The shift to primarily virtual events and interactions has brought both challenges and successes to organizations. With virtual becoming the norm, a great deal of adaptation is and has been required to deliver value-added experiences for audiences. New product launches are an area that organizations have especially wrestled with in terms of how to best support them via a full virtual experience. To be sure, there are many aspects to consider when launching a new product in the virtual world. To help you make the most of it and engage your audiences, we examine several important aspects of a virtual product launch below.
Product launches require lots of prepare in any circumstance, so when a virtual twist is added, new elements come into play. Some products or services are best suited for certain types of launches versus others. For example, your product might be most effective if the new offering is presented in a video whereas another offering would be most benefited by having a virtual event. And if possible, both these and other introduction mediums can combine and serve the different preferences of individual audience members. Deciding what platforms or mediums are best suited for your product will help you maximize awareness and impact. Intel on this from current customers or prospects via existing engagement data can help inform these decisions. Understanding what they would like to see from a new product launch can help drive the planning and strategy in the direction that will be most useful for your organization and those that are potential buyers.
As the planning of your virtual product launch continues, there are a few aspects that need to be optimized for the experience to be the best it can be for both your organization and those that are attending the virtual launch. Here are some things to think about to make the most of your launch.
With everything being digital and online, social media takes on added importance as a place to interact with prospects, promote your offering and the virtual launch. For B2B marketers, LinkedIn is typically the platform of choice to talk about your launch. If you’re looking for a bigger audience, you can use LinkedIn ads to get your message out to others that match your audience criteria.
If your organization decides to create a virtual product launch event, choose the platform that is best suited to your needs. Platforms like Zoom, GoToWebinar and Hopin are among the many webcast platforms that can be used. Here are a few things to consider when choosing an online platform:
- Interactivity: If you want your audience to be able to interact and fully immerse themselves in the launch experience, ensure that your platform allows for those capabilities. Things such as chatrooms or messages, poll interaction and the ability to click on parts of the presentation are functions that help to keep viewers engaged.
- Accessibility: Record the live virtual event so that those unable to make it can watch it on-demand at their convenience. Transitioning your live presentation to on-demand allows for people to go back and re-watch it, or for those that missed it altogether, watch it for the first time.
- Flexibility: With all the great ideas that you have to make your virtual launch great, it is essential to consider what things you are flexible on, such as audience capacity and connection paths. Platforms will have limitations and not everything you envision will be able to happen, so choose a platform and a strategy that is flexible and can adapt to what is given to you.
- Visibility: Make sure that your brand is visible. Many platforms give you the capability to create and include customized content, including branded registration pages and supporting transactional emails. If there is an accompanying presentation or video at the event, ensure you have consistent branding and messaging across these materials.
Augment social media with additional marketing efforts to promote your launch and offering. Use email marketing to directly connect with customers in your database along with press releases for key media outlets to reach as many others as possible. Ensure that your website is up to date as well. It should showcase new offerings with well-developed landing pages that are informative and easy for users to access and consume.
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Benefits of a Virtual Product Launch
So, what benefits does a virtual product launch bring to the table? While there are some things that the virtual environment will not be able to match in comparison to in-person activities, they can make up for it in other ways that are useful.
- Tracking: When people sign up for your virtual product launch, view your launch video or download anything related, you can collect their contact information. Their email, name and any other useful details can then be used for follow-up marketing efforts or additional outreach.
- Budget: If you are hosting a virtual launch event, it can eliminate the cost of venue, staff, travel, accommodations and more associated with in-person events. If you are creating a video or other launch experience, it can also cut down on excess costs and allow you to streamline your budget to that video or additional content.
- Reach: There are no limitations as to who can be reached for a virtual launch. With in-person events, many times the audience is limited to who is close by or is invited and travels to. In the virtual environment, if they have the information to access the event, they can attend. The increase in reach is key, especially if your organization targets global brands.
The digital world continues to provide new opportunities and capabilities for organizations to get the word out about their offerings. When launching a new product, a virtual event, video or related interactive experience can be effective showcases. Depending on what your organization is looking for to present your new product, it is essential to ensure you are flexible and understanding of the many paths and possibilities. Carefully consider and plan what you would like to do and make your virtual product launch happen.