For a successful product release, everything has to go just right. The marketing campaign has to be well-targeted and based on solid expectations. A certain amount of buzz has to be built around the product, and positive brand influence in the market will only help.
And, as B2B marketers are increasingly learning, a solid social media marketing force is needed to bolster the launch and seal its success.
A great approach for big product releases is to integrate both your social media management and marketing automation platform. Doing so creates a sustainable system where your social presence is supported by a constant stream of relevant, targeted content that your prospects appreciate. And when your new product is ready to be launched, you’ll have eager prospects primed by a campaign that built the necessary interest, both inside and outside of social networks.
Let’s outline a B2B product release, and understand how an integrated social media and marketing automation solution can help address all of the issues involved.
B2B Product Release – Multiple Campaigns, Multiple Announcements
Many B2B products are very complex. The promotions that follow and support the launch of that product are often many times more complex.
For starters, more than one campaign might be necessary. This might take place over the course of several weeks or months, as you unfold various aspects of the product and how it will improve processes, increase efficiency, and overall make your customers’ working lives better, day-to-day. Through whitepapers, case studies, webinars, and other materials, you’ll build a solid case for your product’s benefits for prospective customers—in ways prospects can clearly see those benefits.
Your marketing campaigns might take place through inbound marketing, mobile, SEO, PPC, social media marketing—or all of the above. Ideally, there will be a mix-and-match of marketing channels designed to reach prospects across outlets and build a solid presence in your market.
And then, you’ll put forth multiple announcements of the new product that’s waiting in the pipeline. This can occur through email newsletters, direct mail, and any number of additional tactics. Announcements might be further segmented according to customer’s business demographics and the details of your buyer personas.
The process is different for any B2B company, but the bigger the release, the more moving parts there are to contend with.
Supporting a Product Release with Social Media Management
Through social media, a whole world of interested prospects opens up to a B2B company, seeking to get its message out. Because the major social networks are natural outlets for news distribution—with sizeable portions of the Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn user bases utilizing the platforms to stay on top of news—B2B product releases are especially promoted effectively via social.
Here are some of the ways B2B companies can use social media management, monitoring, and ROI capabilities for greater social promotion of new products:
- Monitor all social streams at once. With your social media listening tool as an essential aid, you’ll stay on top of what prospects, influencers and competitors are talking about in your industry, whether it’s your brand, your products, or new trends and technologies.
- Identify social touchpoints. Whether you notice that an enthusiastic reader has left a detailed comment on your LinkedIn post, or one of your social leads voices a call for change in your industry via Twitter, you can immediately engage, increasing brand awareness and heightening the responsiveness of your social campaign.
- Track ROI of every aspect of your social presence. What kind of Tweets get Retweeted the most by your prospects? What kind of Facebook and LinkedIn posts are your prospects sharing and commenting on? Tracking social media ROI is essential for knowing what to keep doing, what to stop doing, and what can be tweaked in every part of your social marketing endeavors.
Social media management is indispensable to creating a product launch that really makes waves in your market. But it gets even better when you can combine social with the tools that you’ve already proven reliable.
Integrating Social Media Management with Existing Marketing Automation
Taking your social media management tool and combining it with existing marketing automation can be a one-two punch for creating closed-loop reporting, increasing synchrony between sales and marketing, and sharpening your targeted approach to the most likely buyers.
For example, integrating Oktopost with Marketo, enables marketers to use social data points to improve lead scoring, and identify the most important leads for sales staff to develop relationships with.
When you’re launching a new product, you want to know as much about your qualified leads as possible. In creating closed-loop reporting with integrated marketing solutions, both your sales team and your marketing staff will have greater knowledge of how to impress the benefits of new products on prospective customers, as well as meeting their needs and answering all questions along the way.
The richness of combined marketing automation and social media monitoring enables you to create smooth transitions from product announcements to point-of-sale transactions on launch day, without skipping a beat in your customer relationships.
The building blocks of a successful B2B product release: rich customer interactions and tailored campaigns
It’s possible to devise a B2B product launch that will make waves. It’s possible to pique the interest of your leads well ahead of time with targeted messages and a high level of interactivity. And as you move closer to the big launch, it’s possible to take your leads—especially those already primed to buy—through your sales funnel smoothly, by bringing together social analytics and insights from your marketing automation software.