From initially being seen as a broadcast channel, social media now seems to have come of age when it is identified by marketers as the core channel to drive engagement during a product launch.
Interestingly this article includes comments from BtoC marketers but I believe that social media has almost more benefit in the BtoB arena when launching new products.
It is much easier to specifically identify and engage with individual BtoB influencers or even potential customers than in the consumer space. And providing most of your social media is thought provoking and adds value rather than overtly selling, then you will have a more receptive audience when you do have a new product to reveal via social channels.
A recent campaign we ran for a client achieved a 250% increase in building relationships with their target audience, that led to a subsequent increase in showroom visits to see new products. The products were very visual and lent themselves to being revealed over social.
But the launch was part of an integrated approach, with media coverage, physical presence at shows and advertising all playing their part in creating noise and a buzz alongside the social media. The beauty of social media as a launch medium is that it can be easier to put metrics in place to measure reach, engagement and impact - music to a marketer's ears!
Social media is overtaking television, promotions and email campaigns as the medium of choice for product launch marketing. Seventy-four per cent of brand marketers prioritise social media, ahead of sales promotions (55%), email (53%), press (39%), PR coverage (39%) and television advertising (36%), according to research by agency Five by Five. Of the 730 senior marketers questioned across the UK, US and Australia, 46% use social media to generate awareness, while social channels are also used to determine consumer preferences ahead of launching a new product (15%) and measuring success (11%).