By Adrian Fisher, founder and CEO of PropertySimple A lot of work goes into adding a new company feature -- and it doesn’t stop after th
By Adrian Fisher, founder and CEO of PropertySimple
A lot of work goes into adding a new company feature — and it doesn’t stop after the development process. Once a company is ready to launch a new feature, they’ll need to let everyone know about it. How they announce a new product update can make or break adoption.
Content floods customers daily, so companies will need to figure out how to get their attention effectively. Announcements for updates should be clear so that existing and potential customers can easily understand how new features work as well as any changes to workflows.
It’s essential for businesses to create a strategy to communicate improvements successfully. Here are some tips to consider when announcing new features.
Write a blog post.
Most companies already have a blog that current and potential users read, making it a valuable way to promote new launches. Write a blog post explaining how the new feature will help users, as well as instructions on how to use it. Once customers understand how the update impacts their experience, they’ll be more likely to try it.
For example, my company created a blog post to announce our new update that enables users to generate on-demand social media advertising campaigns. We included videos, images, product screenshots and step-by-step instructions to show users the benefits of the new feature and to explain how it works. Not only does this post serve as a permanent resource for customers, but our sales and support teams can also use it with leads.
Additionally, blog posts can boost SEO and increase awareness of the company’s product.
According to Statista, there were 3.8 billion email users globally in 2017, and the research firm expects this number to grow to 4.4 billion users by 2023. Email remains one of the best ways to engage with customers. Naturally, it makes sense for companies to use this method when introducing a new feature.
There are numerous ways companies can use email to announce their latest update. They can send a mass email to all customers explaining their new feature and linking to where they can try it. Companies can also segment their audience according to how they use the product so they can send users more personalized emails.
However, remember not to bombard customer inboxes to prevent them from ignoring messages or marking emails as spam.
Add an image or video.
Visuals are an excellent way for companies to get and keep their customers’ attention. Adding a screenshot or a short informational video helps customers better understand how a new feature works and how it will benefit them. Visuals help break up content and give customers a clear expectation of what they’ll see with a new product update.
Embed a video on your website, email newsletter or blog from YouTube or Vimeo. You can also use Instagram Stories or Facebook Live to show users a sneak peek of the new feature before and after its release.
Create social posts.
Many consumers use social media to engage with brands, and companies should leverage social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to build anticipation before and after the launch of a new feature.
A short snippet about the update along with an image of the feature in use is an effective way to tell users about the release. It’s important to keep posts relaxed and let your brand’s personality shine through to drive users to your company website or blog for more information about the new feature.
I recommend posting multiple times, varying the messaging and images to increase your odds of getting your audience’s attention.
Run a webinar.
Hosting a webinar is another great way to launch a new feature. Run a webinar to educate current and new users on the benefits, how-tos and best practices of the product update. Provide training, share demos and show examples of how customers can use the new feature.
Making a product announcement through a webinar allows you to show users how the new feature works and answer any questions they might have on the spot. Be sure to spread the word about the webinar through your company’s email newsletter, social media, blog and anywhere else that customers are present to maximize attendance.
There are numerous things companies should keep in mind when rolling out a new feature. It’s crucial that you focus on what the feature means for customers and how it will impact their jobs. Companies that nail their feature announcement by showing customers what they can achieve will increase their product adoption rates.
Adrian Fisher is founder and CEO of PropertySimple, a real estate technology company that helps real estate agents build a brand worth talking about.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
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