When you look around at other people’s product launch strategies, what do you see? I tend to see a lot of 3 and 4-part video series for their online products and programs. Which can most certainly work well. But if I’ve learnt anything about YOU, it’s that you often don’t have time to sit and watch 4x half hour-long videos.
What usually happens is you get through video one and never seem to get back to watch the rest. If you’re someone who’s launching a product, this isn’t ideal if the sale doesn’t come until video 4.
The aim really for pre-launch content is to pique people’s interest and build momentum for your launch.
This year’s I’ve had the chance to explore many different launch types through my own launches and doing launches for clients. What I've come to realise is, the more fun your launch is, the more moula you tend to make.
My advice to you is pick a pre-content type that:
- Lights you up and has you bursting to deliver it
- Appeals to how your ideal client most likes to consume content
- Is aligned with the media type you’re planning to deliver during your course, program or product.
So then, why do we go for the same ol’ four-part videos series?
There’s a few reasons, really.
- The big gurus are doing it, so it seems easy to just follow what they’re doing and blend in (by the way, blending in is NOT a good idea when it comes to marketing)
- It’s what you’ve always done and there’s a huge element of fear in trying something new (even if the old isn’t working)
- You don’t know what you don’t know
Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to some of my FAVOURITE pre-content types for digital programs and courses. I encourage you to pick one and give it a go. As was summed up in a quote I found last week:
Don't be afraid to change. You may lose something good but you may gain something better - Unknown
Here are SIX pre-launch content types to try (click the links below to jump ahead):
WEBINARS or LIVE EVENT
A webinar was really how I launched my first program. It could be done simply, it set the expectation for the content that was to come in my program (webinar trainings), and it allowed people to connect with me to quickly build the know, like and trust factor. The downside is it can be difficult to get people to attend live, unless you come up with a clever strategy. When it comes to live events, I’ve seen Tara Gentile do this well via CreativeLive, where she piques people’s interests for her next program and talks about her launch date live during the training. Another example was Steve Jobs, who was the master of the keynote speech to launch a product at a live event.
People to watch: Melanie Duncan, Amy Porterfield, Kimra Luna, Tara Gentile.
Having just spent the past few weeks helping put one of these together, I can tell you they're a LOT of fun. They're also a great strategy to educate and inspire people over a period of days, rather than in one webinar. There's also the option to deliver it via audio-only for those who are more likely to consume audio than video. Although, Natalie Macneil did a fabulous job of delivering a live interview series via videocast for her Conquer Club – while trying to break a world record for participation at the same time. The downside is the work involved in pulling together your guests for the summit. But the work can be well worth it.
People to watch: Hay House, Natalie Macneil, Andreea Ayers, Lisa Sasevich, Angela Raspass.
5, 7, 14, 21 and 30-DAY CHALLENGES
These can be a ridiculous amount of fun and delivered in all sorts of ways. Many of you have been part of my 5-day challenges for Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. Although, I wasn't selling anything off the back of these, it was purely for list building and some entertainment! The downside is that getting people to stay with you for the entire duration can be a challenge, especially if your challenge is a longer one. You also have to think about how people are going to be able to `connect' with you if it's all written content. In saying that, there's an opportunity to link your challenges to video or audio content easily to provide a fuller experience.
People to watch: Natalie Lussier, Kylie Patchett, Oprah and Deepak.
eBook or Lookbook
Wasn't expecting this one? Well, if your ideal client is a big reader, there’s some merit in using an ebook to launch your next big thing. I’ve only seen a couple of people do this really well and always for evergreen launches, rather than live launches. We’ll talk more about evergreen systems on the blog a little later in the year. The obvious downside, of course, is getting people to consume the entire book. Although, there are ways around making your call to action stand out, regardless of whether they reach the end of the book or not. The other I’ve mentioned here is a lookbook, which is fantastic if you’re running a fashion or design-based business. A clever twist on this is Leonie Dawson's Life and Biz Workbooks, which includes a ``look book'' of sorts in the back to highlight per other products and programs.
People to watch: Kat Loterzo, Joe Vitale, Leonie Dawson.
Blog or Podcast series
Sometimes I think we overthink the whole launch thing, making it overly complicated. But you can launch simply off the back off a great blog post series or podcasts. If this is where your ideal client is at and where they're most engaged, then it makes sense. I like a series like this to culminate in some sort of ``event’’, whether that’s a Twitter or Facebook chat, an online "party", a webinar, live speaking gig or something else where they gain direct contact with you. Remember, the aim is to grab their attention and build momentum. The above ideas work well because they allow you to build an email list, which is a key part of launching. However, there are ways around that too when it comes to blogging and podcasting.
People to watch: Jay Baer, Digital Marketer, Tara Gentile.
OK, so I had to go there. This is such a standard launch type that places like Leadpages now enable you to download their video templates and you’re done. The set up can be super simple – which is a big shift from years ago when it was a rather complicated process. The downside of a video series is that so many other people are doing it that it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Another is that people know that fourth video is a sales pitch and can completely skip it. Although, I do like how Gina Devee shakes it up by moving away from 4 videos and picking a completely different number to keep people on their toes.
People to watch: Jeff Walker, Marie Forleo, Digital Marketer, Gina Devee, Brendon Burchard.
There are more than these six, but this should get your creative juices flowing.
Which one resonates with you? Have you already tried one of them? Let me know in the comments below.