Wednesday, March 30, 2011

7 Product Launch Essentials for Start-Ups

If your a start-up, small business, or a one-man show, you may not have an enormous budget to launch a product like say Microsoft or Apple. Never spend more than what you can afford to lose or gain a new customer. Below are 7 essentials for a successful product launch with limited budget.

  1. Social Media. Set up a refresh of your Facebook page, send out product launch tweets (schedule tweets 24 hours a day), create a LinkedIn group, create a webinar (webinars are huge right now, and they are the easiest way to connect with your audience). If your in retail, use Groupon. If you have a physical location your customers frequent, utilize geolocation tools like Foursquare or Gowalla.
  2. Website refresh. Create new product-specific landing pages, feature photos (.png's), blog content, online collateral. Adjust and enhance your website meta tags/keywords to reflect new product information.
  3. Review copies. Reach out to influential bloggers +online publications. Send them copies 1-2 weeks before launch with an embargo date. Make sure you have some type of "blogger relations" program at least 6 months before launch. Relationship building with bloggers is key. Get to know them, comment on their blogs, reach out to them and introduce yourself.
  4. PPC campaign. Stick to one advertising platform like Google Ads, Amazon, or Facebook ads.
  5. E-mail marketing. Consider offering a pre-order for your new product, exclusive only to e-mail recipients. Or, offer a sneak peek at the new product before it’s released to the public.
  6. Press Release. If you have some budget, use Business Wire. A cheaper alternative is PR Newswire. These PR distribution companies now are fully automated and support Social Media + mobile (iPad, smartphone) tools.
  7. Work your ass off. Rather then using a ton of money, you use time, energy and creativity.
After launch its crucial to measure your results. Go back and re-double efforts on which of the above techniques are working and abandon the ones that are not working.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

SEO Visual Guide to Success

I found this great SEO visual guide layout for anyone planning a campaign for the first time. Its also a handy guide to keep on hand at all times. You can drill down the tree limbs and get more detailed and plan out milestones, etc. The guide came from Dave Chaffey at e-consultancy.

Before you begin any SEO campaign (organic or paid) its imparitive to know how search engines operate and how people interact with them. There are many guides out there where you can learn the "basics" of search engine friendly design and development (or you can hire a consultant). Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is arguably THE most cost-effective digital marketing technique, but also the most challenging to get right. It can get overwhelming with keyword research, link building, usability, and tweaking content. In the end, always keep measuring and tracking the data (sucess) and build off of whats working, and whats not working. If your site cannot be found by search engines or your content cannot be put into their databases, you miss out on the incredible opportunities available to websites provided via search - people who want what you have visiting your site. Always keep in mind not to go too overboard with content optimization or you will get labeled a "spammer" ot a "content farmer" which will designate you as a low-quality website/publisher.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Google Maps Navigation Updated

Just a quick note. Starting today, Google Maps navigation app will now automatically route you around traffic. This is a very handy feature for Android users. I just upgraded to an HTC Inspire 4G and found this new Google traffic reroute function incredibly useful (especially in the SF bay area). You don’t have to do anything to be routed around traffic; just start Navigation like you normally would, either from the Navigation app or from within Google Maps.