In my last post, I covered five ways to improve the effectiveness of your product launch:
- Involve the reporters, readers or viewers.
- Provide product samples.
- Arrange product reviews.
- Enlarge the announcement.
- Position the announcement as part of a trend.
Here are five more time-tested techniques to help your new product stand out in the crowd.
6. Prepare good visuals.
Editors of both online and offline publications need good visuals. Put some thought into an innovative photo or a good, eye-catching diagram. Some companies are using infographics to introduce their products, bypassing the traditional news release altogether.
Over the years, I’ve used everything from regular screen shots and “people pictures” to turn-of-the century ads and original cartoons. Almost always, those visuals have paid off handsomely in significant coverage.
7. Report on the product’s benefits
Make the product’s usefulness, purpose and benefit central to the story. When Roku and Netflix introduced the Netflix Player by Roku™, they emphasized that the device “enables Netflix subscribers to instantly stream a growing library of movies and TV episodes from Netflix directly to the TV.” They also pointed out that “the player is simple to install, easy to use and gives Netflix members instant access to more than 10,000 movies and TV episodes.”
The two companies did not describe the intricacies of the technology, or the details of their partnership. Instead they focused on what the viewer would get from the device.
8. Use the Web.
Capitalize on online tools. Before the announcement “seed” the announcement by participating in online industry or consumer groups related to the product. Respond to questions and offer advice freely. This will help position you as an expert, which will help your credibility come announcement time.
On announcement day, distribute the release over a wire service. Post information on LinkedIn and, if appropriate, Facebook, Pinterest and the like. Tweet your announcement. Provide all product information – visuals, demos, video – online. And, at bare minimum, post your announcement on your website. It may seem too obvious to mention, but it is overlooked only too often.
9. Capitalize on the media’s plans.
Monitor editorial calendars (listings of feature articles that the media has planned). It’s possible the editors are planning to cover a topic that might “fit” your product.
For example, I pitched a case study to an editor who had scheduled a story on construction management. The article, which covered 75 percent of a tabloid-size page, appeared before we had even formally launched my client’s construction management software, greatly enhancing the announcement that followed.
10. Present a historical perspective.
A “look backwards” can be a fun way to generate interest. We used that technique to introduce a treatment for menstrual cramps. I researched turn-of-the-century treatments and discovered Lydia Pickham’s Pink Pills (which were mainly alcohol). We included copies of Lydia’s ads in our press materials. (The copyright had expired.) Those ads were featured in dozens of articles and TV programs, increasing the general appeal of the announcement.
In short, think about how you can enhance your product announcement. Sometimes a little extra thought and care can dramatically increase your publicity.