Imagine investing lots of time, money and research to develop a great product. Now all that’s left to do is sell it to the target audience. But people need to know about the product in the first place to purchase it. That’s why marketing is so important. The whole process is nerve-wracking, exciting, and rewarding if done right.
Unfortunately, the Marketing Research Association found that only 40 percent of developed products end up on the market and out of those, 60 percent make a profit. Thus, the odds are stacked against you from the beginning. This is where a well-planned product launch strategy comes into play and gives you a real shot at success.
Think about it – traditional product launch strategies focus on customer experience, including function, quality, price, and availability. But considering the number of new touchpoints that customers have been exposed to in the modern era, that is no longer enough. You must venture outside your comfort zone and incorporate email, ads, video reviews, phone apps, websites, and messages if you wish to market your new product and boost sales.
So, here are some useful viral marketing techniques to make your product better and more attractive to consumers:
1 – Keep It Relevant
The success of a product has always been about finding ways for customers to care and find a product relevant. That remains the same. However, the pace of change has shifted. Do not hesitate to leverage existing societal discussions for your advantage and attract more attention than the competition through Content Marketing. Find topics that people already talk about and introduce a fresh, strong, or thought-provoking perspective to the arena, so that people instantly take notice.
Irrespective of the product, associate your brand message with burning topics that not only affect your target audience directly but a wider crowd as well to draw the attention of potential buyers. Demonstrate that you care not just about the product and business revenues but you feel comfortable tackling international issues too.
Make the Product Launch Feel Timely
From the moment your product is launched, constantly look at the original problem it set out to solve, but from new angles and different perspectives. In other words: the product positioning, you can check here for the definition of that. But essentially, you need to broaden your idea about the category and the marketplace to increase the range of customers your product can attract. Above all, ensure your product does not give buyers a reason to leave.
Take the baby formula versus breast feeding video from TruTV’s Adam Ruins Everything series. Till date, the video has garnered more than 4 million views on YouTube alone and the comments section is fertile ground for arguments and debates surrounding this sensitive issue. The intense arguments arose due to strong sentiments attached to the feeding of babies.
Prepare to See and Seize
Nowadays, brands should have the flexibility to anticipate what lies ahead and react to the opportunity when the time comes. Think of ways to enhance your business, and be receptive to suggestions and input from each employee. Multiple pairs of eyes and ears on the frontlines can work in your favor.
Nike has always crafted its campaigns around the concepts of power, strength, drive, and change. So in the #MeToo era, it was not surprising that the brand launched a powerful marketing campaign before International Women’s Day, promoting women’s empowerment and challenging stereotypes. The video received more than 50 million views on various social media platforms and thousands of comments.
Inject a Bit of Humor
Notice how a lot of the shared content from ecommerce sites are videos, GIFs, and funny images. That’s because humor is a great way to present your product’s value and go viral at the same time. If it makes them laugh, people won’t hesitate to share it. No wonder so many businesses take the funny route to generate buzz.
Football fans will remember the third quarter of 2013 Super Bowl XLVII when the Superdome’s power went out for 34 minutes. Oreo rapidly came out with a creative and funny ad on Twitter. The catchy message received almost 20,000 retweets and over 20,000 Facebook likes.
However, exercise caution at all times. Do not cross the line and hurt the sensibilities of your consumers. A wrong joke can lead to a boycott of your product and hurt sales.
2 – Increase Brand Awareness with Viral Referral Campaigns
Before the Internet, businesses relied on word of mouth to attract new customers to their products. If an existing customer was satisfied with an item, they would recommend people they knew to try it out and boost sales. Viral marketing campaigns follow the same basic flow. But they go a step further by providing incentives to customers who spread the word about the product and bring new buyers.
Uber, Lyft, OnePlus and other brands rely on such viral campaigns for healthy consumer acquisition. They give exclusive offers and perks to users who get others to sign up. Uber, for example, offers a free ride to users who refer new customers.
The truth is, the more useful your product, the more consumers will use it. Once you provide a reason for them to share your product with people they know on social media, they will. To add a referral program to your product pre-launch, you can use tools like Viral Loops and bring serious results for your product launch campaigns. However, you must promote your referral program for it to work effectively.
Referral-based contents incentivize prospective users to share the contest landing page with family and friends. The incentive for sharing your campaign is normally the opportunity to win a prize. So, every time an entrant shares his/her unique referral ID, he/she will receive points for sign-ups, social media shares, and referral traffic. Their chances of winning increase as they gather more points.
Remember, the moment you gamify the sharing of your product launch contest, it sets up a viral loop where a single entry organically brings in various other participants.
3 – Set Up Pre-Launch Viral Buzz
Pre-launch campaigns are a great way to shape the narrative when it comes to determining how your consumers will perceive the product, even before they have had a chance to experience it for themselves.
The best way to make sure this viral marketing technique generates a buzz for your product is to begin an online conversation with your target customers. However, do the needful prior to your product launch, preferably a few months earlier.
Release teasers and build anticipation for your product by posting content on social media networks. Give equal importance to the pre-launch phase as the actual promotion of your product.
Some common pre-launch promotions include:
- Free trials
- Branded hashtags
- Product teasers
- Mini ads
Tesla is a whiz when it comes to pre-launch marketing. The company never shares full spoilers; instead, they give the audience just enough to keep them wanting more. Remember, the use of the correct hashtags can work wonders for the upcoming launch of your product.
Think how effortless Lay’s #DoUsAFlavor campaign was in attracting prospective customers. By allowing them to vote for their favorite flavor, this strategy made them feel more involved on social media channels.
The viral hashtag marketing technique turned out to be extremely beneficial for the pre-launch of Lay’s new flavor when it was finally selected.
NetEase games went about it somewhat differently. Their new game Marvel Super War had 100,000 followers even before launch. First, they invited potential users to pre-register for the private beta, which meant submitting their email addresses. Subsequently, those people were promised free skins and in-game currency upon launch. The concept was simple – The greater the number of pre-registrations, more the rewards users would receive when the game finally launched.
4 – Collaborate with Influencers
Unfamiliar with the concept of influencer marketing? It’s quite simple and most brands nowadays opt for this type of campaign. Influencers are individuals who have built up a sizeable, loyal fan base comprising of a certain target audience, generally on social networks.
Influencer marketing is all about finding the best influencers for your product and working with them on unique marketing campaigns that increase sales and exposure. There are multiple reasons to collaborate with digital influencers, but the most noteworthy is how 89 percent of marketers acquire better ROI thanks to influencer marketing over other types of marketing channels.
What’s more, influencer marketing campaigns have the potential to go viral. They are entirely different from traditional advertisements, where the attention comes to a halt the moment you stop paying. But when influencers post something on their social media profiles, the posts continue to build interest and momentum over time. When you combine this along with several other influencer posts and branded hashtags simultaneously, the possibility of your new product going viral increases tremendously.
Diffuse your content as widely as possible but select the right group of influencers that fit your image and your campaign aesthetic. You will find hundreds of thousands of influencers on different social media websites recording their everyday activities, DIYs, reviews, and travel experiences for millions of their followers. Since they have already established a reputation in the industry, influencer word of mouth marketing is extremely valuable.
In fact, a survey found that nearly 40 percent of consumers bought products after seeing influencers use it on social media while almost 49 percent rely on recommendations and reviews from influencers while making purchase decisions.
Generate hype for your new product by limiting easy access. Influencers you collaborate with can share access or extend invites to their followers who are interested in learning more about your product. This builds curiosity and excitement around your product.
Supreme, for example, was born on the streets of New York. The skatewear brand gained exposure by capturing the attention of celebrities, like Drake, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, and Kate Moss. Supreme collaborated with various music artists to inspire their collections, and in the process, created authentic relationships to acquire momentum and enter collaborations.
You too should focus on creating genuine relationships with influencers by helping them with things they are involved with. Attend events with influencers and connect with them via social media before you bring up the subject of collaboration. Highlight the reasons for working with you and focus on how the collaboration is in line with the values, morals, and overall culture of your new product. At the same time, increase your product’s appeal as a premium item for a select group of individuals to create buzz.
5 – Maximize Your Revenue with Affiliate Programs
Ever heard the phrase, ‘You have to spend to make money’? Well, that’s definitely true in the case of viral marketing. For those willing to spend a percentage of every sale of their new product, they can work with bloggers for promoting the product to a large target audience. You will find lots of different affiliate programs online, such as Impact and Share a Sale. These help you become part of a program where bloggers are able to earn a minor commission for each product sale they generate.
Not only does affiliate marketing draw traffic to your new product website the easy way, but it also allows potential customers to make a purchase without hassle. However, make sure you keep profitability in mind before you sign up for an affiliate program.
Think about the amount of profit you will make with every sale. But always ensure that the commission you’re offering is less than the expected profit that you will receive from the sales. Otherwise, you might end up losing money on sales of your new product.
The methods you resort to for generating traffic via affiliate marketing will depend on your industry, preferences, and offers. A lot of marketers combine organic and paid sources. No matter which method you use for generating traffic to affiliate orders, make sure it stays consistent throughout. Even when it comes to paid traffic, the longer your campaign runs, the better it will perform.
The launch of a new product can be disastrous if you are unaware of the right marketing techniques. Remember, you have the final say about what’s best for the launch of your product. So come up with effective ways to strategize, design, conceptualize, plan, and execute a proper, foolproof marketing method. Keep your goals realistic and your viral campaign is sure to succeed.
Vishal Vivek is an eminent Indian serial entrepreneur. Despite having to shoulder huge family responsibilities at a tender age, lack of proper training, and a dearth of resources and funding, he started SEO Corporation and scaled it up to a well-known SEO Company with sheer will power and integrity of character. In the uncertain world of search engine optimization, he is one of the few experts who gives guarantees and honors them.
The Times Group recognized him as a legendary entrepreneur and published his biography in the book I Did IT (Vol 2) when he was just 30!