Did you know that influencer marketing can be one of the most powerful tactics to incorporate into a product launch plan?
Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to build brand awareness around a product launch since influencers represent key consumers that audiences trust. By partnering with influencers and asking them to share their experience with your new product, you can create buzz and convince their followers – your customers – to try it too.
From a consumer perspective, 65% of people report that they learn about new products and brands on a weekly basis from content creators, making influencer marketing an effective tactic to use when launching your new product.
Influencers can highlight features of your new product, create buzz around it, and generate content for you that can be used across your marketing initiatives. Are you ready to launch your new product with influencers? Then read on.
Define Clear Goals
When defining goals for a product launch, you’ll want to consider how your influencer strategy ladders up to your overarching goals for the product launch. Why is this new product needed? What problem are you trying to solve? Consider how influencers can play a role in answering these questions and further supporting your new product’s positioning to your target market.
Your influencer campaign needs to be built on a solid foundation and that starts with defining clear goals for what you hope to achieve with influencers. If you don’t outline your goals, how will you track towards successfully reaching them?
Some goals to consider are:
- What sort of content are you looking to generate by activating influencers? These can be sponsored posts, product reviews and/or organic experiences with your brand.
- Decide if you want to generate brand awareness, drive purchases or promote sign ups. Think through the consumer decision journey and where your influencer content will impact that journey.
- Select channels that align with your brand. If it’s a visually appealing product, you may opt for Instagram. If you need long-form content to showcase the full experience with your brand, then bloggers might be a good choice. If you want to promote your product with video, then YouTubers may be the right fit for your campaign.
- Define clear CTAs and provide them to your influencers along with unique links for each to track their performance when it comes to driving any conversions.
Come up with a creative campaign theme or a creative challenge for influencers so that they present your product in a fun way. Make sure your content theme resonates with the influencers and the audience you’re hoping to engage. You should always give influencers the creative freedom to put their own spin on the content so that it remains authentic to their voice and what their audience has come to expect and trust.
Developing creative campaign themes can be one of the most fun parts about working with content creators. If you’re unsure of where to begin, influencers can be a great sounding board or source of inspiration. Don’t be afraid to involve them early in the process so they can act as consultants to your content strategy. After all, they know their audience best!
Make a Pre-Launch Plan
- Draft Review – Do you want influencers to share a draft of their content before they publish it? If there are specific product details or functionality that will need to be reviewed by your marketing or legal teams, you should consider a draft review. This can add anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks to your campaign timeline. However, remember that draft review shouldn’t be used to change the influencers’ voice or experience with your product since it’s vital to maintain authenticity.
- Launch Date – Make sure content goes live only if and when your new product is widely available. This will ensure that your consumers will be able to purchase your product right away, after seeing the influencer generated content (IGC). Influencers can promote the product launch with social posts in the days leading up to the launch date and then provide their audience with links to purchase!
- Optimization – As you create your timeline and plan, you’ll want to monitor your influencer content and make time to review the content performance to understand how your target audience is responding and engaging. Allow for time to optimize and adjust your strategy for influencers who haven’t posted yet or for your brand’s own social channels.
- Product Review – Give influencers enough time to use the product before they write about it. The length of time needed will depend on your product and uses, but consider a week or more to start.
Treat Influencers like VIPs
Content creators and their perception of your product can greatly influence how your target audience will respond to it. Always keep in mind that it’s not just about your product. Influencers likely will be evaluating their entire experience with your brand, from initial outreach through posting to payment. Because of this, it’s important to set the right tone and establish a strong partnership from the very beginning.
When possible, it’s best to give influencers your product before it actually launches to the public. This will allow adequate time for your influencers to experience the product, ask questions, and give a true evaluation of it while they work on creating their content. You always want influencers to feel like they have “inside information” and by giving exclusive access to a new product before it launches, they’ll love feeling like a true partner and extension of your brand. You may also consider offering this feeling of exclusivity to your influencers’ audience by allowing a short window for them to order your product before it officially launches. Knowing that consumers love being the first to try something out, this can result in increased sales and in some cases, earned content from the influencers’ audience.
Identify the Right Influencers and Involve Them Early
To generate a lot of buzz around your new product and brand, you’ll want to carefully select the best influencers for your launch. When finalizing your influencer persona, you should define the target audience for your new product and then match it to your influencer’s audience. These influencers should have the same buyer persona as your intended audience and be able to reach a substantial group of that audience. Look at criteria such as demographics including age, gender, location, and any other important factors. You wouldn’t market a snowblower to an audience with a majority location in the south, so evaluating your influencers and their audience is important.
We also recommend inviting influencers who are already interested in your brand or product and thus will actually use it. You can do this through a platform like Mavrck, which allows you to include customizable questions in your application to invite influencers in order to solicit feedback on their shopping habits or category usage.
Lastly, you’ll want to select influencers with a social presence on the channels that are best for your goals. For long-form content, you’ll want to work with content creators who focus on blogs, YouTube, or other long-form channels. Consider if visual content or if more in-depth captions and writing is most valuable for your product launch, then select influencers based on these needs.
Think Beyond Social Sharing
Influencer marketing is a powerful tactic to generate IGC and reach an engaged audience. However, there are more ways to work with influencers that can support your product launch. As influencers are testing your new product for their content creation, you can also ask for and incorporate their product reviews directly into ecommerce via review syndication with Mavrck. This will help your consumers gain additional perspective when deciding to purchase your new product.
Through your campaign, you’ll be generating a lot of high-quality content from real people. Consider using these images on your product pages, which are more realistic than any staged studio photos typically used. You can also repurpose this IGC on your brand’s social channels and website, but always make sure to credit the influencers with links to their original post!
Influencers provide a powerful approach to product launches because they enable brands to take advantage of curated audiences to create buzz around new products. Be sure to give them exclusive access to your product and consider offering something to their audience as well. Product launches come and go, but influencer relationships work best when they are true partnerships. By working with influencers on an ongoing basis, you’ll not only create better working relationships with them, but they will become experts about your brand. Their audience will come to know your brand and products better over time, increasing performance and sales.
Launching a new product using influencers should be a fun process, so embrace it and enjoy the buzz you’re sure to get from working with influencers!