Coming up with a new product or service is a lot of work, which unfortunately does not stop once it’s ready—launching and promoting it is the other half of the equation. You could be offering the best new product or service around, but if you don’t promote it properly, you’re likely to miss out on opportunities or even end up losing money down the line. With so many businesses pivoting their products and services due to COVID-19 and unable to afford opportunity losses, we thought it fitting to give you some guidance around this topic.
In this guide, we’re going to provide steps and examples for 12 effective ways to promote a new service or product. They include:
- Exclusive previews
- Introductory offers
- Google My Business promotions
- Contests and giveaways
- Email marketing
- Blog posts
- Events (virtual and in-person)
- Customer reviews
- Social media posts
- Facebook ads
So let’s give it a whirl.
The best ways to promote a new product or service
When it comes to promoting a new product or service for your business, it can seem like there are endless options. It can be difficult to figure out where to get started and which methods of promotion will give you the best results. The truth is, there are many low-cost ways to promote your business, and what works may depend on your industry, offerings, and audience. Take a look at these 12 methods below and see which ones make the most sense for your business.
1. Offer loyal customers an exclusive preview
Your loyal customers are a key part of how to promote your product, because they are most likely to not only buy it, but also promote it to their networks. This can take the form of a private, in-person or virtual pre-launch party: an online tour, preview, or demo. Or, it could even be a special invitation to test it out and give feedback. These exclusive offerings to loyal customers reinforce how much you value them and also help to retain their loyalty.
2. Use a special introductory offer
Rather than just announcing your new product or service, you can make it available as a part of a special introductory deal. This deal can take many forms, including:
- Discounted pricing.
- Reduced-rate bundle or package.
- Joint promotion with a complementary business.
- Voucher or coupon with purchase.
- Buy one get one free deal.
- Double the points if you have a loyalty program.
- Free gift for every referral.
Whatever your promotion, be sure to emphasize that it won’t last forever. Customers whose purchase power is limited, either by time or inventory, will feel a more pressing sense of urgency to buy.
3. Make use of Google My Business
When in your GMB dashboard, navigate to the Posts tab. From there you can create an “Offer” or a “What’s new” post.
If you’re just announcing the new product or service, you may want to go with a “What’s new” post. Just remember that Google My Business posts expire every seven days, so you’ll need to repost. On the other hand, if you’re running a special introductory deal, an “Offer” post would be best, as you can set a timeframe. Regardless of which post type you use, be sure to include a picture and a call to action.
You can also promote your new product/service by uploading photos of it to your Business Profile via the Photos tab of your GMB dashboard, as well as adding it as a new item via your Products/Services tab.
If applicable, you might even want to post some FAQs on the new product or service in the Q&A section of your Google My Business account.
To get the most out of this method of promotion:
- Use all four sections of your Google listing mentioned above (Posts, Photos, Products & Services, and Q&A).
- Make sure your Google listing is optimized for maximum visibility.
- Refer to Google’s guidelines for photo sizes.
4. Run a social media contest
Social media contests are a fun, easy way of connecting with customers and bringing in more fans/followers and prospects for your business. Facebook contests garner an average of 34% new customers per campaign, which is a great way to combat the platform’s low organic reach.
As far as positioning is concerned, the winner(s) of your Facebook or Instagram giveaway should gain the opportunity to be the first to get their hands on your new offering, and get it for free or at a discounted rate.
Be sure to announce the content across all of your marketing channels, and not just the social platform you’re using to run the main campaign. This includes your other social media channels, your website, email newsletters, and even paid ads.
In addition to generating more excitement and buyers for your new offering, the increased engagement with your social media account will likely drive more traffic to your website, put your business in front of new customers, and create a fun means of connecting with your audience.
5. Spread the word via email
Did you know that 82% of consumers open emails from businesses, and that 76% of email subscribers have made purchases from an email marketing message? Email is a fantastic channel for getting the word out about your new product/service. Plus, it makes a great incentive to get subscriber signups in the first place.
You can run an email campaign specifically about this new offering—perhaps even as a series of emails building up to the day of launch. Or you may want to announce it as the focus piece of your next email newsletter. This email could go out to your general audience, or, in support of method #2, it could be a subscriber- or customer-exclusive offer.
A few tips for email marketing:
- Focus more the benefit/ultimate value of the new product than its features
- Highlight the offer in your subject line
- Use preheader text to further increase open rates
For more help with announcing your new product through this tried-and-true marketing channel, head to our post: How to Write Promotional Emails (With Examples)
6. Write a blog post
When promoting your new product or service, you may not have a landing page for customers or subscribers to go to. After all, your new offering could just be an upgrade on an existing platform or account. In this case, your goal may not be to get more customers, but to get your existing customers engaging, or to re-engage dormant customers.
Having a blog post written on the newly launched item is a great way to go into depth on all of the details, features, and benefits you would otherwise include on a landing page, and you can share the link to the blog post via your emails or social media channels.
An example of a new product launch via blog post, by emma.
Even if you do have a landing page, a blog post is still a great channel for getting the word out about your new offering, and provides ample opportunities for you to link to the landing page. For some more examples of blog posts promoting new products or services, you can check out some of our past launch posts:
- Three Questions Our New Facebook Grader Can Help You Answer
- Get Set Up for Google My Business Success With Our Free Grader
- Try the Free Keyword Search Tool From WordStream
7. Host an event
Events not only get customers excited about your new product or service, but can also get new prospects personally engaging with you or other employees of your business—a great way to win them over as customers.
Events don’t have to be fancy and super organized; something as simple as an open house or an info session will work for locations like salons, fitness centers, yoga studios, spas, and retail stores.If your business is in a location with other local businesses, you can work together to have a sidewalk sale or outdoor open house to draw even larger crowds.
During the pandemic, virtual events still serve as an effective promotion tool. You might:
- Host a Facebook Live session demoing the product and highlighting its features.
- Run a live or recorded Q&A on the product itself.
- Center the event around an influencer who has expertise around your new product or service, with the promise to unveil the new offering at the end.
Virtual, customer-exclusive training session for a new version of Salesforce
8. Offer a complimentary upgrade
If your business is more service-based than product-based, like a salon, spa, fitness center, or consulting business, you can offer an upgrade for customers to try out your new service. Promoting a new facial or massage type at your spa? Provide a complimentary (but perhaps temporary) upgrade for existing customers to try it out. Expanding your agency’s PPC offerings? Add the new service to existing clients’ packages at their legacy pricing. Another option would be to offer free shipping of your new product, for a limited time.
9. Allow trade-ins
If your new product is, in fact, an upgrade of an older one, consider a trade-in program. Trade-in promotions are effective because consumers are more likely to buy a new product using a token or credit they already have (in this case, the product they own). You can also resell the old trade-in products (provided they are in good enough condition) or use them for future giveaways.
10. Share customer reviews
One of the best ways to promote a new product or service is to let your customers promote it for you. If you take advantage of some of the ideas previously mentioned (like offering an upgrade or free trial), you can then ask them to write an online review of the new service or provide material for a testimonial.
Reviews and testimonials will be invaluable when rolling the product out to your more general audience. After all, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
11. Post on social media
If you’re using any of the tactics mentioned above to promote your new product or service, make sure to spread word of your deals and offerings via your social media accounts (as many of the companies did in the examples above). This is an easy way to reach your audience, and your followers can easily share your post to their own profiles. Another benefit is that customers/prospects can ask questions about the product in the comments section. Their questions and your answers can serve as an organic FAQ. The post can link to a landing page or blog post with more information.
If you have a niche audience or loyal following, you may also want to use a custom hashtag in your promotion post. This will not only expand the reach of your campaigns, but may also inspire customers to share posts and pictures to their accounts, using the custom hashtag. And you know what that means: User-generated content that can then be used to get even more people try out your new service or product!
12. Run Facebook ads
With 1 billion daily active users, Facebook advertising is a window to a large base of people who will be interested in your new product or service. Facebook ads are particularly useful because the personalized data voluntarily provided through users’ profiles makes for unbelievably specific audience targeting. You can factor in gender, age, location, interests, marital status, profession, and more—ensuring you’ll get the most bang for your buck. There are also several options for ad type, budget, and duration of campaign, so you can accommodate your goals within your means.
For more help with Facebook advertising, here are three resources you can use:
- 7 Fundamental Facebook Advertising Tips for Small Business Marketers
- All of Facebook’s Ad Targeting Options (in One Epic Infographic)
- Our Free Facebook Ads Grader
What’s the best way to promote your new product or service?
The best way to promote your new product or service will depend on what channels your audience frequents and what their online behaviors are. Regardless, you should use multiple channels and cross-promote. The more cohesive and consistent your messaging is, and the more your audience learns about it, the more engagement you can expect. Try out the strategies above to get the results you want from your next product launch, software upgrade, or new service offering.