A software launch for a new B2B solution or version release is a big deal. Depending on the magnitude of the launch, it can make your next two quarters – or completely derail the future of your company.
Every software launch has a ton of moving pieces, and a successful marketing campaign is always an essential component. And no media is as powerful as video when it comes to telling viewers why your software is the right answer for their business.
Here at Autodemo, we help our clients plan and execute marketing plans for new software product and version releases with videos that illustrate the benefits and differentiators that make their solution the best choice. These videos fit perfectly into virtually every B2B marketing and sales channel, and can be used throughout the life of your launch push.
Tips for a great software product launch
B2B software releases are complex. (Really, what in B2B selling isn’t?) In addition to product design, user focus groups, and final release testing, the marketing team has its own challenges in building awareness and excitement, both before and after launch.
You can find a lot of useful advice online about how to plan and execute a product launch, from market assessment to post-launch customer support. This detailed piece by a demand gen specialist has a lot of great tips and data points for both B2B and B2C marketers – the lines between the two categories are increasingly blurred as digital marketing becomes the norm. For example, did you know that more than 40 percent of new B2C product launches that fail do so because they simply don’t meet a real need?
When it comes to the marketing strategy for your B2B software launch, these are some key pointers to keep in mind, and how video can help you execute your plan.
Focus on more than one marketing channel
Display advertising is great, but it’s just one way to reach potential buyers. Be sure to reach out to your existing customers via email and build engaging website landing pages for inbound content marketing efforts. And, particularly in B2B, don’t forget to court potential market influencers, either in the trade press or on social media.
Video is a powerful fit for landing pages. Research shows that including video on your landing page can increase conversions by 35 percent or more. And video is the the content format most likely to be shared on social media, including LinkedIn.
Don’t sell your new product short
If you are releasing a new software product or version, there must be a compelling value point. Don’t be afraid to boast about what makes you great.
Most of our work here at Autodemo in support of B2B product launches are for Demo videos that emphasize the “wow factors” of a new software version release. When something makes you different and better, video is the best way to show off in a way that it is easy to understand and leaves a lasting impression.
Educate customers with multiple assets
Video is a great way to make your key points, but often you’ll want to back up the unique value proposition, or UVP, that you stress in your videos with other educational assets, like webinars, infographics and even the occasional whitepaper. Some of our customers call this approach “rolling thunder,” and orchestrating all these pieces is a lot of work.
This is where video can really pay dividends in longer B2B purchase cycles. Shorter videos (30 seconds or so) can be a great way to quickly engage viewers and encourage them to invest the time to learn more about your solution.
Creative tip: In addition to consistent branding, using the same informational elements across all these assets, including video, reinforces the main points of your marketing and sales pitch.
What type of video is best for your B2B software product launch?
The type of video that’s best for your software launch depends largely on whether you are releasing an innovative new solution, or if you are making your established product even better.
New Products: Explainers
Explainer videos are perfect if you are breaking new ground with your software launch, and your audience needs a little help understanding WHY it’s so great. Explainers use animations and iconography that really grab viewers’ attention and make new concepts easy to understand.
Explainers can also establish your brand in a new market or audience segment (for example, if you are releasing a tailored version of your supply chain software into a new industry vertical.) But, if your new audience is already familiar with the basics of your software category, you may want to go with a Demo Video.
New Version: Demos
As I mentioned earlier, Demo videos account for most of the work we do in support of software product launches. Demos focus on the differentiators that make your solution special in what are often mature B2B software categories – you really need to “wow” customers to get them to be an early adopter of your new version.
A successful Demo video uses screen motion captures and animated highlights to emphasize two or three exceptional features of your B2B software. Let’s say you are introducing a new reporting dashboard that nobody else has – you definitely want to showcase that in a Demo.
For new version releases, this approach is effective across all your Buying Group personas. Even executives who sign the checks understand the basic principles of your software category at this point, so you want to focus on what makes you stand out.
How to use Explainers and Demos together to support a software launch
Of course, there are no absolutes when it comes to B2B marketing. Some ways that you can use both Explainers and Demos to support your software launch include:
- You may find that you want to include a few screen motion captures in an Explainer video, just to visually back up a high-level value, such as advanced charts and graphs.
- If you decide to lead your launch campaign with an Explainer, you may also want to use a Demo for down-funnel to connect with purchase influencers who work with your software daily and really want to know how your key features work.
- If your Sales team uses an Explainer video on its calls, a Demo can be a great leave-behind or follow-up, particularly if your next outreach includes more in-depth materials. A video can quickly remind the prospect of why they should invest more time to research your product.
- Dividing a 90-second Demo or Explainer into two or three short videos for social media is a powerful way to increase the ROI on your marketing investment. (Our founder JC Stites recently wrote about this very topic.) Explainers are particularly useful here, since social is so often about building your brand and creating new relationships. They can provide a real “lightbulb” moment to start the conversation rolling.
All of these tips work best when you plan out your strategy and ensure that all the content is there to drive a multi-channel campaign. Which leads me to my final point …
The advantages of working with a trusted partner
With all the complexity involved in a software launch, it’s an enormous advantage to have a video production partner that understands your business and can respond quickly if a new need arises. At Autodemo, we’ve optimized our Streamlined Development Process to ensure that you will see the results you want, on time and on budget.
And the longer we work together, the more we can become a strategic partner who can anticipate new needs and opportunities. We can be flexible when we have to be, but also keep our focus on what’s effective and will ultimately win you customers.
There’s enough moving pieces to worry about in a software launch. Your marketing videos should not be among them.
Make your software launch soar with explainer and demo videos
Software launches are an exciting time for your business. With Explainer and Demo videos as part of your marketing launch strategy, you’ll make the right impression and make the most of the tremendous investment you’ve made in developing your new B2B software solution.