Thinking of hosting a digital launch for a new product?
In today’s digital age, most entrepreneurs understand the importance of launching a new business, product, service or project in the social media and online spaces.
This process, called a digital launch, is a critical first step in establishing your reputation and presence online. A digital launch can be a daunting task, especially during a challenging time such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a few ways you can help to strengthen your digital launch so you can make an impression, even when significant attention is drawn elsewhere.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What Is A digital launch?
- What To Keep in Mind
- How To Conduct A Digital Launch
- Key Takeaways
What is A Digital Launch?
A digital launch is a comprehensive digital marketing strategy designed to introduce a business, new product, service or project to online audiences.
A digital launch is a unique opportunity to orchestrate your brand’s message in a comprehensive and impactful way. For many brands and businesses, the days and weeks following a digital launch can have a great impact on the overall success of their business venture. In fact, some brands even report that a digital launch day is their best day of sales!
The comprehensive digital marketing strategy that accompanies most digital launches can include website launches, email marketing, social media and blog post content, online ads and other digital marketing tools and tactics. If done correctly, a digital launch campaign can generate a significant amount of online buzz, leading to greater brand awareness and ultimately direct sales or profits.
Digital Launch – What To Keep In Mind
The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for brands and businesses to cut through the online space to make an impact. This is particularly true for brands or retailers unrelated to healthcare or the political and charitable advocacy taking place to address the impacts of this global pandemic. It can be difficult to make your voice heard above the fray, especially when the news and social media are focused on a singular topic such as COVID-19.
Developing a comprehensive digital launch strategy during “normal” times is challenging enough but combined with the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, additional care must be taken to ensure your digital launch’s success.
It’s important to stay current with news and public sentiment in both your industry and across the general web. It is imperative that brands remain respectful and in-tune with the world around you so as not to appear insensitive to the global suffering all around us. This is especially true during times of political unrest, such as the Black Lives Matter protests in June 2020. Business must remain flexible and sensitive to the news of the day and to not push a digital brand launch at an inappropriate time.
How To Conduct A Digital Launch
There are a number of creative ways to launch a product online. We’ve rounded up our favourite tips and tricks to creating a buzz online with your launch, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. These tips are our best recommendations for cutting through the barrage of content to effectively share your message online.
However, these tips alone will not suffice. General digital marketing strategies must be properly implemented to support the buzz you hope to generate.
This includes strong content for your website, blog or social media channels, and a website or e-commerce platform that is prepared and tested to withstand the additional visitor traffic you hope to generate. This is especially important for e-commerce or digital marketplace direct to sales businesses – you don’t want to drive customers to your website only for them to be frustrated with purchasing roadblocks or an inefficient customer service experience.
Generate buzz and capture your customer base data
Launch day is a critical time in your brand’s lifecycle and it is important to capture that excitement for continued success down the road. We recommend generating buzz before your launch date by teasing the event on your social media channels, website, blog and other channels.
This tactic can be very successful if there is a customer incentive to sign up to receive additional information – limited launch day stock, savings or deals etc. By creating an exclusive waitlist for your launch, you create pre-launch buzz and capture critical customer data to help inform your email marketing strategies and online ad audience targeting information.
In the age of social media, contest marketing is a great way to leverage users to generate buzz around your business. Contests, giveaways and even lotteries can be held to boost your brand awareness and reach new potential customers.
Use visual countdowns
Using visual content to help share your digital launch news is a great way to generate pre-launch excitement. These types of visual countdowns can be photo or video content on social media channels, a video on your YouTube channel or and an appealing banner on your website.
We recommend looking to your favourite celebrity for inspiration on this particular tactic. When teasing the release of new music or content, celebrities often post vague visual content on their channels to generate interest, sometimes giving very little information to leave fans wondering what the big reveal is.
This strategy is only successful with an already existing and engaged fan base so tread carefully – you might not experience the same level of engagement if you’re revealing a new product.
Try your hand at viral marketing
While not easy, sometimes a digital launch is best prompted by a viral campaign or social content. Often it is easier to base a digital launch around a viral post rather than trying to “go viral” with a digital launch campaign. Viral marketing is not an easy thing to accomplish, but if done correctly it can significantly impact the short and long term success of your brand or business.
The Ice Bucket challenge hosted by the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association encouraged participants to dump a bucket of freezing ice water onto their heads and challenged their friends to do the same. The experience was supposed to replicate how ALS patients felt on a daily basis, on top of raising awareness and money for research.
Viral content is best achieved on social media channels and must be timely based on the news and events of the day. The more buzz you generate, the more your brand, service or product will appear on the search engine results page. The higher this gets, the more likely it is you’ll be able to get organic traffic.
Customer retention incentives
Another creative way to ensure the success of your digital launch is to provide customer incentives such as discount codes, referral codes and/or ambassador programs. Referral codes and programs are an excellent way to build your customer base prior to a digital launch and can help to generate significant engagement on your digital launch content. Similar to the waitlists we mentioned above, using referrals and ambassador programs is an excellent way to capture user data for email marketing and audience data for online ads.
Share your good news
A digital launch is an excellent time to share your business, product or brand with the world – and what better way to reach the online audience beyond your grasp than through media, blogs or online websites dedicated to your industry. While everyone would love a business feature in the New York Times, it is more realistic to identify smaller online news sites and industry-specific blogs to help garner additional coverage for your digital launch.
You don’t always pay with money when you’re generating media. Guest blogging, news articles and media engagement are all examples of earned media. Learn more in “What is Earned Media”
Seeding the Internet
Seeding the internet is an easy and free way to help share your digital launch content with a broader audience. Seeding the internet is the process of “seeding” or sharing your content in various user-generated sites across the web.
Engaging with user general content is a full job in and of itself but the process pays massive dividends. Wendyès twitter campaign generated more than 398,000 retweets, 2.2 million likes and even attention from celebrities like Chance the Rapper.
Sites such as Quora, Product Hunt and Reddit are solid options for sharing your digital launch story with an otherwise untapped audience. This method does require some time investment, but taking advantage of subtle ways to plant your digital launch content is a strong strategy for garnering big interest both on launch day and beyond.
Not sure where to begin? Learn more about starting your own social media campaign by reading our full guide
Key Takeaways On A Successful Digital Launch
Digital marketing success often hinges on generating interest at critical times in your brand or business life cycle. The launch of a new digital product, brand or service is one of those times.
Use the full suite of marketing techniques and strategies available to you that have been outlined above to maximize customer engagement so you can hit the ground running as soon as your product launches.
While executing a digital launch strategy during the time of COVID-19 can seem to be an impossible feat, proper planning and strategic marketing can make your launch dreams a reality.