How to Improve Your Product Launch with Influencer Marketing
One of the best times to launch an influencer marketing campaign is when your brand is releasing a new product to consumers. While it adds an extra layer of work to the product launch, an influencer marketing campaign will help you increase awareness surrounding the product, gain new traction in the market, and educate new audiences on the features of the new product. These should already be the goals of the marketing campaign surrounding the launch, so why not make it easier by utilizing influencers who can help you reach a larger audience?
Simply put, influencer marketing is the promotion of a brand’s products or services through influential endorsements made by users who have established a community of loyal followers. Many confuse influence with popularity and think that just because someone has a large social media following they are an influencer. This is wrong. If their followers don’t take action on the information that person is giving them, they aren’t actually influencing their audience.
When you’re ready to develop an influencer marketing campaign surrounding your product launch, there are a few things you’ll want to consider:
1. Keep Your Timeline Top of Mind
When you’re launching a new product and an influencer campaign on top of it, the last thing you want to do is procrastinate your planning. At the very latest, you should leave at least one month of time ahead of your launch to create the messaging and materials needed for the campaign. You will also need this time to create a list of the ideal influencers you want to with on the product launch campaign and start reaching out to them in order to lock in partnerships for the launch. This is a process that takes time, especially if you want your influencers to put up teaser posts leading up to the launch. Allow at least one month in advance to start establishing influencer partnerships and sending these influencers product.
2. Provide Early Access
A great way to entice influencers into working with you, aside from having a great product, is to offer them a sneak peek to the product ahead of the launch. This allows the influencer to be the first person to try the product and share the product details with his or her audience prior to it going live online or going on shelf in-store. Not only does this allow the influencer enough time to try and review the product, but it also gives their audience time to ask product-specific questions and get answers before they even have the option to purchase it. This buzz will generate engagement and excitement around the product launch and consumers will know exactly when the product is launched and where they can purchase it.
Keep in mind that you don’t want influencers to share information about the product too early or else it will lose momentum prior to the launch. We recommend having influencers post for one to two weeks leading up to the product launch. This is just enough time to generate interest while ensuring that audiences are still eager to purchase the product when it finally hits the market.
3. Content Creation… And Lots of it!
One of the biggest benefits for your brand of working with influencers on a product launch is the abundance of authentic, content that will be created. After all, influencers are content creators. And as such, they are usually capable of producing excellent imagery, testimonials, and video footage based on their specialty and all featuring your product.
Once it’s created, this content can be repurposed to help support your brand’s internal marketing efforts. Whether that may be reposting the imagery or testimonials on social, sharing it on your website, or using the influencer content in paid advertisements on social media. Just ensure you have the rights to the influencer image prior to sharing.
4. Host Contests and Giveaways
To generate more engagement and buzz around the product launch you can host a contest or giveaway with your influencers, allowing them to giveaway the new product to a handful of their audience. The sky’s the limit here so use your imagination, get creative, and listen to the feedback your influencer has, chances are they’ve worked with other brands and know what type of content resonates best with their audience.
5. Don’t Neglect Campaign Best Practices
Just because you want to move quickly prior to the new product launch doesn’t mean you should neglect any campaign best practices or skip any steps. You still need to make sure you are covering the bases and following through on anything you put in motion. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Measure Following-to-Engagement Ratio – This seems obvious, but only work with influencers who are actually influential and will drive audiences to purchase your new product. Carefully scan things like engagement rates and comments on the influencers’ posts to ensure they aren’t inflating their reach from involvement in pods.
- Always Negotiate – Alway negotiate the payments for your influencers using a campaign-based partnership model. This means the influencer gets paid for doing a series of posts as opposed to a singular, one-off post. You’ll get more content and more bang for your buck this way.
- Finalize Influencer Contracts – Once you have worked out all the finer details with your influencer, crease a campaign agreement that specifies the posting guidelines, timeline, and sponsored payment terms. This will also be where you define those content rights which we mentioned earlier.
- Provide Individualized Codes – Provide each influencer with a custom UTM link and be specific with where you’d like the influencer to place this link. This will allow you to measure any traffic driven back to the brand’s website from each influencers post, as well as the number of new users and transactions completed with total spend.
- Brand Alignment – Do not disregard your carefully crafted and thoughtful brand in favor of an influencer you think might be able to simply drive sales. Instead, find influencers whose audiences truly align with your brand, making sure they post content that matches what you and your products stand for, not just the reach you are looking for. This will benefit you in the long run because your products and the surrounding messaging will resonate better with their audience and you’ll likely see higher engagement rates as a result.
Launching a new product is a stressful time, but an important part of that process is developing a successful marketing campaign to introduce your product to the marketplace. Instead of trying to do all that heavy lifting yourself, you can enlist the help of influencers who will catapult your product out into the world. Your message will get farther with slightly less effort so long as you meticulously plan, work with the right influencers, and follow a thoughtful timeline.