product launch events

How to host digital product launch events that engage new audiences

Hosting product launch events online can help boost awareness of a new product. 

The digital space gives you scalability and flexibility with your campaign, allowing you to find influencers, share videos, and even reach consumers in the shopping aisle. Of course, the digital space can also be a bit crowded. To keep your product from getting lost in the noise, online events increase brand visibility.

Digital product launch campaigns can offer a higher ROI than real-world launches as overhead is limited. Brands can also gain access to a broader audience and use available tools to target the right consumers for their products. Mobile apps can help to increase awareness in the shopping aisle while social media components spread the word about your product. Case studies have proven the positive impact that product launch events hosted online have on sales.

Making the Most of Micro-Influencers

digital product launch eventsInfluencer marketing is nothing new. Brands have used spokespeople to share information about new products for decades. However, micro-influencers—individuals with minimal or niche followings—are often overlooked. People trust other customers more than they believe company advertising. One study showed that 56% of respondents trust the opinions of customer reviews. As consumers are more likely to trust other consumers, a micro-influencer marketing campaign is ideal for use in the digital space due to how rapidly word can spread online.

Starbucks is known for making use of micro-influencers when rolling out a new product. When they unveiled their new Unicorn Frappuccino, they took to mobile as a means of connecting with micro-influencers and sharing the word about the new drink. The Frappuccino was explicitly designed to capitalize on the trends of people sharing pictures of their food online and garnered an impressive 155,000 posts on Instagram. This drove interest in the drink and the brand as a whole.

Offering a product which is both unique and photogenic is only part of it. You also need to create hashtags and make efforts to engage the consumer and encourage them to follow and comment on the campaign. Often, this can be done by holding a contest or giveaway and making someone’s photo of your product the ticket for entry. These types of events build buzz for a given hashtag and increase awareness of a brand’s product.

Following the Consumer’s Lead With the Power of Video

Video is such a powerful converter, some brands choose to focus the brunt of their marketing on it. Kellogg’s Snack Division spends 70% of their marketing on YouTube according to Deanie Elsner, Division President. Kellogg uses a combination of user-generated content and pre-roll advertising spots to gain awareness for new products—or just new ways to use old products.

Take Pringles, the brand’s iconic potato chip line. Kellogg noticed that consumers were mixing and matching potato chips to create new flavors and capitalized on it. They created a campaign through YouTube which encouraged users to try one of more than 200,000 flavors available by mixing chips. Overall, the brand gained 60 million impressions and a countless amount of engagement. This video strategy was successful because the brand:  

  • Leveraged customer insight: Kellogg partnered with Google when gaining insight into the Pringles campaign and discovered hundreds of food hack videos talking about flavor stacking. As they listened to the consumers, they were able to create advertising content that engaged them.  
  • Kept it short: The brand created campaign spots that were only six seconds long and played before, during, and after primary content. A minimal length ensures that viewers watch all the way through, as the time investment in the commercial is minor.  
  • Targeted the right users: Kellogg is very careful to target their ads to the right audience while purchasing ad space on the YouTube platform to maximize interest and engagement. As they were doing this as part of a Super Bowl lead up, they targeted those who were likely to watch the Super Bowl and more importantly, hold events to celebrate it.  

This strategy was an excellent way for the Pringles brand to gain attention while also reaching a highly-targeted, active audience. Video, especially mobile video, offers a high ROI and can easily be used to draw attention to new products.

Using Location-Based Marketing During Product Launch Events

Something even more difficult than launching a new product is relaunching an entire brand. Rebranding was something Covergirl faced last fall. The brand was challenged by competing with younger, more digitally savvy brands and focused heavily on digital marketing to gain an edge.

Aside from creating an extensive library of videos and encouraging consumers to create user-generated content, the brand also leveraged Snapchat’s geo-filtering program which acted as a proximity marketing app. When the brand rolled out its Star Wars-themed line, it was exclusively available at Ulta. As such, when its followers posted photos or videos near these locations, they would receive a notification that they could use a Covergirl branded filter based on the line.

When a brand can reach a consumer as they’re shopping, the likelihood that that consumer will interact with the product increases.

This type of at-location advertising is something Shopkick leverages in connecting with consumers. When a brand can reach a consumer as they’re shopping, the likelihood that that consumer will interact with the product increases. When consumers use the app to scan products, Shopkick provides kicks (rewards points) that incentivize both interaction and purchase. This location-based messaging and communication offers a timely opportunity to draw attention to a product.  

Product launch events in the digital space can give a brand an edge by offering the ability to target its audience and reach them while they’re more motivated to make a purchase. Using features like video, images, and location-based marketing, a brand can gain the attention they need to have a successful debut.  

Shopkick offers a feature-rich shopping app that our partners use to gain attention and build buzz for new products. For more information, contact us.

Image courtesy of 88studio

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Dima Volovik

EVP of Product and Engineering

Dima Volovik is the EVP of Product and Engineering at Trax Retail — Shopkick.

Dima Volovik is the accomplished product and engineering leader who led teams to deliver innovative and commercially successful e-commerce products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions for Amazon, Comcast, Fandango, and Universal Music. Before joining Trax, Dima was the Director at Amazon, where he led product development and Engineering for Amazon Appstore and Amazon Prime Video, CTO at Fandango, and Paciolan, head of technology at Golf Channel/Golf Now, and Global VP of Direct to Consumer Technology at Universal Music Group. Dima’s expertise includes developing consumer products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions.

Dima grew up in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he received his MS in Electrical Engineering from Azerbaijan Oil Academy, and he currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his family.