses in the other;
- On the right side, list threats to your business and opportunities to take advantage of;
- Relate the two columns to determine: strengths that can potentialize opportunities, strengths that can combat threats, weaknesses that can halt opportunities, and weaknesses that can increase threats.
When you finish this analysis, you’ll have enough information to come up with an action plan. Since we’re really fond of examples, we’ll give you one more example to help you understand the SWOT analysis in practice.
John has a hospitality and tourism course. In his videos, he shares good practices to host guests, with a focus on business tourism.
- Specific audience.
- Experience in the field
- John doesn’t demonstrate great knowledge of 5-star hotels.
- He doesn’t have a lot of resources to record video lessons
Notice that John targets a specific audience in the tourism market, so, the best action plan for him would be to develop partnerships with hotels that have a structure for smaller business events, instead of trying to compete with courses for major hotel workers.
Set aside some time for benchmarking
After you have identified your strengths and weaknesses, it’s important to understand how your business compares to the competition’s. This process is known as benchmarking.
Benchmarking is the reference point, so, basically, it consists of comparing products, services, and management practices to businesses in the same segment as yours.
By assessing your competitor’s pages, you can figure out the language that works best for your audience, the kind of content that has more engagement on social media, what they haven’t said about the topic, and other information that can help you with your own launch.
Thanks to the internet, it’s now easy to gather information about your competitors. All it takes is a quick search on Google to find out everything about the product/service other companies are offering.
One tip to optimize your time is to collect only relevant information for your business and that’s where most business people get confused. Benchmarking does not mean asking several questions but asking the right ones. To do so, having a persona is really helpful.
If your customer isn’t on LinkedIn, it doesn’t make sense to analyze your competitors’ posts on this network, does it?
If you want insight on how your customer thinks, you can also subscribe to receive your competitor’s newsletter or make a purchase on their website. Remember to use the information you gathered to promote a better experience for your user.
Stage 2: Validate your idea
Have you ever had an idea that was great in your head but when you told other people you noticed it was actually ineffective? This also happens in the business world.
Before you start worrying about your product launch and spending money to promote it, you need to validate if your idea is actually feasible.
Does your product solve a problem?
People buy for countless reasons, among them, to solve a problem. When someone looks for the type of product you sell, it means this person is aware they have a problem, therefore, they are further along on the buyer’s journey.
On the other hand, there are cases of users who haven’t identified they have a problem yet and need to be educated about your product, which requires more investment in content and marketing. Learn more about the different types of users in our post about the sales funnel.
If your product doesn’t solve these users’ problems, or if there is no demand for it, maybe you need to rethink your business model
Your business idea isn’t original but can you do it better than your competition?
Creating a product on photography isn’t a novel idea, however, depending on your focus, you can offer a lot more value to your customer than your competitor.
In order to do so, it’s important to focus on demands the market doesn’t meet.
What haven’t people explored in the photography niche? How can you talk about the same topic but from a different perspective?
Is it easy to understand?
Nobody will buy your product if you don’t make it clear what it talks about, its format, and, especially, the benefits it offers. People don’t look for courses on the polarity of the economic systems from the 20th century but they can be interested in capitalism and socialism, for instance.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Minimum Viable Product, as the name says, is a prototype of your product, with the minimum resources it needs to work. This strategy is used to perform tests and check if your business idea solves your audience’s problem before launching it to the market. Beta versions of apps are an example of MVP.
There are several ways to validate your MVP, such as opinion polls, A/B tests, and consultations with experts. If we’re talking about online courses, you can record your first lesson and share it for free. From the feedback you get, you can make the necessary changes and only then make your product available on the distance learning platform of your choosing.
Trust us, if your content is valuable, people won’t mind paying for it.
Stage 3: Become an authority on the subject
People don’t feel safe to make purchases if they have never heard of your product. This means you’ll need to build authority in your market niche before you try to sell your product.
Write a blog (and keep it updated!)
Writing a blog isn’t an absolute must for people who want to work with online sales, however, you’ll see that this is the best way to deliver quality content and educate your customer about your product/solution.
Bet on fun videos with an original concept to attract your followers and get them to set expectations for your product.
Make quality content available for free
When you write a text for your blog, post on Facebook, or send out a newsletter, remember the golden rule of content: add value to your audience before you try to pitch your sale.
This means that 80% of your interactions need to focus on the awareness and interest stages, and only 20% on the decision stage.
Stage 4: Marketing planning
With the range of information available online, promoting the product on your Facebook profile and waiting for people to come to you isn’t enough. If you want to increase your chances of converting, your strategy needs to focus on multiple channels and their specificities.
Most people go online to check their social media: there are over 1.86 billion active users on Facebook alone. Therefore, social media networks are excellent channels to promote your product, as long as you take some basic precautions.
When launching products, social media work to generate a buzz and increase people’s desire to buy your product.
Promote interactive initiatives
Cultural contests, trivia, games, and challenges are great resources to keep your followers engaged with your content. Promotions such as “like and share this photo”, for example, help you increase the reach of your page and your chances to be seen by a user with a similar profile of your persona who hasn’t been impacted yet due to your segmentation.
Create content people want to share
Because of the Facebook algorithm, less than 2% of your followers will see your organic posts. On Instagram, feeds are organized according to the profiles users interact with the most. It’s interesting that these people have access to rich and quality content because it increases their chances of liking, commenting, and sharing your content.
Advertise on social media
Paid advertisement works to increase the reach of your product while you focus on your organic strategy. Most social media have their own ad tools, which allows an efficient segmentation of the target audience, thus sparing you lots of work when coming up with campaigns.
When you use paid traffic, you use platforms besides your website to feature ads and attract possible buyers. There are different search engines that you can use for this purpose, but Google stands out because it’s responsible for more than 90% of worldwide searches.
Google Adwords is Google’s ads tool, available for everyone who has a Gmail account.
It uses keywords to feature your ad to people who look for a specific term or a term similar to yours and, as a result, attracts qualified users to your sales page. It works like an auction where you bid for a keyword, however, you only pay when people click your ad.
Besides the amount of the bid, the quality of the ad and landing page are also analyzed by Google to decide your ranking. These requirements ensure the user will only view content that is relevant to them, so, pay attention to the rules to avoid rework!
It’s worth mentioning that when it comes to your company’s marketing, it’s important to be wherever your customers are. So, don’t exclude ad networks such as Bing and Taboola. Even though they have a lower reach, they can bring good results to your strategy and they have a lower cost-per-click.
The term “digital influencer” gets thrown around a lot these days but do you know what it means?
An influencer is someone who is known and respected in a given niche who dictates behaviors for their followers.
But before you even think of using this strategy in your launch, here’s an important tip: an influencer with a ton of followers is not always the best one to promote your product. Does this seem contradictory?
Imagine an influencer in the make-up niche talking about games. What is their authority on the subject? Even if this person knows what they’re talking about, it’s likely their audience has zero interest in the topic.
Your choice needs to be defined by the preferences your audience expresses and by the type of content the influencer shares.
Why should you use influencers to promote your product?
Building an audience takes time, and that’s where influencers come in because they already have loyal followers who, coincidentally, are the people you want to reach with your product.
Just by associating yourself and your product/service with a respected person your credibility online increases because it works as social proof. Lastly, people buy things to feel closer to their idols, therefore, having an influencer on board for your launch can help you make more sales.
One of the biggest assets a launch can have is an engaged base of leads. This makes sure that every strategy that can contribute to increasing this list is valid, just like webinars do.
A webinar is nothing more than an online transmission, most of the time streamed live through Facebook and Periscope.
Just like other formats, it’s important to be careful with the type of content you share with your viewer. If the entrepreneur is very specific and only talks about their product, it’s doubtful that new leads will subscribe to watch ads.
Our tip is to approach broader topics during your transmission but still related to your market. When you have a contact list that engages with your content, you introduce your product.
We know that creating a base of leads engaged with your offer is no easy task. With this in mind, we’ll talk about a feature that has been proven to be very effective when it comes to attracting and capturing new users, which is a landing page.
A landing page is a web page created with one sole purpose, which can be capturing leads or making a sale. Usually, it is where we are directed when we click an online banner or ad.
Unlike your website, it has a much simpler browsing menu, featuring only the headline, offer, form and call to action (CTA), with the purpose of not distracting the visitor from your main goal.
If you need to browse for a long time to figure out the main action on the page you end up giving up, right? In order not to make the same mistake, focus only on the information you need to give your customer about the product you’re selling.
How can a landing page be useful at a launch?
From the moment you convince your visitor to give you their contact information, it’s possible to start a relationship with that user, even if they don’t immediately make a purchase, you can deliver quality content until they are ready to become a customer.
You can also use a landing page in the stage previous to the launch to share rich material with your leads and increase your brand’s authority.
It’s also a good idea to invest in email marketing strategies during all the steps of your product launch – from sharing content with your contact list to start developing your authority, to post-sales service with your customers.
By using tools like Automatic Lead Management (ListBoss), you can implement automated email marketing and increase your sales up to 8 times, according to data from our platform.
How to ensure evergreen consumption of your product
The launch is an important part of your strategy, however, it is not enough to ensure the longevity of your business. For that, you’ll need to convince people to keep on buying and therein lies the biggest challenge for an entrepreneur.
Here, on the blog, we’ve shared different content that can help you turn your idea into an evergreen business, able to make profits from the comfort of your home.
If you have any questions, feel free to browse for more information or leave a comment below.
This post was originally posted in August of 2017 and has been updated to contain more complete and precise information.