I recently met with a prospective life sciences B2B client that’s preparing to launch a new product.
Their team had a plan in place to promote the product launch that included the usual suspects, such as trade shows and email marketing.
However, the team was also interested in using Google advertising to promote the new product, so they gave me a call to discuss.
We had a great initial meeting, and so the team asked me to present to their CMO.
The CMO, however, had a harder time envisioning Google Ads as part of their product launch strategy. In fact, he wanted a firm commitment as to how many leads we could deliver via Google Ads.
Of course, I couldn’t give him any such guarantee. (Nor could any other honest marketer.)
But that doesn’t mean that Google Ads can’t play an important role in product launches.
Your New Product Needs a Presence on Google
If you’re going to launch your new product successfully, it MUST have a presence on Google. Otherwise, you may be wasting your marketing and advertising efforts on every other platform.
Think about it: We don’t live in a one-click world. People aren’t going to see one social media post or receive one newsletter about your new product and decide to buy—especially in B2B!
Instead, prospects will likely go away, reflect, encounter additional messaging, and THEN circle back to learn more about your new product.
And when they do, how will they reengage?
They could search their inbox to find that your email announcing the new product. Or they could try to track down that social media post.
But that’s a lot of added friction.
Instead, most prospects will search for your product online.
And you want to make sure they can find the information they need easily.
An Organic Listing Isn’t Enough
If you have good SEO practices in place, you may show up on the first page of Google’s organic search results.
That’s a very good thing. But it’s not enough.
You have less control over your organic listings. So there’s no guarantee that your new product will be front and center in the messaging of that organic search result.
You also want to have your ad at the very top of the search results page—not halfway down the page—which is what Google advertising can get you.
You can also use your paid ad to send people directly to your product launch landing page (instead of your home page, other product page, or blog page), which means your prospect won’t have to hunt through your site to find your new product info.
It’s Not All About Sales—It’s About Filling the Funnel
As you might have deduced, the goal of advertising your new product on Google isn’t all about sales.
Instead, it’s about keeping the sales funnel full by creating awareness and encouraging people to learn more about your product.
So instead of measuring success by sales, look at other metrics, such as signups for webinars and demos.
How to Use Google Ads to Support New Product Launches
Not every type of Google Ads campaign is suitable for promoting every new product. It all depends on your product, business and goals.
Still, these are the campaign types we use most often to support new product launches:
Dynamic Search Ad campaigns
Rather than targeting specific keywords, Dynamic Search Ads are automatically generated by Google based on the content of your website. You have some control in that you get to specify the pages they draw from.
Based on the content of your site, and how it is structured, Dynamic Search Ads campaigns can be wildly successful or wildly not. You’ll have to test to find out if they work well for your product.
A valuable side benefit of these campaigns is that they can help you find new keywords for your keyword-targeted campaigns.
Customer Match campaigns
If the goal is to target your current customer base or past customers, Customer Match campaigns can work really well.
With Customer Match campaigns, you upload a data file of contact information to Google Ads (that you have permission to use, of course!) from customers and potential customers. You can then create campaigns that target those people.
So if you’re trying to upsell or cross-sell to your existing customer base, Customer Match campaigns are a great strategy to test.
Campaigns targeting the name of the product
Campaigns that target the name of your product (a.k.a. branded keyword targeted campaigns) will get more traction as product awareness increases. They’re a good campaign type to test once things get rolling.
Campaigns targeting non-branded keywords, meanwhile, were once a go-to strategy—but not so much these days. It’s too easy to use up your entire budget quickly when keywords are expensive. That’s why we’ll often try Dynamic Search Ads or Customer Match first, particularly if budgets are tight.
Google Display Network campaigns
Google Display Network (GDN) campaigns have a plethora of targeting methods to choose from, so they’re another good strategy to test. We’ve had great success with custom intent (especially targeting competitor sites), and topics is something we’ve been leaning on lately as well.
The GDN is a great way to build up your remarketing lists and branded search campaigns when search traffic is slow—as it will be at the start of any product launch until new awareness grows.
And yes, the GDN is great for B2Bs too!
We’ve also successfully used video advertising to support new product launches. We use them to advertise on YouTube, the GDN and, more recently, Performance Max campaigns.
Another good strategy to try is to remarket to people who’ve watched your ads via Display ads.
Make Paid Advertising Part of Your Product Launch
Of course, there’s no guarantee that any of these strategies will work.
But as always, you won’t know what WILL work until you test it.
So why not invite everyone to the party and see who shows up?!