When your company has a sudden shift in its product mix, your marketing tactics need to evolve.
Exploring a new product category is a huge opportunity, but it can be tough to define its place in your universe. It’s up to marketers to come up with clear, compelling, and cohesive messaging. Marketing managers must pave their way with a strategy for launch and beyond.
Here’s how you can use digital marketing tactics to prepare:
1. First, Take Another Look at Your Buyer Personas.
Before you do anything, hit up your oldest friends – your buyer personas, that is.
Odds are good any new product or service has a logical relationship to your existing portfolio. But that’s not always the case, and obvious connections can be overlooked. Pore over buyer personas to see where your newest entry could relate to their needs.
This should allow you to narrow your existing customers to a subset that can capture immediate value. That, in turn, empowers you to craft a relevant message for your product launch campaign and ongoing content.
2. Ask Yourself: What’s Your Promised Experience?
To get people pumped about new products, you have to focus on continuity.
This is true for both your target audience and your team members. The more you’re able to draw a connection between your new endeavor and your trusted strength, the easier it’ll be to build out your campaigns without reinventing the wheel.
Now’s the time to double back and take a close look at your company’s values statement and history. Every brand has stories it tells about itself: Which stories can you emphasize that will make sense of the switch? And how can you use that knowledge in your marketing tactics?
3. Brief Your Team on the New Products.
Your marketing team might be far from the target audience of your new product, but you should still spend some time with it. The more familiar you are with its ins and outs, the better.
It’s a good idea to collaborate with someone who can walk you through the product exactly the way a customer would onboard. In a SaaS company, for example, this might be a sales engineer – the person who facilitates demonstrations with client decision makers.
Also review the documentation and any content developed for the product by other teams.
4. Do Your Homework on New Marketing Channels.
To make sure your marketing connects with the right leads at the right time, you’ll have to re-examine your assumptions about where to find them. When evaluating products in a new category, even your longstanding customers may have different habits.
That typically means they’re going to different platforms and listening to different influencers.
Let your team loose on the challenge of figuring out where your customers meet and hang out. Once you’ve identified the right platforms, familiarize yourself by reading some recent content. Figure out what kind of message resonates, so you’ll be able to plan collaborations and paid placements.
5. Make the Big Announcement.
Working with the product management team, you should treat the announcement of a new product line as a test run for your marketing strategy.
These days, this type of announcement will usually be made via your email list and social media, leading viewers to a video where they can learn more.
Be sure you’ve got analytics running on this “mini-campaign” so you can get your first solid lessons on how people are responding in real time. Afterwards, go over your results as a group.
6. Then, Offer Existing Customers an Exclusive Preview.
No matter who your customers are or where they come from, at least one thing unites them all.
It’s not their business priorities. It’s not their opinion of your brand.
It’s the fact that everyone loves to be an exclusive “insider.”
Even in the B2B world, scarcity and hype can be powerful elements of a promotion. Customers who accept your new product as a competitive differentiator are more likely to become early adopters. To get them to that point, they need to see your work in action.
A preview doesn’t have to be a full-featured demo. It can take the form of a webinar or a video series, for example. But it should give them the inside scoop – info they can’t get anywhere else.
7. Develop New Content, Landing Pages, and CTAs.
When you pivot to a new category, don’t neglect your trusted marketing tactics. Ensure you have landing pages for every product and service. Ideally, you can go even more granular, launching with a landing page laser-focused on each potential buyer persona and use case.
Naturally, you’ll want to start loading up on helpful, informative, optimized web content as soon as you can. You can even update or cross-link your existing content to guide visitors in this direction. All new content should end with a spicy CTA related to whatever you’re selling.
8. Use Email Marketing to Keep Subscribers Engaged.
Email marketing is the best way to leverage your brand equity and direct attention where you need it. You can use email marketing to amplify any other marketing tactics, especially content marketing and previews.
Remember, you can usually send out three blasts on the same topic before your subscribers start to get exhausted.
9. Host a Digital Event to Create Buy-In.
Solo entrepreneurs and small businesses report phenomenal success with webinars, the original “one to many” route for sharing groundbreaking news. It’s best to go with a live event so you can host a Q&A. That gives you terrific insights on what leads think of your new concept.
One of the fun things about any webinar is that it enters your content ecosystem fast. Offer a replay to appeal to leads who couldn’t attend the original stream. Then, a month or so later, you can integrate the webinar and any associated content into your public-facing website.
10. Offer an Upgrade to Your Active Customers.
Limited time offers don’t always have the same pull with B2B leaders as they do with consumers. Look for ways to make your initial upgrade offering special, providing resources that go above and beyond a better price.
This is useful in SaaS: By creating an enhanced tier of service that distinguishes early adopters, you’ll get some “wait and see” business off the fence.
11. Share Reviews and Testimonials as They Come In.
As always, early adopters should be a high priority. Not only will they provide you with excellent feedback, but they’re also a goldmine of social proof. Be certain someone is following up with them, whether that means somebody from sales, account management, or customer success.
Once you’ve verified a customer is satisfied (or better, thrilled), you can request a testimonial. Also be aware of where, when, and how customers will leave reviews. You can ask for these as well, but many customers will post reviews independently on third-party sites.
Hoard five-star reviews like treasure. Showcase the best ones on your product pages and shopping carts.
If you’re already following inbound marketing best practices, bringing a new product on board isn’t so hard ... even if it’s in an unexplored category. These marketing tactics will leverage your existing customer base and open the door to newcomers.