Whatever type of wedding business you run – bridal boutique, florist, stationery, accessories – you want to keep your product range fresh and up-to-date. After all, generating additional revenue and keeping up with trends is all part of your growth strategy. And the wedding industry is simply crying out for your new product line, even if it doesn’t know it yet. Great!
It’s also a great opportunity to generate some PR, so don’t just update your website and forget it.
But, just how do you do organise a product launch?
We asked Ellan Cambell-Swann of Sixty7 PR to share her top tips.
Launching a new product or collection is simple, so long as you have done your research and plan it well – and, contrary to what you might have been told by the likes of Edina Monsoon in Absolutely Fabulous, you don’t have to spend a fortune on expensive PR agency fees! Just remember these three things and you can’t go wrong; start early, keep up momentum and stick to the schedule!
Deciding how you want to introduce the new line to your unsuspecting market is the first step. Do you want a virtual launch online or would a real launch party be more effective? Holding a real launch event brings its own list of tasks and arrangements to organise (for another blog!), but whatever you choose to do the following 11 tips apply…..
8-12 weeks before:
1. Create a pre-launch page for your website, asking people to register their interest. Include an early sign-up incentive (e.g. a discount or a freebie such as free RSVP cards with invitations). Use phrases such as “Be the first to try….”.
2. Look for volunteers to try the product (for free) before it is available to the rest of the world in return for agreeing to post a review on your website. Third party endorsement is a very powerful tool – and your ‘testers’ will probably be delighted to be in your trusted Inner Circle and part of the process.
3. Identify the wedding magazines and blogs that you’d like to feature your new product, contacting the relevant editor/reporter to let them know about it, offering a free trial in return for a featured preview (invite them to your launch event if you are holding one). It usually only takes a phone call to find out who you should be talking to and the best way to contact them. Target the publications that your competitors use and cover similar products for similar customers.
4-8 weeks before:
4. Go live with your pre-launch page on your website and start a social media campaign across all your social media platforms – including a link to the page on your website.
5. Blog about your new product line, your pre-launch incentive and the progress of your forthcoming launch on your website. Tell the story of your product, include reviews from your Inner Circle, and direct readers to the incentive on your pre-launch page. Post links to your blogs, preferably with photos, across your social media channels, encouraging follower to share.
1-4 weeks before:
6. Prepare a press release about your launch and circulate to your Press contacts. Keep it simple, tell the story, try to give it a unique angle and focus on the benefits (resist the temptation to list the features).
7. Create a short video ‘vlog’ about your new product line and upload this onto YouTube and your website. Post a link across all your social media platforms, making sure you send it to your Press contacts too, and encourage your followers to share it.
Only 1 week to go:
8. Invite your Press contacts and favourite customers, partners and suppliers to a Preview of the launch so that you can demonstrate the product – this can be done online if preferred. Encourage them all to post about it via their social media channels – they can help to market your product for you!
9. Send an email to all those who have signed up on your pre-launch web page reminding them about launch day and keep up the momentum on your social media platforms including links to any media coverage you’ve achieved. Encourage your followers to share, share, share!
It’s Launch Day!!!
10. Post updates and news on social media about how your launch is doing, include photos if you can, and keep encouraging your followers to share the news. Offer incentives (freebies, discounts etc.) to those sharing to keep them engaged and make them feel involved.
11. Remember to thank people for following your product launch and getting involved!
And finally, don’t forget to enjoy it!
Ellan Campbell-Swann is a PR, Marketing & Events specialist. She launched sixty7 in 2013 to help small businesses make an impact and gain the recognition they deserve, combining a wealth of professional experience, commercial know-how and creative thinking to deliver exceptional results. Her unique PR, marketing and event production/management skills are regularly called upon by her clients in a number of industry sectors.