In this day and age, I consider a website or mobile application to fall under the product category. That being said, launching your product into the world is an unbelievably exciting moment. It’s something that TV shows such as Silicon Valley portray as a bunch of guys in t-shirts huddled around a single computer, they press a button, and boom- thousands of visitors are flocking their site. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case; however, I’ve compiled a list of things you could do so your product launch doesn’t go unnoticed.
Create a Landing Page
Secure a domain for your company and create a simple landing page. You could build it yourself or use Squarespace or Wix to create an aesthetically pleasing landing page in only a couple of minutes. Make sure to keep it simple. Throw up your logo, a tagline about what your product will do, and give people a reason to get excited about it. This is the first step to being able to market and sell your product. The page should showcase the brand you are trying to create and give just enough information for visitors to take interest. Also be sure to have an email form clearly visible on the landing page so visitors can subscribe (more on that next).
Curate an Email List
Having a large list of subscribers can be a massive advantage. For example, some authors have email lists with thousands of subscribers / fans. As soon as that author is planning to release a new book, they can reach thousands of people instantly by sending a single email. If you are a first time entrepreneur or someone who’s not a ‘big name’, it’s a bit more difficult to build a huge list. However, if you product truly provides value (or will), those in your target market should be interested in getting updates and staying in the know about the release of your product. That being said, find your target market and get them to subscribe so they’re ‘the first to know about the release’.
For example, if you’re an independent musician and you come across a website that guarantees thousands of new listeners, you would probably want to subscribe to their email list. That way you can benefit from the website when it goes live. Once you have a list of subscribers, continue to update them every few weeks (but not too often) about any updates and hype up the big launch date as it approaches.
Utilize Social Media
Social media is an essential medium to utilize to build up brand awareness and connect to your market. Create social media pages for your company on all major platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram). Throw up your logo as the default picture and be sure to add a description about your company / product so people know what you do. It’s also good practice to customize the URL to the name of your company for SEO purposes.
Start following people in your target market and publish content or ‘sneak peaks’ to keep your audience engaged. If you provide valuable content, people will share it, thus you can grow your audience organically. You could always boost your posts to grow a larger audience as well. The more followers / likes you have on social media, the larger your audience to promote your big launch.
Having a company blog is advantageous for many reasons. It can help boost your SEO, allows you to distribute original content to your audience, builds brand awareness, and a bunch of other benefits. Creating a company blog and releasing original content about the ‘behind the scenes’ or you product or other entrepreneurial type content could be helpful for others to follow your journey and keep your product relevant.
You can also blog independently on platforms such as Medium, WordPress, or guest blog for other companies or publications. This allows you as an individual an opportunity to grow your audience. Growing your audience helps you create a reputation and following, so you can distribute information about your upcoming launch to people who enjoy reading your work.
Hacker News and Product Hunt
Hacker News is a social news website run by Y Combinator to discuss and promote entrepreneurship and technology. On your big launch day, it’s a great place to post about your launch. The platform is filled with entrepreneurs, techies, bloggers, and investors.
Product Hunt is a platform that lets users share and discover products. It’s essentially where ‘early-adopters’ hangout and discover new things. The site is also littered with entrepreneurs, techies, bloggers, and investors – so a great platform to utilize. Launching successfully on Product Hunt is a bit more complicated than just simply posting. There are a ton of blogs and articles about what others have done to make their launch successful on Product Hunt. There’s also a ton of testimonies about how a successful Product Hunt launch lead to thousands of new users and a ton of revenue. It’s definitely worth looking into.
P.s. VentureStorm is looking to launch on Product Hunt in a few weeks, so we’ll be sure to post about our experiences on the site in the coming weeks.
Another way to reach a large audience is to have bloggers or writers create content about your company or product for a larger publication. For large publications such as TechCrunch, Mashable, Entrepreneur, Forbes, etc., there are a ton of writers who focus on particular topics. Some focus on early stage startups and would love to be the first to write about something new. You can follow those writers and engage with them to build some sort of relationship. Then it may be worth reaching out to see if they’d want to feature your company / product in an upcoming article or post.
As your launch date approaches, you should be very active on your social media channels, emailing your subscribers, blogging, and lining up and articles and features to be released to promote ‘the big day’. Ideally, launch day should be a perfect storm of all of those methods listed above coming together to create some sort of splash as your product goes live. Hopefully, that leads to a successful launch that will in turn create more buzz about your product. Now you just need to sustain that buzz and continue to grow and improve your product!
By Tyler Denk