If your business is getting ready to roll out a new product, you've probably thought about how you're going to launch it. The launch is your chance to grab customers' attention and help your product make a great first impression. But, like all first impressions, it's hard to correct a product launch if it doesn't go smoothly right off the bat.

"Product launches are tricky because, unlike other marketing efforts, you really only have one chance to get it right," said Daniel Waldman, president of PR and marketing firm Evolve Communications. "There's not a lot of room for testing and refining tactics. Launches need to pack a punch."

Evolve Communications recently released a whitepaper to help startups plan and execute a successful product launch. The guide outlined five steps to ensure that your launch makes a lasting impact, regardless of your budget: [How to Get the Media Interested in Your Product]

  1. Identify goals. It's impossible to define success without first defining what you want to achieve. For a product launch, your goals will likely be smaller than the overarching goals of your business, and might even serve as stepping stones to achieve some of those larger goals. Some common product launch goals include growing your customer base, increasing market share, and creating awareness of your product or company, said Waldman.
     
  2. Define audiences and messaging. You should have at least a basic understanding of your target audience. Know their demographic information, why they need your product, who influences them, what types of media they consume and any other information that is relevant to your product. Once you develop profiles for your audience(s), create messages specifically for them that drive home the core value your product delivers.
     
  3. Create a concept. Your launch concept serves as the overarching concept that ties together every aspect of your launch. It should be broad and tell the story of your product or company. To develop your concept, think of ways to bring your product's core values to life, such as a special offer for early adopters. Ask yourself what you can do to excite your audience, enable social sharing or attract media attention.
     
  4. Develop channel tactics. Think about where you'll market and promote your launch by figuring out where your audience is, both online and off. This can mean choosing specific social media channels, planning a launch event, or developing press releases for media sites and blogs that your audience reads. Once you've defined your tactics, create a timeline that lays out everything you need to do leading up to the launch.
     
  5. Set up measurement. Go back to your goals and measure the outcomes of your initiatives according to those goals. You'll probably want to make weekly measurements, tracking week-over-week and month-over-month changes as you go. Split your measurement by channel when possible so you know which ones drive the most goal completions. You may also want to track analytics data like page views, visitors, social shares and other metrics that contribute to goal completions.

For more information, download the full whitepaper for free at SimplyEvolve.com.

Originally published on Business News Daily.