Lots of people in business like to build hype before a product is launched.
There are pitfalls in doing so…
You setup the potential for disappointment.
Tell your customers and followers that you’re “working on something big” and they’ll get excited at first, but if you don’t deliver (because the product isn’t ready yet…) you’ve just disappointed them.
What we don’t see as often is the concept of building hype after a product has already launched. But this might be the better strategy and even though it might not make sense on the surface it actually makes a lot of sense in practice.
Here are a few thoughts on how to accomplish it…
Why Do It
When your product is already launched you have something that people can actually look at. That’s the #1 point below. If it’s not ready yet you build anticipation for something that isn’t a definite. In today’s world of instant access you don’t want to disappoint people. “Coming soon” is more of a downer today than an exciter.
And when your product has already launched it doesn’t mean that all your customers and potential customers know that it’s out. You can promote it and hype it after the launch and to those people it will still feel brand new. For more on the concept check out Perennial Seller.
In the meantime, here are a few quick steps to follow.
Step 1. Make The Product Available
This is the one that drives consumers crazy. I’ll share a few examples.
Netflix is actually pretty good at not building hype before a product is ready. They put out trailers sometimes just a few weeks before the show or movie is released. Sometimes they wait until just a few days and then also after the fact.
The reason? When people see a trailer these days they want to be able to go to Netflix and watch it. Right away. No waiting.
The other week I was watching a Nascar race. Hey, Paul Menard is from Eau Claire where I live. Anyway, one of the drivers had on this cool throwback hat. I searched everywhere for the hat and couldn’t find it. I couldn’t have been the only one. Talk about a missed opportunity.
We’ll get into guesting in a bit, but another thing that drives people crazy is when authors, actors, singers or whoever go on a media blitz promoting something before the product is available. If I hear a singer talk about a new song on the radio or on a podcast I want to be able to stream that song right then on Spotify. I don’t want to wait for it to come out the following Friday. I’ll forget about it.
Before you hype something make sure people can instantly find it and buy it.
Step 2. Publish Explainer Content
Some companies are really good at this. When they make something new available they’ll have all kinds of explainer content ready to publish. Videos, FAQs, guides, etc.
Let’s say that Google launches a new product add-on for G Suite. They’ll often simultaneously publish an entire knowledge base for their users to access. They don’t just release the product. They make sure that their users can figure out how to use it.
So when you make something available make sure you also have all the explainer content ready to add to your website, YouTube channel, etc.
Step 3. Guest
The final one is where you go on podcast, blogs, social media, etc. and talk about the new product. This is what you see when you watch late night tv and see an actor telling a story or two and then discussing their new movie that’s out. It’s how they get access to an audience without having to build their own audience.
Book authors have been really good with guesting on podcasts. They’ll publish the book and after the book is out they’ll reach out to podcast hosts and offer to be guests. They’ll talk about themselves, offer tips and then at the end talk a little about the book.
I love when the authors do this after the book is available because then I can go right to Amazon as I’m listening and order the book if it sounds interesting.
Guesting takes work. You have to cold email the hosts of the channels. You have to create a pitch and make yourself seem interesting for their audience. But it’s worth it if you get access to audiences.
And that’s it. It’s mostly a mindset shift for building hype. Today, people don’t want to hear about something that will come out in the future. When they hear about something new they want to be able to quickly search Google or whatever and find that they can get it.