We undertook this exact endeavor for a client in November of this year. With these four steps, the company went from under-the-radar to generating tens of thousands of impressions and interactions in just a few weeks.
1. Get Your Message Straight.
With limited time and a limited budget, you need to make sure all of your effort goes into telling the right story to the right people. It’s essential to take the time to develop strong, targeted messaging that will resonate with your customers. And don’t just go through the messaging exercise, actually use the messages that you create.
2. Leverage an Existing Event.Why start from scratch when you can anchor your launch to an event that has a lot of resources and planning behind it? Find out what tradeshows or conferences your customers are attending and tie your launch to one of these events. If you can’t afford a booth or don’t have enough lead time, try sending attendees to the show and give them tools to market your product in the aisles.
Don’t underestimate the power of smart, charismatic people in eye catching t-shirts at the event. Arm these roaming product ambassadors with concise, creative product literature (postcards are perfect) and make sure they know what messages to convey. See Step 3 for more tips on event preparation. Another alternative to paying big bucks for a tradeshow booth is to sponsor a breakfast or lunch. These opportunities are typically much less expensive than running a booth, and you’ll still get the list of pre-registered attendees. With this list, you can invite a few key customers for golf or dinner during the event. This will get you closer to closing a deal than talking on the show floor.
3. Do Your Homework.Walking into a tradeshow cold isn’t the way to maximize your impact. Before the show, start researching the hashtags affiliated with the event and its attendees. Follow people using these hashtags and start interacting. And make sure to do real-time monitoring and engagement during the show.
You can also make your product ambassadors, those folks in the cool t-shirts, more effective with good pre-show preparation--give them headshots/bios of key influencers (analysts, bloggers, etc.) to look for in the crowd.
4. Get Ready for Traffic.The goal of your event outreach will likely be to drive people to your website or encourage product/app downloads. Make sure your web presence is ready before the event so you aren’t left scrambling. You’ll need at least a teaser website and some social media activity. Bonus points for a quick, informative video that will show customers why they need your product.
See? You can do this! A launch doesn’t have to be a year in the making. And even if you aren’t in a time-crunch, the above tactics can be used as part of a broader product launch.
Martyn Crew is the CEO and founder of Bootstrap Marketing, a San Carlos-based digital marketing agency. Bootstrap works with industry leaders like SAP, high-growth companies like Pentaho and startups like Yeti Data to help them position their solutions with content and campaigns that help them get to market fast and stay ahead of their competition.