Your team just spent weeks researching, designing, writing, and tweaking new marketing materials and are excited to roll them out to your end users. You add them to your distributed marketing platform, and they sit there unused for several weeks. What gives?
Problem is, your end users probably don’t know they’re even there. Just as new marketing initiatives need to be clearly communicated, so do your new products. There are a number of approaches you can take, and they will likely vary based on the level of engagement of your end users, their time spent in the system, and their preferred method of communication. Because this in itself often varies from person to person, it’s best to take a multi-channel approach to promoting your newest products.
Consider one of these methods, or for best results, a combination of any of them.
Whether your newsletter is print or digital, be sure to include information about your new offerings. If possible, include photos or short descriptions for each. Because of the nature of newsletters and their ability to share many messages at once, the space may be limited for your product announcement. Even so, this is still a great channel for general awareness that your products are available for use – even if that’s as simple as the message is. Just be sure to let your users know where they can go or whom they can contact for more information or questions.
Sending a targeted eBlast to your end users is a simple way to let them know what new products are available. Emails are a great opportunity for driving awareness and responsiveness due to the ability to link directly from the email to product pages, your website, or to download a file with more information. Additionally, an email that focuses solely on the new offerings is likely to have a higher response because the content in it wouldn’t be competing with other messages like it would in a newsletter.
If there are many new product offerings or there is more complexity to them, it may be a good idea to schedule a training session. Depending on the geographic dispersion of your end users, this can be done in person or via webinar. Trainings provide the opportunity to communicate more than you would typically be able to in a newsletter or email – things like best uses for the products, the benefits to users, etc. If you have many users, be sure to schedule a couple different training sessions at different times to accommodate as many schedules as possible. Alternatively, depending on the timing of the new products, this could also be communicated at an annual or semi-annual meeting.
Depending on the system you’re using, you may have the option to designate an item as new, thus drawing attention to it when your users are looking for a product. Additionally, the ability to sort or filter by new products can increase the usability of the site and help users find the product they’re looking for.
I’ll end with one of my favorite marketing quotes, from Jonathan Perelman, VP of Strategy and Industry Development at Buzzfeed: “Content is king, but distribution is queen and she wears the pants. It’s not nearly enough to create a good piece of content. You have to understand how content spreads across the web.”
While not all your communication may be via web, this same principle applies. It’s not enough to just put your new products out there and hope they’re used. In the case of your distributed marketing platform, you must know what channels to communicate across to ensure your users receive your message and learn of the new products you’ve worked so hard on.
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