You have a product or a service that you would like to launch to let the world know just how good it is and how it would benefit them. The only problem is that you have a small or non-existent budget and that quickly becomes a real challenge. Is a launch even possible with a very limited budget? Yes, it is! Sure, it might be easier to achieve your digital goals when you have large budgets allocated to creating a complex website, being present on all social media channels, running paid marketing campaigns and investing in intense PR activities. However, if that is not an option for you, there are still techniques and activities you can do to launch your product successfully and raise awareness of your brand.
Define Your Goal
Are you putting a strategy together? When you have no budget, it can seem overwhelming figuring out which methods will allow you to launch your product or service without breaking the bank while still being as effective as possible. Well, the first step in creating a strategy is defining what your goal is! You might have chosen social media as a cost-effective launching strategy, but now it’s also important to understand how you can use the platforms to achieve your goals, whether you are looking to increase brand awareness, generate sales or get sign-ups and build an email database for your service.
Figure Out Launch Date
Just like any other event, you need to figure out when your social media launch is taking place. Not only will this date act as a deadline that will help you strategise and develop an action plan to stick to, but it can also work to your advantage. Do your research and learn more about your ideal date. If it is the start of a new season, your launch could be linked to that. On the other hand, if your launch falls on the same day as a holiday or event that is celebrated all over the world, social media feeds will most likely be dominated by this, which could be a major disadvantage when trying to maximise your reach on the big date!
Define Pre-Launch Timeline
Once you know what your goal is and have a date in mind, the only thing that’s left to do is compiling a plan for all the different activities and aspects of the launch, including everything you and your team need to do before the launch date. You will want to brainstorm and come up with creative ways in which you can promote your product on different platforms and ensure all content is optimised and ready to go. Now is the time to split your budget and understand what is worth spending on. Regardless of the size of your budget, here are some things to consider when launching your product or service on social media:
Who doesn’t love a giveaway? It’s not something just any brand can do, but if you have a new skincare product that you are excited to launch, a giveaway can be a great technique to market your product and also raise awareness of your brand. Do it right and you will also get new followers on your social media profiles, eventually resulting in online engagement.
If a giveaway is not something that would work for your brand, consider hosting an online contest on your social media profiles or website. The prize can even be a free trial of your service or product testers. Alternatively, if your business is in the tech sector, for example, maybe you could consider offering the winner a free ticket to a great tech conference or a similar event that your audience would be interested in.
A great place to start engaging with people within your industry or target audience can be Facebook or even LinkedIn groups. You might already be following relevant hashtags on LinkedIn to ensure you are always up-to-date with online trends and news but have you ever thought about targeting groups? Just by doing a quick search on LinkedIn and Facebook, you are likely to find several groups where people discuss topics and answer questions related to your product or service. There, you can post content and participate in discussions, as well as promoting your products or services. Keep in mind that you should read the group’s guidelines before joining to ensure that they allow the sharing of marketing material before you publish in it. Breaking the rules can get you banned from the group and could damage your reputation.
Another way of generating engagement is to organise takeovers, either on your feed or story, where guests can share content, ask questions or post live videos discussing relevant topics with your followers. When a guest takes over your profile, your reach expands to their following as well, as their followers are also likely to be interested in what they have to share or talk about. With a weekly guest on your profile, you can generate brand awareness and engagement, while also sharing valuable content to your online audience.
Bonus tips to support social media efforts:
Email List – Newsletter
If you have a website and you’re about to launch your product or service, it might be helpful to introduce a one-time offer (eg. 10% discount) for new visitors who subscribe to your newsletter or provide their email address to receive future company updates from you. This is a great technique for compiling an email list to whom you can later send monthly newsletters, sharing educational content and marketing material, as well as calls to action persuading them to test your products or follow you on social media.
Contact Magazines/Reach Out to Journalists
Small and very small businesses often do not have a budget for PR, which makes it difficult to raise awareness, especially when you are just launching your new product or service. Create a media kit including a press release and other marketing materials that tell the story of your brand, which can be shared with individuals in the media sectors who might be interested. They may even share it on their profiles or write an article about it.
As a local business with a very limited budget to do online promotions, you can support your social media efforts by printing flyers and sharing them in your local neighbourhood. If your shop, for example, is close to a tube station or bus stations, this might be a golden pot for you. Try to create a simple, informative and engaging flyer to really catch people’s attention and use it to tell people about your business, as well as your online presence.
There is no exact recipe for the most effective way to launch a product or service with a very limited budget; however, you should experiment with multiple techniques and share valuable content for your target audience across several platforms that are relevant to your industry. Far from being an easy task, this will take a significant amount of time but it can be done by yourself if you’re looking to save money. If you are planning a social media launch with a limited budget, but would still like to get in touch with an agency that can guide you and help with content creation, feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our website, at www.socialgamma.com, we would love to hear from you!