A business or product launch is a very exciting time for any small business owner. Whether you’re launching an entirely new service, a seasonal menu, or are opening another shop, it’s vital to let your customers know about the launch. But how do you decide which business & product launch ideas are best for your small business?
Creating a buzz around your new launch can mean the difference between succeeding and failing. I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite business & product launch ideas for small businesses to help you have a successful launch.
These ideas can all be used alone or together – I’d recommend picking a few of the ones most relevant to your small business and creating a launch campaign that covers all angles.
1. Teaser campaign
First, you’ll want to start off by dropping some hints that a new business, product, or service is coming. This will help to build excitement, get people interested, and make them remember your brand. Teaser campaigns work particularly well on social media as you can make them very interactive.
For example, you could put up a social media post with the date of the new product launch and a couple of clues, and ask your followers to guess what the new business or product will be. As it gets closer to the launch date, you can post more and more clues before finally revealing what your brand-new product is. This gives you a great structure for your social media, which makes a huge difference when creating content!
And don’t forget, launching is exciting but you’ll be juggling a lot of plates – so reduce overwhelm as much as possible.
2. Video trailer
The movie industry has been using trailers for decades to launch upcoming films, so why not borrow their idea for your own launch? Videos are a great way to show off your new product and let customers know how the new product is going to make their life better.
Videos can be used on social media, in email campaigns, or on your website. Particularly when launching an entirely new business, a video can be an excellent way to really tell your story.
Your video could be like a traditional trailer, showing snippets of the new business or product and announcing the launch date. Or, it could be a more informational video showing how the new service works.
It could even be a funny video showing your brand’s personality – just make sure it’s in keeping with your small business’s branding and tone of voice!
3. Influencer marketing
Another great way to launch your new product or business is to work with influencers on an influencer marketing campaign. Send your product to a few targeted influencers ahead of the launch to allow them to try it out. They can then review the product and give their followers a sneak preview.
If an influencer loves a product, it’s likely that their followers will too – so you’ll instantly be introduced to a whole new audience who may go on to purchase from you. Just make sure you do your homework – a large follower number isn’t always a guarantee of success. Often small influencers with high engagement levels are the best choice!
There are lots of options when it comes to promoting launches with influencers. You could simply send the product for a review, or you could pay influencers to become brand ambassadors. You could even offer them a special discount code to encourage their followers to purchase the new product.
Find out more about how to grow your small business with influencer marketing.
4. Pre-Orders and Waiting Lists
Another great business & product launch idea is to take pre-orders. This will allow you to gauge how much interest there is in the new product, and make sure you’re prepared with enough stock for launch day.
It also means you can start earning money before the product has even launched, which can be really helpful for small businesses!
To encourage customers to pre-order your product, you’ll need to offer them an incentive. For example, they could get the product delivered a day before anyone else. Or they could receive a 10% discount or a free gift with their order. Depending on what type of product you’re launching, you could even offer personalisations for pre-order customers.
As for launching a new service-based business, allowing customers to sign up to a waiting list before launch is another great way of gauging interest. Early-bird discounts or including a free downloadable item are great ideas for small business and product launches, too!
5. Giveaways and competitions
Everyone loves a freebie, so giveaways and competitions are a great way to get people interested in your launch. You might want to run the competition on your own social media channels. Not only will this increase awareness of the new product, but you’ll also gain new followers who may be interested in purchasing from you.
This is incredibly useful when it comes to a new business launch, as building that initial following is so important! The bigger the giveaway, the more attention it usually receives. So try to offer something exclusive, or a “money can’t buy” prize.
You could also work with influencers to run giveaways and competitions on their channels. They already have a highly engaged audience, so tap into it!
This will put your product in front of thousands of interested people. Even if they don’t win the competition, they’ll be much more likely to remember your brand when purchasing something in the future.
6. Plan a launch event
No new business or product launch is complete without a launch party! An event is a great way to create some buzz around your brand or product. Invite some influencers, local businesses or loyal customers and encourage them to share snaps of the event on social media to help spread the word. You can also use the event as a chance to give demonstrations of the product or gift VIP guests with their own product to take home.
The type of event you hold depends on what your new small business is or what new product you’re launching. For example, if it’s a new restaurant, you might want to host a dinner so key press contacts and influencers can try it out the night before it launches to the public.
If you’re planning to launch a new piece of tech, why not hold a small conference with local industry names and a special preview of your new product? If you’re opening a new shop, get balloons, cake and prosecco and invite your best customers for a shopping evening with 20% off everything to help launch the new store.
And remember – your event doesn’t have to be in person. Virtual events are rising in popularity thanks to the events of 2020. The great thing about going digital is that it doesn’t restrict you in terms of geography! You can invite guests from further afield to join in.
A zoom party or Facebook live can be a great way to celebrate and create a buzz around your launch, without having to be in the same room as your customers. You can still show off your new product/discuss your new service and offer a discount to attendees!
Check out my post on becoming a pro in video calls for some top tips!
Collaboration is a powerful tool for small businesses. Working together with another small business can be a great way to launch your business or product. Not only will it be exciting and something a little bit different for your customers, but it will also introduce you to a new audience.
There are lots of different ways to collaborate. For example, your favourite local café might be the perfect place to host your launch party. Or a great local artist might be the perfect person to design your new product’s packaging.
Read more about how to set up a successful marketing collaboration.
8. Build a story
With hundreds of other small businesses to compete with, it’s important to make yours stand out when you’re launching a new business or product. A good way to do this is to build a story around your brand, to make people connect with you. This will help them remember your small business and want to purchase from you.
This story should be consistent across your whole launch campaign. Write a press release with information about the business or product (as well as how it was created and your small business story) to encourage newspapers, magazines and online sites to write about you.
Use this same story across your website, social media, email marketing and leaflets to strengthen your brand. When it comes to business or product launch ideas, this is one that you certainly shouldn’t skip!
9. Email campaign
People who have signed up to your mailing list are already really interested in your business, so don’t forget to let them know all about your new product launch.
If they’re on your mailing list, chances are they’ve already bought something from you before (or are intending to buy something), so it’s very likely they’ll want to buy your new product too.
Start early when it comes to building an email list for a new business launch. Make your sign up link available on your website or social media in advance of the official launch date. That way by the time you’re ready for your small business to launch, you already have a list of interested customers!
Tie your email marketing into your wider launch campaign, offering your subscribers a sneak peek at the product, the first chance to place pre-orders and an exclusive invite to your launch party. Don’t miss my alternative email marketing guide for my tips on tackling your email strategy as a whole!
When it comes to small business and product launch ideas, the most important thing is that it feels right for you. You don’t have to try to do everything at once!
But launching is a crucial time, so don’t let any nerves force you to keep your venture to yourself! Starting your own business is an amazing thing and something to be celebrated. So not only is embracing these launch ideas important in spreading the word about your new business or product, but it’s also important because you deserve to celebrate all of your hard work!
Good luck with your launch – I’m cheering you on!
To read more about this topic, have a look at these:
Anniversary Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business
Christmas Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business
Stop! What Are You Actually Selling?
How to Create a Successful Marketing Campaign for Your Small Business