When 92% of consumers trust recommendations from individuals above any other form of advertising, it’s no surprise that brands increasingly partner with influencers to promote their products. This also means that to make a case for an entirely new product, something that people have never heard of, you’re going to need the help of influencers.
Whether it’s to build hype about the product or to build trust among your target audience, influencers can significantly boost your product launch efforts.
Take a look at some of the effective ideas you can use for implementing influencer marketing with your product launch marketing:
1. Ask for social media promotions
Even something as simple as a tweet or an Instagram post can make a huge difference for your product launch if you happen to choose the right influencers. You will need to approach the influencer first, build a connection with them, send some samples, and request for a mention on social media.
When someone with significant influence on your target audience says something positive about the product, it’s going to build hype and establish trust among the audience.
When EA launched the highly-anticipated Star Wars: Battlefront in 2015, they made use of a simple influencer marketing campaign. In the U.K., it even managed to bag the top position among the best-selling games and resulted in an 80% drop in sales for Fallout 4. Several celebrities tweeted about the game, expressing their excitement about playing the game.
EA decided to partner with mainstream celebrities like Anna Kendrick, who is loved by fans, to add to general word-of-mouth about the game. The actress also appeared in a TV commercial for the game in addition to tweeting about it.
However, it’s clear that EA’s target niche (gamers) won’t really trust the recommendation from the actress, despite their love for her. Has she really played it herself?
So the game company also worked with relevant influencers such as gaming expert Matthew Patrick, who has more than 850,000 followers on Twitter. The gamer promoted the game in combination with a giveaway, which is an excellent marketing method as well.
Despite these efforts, EA made the mistake of approaching an uninterested influencer to promote the game. Musician Benjamin Burnley of Breaking Benjamin posted the following image with a few choice words expressing his anger. This is a good example highlighting the dangers of choosing the wrong influencers and how that can have a negative impact on your product launch.
From these examples, you can see that social media mentions and promotions by influencers can significantly impact your product launch marketing.
While working with relevant influencers can boost your efforts, approaching the wrong influencer could hamper your image. If an influencer doesn’t do promotions, don’t approach them. If you decide to take a risk anyway, make sure you’re straightforward about it.
2. Get influencers involved in the creation process
When you’re launching a new product, you need to introduce it in a way that would turn heads and appeal to the target audience at the same time. You can challenge influencers to create something sensational and unusual around your new product.
It could be anything from a piece of content to a complementary product. If you’re launching a new line of clothes or shoes, you could get influencers involved in designing the bag or box in which the product will come in.
The influencer will then promote this partnership with their loyal followers, which will not only educate them about the product but also build hype around it. For example, they could post Instagram images or Snapchat stories showcasing the process of how they came up with the design.
KFC did something unexpected and sensational when they partnered with British designer, Katie Eary. In an attempt to promote their new menu item, the Ricebox, they started the #PackMoreIntoLunch campaign.
The goal was to promote the 500-calorie alternative to British and Irish millenials. So to raise awareness about the Ricebox, they decided to dive into the world of fashion.
Katie Eary was challenged to create a capsule collection within one hour. The collection was inspired by the new menu item and comprised of 13 looks.
They timed their promotion event with the London Fashion Week and presented the new collection to an audience of stylists, fashion bloggers, and other heavyweights in the fashion industry. They presented the product using a main audiovisual piece, delivering the message directly to the target audience.
In addition to this, Eary also designed special packaging for the new KFC Ricebox. The main reason for the success of this campaign was the association of two completely different concepts – fast food and fashion. This created intrigue and curiosity about the product, which is another ingenious method for promoting a new product. The new menu item received plenty of raves from the public.
There are a number of ways you can make this tactic work. KFC’s success in this campaign was a result of combining entirely contrasting concepts and executing it perfectly.
It may not be easy to pull off this same kind of campaign. But you can make yours work when you combine your efforts with the creativity of influencers relevant to your niche. Challenge them to help you create something unusual and interesting while they promote the partnership with their audience.
3. Use real influencer experiences for TV ads
While influencer marketing is effective, you can’t solely rely on it when you’re marketing to the masses. You need more visibility for your promotional pieces, so that more audiences can learn about your product.
So to combine the element of trust and exposure, you can use influencers for your TV ads. Having a TV ad for your product means you’re going to reach out to an extensive range of audiences. Using influencers to speak for your brand means you’re going to earn the trust of those viewers.
In order to increase the trust factor even further, you will need to showcase real experiences. That’s exactly what Toyota did when they had to promote their new Aygo model. They decided to partner with three weather forecasters in different European cities for the Weather Challenge. The campaign made use of the popular opinion that weather forecasters often deliver inaccurate forecasts.
For the challenge, the forecasters were made to drive around their respective cities with the canvas roof of the Aygo car synchronized with their forecasts. If they predicted rain, the roof remained closed and if they predicted sunshine, the roof was kept open. So regardless of the weather, these forecasters had to drive around in the car in that condition.
This creative and humorous take on inaccurate weather predictions helped Toyota appeal to the emotions of their audience. It placed a focus on the main feature that they wanted to promote, which is the new canvas roof. The YouTube video alone managed to get more than 270,000 views.
You can pull off a similar stunt and compile the experiences to create a funny and unusual TV commercial for your new product.
There are endless opportunities to work with influencers when promoting a new product.
In addition to helping you gain the trust of your audience and bring more exposure to your brand, influencers can add value to your efforts with their creativity.
Have you worked with influencers in your marketing campaign? Got any more ideas for collaborating with influencers to promote a product launch? Feel free to leave your thoughts and ask your questions in the comments below.