How to launch and market your product as a start-up.
Updated: Dec 20, 2022
As a startup founder, you have spent days and nights building your product and have gone through several trials and errors. And when you are satisfied with the product, you decide to launch it.
With excitement in your heart and a dream in your mind, you start sharing your product in different places. But unfortunately, you often do not get the desired outcome, and all the hard work seems to go in vain.
Suppose you are facing this situation or are just starting your startup and do not want to face the above problem. In that case, this article is for you.
Apart from building your startup, you also need to focus on finding the audience for whom you are making your product. And this is where marketing is helpful. Communicate your product with these audiences to have a successful launch.
In this article, we will look into the four-step digital marketing strategy for new product launch.
1. Create a customer persona:
According to FORBES, Five of the top 10 reasons for startup failures – were related to customers – not meeting customers' needs. To understand customers' needs, you need to identify who they are.
Creating a customer persona will help you identify them. For Apple's iPhone, their target persona is the Middle and Upper class, a high-earner person within the age range of 18 to 45. They desire a sense of achievement and belonging or want to express themselves. They are also determined and ambitious.
To create a target persona, you need to start interviewing and surveying people you believe have the problem your product will solve. Ask them about their pain points and what ideal solutions they are looking for. Also, include their demographic, interests, and likings.
Additionally, you can visit industry-specific forums or general forums like Quora or Reddit and look for people sharing their problems related to your topic. They are your ideal people to survey.
2. Sell yourself to your ideal customer:
Once you know your ideal customers, and you are the (co-) founder or owner of the startup it's time to position yourself as a thought leader on the topic. Tell the world who you are, your likes and dislikes. Let them know about your skills and personality.
Start replying to people's questions on forums, share your thoughts on different blogs, and, if possible, start your blog. Post regularly on social media and communicate with your audiences.
You can even share your experiences, from what happened in childhood to what you have learned recently. The more people know about you, the better.
Think about how many people worldwide know Tesla because of Elon Musk vs. how many people know Tesla because it manufactures electric cars. This is also reflected in their marketing spent. Did you know that according to Tesla’s SEC filing, Tesla has spent $0 on marketing?
3. Sell the idea to your audience:
At this point, you have an understanding of who your customers are and have created a following on different social media platforms. Now it's time to sell your idea and onboard some beta testers.
Start posting about the pain point which your product will solve and why it is crucial solving the pain point. And how the future will look once the pain point is solved.
Communicate all this with your followers, and you will start receiving some traction. Ask them if some of them are interested in testing your product and make a list of it.
Once you have an MVP (minimum viable product) of the product ready, share it with your beta tester list, regularly communicate with them, ask for their feedback, and keep improving the product. Share about the progress on your social media channels. Don't forget to take testimonials of your final product from the beta testers.
Doing this will help you improve your product and generate some eyeballs for your product. Here’s a master communication piece on how to sell an idea to your audience.
4. Sell the product to the world:
You know who your audience is and their pain point. You have a tested product that solves the problem. Now it's time to sell your product with a 4-week product launch plan.
Here's week wise strategy that you can follow:
4th week before the launch date:
Share the full story of the product and why you made it? Tell your experience of building the product: the fun time you had and all difficulties you faced. Publish thread on Twitter, share short videos on Instagram reels, Youtube shorts, and TikTok.
Write your mission and vision on a blog and share it on your social media channels. Also, create a landing page for the product. Tell people how your product will make their life easier, and share some testimonials of your beta tester. Inform them about the launch date on the landing page and have an email notification/opt-in option.
This is how Brian Chesky of Airbnb shared a new feature update on Twitter. You can do the same for the Twitter thread.
3rd week before the launch date:
You should get some eyeballs from your previous week's effort. It's time to gear up a bit more. It's communication and collaboration time.
Leading up to this week, try to set up as many podcasts and guest postings as possible. On those, you share what you are building and how it will make people's life easier. Also, talk about your mission and vision.
Post on industry-specific news forums, e.g., Indie Hackers, if you are launching a digital product.
Leverage relevant paid newsletters to your advantage. Find 50 to 100 paid newsletters that are working in your industry. Discuss pricing and placement, share a post about the product and its impact, and let them know the positive feedback you have received.
This guide by Paved Blog will tell you about paid newsletter sponsorship.
Visit some relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups and, with the admin's permission, talk about the pain you are solving and the benefits of your product. You also need to find relevant events and meetups to promote your product.
During this week you can also onboard some affiliates for your product launch. Affiliates only get paid once a person purchases your product. Give them limited-time access to your product if it's a digital product, or share the product with them for physical ones. They can experience your product which will help them to create content on it.
Also, keep on posting relevant content on social media channels. Post any updates about the product, share some industry-specific information, and keep special event days in mind.
2nd week before the launch date:
This week you need to take your social media to the next level and continue the previous week's work.
Leading up to this week you could start reaching out to different social media influencers that are a good fit for a one-on-one interview to highlight your product. During the interview, tell them why it is essential to solve the pain point and discuss your mission and vision.
Remember Avenger endgame, before their release date all cast and the director went for a one-on-one or group interview tour, you need to do the same here. You can watch one of such interviews here.
Make a launch video with the product in action and run a paid campaign targeting your potential customer on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Linkedin. Keep in mind that knowing your audience and where they spent most of their time will yield the best results if you advertise on their most frequently used channels.
Appsumo has a mastery of creating a product on action video. This is what they made for SurveySensum.
Your goal this week is to generate as much traffic as possible to the landing page you have created and increase your email list.
Note: don't forget the social media communication.
The launch Week:
The week of the launch is finally here. It's time to put the final touch on your marketing effort. Start with some press releases, write and seek PR opportunities with some renowned publications.
Run a paid campaign retargeting people who visited your landing page before, reminding them about the launch. If possible, share some discount codes as well.
Along with this, keep doing your previous week's activities. Join as many podcasts and one-on-one interviews as you can. Keep running the paid newsletter and also post regularly on social media platforms. Keep your audience engaged and updated.
The launch day:
The day of the launch is finally here. Invite all the registered members for a live launch event. Also, invite your beta testers to the event.
At the event, share your story of why you decided to build the product. Show your product in action and emphasis how your product will make the life of people much easier. And lastly, ask your beta testers to share their experience.
A sneak peeks into the Sophia Momodua clothing brand launch event. And this is how micro lino- the smallest electric car hosted its virtual launch event.
You can implement precisely the things discussed here as a digital marketing strategy for new product launch.
If this inspired you we encourage you to contact us at Big Guy Business Consulting with any questions, to learn something in more detail, or to share your experience.