So you’ve developed a B2B product that might change or even revolutionize the world or a particular sector. You’ve had your beta testing and the response was great, it’s time to go out to the world.
Launching the product right is essential to your brand’s success in,both, short and long term. It’s critical to have a detailed launch plan as a startup to optimise the moment your teams have been working for.
It all starts with having a detailed plan with deadlines This includes every tiny task you need to get worked out before the big day. For startups the tasks have to mapped to the team members well in advance.
Here are some key ingredients for a great B2B product launch:
Plan your Emails:
It’s important to pre-plan your emails. Ideally aim to have 3 emails in your arsenal. One,informing the recipients of your amazing product and more importantly how it’ll enhance their business. The recipients must be in alignment with your ideal customer profile.
It’s important to note the type of messaging you’re going to use in your emails. It’s always tempting to write about what your product is about and it’s amazing features. But what most people tend to forget is that, the reader is more interested in how the product shall improve his work.
Here Scott from The Amazing Seller gave us some really useful insights before we ran our own campaign.
He focuses on the three crucial steps of writing any email that ‘sells’:
- Step 1(Subject Lines):
Writing a unique subject line remembering the formula ” Curiosity + Value = Attention “.
Always aim that writing a subject line that sparks curiosity and also adds value in order for them to open the mail. It’s important to create subject lines like enticing trailers which encourage you to watch the movie.
- Step 2(Story Telling):
So now they’re in,it’s time to make them stay. It’s always advisable to follow a compelling storytelling pattern that makes the reader glued till the end. Using the golden circle for storytelling is an effective method to reach out to your audiences. Read about this method in detail in the next section.
- Step 3(CTA buttons):
Use your CTA button wisely. It’s tempting to use multiple CTA buttons or ones that directly lead to the pricing page or sign up page but what most people fail to understand is that the reader is at an early stage in his buying journey. Using your CTA buttons wisely is crucial as using multiple buttons might confuse the reader and he might end up not clicking a single CTA button. Click here to read more about how to use your CTA buttons in the right way.
Content is King!
One can’t stress enough about the importance of content in a B2B phase. Unlike the B2C space, here buyers are driven by logic rather than by emotion. They like to educated about their problems in detail and also the valid solutions available around it.
Creating meaningful content around your target audience’s problems will prove to be a beneficial factor in the coming years of your business. This entire post is targeted at B2B startups, who launch new products and who are , not by coincidence, our target audience.
Using the golden circle designed by Simon Sinek, companies can create most of their content around this structure with the order being Why-How-What.
Most companies tend to focus on the ‘What?’ and ‘How?’ but miss the most crucial element which is the ‘Why?’. To elaborate this further let’s understand the individual components in it’s entirety:
It’s VERY important to have a clear vision of why your company exists other than to make money. People are going to be heavily impacted by your ‘WHY’ as this allows them to build a sense of trust with your Brand, making the decision making process later in their journey much easier.
It’s the mission and the vision of your company. It’s the story people are going to relate to the most, have a crystal clear idea of what problem your company exists to solve and also why does the problem exists in the first place.
We are in the Conversation Analytics space and following is our ‘WHY’:
Have your WHY figured out and all your content would have a compelling nature, driving more Inbound Leads to your business.
“People don’t care about your product, they only care about HOW it can make their lives better.” This is something that some companies learn really quickly and others learn the hard way. It’s always important to remember that no matter how amazing your features are, no one’s going to want to know about them unless you explain how those features can save them $10,000 a month or get 3x more leads.
One great example that I read on one of Intercom’s focused on the messaging used by Apple in the early IPod days. When Apple launched the IPod, MP3 players were a dime a dozen. Everyone was saying “1GB store on your MP3 player”- falling into the trap of feature based marketing.
Apple then went on and did this:
By deliberately removing the technicality in the messaging they eased the customer’s understanding of what 1GB would actually mean to him.
Now that you’ve sold someone your story and told them how it can benefit them, it’s important to back it all up with the features that you have. Features can help the customer connect the dots to the bigger picture and make that split decision.
Be aware of what differentiates your product from your competitors. In B2B SaaS, if you can demonstrate how your features will help the customer make his business better and how others have been using it to do the same, you have a great shot.
Webinars are a great source for finding new leads and is one of the best ways to drive engagement during your Product launch. It can be used a trailer to the movie and also the movie itself. In the B2B space, webinars are seen as a great source of quality leads.
Here are some key points to remember when you plan your Webinars:
- Choose a Killer Topic:
Don’t pick a topic that’s being discussed on every Tuesday and Thursday. Pick one that has been creating some buzz and yet has a lot of room for discussion.
Tip: Title/topic should be targeted, and must include a CTA, the product and feature benefit.
- Promote early and Often:
According to a survey on 350,000 webinars by GoToWebinar, a leading webinar platform, it was observed that more than 60% registrations happen in the same week and around 30% register on the day of the webinar. Hence, it’s important to promote your webinars with ideally 4 weeks in hand.
- Set a Registration Goal:
Set the number of registrants you’re aiming for and keep a performance track on a weekly basis to see whether your marketing efforts are moving forward. This will ease hyping up your promotion due to low numbers.Note: Registrant numbers differ from total attendee numbers.
- Schedule Wisely:
According to the research, Thursday is the best day to hold a webinar, followed by Wednesday and Tuesday.The best time to host a webinar is 11 a.m. local time, or, when working across multiple time zones, at 12 p.m. PST/3 p.m. EST. Working cross continents is a bit more of a challenge, so you may need to test different times based on where most of your audience is based.
- Engage your audience:
Encourage more questions throughout the webinar and try to cater to everyone’s queries. The person with the highest number of queries might just be the big ticket customer you’ve been waiting for. Don’t turn the webinar into a podcast.
- Offer a Recording:
Always offer a recording to anyone who registered but couldn’t attend for some reason. GoToWebinar found 84 percent of B2B consumers opt for webinar replays over live webinars. In fact, 26 percent of registrants only want to watch on-demand. Offer a gated recording on your website to reach these people and extend its shelf-life.
- Follow up:
Webinars tend to be more engaging than any other marketing channel. Considering this level of engagement, it’s crucial you follow up with your webinar attendees after the event. Depending on the webinar topic, it may make sense for sales to reach out directly to webinar attendees to schedule a demo or call. Follow-ups based on survey responses may also be appropriate.
PPC & SEO
Well as a Marketer you probably know this section like the Alphabet chart, but this is something that can’t be skipped while compiling a Launch Plan. PPC and SEO are like two brothers, one looking out for short terms goals and the other looking out for long term goals.
As a B2B product, your buyers/customers are most likely to spend a lot of time LinkedIn. Hence running a successful LinkedIn Campaign will give you great returns(LinkedIn ads are not cheap).
LinkedIn provides the following objectives for an Ad Campaign:
If you create a video around your Product Launch you could for ‘Video view’ under ‘Consideration’. Similarly, if you’re aiming to generate new leads with the release of a new product within your existing framework, you could great a Carousel and opt for Lead generation.
It’s extremely crucial to make sure you have the right data before you start your campaign so that you’re targeting the right people in the right way.
Search Engines can be tricky, it’s utterly important to keep your SEO health at par. With the rise of various free tools, the On-Page SEO game has become quite easy. SEO is not something that will give you instant results but integrating it with your launch plan will surely prove fruitful in the long run.
This should be a must-have on your list but not something that you should rush into. Product Hunt is a platform that lets users discover and launch various products. A good traction on Product Hunt shall be enough for acquiring the initial set of customers or give your business the push it needs.
Launching on product hunt itself includes a separate checklist that needs to be taken care of, do check this out before planning a successful launch on Product Hunt.
Leveraging the quality traffic of Product Hunt for gaining traction could be one of your major successes as a Product Marketer.