Congrats! You’ve successfully built and shipped a bug-free feature of your product.
Feels great right? But now you need to share it with the team, your customers and oh snap brace yourself! Here comes another round of new features to announce in next week’s release.
Welcome to a fast-paced high-growth startup! — did I get all the buzzwords in?
So what do you, the product marketing team, do in this situation?
TO THE WHITEBOARD!
Let’s write this one out so we don’t get overwhelmed and flip our nearly finished puzzle over.
Step 1: Make a plan
Step 2: Document said plan for all involved to stay in the loop
Step 3: Hold folks accountable
Step 4: Push deliverables
Step 5: Spread the word
Document the Plan
What good is a plan if it exists in your head or in a random Slack DM? Best to document it in an Asana list, Google Doc, pinned Slack message, or whichever spot makes sense for your org.
Hold Folks Accountable
Notice in the plan I have different deliverables assigned to different teams? This is key to getting your stuff out the door. You can’t do it all by yourself and you can’t do it all in a vacuum. Product, Customer Success, Marketing, etc all bring different things to the table. But you have to make sure they’re invited to dinner first and they have access to the pot luck list if you will. Then be sure to sync up periodically to stay on track.
Remember, if it can be an email then make it an email. Don’t book an unnecessary meeting — sincerely everyone else involved.
Push the button. Do the thing.
Once everything has been completed and QA’d it’s time to push the button and go for launch.
Spread the Word
Now let’s announce it to the ~world~
First up, time to share it with the team.
Before you can share the news externally you need to get the team up to speed so they’re prepared for live chat inquiries, customer meetings and general questions.
- Share it on Slack in all appropriate channels
2. Make Guru cards or what I like to call “product knowledge” cards full of the new feature information. Make sure to include the feature’s buyer persona, benefits, pain points addressed and whatever else is deemed necessary for the new feature to be understood
3. Use Slackbot responses for FAQ — you can create autoresponders for frequently asked questions around the product features so you don’t go insane answering the same question 5x before your morning coffee
4. Use gifs and video teasers to help the others have a better grasp on the feature(s)
5. Create a mini slide deck of benefits and new features with accessible language. Be sure to include who this feature is for and why it matters plus pain points to listen for. It’s important to link this in the Guru card and Slackbot responses as well
6. Hold Lunch n’ Learns for business development reps and sales AEs so they can speak the same language and they know how to use these new product features in emails and prospect meetings. Use the mini slide deck from step 5 as your presentation (why do the work twice?)
7. Keep an open-door attitude for feedback and general questions. It’s good ettiquette to be available to your sales team when they have questions that could help land a deal. When they succeed, you succeed.
Now that the team is equipped and ready to answer questions let’s pivot to announcing it to your customers:
- Use an in-product announcement tool to highlight the new feature
- Send email to your customer base — include linked tutorials and/or walk-throughs (see below)
- Post on company blog — include gifs that can also be used on social (again, why do the work twice?), and don’t forget those high-quality screenshots so they can see the feature in all it’s glory
- Try to include a positive customer quote about the feature. (More on how to get this in a future blog post)
- Create a 15-second how-to video walk-through of the new feature for the release email, blog post, support site and social posts
- Make a professional-looking video that includes quick benefits and perks of the new feature(s). This is different than a walk-through or how-to. This is more marketing-focused vs. product-focused. Don’t worry this doesn’t require a video maestro. Take advantage of Adobe Spark or use iMovie. (More on this in a future blog post)
Time to Sum it up
Dearest internet friends,
This plan was built to be repeatable. Once you build it out the first time each subsquent release will be a lot easier to do. This will be especially helpful if you find yourself releasing new features often.