Launch a product.
How difficult it could be? You just do it once which should be enough.
In fact, you can launch your product continually and this article will show how to do so.
Change the way you used to think about launching. Most first-time founders think about launching as one-shot practice. That is why most people tend to prepare to launch six months beforehand. They try to get every pixel perfect before sharing it with the users. In this case, an organization is quite stressful since founders try to line up everything right with the timing. But if you're like most startups, unknown to the wide majority at the end of the day no one will care about the project. And if it will take you over six months to finally launch a product, your startup is probably going to be dead before you get another chance to launch. Therefore, think of the launching as something you can do again and again.
Why do you have to launch again and again?
To know people respond and collect some feedback. Before you have a fully-functioning product, you get the chance to practice your pitch and you can refine it. You have the opportunity to test it and see how people actually respond to the idea. Additionally, at the stage of MVP launching through different channels will give you the chance to see how people will respond to the early version of the product.
To know whether you’re targeting the right audience. Launching to the different channels will help you to determine whether you’ve been focusing on the right users.
To find the perfect channel for your product. It is a common practice that you may launch on one channel and do not get the expected results while launching on the other channel will get you a huge response. Covering as many channels as you can guarantee that you will find the perfect one specifically for your product.
So, destroy the idea that launch is just one moment in time and let’s talk about all possible ways how you can launch your product.
Recent statistics say that only four in ten startups have a landing page. It might be quite a small thing to have, however, it has a great impact on the launch of your product. So, this what we call silent launch.
The silent launch is the simplest way to launch your product. You don’t need extra resources, but rather:
Call to action.
The landing page should include basic information about your project. Just clear and brief intro, something that will catch the attention and could be informative for the end-users. The call to action can be like “Subscribe to our newsletter”, “Ask us some questions”, etc. For example, you can use the online constructors to build the landing page or you can hire the dev to build you one. Eventually, silent launch allow you collecting interest for potential users, so later you could operate with this information for your purpose.
Friends and family launch
Another option is to share the product with your friends and family. For instance, if you’re at the idea stage, you can test your assumptions by pitching on your family and friends. Seeing they respond will help you to get the earliest feedback.
Once you have an MVP, do friends and family launch as quickly as possible. For example, in its earliest days, Reddit was shared among the founders’ families and friends to get this first response and improve the product. So what we recommend you do is share the product with your friends and family, watching them use it and then ask for feedback. But don't stay in this phase for too long because your friends and family might not be the exact right, ideal user for your product or what you're building.
So, the next move would be to launch to strangers. Launch to the strangers could create a viral marketing campaign. For example, if your startup relates to the delivery services on demand it could be a smart move to test your idea based on strangers. So, before building a fully-functional application or product, try to rent a car or bicycle and approach people near the big malls. In this case, you can offer your services and find out the real challenges in this niche.
It will help you to build a community of potential users since you can tell about your project idea and spread the news on the production of the Uber-like delivery app. Launch to strangers is a great option to find out the customer pain points and try to solve them with your product. Such an approach is the best way to find out whether the users would pay for your product to have/use it. Later, based on this information you can build a killing business strategy and marketing campaigns to support your product’s value.
Currently, online communities rule the world. Therefore, you should plan a launch for every single community that you are a part of. Launching online communities is a fairly low-risk way to launch because it's not totally public, but there is enough of an audience there to get some feedback. You're launching in front of fairly friendly people who you know want to see you succeed.
So if you have an early version of your product, there is literally no reason that you shouldn't be launching to the online community. Also founders and other people making and building stuff, they give the best early-product feedback. As an example, you can send a link with some basic information like the name of the product and contacts to the platforms like Hacker News or Reddit. In this case, you can spread the news about your product, so people could visit your landing page, find out more information and perhaps, pre-order or subscribe for your services. In some rare cases, overnight you can get thousands of followers. But at the very least, you'll get some early users and you'll get some great feedback.
Being a part of the community before launching your product help you to get the rules and the best way how to talk to these communities. If it’s a community that's known for being helpful, ask for advice, ask for feedback. Furthermore, try not to sound like a marketing robot. Don’t sound fake. Instead, talk like humans when you’re addressing the community. The main factor why you’re joining the community is not to sell but to build a network and spread the news about your idea.
Request access launch
Another thing that you can do is to request access launch. First things first, write a post where you introduce yourself, talk about what you’re building and why you are doing it, how you came across the problem and you can solve it.then you could send it to different platforms and online communities with the request to share it. Note, that different platforms have different users, so shape your post according to the common requests. For example, some have intellectually curious readers so treat them with brief insights. Mention, your areas of expertise and don’t forget to motivate them to ask questions. By doing this you can build viral elements into your launches that will help get people to spread the word for you.
Social media is a great way to build your product brand voice. Launching to popular blogs that cover your industry or trade can be incredibly powerful. We suggest you to google and complete the list of the most suitable social media platforms. Afterward, check the SEO parameters to find the best option. Then, write all the bloggers and content managers from your list asking the opportunity to tell their readers about your new product. Don't be discouraged if you get only a few answers. Still, there could be the right shot.
You can launch via the press, too. Write a small piece describing your startup idea. Keep it short and focus on what it is you’re building and for whom you’re building it. Research the media outlets and send your piece. Note, that your aim is not to sell the product so do not concentrate on the marketing jargon, but rather intrigue the users with your product.
Being strategic means choosing the core audience. Establishing your base and build their confidence in you. Press is a great way to cover the mass population. Moreover, depending on the outlet you will target the different age groups of consumers. At the end of the day, the press will help you to build the voice of your startup and allow to spread the word about the product.
Pre-order is a campaign that will be suitable for physical products. You can research the most successful campaigns and get a vision of how the company's frame their business strategy. Pre-order suggests the presence of the product. Some brief bullet points why customers need to pay attention to your product. You can make a compelling video that you can pitch to the press. Try to engage the community form the very beginning. So by the time you launch a product, the users will be anticipated and ready to buy or download it. Don't be afraid to hit every additional launch button: community, social media, press, etc.. Eventually, all your effort will strike at the stage of launch.
The launch is not one particular time, it is a continuous process to approach and experimenting with the marketing channels. We are living in a time when everyone can feel the power of marketing and try the best approach to promote your product. We mentioned the basic ways of how you can launch continuously. Whether you will use silent launch, friends and family launch or launch on the social media platforms, the best piece of advice does not stop and trying to approach as much as possible platforms.
We hope that you will find this article useful in your future career endeavors. In case you still have any questions or suggestions feel free to contact us and we gladly assist you in any inquiries.