A solid launch is a critical element of your company’s overall success with any product. That’s especially true for software launches, where the need for your solution must be visually demonstrated to your prospects. No matter how big or small your brand may be, or how widely or narrowly you’ve tailored your target audience, you can craft a winning launch plan with sticky messaging that will help drive consumers to your product.
A dynamic, engaging video should be the lynchpin of any software launch plan. Smart brands also utilize a multichannel approach to support and augment a video’s impact. Sharing a product video effectively helps illuminate potential use cases and widens prospective appeal.
As an example, look no further than tech giant Google. When it launched Duplex, its AI-empowered reservation service for the hospitality industry, the launch plan included traditional PR-to-journalist outreach, social media, and a demo video that put the service in context for potential users. When that video was met with skepticism and pushback, it released a second demo video to address those issues.
Assuming you have a share-worthy product and you’ve mined existing user and prospect data to create strong, viable user personas, you’ll need a targeted launch plan to create the kind of positive momentum that leads to success.
Use Explainer and Demo Videos to Amplify Your Launch
Video content continues to be the most successful format for holding consumer attention. It makes sense to center an effective launch around an explainer video, a demo video, or both.
Using either of these options provides an opportunity to show how a particular solution works in context for the user. It’s also an ideal way to highlight that your software can deliver on its marketing promises.
Generally speaking, explainer videos focus on the value proposition of the software product, whereas demo videos focus on the features and corresponding benefits. In other words, explainer videos help lead a user to an understanding of a unique new technology or strategic approach to a specific problem set. Demo videos are better targeted toward helping users understand new innovations with a solution that already exists and is familiar to the audience.
Essentially, explainer videos introduce and generate awareness for product innovations, while demo videos showcase the differentiators and wow factors of products that may be familiar.
You can use both types of video within the same campaign. Explainer videos are more effective at the top of your sales funnel to strengthen initial awareness of your software. Demo videos are more effective closer to the middle of the funnel, when your prospect is ready to see key product features.
Create the Best Possible Video Content
Whether you use explainers, demos, or both types of video for your software launch, it’s crucial to ensure that your videos are the absolute highest quality possible within your budget window. These are the key creative assets that will get shared and relied on the most to explain or show off what your product does and what it looks like. Thinking about how to apply branding successfully to an explainer or demo video? We’ve got you covered.
As you align marketing assets for launch, consider tailoring a version of an explainer or demo video specifically for release. Talk to your video creation team about the process of creating multiple video variations to maximize your resources.
Once you have them, leverage your videos everywhere. Put them on your website and company social media accounts, and make them available at trade shows, in-store kiosks, on Amazon listings—anywhere you think your prospective users may be looking for the kind of solution your product provides.
Supplement Your Content to Answer Questions Before They’re Asked
Beyond high-quality explainer and demo videos, consider creating additional content that takes a deeper dive into your product. This might include an in-depth blog series, case study, or white paper that pulls highlights from your demo video. By identifying the needs of specific audiences as part of your launch plan, you can address and conquer objections.
While content may still be king, keep in mind that quality matters too. As you create derivative and companion content in preparation for launch, aim for valuable, high-quality marketing materials over quantity.
Finally, consider creating supplemental videos to accompany your demo and explainer, like an interview or Q&A with your founder or additional video clips of customer testimonials. Video resonates with most people in a way that plain text or still images just can’t.
Choose Your Channels Carefully
As you plan your launch, decide which channels make the most sense for supporting your marketing goals. This includes where you’ll share your explainer and demo videos. Multichannel and omnichannel are definitely (and deservedly) getting a lot of attention these days. Yet it’s also important not to overstretch yourself or lose focus by taking a scattershot “kitchen sink” approach. Choose one main channel (like your company blog or an upcoming trade show) and then augment that channel with other strategies. This approach might include additional touchpoints like an email campaign, social media posts, paid ads, etc.
Figure out the best combination of the hub-and-spoke model to reach your identified audience and personas. Where are they already congregating online? Go there, not everywhere. Use other channels to direct them back to center.
Reach Out Early to Niche Influencers
“Influencer” has become something of a controversial buzzword. Here, we’re referencing leaders and tastemakers in any field or niche that’s related to your product.
As you prepare for launch, look for influencers and thought-leaders with an audience comprised of one or more of your targeted user profiles. More important than audience size and reach, look for synergy and alignment between your targeted audience, the influencer’s audience, and your launch messaging as a whole.
In addition to utilizing an influencer to share your explainer or demo video, make it easy for others to help spread the word with digital media kits. Aim for supplemental content like a one-sheet telling your product’s story in a powerful and emotionally resonant way.
Go Big with an Event—In Person or Digital
Whether you go all-out with a live event or create a digital-only experience, events can help generate buzz and showcase your product. Consider setting up live demos as part of your launch event so your audience sees how your product fits into their lives.
Huge live events aren’t always necessary (or even the best idea) for a software product launch. Some launches don’t necessitate such an overwhelming in-person show for a huge audience. They aren’t always realistic from a budget standpoint, either.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can use a digital showcase to achieve impressive results. Brands have successfully utilized all of the following for digital launch events:
- Reddit AMAs
- Facebook Live video
- Social chat or Twitter event
Keep in mind the nature and demographics of your targeted audience when choosing a viable channel for your digital event. Then, treat it as you would a live event. This includes testing event technology, rehearsing any live demonstration elements, and promoting to influencers, tech journalists, and end-users.
Keep the Big Picture in Mind
By focusing the bulk of your pre-launch efforts on creating the best explainer and demo video assets you possibly can, you’ll maximize brand awareness and educate your prospective audience about the benefits of your software product in an entertaining, emotionally evocative way.
Gearing up for a successful software product launch and need an expert demo video as part of your digital strategy? We’d love to hear more about it.