When launching a new product, all companies aim to generate buzz and attract a large audience. This is key to a successful product launch.
But how do they do it?
Apple and Google have been doing this for years, and the results are evident. Everyone talks about their product presentations days prior to them being released.
On the day of the event, they orchestrate a fantastic live stream that involves careful planning and a mix of selling and providing useful information to the viewers.
After the event goes live, the press repurposes their live streamed launch to create other pieces of content that generate the excitement they’re looking for.
I’m sure you’ve heard this before: “This is the most powerful iPhone we've ever made”. While technically true, the statement only serves a single purpose: to increase expectations for anyone watching the event. In other words, to create buzz.
While your company might not have Apple’s resources, you can still generate hype around your upcoming products, and it’s essential to follow the correct guidebook to get it done correctly.
To nail your upcoming product launch, keep reading.
Live Streaming a Product Launch: First Steps
As you might be in charge of live streaming the event or the marketing side of it, the first step is to get to know the product you’re promoting.
Having a comprehensive understanding of it will help you define the target audience. This is the group of people that will be eager to see the presentation, and hopefully become the first group to get their hands on it.
Alongside your PR efforts, your main goal should be to convert these users into your first group of promoters. The trick here is to get them excited about the product release, delight them with your presentation, and fulfill your promises with the actual product.
How do we get this done?
Start promoting your live stream early
By setting up your product launch event with enough time in advance, you’ll be able to do some outreach to the people that can help you get the voice out.
In an ideal world, you’d start promoting your live stream about 10-14 days before the product launch. To get this done, I’d recommend you choose a streaming platform that allows you to customize the event page and allow people to activate notifications before the event begins.
EventLive is perfect for this, as it will send them an email notification a day before the event and one hour before you go live. It allows you to add product links underneath the video feed and collect valuable feedback with a live chat right next to it.
After scheduling the product launch live stream, it’s important to promote it on multiple channels. Social media is usually the easiest way to scale your promotion efforts, but don’t forget about newsletters, industry blogs, and partners who could help you expand your reach.
Outreach to the right people
After customizing your live stream and adding a cover image to make it look beautiful, it’s time to engage with the promoters (also called influencers) who attract the most users within your target audience.
Sometimes this could be done by paying for sponsored content, newsletter placements, or ads, but many companies rely on social media influencers to get this done. Even though there are agencies and other services that simplify this task for you, you can create a simple spreadsheet to do the outreach yourself.
The goal here is to get people to talk about the upcoming event in a way that feels natural to THEIR audiences.
If influencers don’t match your industry, don’t worry. You can always use the channels you regularly use to communicate with your clients.
Set expectations prior to the product launch
Offering incentives such as early bird pricing or limited edition products can be a great way to get people to activate the notification bell on your event page.
Bigger companies offer access to a smaller number of journalists or users to do a first look at the product, which makes them the first ones to be able to talk about it later on. Smaller companies can benefit from something similar by inviting a handful of people who can amplify the message within their industries.
Before the live stream: Set a budget
To provide a fantastic experience for your users, you need to consider your budget. Even though live streaming is extremely affordable these days, going for a full-scale production might be costlier than you anticipated.
To help you make the right choice, I’ll break this section into three different options.
Live streaming a product launch on a small budget
This is the best option for most small businesses, as live streaming tends to take a step back and not be considered one of the most important things when it comes to budgeting.
This solution will allow you to reach more people with lower costs and give you access to a global audience. The entire live stream should cost you around $100 to $150 USD.
It involves using a smartphone, a tripod, and a small wireless microphone.
Here’s the cost breakdown:
- Smartphone or Tablet: Any iOS or Android device that you have will be ok.
- Live Streaming Platform: $50 USD
- Tripod with Smartphone Mount: $13-25 USD
- Wireless Microphone: $60-80 USD.
At this point, you might be thinking that this isn’t professional enough for a product launch, but let me tell you that as long as the presenter is wearing a wireless microphone, the quality will be fantastic.
To get this done, you will be using a live streaming app, as it is the best way to broadcast directly from a phone. As mentioned before, EventLive is the best tool for the job and it allows you to share the event with anyone else in case you need to swap phones last minute.
At the event, you must verify your internet connection before going live. You can test it with a speed tester or using the same streaming app. You will need an Upload Speed of at least 3mbps+ to guarantee a successful virtual launch, but 5 to 10mbps is definitely recommended.
When the time comes, place the smartphone on the tripod, plug in the wireless receiver, and place the wireless transmitter in the presenter's jacket/shirt. If this isn’t possible, placing it on a lectern or stand is the next best option.
Open the App, and tap “Go Live” when you’re ready.
It’s almost as easy as recording a video on your smartphone.
Live streaming a product launch on a medium budget
You can either do this yourself or hire a professional streaming team. As you’re reading this guide, I suspect you might want to attempt this yourself, so let me guide you.
This setup will cost you anywhere from $500 to $3.000 USD, depending on the tools you have at your disposal. The downside, when compared to the previous alternative, is that you need to actively manage the live stream. Cameras can go out of focus and you need to be next to them most of the time.
The setup in this scenario requires:
- Mirrorless or DSLR Camera: If you’re using an older camera model, you must verify that it includes clean HDMI output so you can live stream the image directly from the camera.
- Tripod: A steady tripod will help you provide a good experience for viewers at home
- Microphone: Wireless microphones are the best solution, but you can use a shotgun microphone too.
- Capture Card: It allows you to connect your camera directly to a computer/laptop. You can use an affordable one, but the recommended one is the Elgato Cam Link 4k
- HDMI Cable to connect your camera
- Live Streaming Platform: EventLive serves this purpose at an affordable price. It creates the event for you, and you can place the RTMP keys directly within OBS.
- Software Encoder: I’d definitely recommend you use OBS for this. It’s free and it’s great. If you don’t know how to configure it, here’s a guide that will help.
- Laptop: You will need a good battery life or a plug nearby. M2 Macbooks are perfect for this.
Although this is enough to live stream the product launch, having a second camera such as a webcam would allow you to have different angles of the event. You could capture the audience (if there’s one) with the wide angle, while you set the focus on the telephoto lens for the presenter.
After scheduling the event, EventLive will provide you with a set of RTMP Stream Keys. You need to copy and paste these within OBS or the software encoder of your preference. Once you’re ready to go live, plug everything in, test your upload speed one more time, and start the virtual event.
Live streaming a product launch on a big budget
In this scenario, we’re talking about a budget of over 5000+ USD just for the live stream. Depending on the complexity of the event and the amount of coverage you need, you can expect to invest up to 10-15 thousand dollars on this.
This option involves a team of operators handling 3 different cameras, and a producer to manage a hardware encoder and audio levels.
A professional kit to live stream a product launch requires:
- 3 Mirrorless or DSLR Cameras: Using a mix of wide and telephoto lenses.
- 2 Microphones: A set of wireless microphones and a shotgun microphone to mix the audience cheering and clapping
- Multiple HDMI Cables to connect your cameras
- Hollyland Mars 300 Pro or Similar: These are optional, but they allow you to get a wireless video signal instead of having cables all around the stage.
- Live Streaming Platform: EventLive works perfectly fine for this purpose, as it allows unlimited viewers and is robust enough to handle bigger events.
- Hardware Encoder: An ATEM Mini Pro ISO would be a great starting point for this, as it includes 4 video inputs and 2 microphones.
- External Hard Drive: To record the inputs and outputs of the ATEM Mini Pro ISO
- Laptop: Plugged in, or with excellent battery life. M1/M2 MacBooks are ideal for this.
- Monitor: Optional but recommended.
Unless you are a professional streamer, I’d strongly recommend hiring a team to do this on your behalf. The costs would be high but worth it, and your budget allows for this.
Tips to prepare for the virtual product launch
When it comes to the actual event, it’s key that you focus on preparing a presentation that will keep your audience’s attention. Remember the buzz I was talking about before?
This is the right moment to exploit it. Twitter polls, encouraging comments, and asking basic questions that they can answer without further thought are just some ways to get the hype up.
You have to create a fun and exciting atmosphere at the event. This means setting the stage for something amazing. Highlight some of the key features of your product, give them the information they need to convince them to get it, and close on a high note.
It’s also important to use this opportunity to create an emotional connection with your audience.
Your goal should be to tell a story, to let them know the journey that got you/or your company here, and to show them how they played a major role in that.
Remember, it’s an exclusive event and they’re part of it. Make them notice.