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Amplifying product reach via social media

popkornIt is often said unveiling a product is easy but getting people interested is the real job when companies are vying for viable opportunities to expand their reach. This is one of the major reasons why many businesses prefer to avail the services of a PR agency only when it comes to buzz building. PR strategy for a product launch encompasses a series of activities such as issuing a press release, interacting with journalists, product trials by influencers etc. If everything goes planned, audiences become aware of the product through newspapers, advertisements and experiential write-ups.

Apart from devoting proper time and attention, it is important to build up the market. Online channels are being increasingly used by businesses to bolster overall presence. In fact, there has been a budget diversion in favour of exercises as opposed to seeding in the conventional media. Since audiences spend considerable time on social channels, PR agencies assisting businesses with product unveilings leverage the emerging media to build interest.

In the recent times, product-oriented businesses around the globe have started to realise that it is key to tap the ever-growing audience base of social platforms such as Facebook and hence started to develop video content accordingly. While digital platforms are widely used to build post launch interest among the target audience, pre-launch buzz creation demands attention as well. Engaging people via an experience that will form an emotional connect with the brand is what businesses and PR agencies should emphasise upon.

Understanding that boosting product outreach can make or break the image of a company, here are few platforms that can bolster the reach of a newly launched product among the stakeholders and help curtail the reliance on traditional media.

  • 360-degree videos

Such exercises allow users to get a cross-angle view and give them an experiential insight. Most appropriate for travel companies offering holiday packages, both Facebook and YouTube are currently hosting videos.

Reports suggest that entertainment channel Star Plus adopted this tactic for their programme ‘Dance Plus’ on YouTube before the unveiling programme. This eventually bolstered the viewership of the show during the first episode itself.

  • Send out launch invites

If you are a PR agency and sending out mass mailed launch invites to the stakeholders, nobody would take notice of it. To make the stakeholders interested in the launch invites, it is key to engage them right from the beginning. A quirky invite is considered as an effective way to generate curiosity or initiating an experiential campaign during the pre-launch stage helps to lure audiences and media successfully.

This strategy was recently adopted by the prominent casual wear brand GAP India when they sent out a branded blue lunchbox during the launch of its two new stores. The initiative was hugely popular across Instagram & Twitter.

  • Teasers

Everyone loves suspense. Marketing gurus vouch for creating secrecy around a new product unveiling to tempt the stakeholders and attract the attention of media. This is why many brands deliberately share some key details or images to build buzz before the actual product launch.

Mahindra & Mahindra released design sketches of the compact SUV, TUV300, which was inspired by a battle tank. Media reports suggest that it’s launch event became the most awaited one in the Indian automobile domain. In fact, by the time the vehicle was launched, its popularity had surged tremendously.

  • Use of live streaming tools and applications

Twitter’s Periscope, YouTube’s live streaming and Facebook Live has successfully carved a niche for itself in the social media world. PR agencies have stressed on the relevance of using these tools as they have been engaging with the online communities of a brand making use of live video feed. Moreover, they also allow the users to interact and share comments as well.

The 2016 Auto Expo has witnessed the live streaming of the Jaguar XE’s launch via Facebook Live and Twitter’s periscope.

  • Social media unveiling

The trend of initiating flash sales on eCommerce websites has emerged as a trending phenomenon. Since PR firms are an integral part of social media now, they favour the use of the selective approach. Top PR agencies prefer the introduction of products first on social media platforms as incentivising stakeholder’s presence via exclusive access strengthens the presence of products, which eventually builds affinity towards a brand.

Heinz launched a limited edition balsamic vinegar ketchup on sale exclusively for its UK Facebook page.  The food-processing giant has displayed an inclination to follow the same approach in other markets as well.

  • Client touchpoints

Some of the important brand extensions that should not be ignored are retail stores, client support team, associate channels, social communities, direct mailers etc. Although these mentioned touchpoints are more prominently used after the product launch, but activating them before helps to deepen engagement feel PR agencies.

Over the years, Apple Inc has been using this tactic successfully and mastered the art of leveraging the client touchpoints. It always takes the online store offline just hours before the unveiling of any new product. Consumers are not allowed to buy until the launch is complete.

  • Facebook events

Many use Facebook events to send out invitations for a private occasion where only a handful is invited. As a PR professional, is it possible to maximise its potential? Create an event and use Facebook events to apprise people about the latest happenings.

The events that demand the follower’s participation in person can be leveraged.

Conclusion

Are you geared up to unveil your next product via social media? Only a well-executed product launch is capable of wooing the target audiences. Hence, don’t try to cut corners and aim to launch your product with a bang as it can make a considerable difference to the overall selling lifecycle.

Also Read: Key trends that will define how businesses leverage social channels in 2017

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