Ready to launch your brand or latest product but not sure how to build anticipation? Try these low-cost strategies to generate hype and whip your audience into an excited frenzy.
Stop us if this feels (painfully) familiar...
You’re approaching the final stages of development and starting to feel nervous. You’ve spent time, money, and effort on your latest product or brand, and you want your audience to love it as much as you do. So you kick off your marketing campaign on launch day and wait for customers to come rolling in.
If you want your next product launch or brand campaign to be a success, you need to whip your audience into an excited frenzy. But building hype takes #work. Your audience has limited attention spans, and you’re competing against countless platforms, profiles, competitors, and clicks - but help is here.
Read on for our 7 tips to make a splash online and build serious hype for your brand or upcoming product launch.
Your product isn’t for everyone - and that’s OK.
The first step to creating hype online is to figure out who will be using your product and focus your attention on them. This market is NOT the same as your broad target market. For example, if you sell activewear, your target audience consists of fitness-loving individuals. But if your product launch is for your latest sports bra range, you’ll need to focus on a specific market within your target market - in this case, activewear-loving women.
This step is crucial if you have a diverse range of products. Not every customer will be keen to check out your latest launch. Bidentifying your target market and focusing your efforts there, you can avoid wasting time and money and whip up hype among the right people.
Building hype online is about momentum. You don’t want to send one message then stop to plan the next step (that’s how you kill momentum).
It’s OK to announce an upcoming product launch, drop teasers about your new product, and celebrate launch day without coming across as spammy. You might be worried about overwhelming your audience with messages. Still, as long as you provide value at each step, your audience won’t mind.
The best forms of hype-building occur across multiple channels. That could mean behind-the-scenes teasers through IG Stories, product launch announcements via email, and an official launch on YouTube. These glimpses into each stage of your launch build hype while also creating engagement across multiple touchpoints.
For example, a launch campaign might look like this:
#gifted tip: One of the best ways to build hype is mystery. Don’t give away all your info in the first announcement. Humans are naturally curious. If you tell people everything and answer all their questions up front, why would they stick around to learn more? (Hint: they won’t).
Branded hashtags are great for driving online and offline interest.
Branded hashtags help your product stand out in an increasingly competitive social landscape. Social media users can quickly find your product through your branded hashtag, which helps attract attention and create an online community.
Branded hashtags also work offline. Promoting your hashtag encourages people to take action online, share their experience with your product, and generate hype in the real world. A branded hashtag that gets people talking is a great way for your fans to follow a new launch while generating word-of-mouth buzz that spreads your message.
Coca-Cola are experts at this strategy. They used branded hashtags to encourage customers to tag their friends when enjoying a coca-cola with their name on it - #ShareaCoke. This was a community-building hashtag that people wanted to share - both online and through offline conversations - and helped the campaign reach millions of people through UGC that didn’t cost a cent.
Looking to leverage UGC to grow your brand online? Here’s how you take advantage of user-generated content.
Blogging is a great way to share more information about your brand or product than you could on a social media post. A blog allows you to share details about how your new product was created, what problems it solves, or what makes your brand the next big thing.
Building hype requires more than attracting attention. Your audience needs to think of you as an authority to maintain the hype-train, otherwise, people will drop off and move onto brands who they look up to and admire more. It’s tough to catch attention if you’re not an expert in the field, making writing blogs and answering common audience questions valuable.
Check out Starbucks as an example of beautifully branded blogging. When you think of Starbucks you probably think of your favourite coffee (or comical misspelling of your name on your Vanilla latte), but their blog is about much more than beans. Each topic is informative, easy to read, and offers tips outside of coffee.
This creates a community that turns to the Starbucks blog for ideas and inspo which a). provides a ready-made audience for new product announcements, and b). helps Starbucks create content that can be shared across their online channels to drive awareness and hype in multiple places.
When you’re working on something new, you want to start driving hype long before launch day. But where can you start driving interest?
Try tapping into your existing email subscribers to get the hype train out of the station. Sending emails to get people excited leading up to the launch of your brand or product is an example of using your resources effectively. You don’t just want to rely on your website to promote a new product or brand announcement as this limits your reach. Instead, exhaust every resource and use your existing marketing channels to put the word out - and no medium is more powerful than email.
Did you know email marketing delivers $36 for every $1 spent? That’s an average ROI of 3,500%.
Utilising your email list helps you speak to your customer base and share information about your product launch or brand announcement without distraction.
#gifted tip: Creating a sense of exclusivity can help drive hype. People want what they think is hard to get. Try promoting scarcity to your email subscribers to get them excited. You can create this feeling of excitement using language like “limited time only”, “until sold out”, or “early-bird access”.
You’re excited about your new product (and rightfully so). Maybe it pushes the envelope. Maybe it’s literally the best thing since sliced bread. Whatever features your product has, it’s easy to assume your customers feel the same level of excitement.
But they don’t.
Your customers care about their problems and how your product will help solve them.
Remember, features tell but benefits sell. So don’t talk about your product. Talk about what your product will do for someone’s life. Talk about how your brand is going to make someone’s day a happier, more enjoyable place. Paint a vivid picture of how your product or brand will make a customer’s life better to drive excitement in a way product specs or manufacturing processes never will (#boring).
Customers want to know what’s in it for them. They don’t want to buy new products because they’re “100% Eco-Friendly” or “Made With Love”. Explain what makes your product different from everyone else and how it will benefit customers when they buy it. Once you’ve identified the value of your product, use this to generate interest among your target audience.
This one-two punch is the simple secret behind the most talked about and desired products and brands - so use it to build buzz baby.
If you want to win fans and influencer people, you need to partner with influencers.
92% of people trust recommendations from people they know and admire over branded messages. Influencers offer loyal audiences who value their suggestions. An influencer’s followers are looking for advice and tips, making an influencer marketing partnership the proven way to get people interested in your brand or product.
Word of mouth has long been a proven strategy to build hype and influencer marketing is digital word of mouth. The range of influencer tiers offers plenty of opportunities for hype-building. For example, macro-influencers (500,000+ followers) offer you the chance to put your brand in front of huge follower counts. Smaller influencers, like nano or micro-influencers, don’t have the same follower counts, but they offer some of the highest engagement rates to help put your brand in front of highly impressionable audiences.
Influencer marketing is the perfect way to build hype and brand awareness because influencers already have audiences seeking out recommendations. The right influencer can put your brand or product in front of huge, and highly impressionable, audiences who end up becoming big fans of you too.
How would it feel to have thousands of eyeballs on your new product? Or your brand on the lips of social media’s most influential figures? Or authentic reviews from everyday customers who love your brand?
The secret to building hype is to start before launch day. You wouldn’t start training for a marathon on the day of the race, so start building hype in the lead-up to your launch.
At #gifted, we help the new and established brands become the centre of attention through gifting campaigns that generate interest, awareness, and exposure. The #gifted app is the easiest way to drive hype and nail your next product launch. You can create a gifting campaign, receive influencer applications, choose your favourites, and start generating buzz from one dashboard.