There is no denying the social power of Instagram, especially as they continue to roll out new features like Instagram Stories and Instagram Live, and promotional options for brands. There are over 500 million active users on Instagram, and 75% of those users report taking action on an Instagram post, like clicking through to a website. (source)
So it only makes sense to include Instagram in your launch strategy, using a combination of influencers with strong Instagram followings and gorgeous photography or video, to build anticipation and hype.
You need to take a few things into consideration when mapping out your pre-launch plan for Instagram.
Carefully consider what your ultimate goal is for this pre-launch hoopla on Instagram before diving in. For example, are you trying to drop people into your sales funnel, or deliver them directly to a landing page? Are you trying to establish yourself as an authority on a particular subject, or grow an existing customer base?
Your actions, and those of your influencers, should directly lead people to fulfilling your ultimate goal. Marketing for a new product or service that is new for your brand is vastly different than launching a new product that will be added to your existing product catalog.
Determine how far ahead of the big launch day you want to start your pre-launch festivities on Instagram. If you start building hype too soon, people might lose interest and get tired of waiting. Wait too long, however, and Instagram’s new feed may not get your most exciting announcements in front of the people who need to see them.
Be sure to give yourself enough time to bring on and education influencers as well. They will need time to create and plan their content to help promote your product launch.
The influencers you choose, and the posts they create as part of the launch plan, should directly relate to your target audience. If your brand is launching a new product for a different niche market, be sure the influencers you select will speak to that new niche.
Influencers should take into account the color scheme or overall feel of their Instagram feed. You want whatever you post to fit neatly into the influencer’s aesthetic while also standing out just enough to be noticed as something extra special. This will help the content to feel organic and authentic, rather than promotional in nature.
You can get really creative using Instagram to launch a new product, service, or business. It’s more than just beautiful photos – it truly is a social platform that fosters deep connections and opens the doors for awesome networking, so don’t be afraid to do something a little different from your normal routine.
These ideas will get you started, and I also encourage you to combine a few of these to create an epic launch plan all your own.
Countdowns are great because they build anticipation. Countdowns should be more than just “5 days until the big day!” – think of how you can take people behind the scenes, giving them a tiny taste of what’s to come each day leading up to the launch.
Share the backstory of your upcoming product or service – why did you create this thing? Who does it serve? Why is it important to you, and why should others get excited? That’s all part of building excitement. Sharing a countdown on your brand’s Instagram feed is a great opportunity to also showcase some of your influencer’s content each day as part of the countdown.
A giveaway is a great opportunity for you to grow your Instagram following and get your new shiny thing in the hands of someone who can help spread the word organically.
Partner with influencers to do a giveaway for each of their Instagram audiences, incorporate a unique hashtag, and be sure to highlight the winner of each giveaway as they are chosen. Be sure to start the giveaway a few days before launch day, then announce the winner(s) on launch day as part of the celebration.
People love to see a peek behind the curtain, and sneak peeks allow you to show people what they have to look forward to.
Share what goes into the product you are launching, or testimonials from a beta group or influencers who got a first look. Have influencers show creative uses for your new product on their Instagram channels as well.
An Instagram takeover is when you virtually take over another person’s Instagram account, or they take over yours, typically for one day. This can be done one of two ways:
Have your influencers create a series of images, captions & hashtags ahead of time, then send them to your brand. These posts will be scheduled out on your brand’s Instagram channel to create several posts over the course of one 24-hour period, highlighting an influencer and how they use your product.
Be clear that the influencer should send people to your Instagram account that day, and be active engaging with people in the comment section.
Pop into Instagram Stories each day leading up to your big launch day to share what you’re working on, any new announcements or collaborations, any special deals you might be offering, etc. Give people an idea of all the hard work you’re putting into this big launch, and tell them how much it means to you. They’ll appreciate it so much more if you’re transparent.
Go live on Instagram a few times to answer questions about your soon-to-be-launched product or service as well, or share the chaos in the office as your team prepares for launch day. Most consumers don’t ever get a glimpse of the work behind a launch, but Instagram Live is the perfect tool to share those raw and unfiltered glimpses behind the curtain.
For more social media tips for your brand, check out these posts: