What is the best way to choose/prioritize channels for a product launch?
This always starts with defining your audience. Once you know who you’re trying to reach, you can prioritize the best channels to reach them. There are two questions that I try to answer before I jump into channel strategy:
- Will this feature drive new user acquisition or adoption within our existing user base?
- Which of our users will care about this news?
It is tempting to say that a feature is relevant to both new and existing users across personas, but prioritizing audiences can make a big difference in choosing the right channels. I always recommend establishing a priority between new and existing users, and to limit personas to a max of 2 so the launch strategy stays focused.
Once you’ve identified who to target, you can focus on the best channels to reach them: Where does this audience get their product news? How do they like to hear from you? Is there a specific channel that makes sense for this particular announcement?
Example: At Figma, we’re currently planning for an update to our Slack integration. The update itself is relatively small, but has been a top request from users of the integration. Given this, we’re prioritizing existing users for this launch, and planning to reach out to them directly via Slack (as opposed to email).
When launching a product, it is important to choose the right channels to promote it. This involves using both data and strategy to make informed decisions. Here are some key factors to consider:
Audience: Know your target audience and where they spend their time. This could include industry forums, LinkedIn, trade publications, or other niche platforms. Be present where your audience is.
Historical performance: Analyze past performance data to identify channels that have generated high engagement, leads, or conversions.
Budget and resources: Choose channels that are within your budget and can be managed with the resources available, optimizing for the ones that provide the best ROI.
Content: Different channels cater to different formats of content. Ensure that the channel you choose aligns with your content strategy, whether it's webinars, whitepapers, demo videos, or case studies.
Agility and adaptability: Continuously monitor the performance of your channels post-launch and be prepared to pivot resources if certain channels underperform or new opportunities emerge. This way, you can make informed and flexible choices that ensure your product message resonates effectively with your target audience.
This will depend on your specific goals for the launch. I like to define tiers for product launches and then have a bill of materials for each tier. That makes the process easy to replicate and facilitates cross functional collaboration, because everyone knows what to expect. For example, you might define your tiers this way:
Tier 1: Large, brand new product that is opening a new market for your company. You're going to make a really big deal about this and activate all your channels, from web to PR and social. You'll train your sales and CS teams to be ready.
Tier 2: Significant update that will make your existing customers super happy. You may decide to do a blog post, social, and give sales and CS one slide.
Tier 3: Small update or bug fix. You're not going to tell the world about this, but customer support needs to know in case there are any tickets.