How to Use a Live Video Series to Build Relationships and Drive Product Sales
You're going to love the way Laura Smith of iheartplanners.com turned her product launch for her Sweet Life Planner into a true party. I mean, we're talking a 7-day full week Planner Palooza.
What I love about this launch strategy is that Laura just gave and gave to her audience. She didn't have to be sales-y at all and it was so much fun. You'll hear all about the incredible value that Laura offered to her audience, but how that also turned into so many sales that she sold out of her sweet life planner early.
Press play on the podcast player below to hear the full episode.
Here’s What’s Covered in this Episode:
01:36 – Get My Free Marketing Plan!
01:59 – Planner Palooza was Laura’s Brilliant Marketing Strategy
09:57 – Laura Paid Attention to Her Audience and Responded to Their Needs
13:36 – Calls to Action Are Key to Keeping Your Audience Engaged
19:36 – Laura Boosts Weekly Videos to Keep Her Audience Warm Throughout the Year
21:51 – Selling Out of Your Product is a Great Problem to Have
24:38 – Giveaways Engaged Laura’s Audience and Made Her Product Launch So Much Fun!
27:14 – The Grand Finale of Planner Palooza Doubled as Laura’s Birthday Bash!
30:32 – Laura’s Advice for Brilliant Product Launch Newbies
33:31 – Facebook was Laura’s Platform of Choice for Planner Palooza
41:27 – Connect with Laura Online
Get My Free Marketing Plan for Your Brilliant Business Launch!
If you'd like to pull off a brilliant product launch like this in your business, you need to get your hands on my free marketing plan. You can grab it at brilliantbusinessmoms.com/marketingplan. I'll show you the five steps you have to take to ensure your product launch goes off without a hitch!
You'll discover how to define your offer, how to become BFFs with your audience, how to develop a freebie that gets the right subscribers on your list (the ones that are actually going to buy!), how to create your compelling pre-launch content, and how to launch your offer to raving fans who can't wait to buy.
You're going to love this guide! Make sure you don't miss the opportunity to grab it!
Planner Palooza was Laura Smith’s Brilliant Marketing Strategy
Laura's idea behind Planner Palooza was to have a fun and exciting event to help her market her physical planner. It was seven Facebook Live events where Laura covered different topics related to planning, organizing, and how to use the planner. Planner Palooza ran from Dec. 26 through Jan. 3, which is a critical time for people who want to use a planner to get organized for the upcoming year.
To prepare her audience to participate in Planner Palooza, Laura started talking about it 2-3 weeks ahead of time. She got her audience involved by crowdsourcing topics via email and Facebook Messenger.
This was a little tricky, she says, because the warm-up period was right smack dab in the middle of the Christmas season, and no one wants to read emails on Dec. 24! So launching the event on Dec. 26 was a little abrupt, but by making it several days long, it allowed customers to opt in whenever they were available and wanted to participate.
“I got to know some of those people better by doing the live events every day and seeing some of the same people pop up. It was just so much fun because it was so interactive,” Laura says.
(The events are still available for replay, by the way! Click here!)
Laura Paid Attention to Her Audience and Responded to Their Needs
Laura didn't want Planner Palooza to be 7 days of her saying, “My planner is awesome! Please buy it!” That would get pretty old after a while, right? Instead, she intentionally wanted to talk about topics that she knew her audience was interested in.
In addition to crowdsourcing ideas, Laura paid attention to her audience and noted some of the common sticking points for them. She even use some of their own language when she came up with the titles for the different topics! (For example, a lot of people said they wanted to beat procrastination, so that was one of the live events was called “Beating Procrastination.”)
Then Laura would weave in whatever she wanted to talk about, like how she uses her own planner, how it helps her budget, and how she writes things down in her planner to help her beat procrastination.
She gave a lot of useful information as well as practical application from personal experience!
I just love that because Laura is giving so much value, and she's helping everyone who's showing up! Whether they buy her planner or not, they're walking away with a lot of valuable information.
Laura says she didn’t just want to sell more planners (even though she actually sold out in the middle of Planner Palooza!). One of her huge goals was to communicate with the people who already had the planner and make sure they were really happy with their purchase.
The last thing she wanted was for her product to sit on the shelf and collect dust! She really wanted to help her audience see how they could effectively use their planner.
Laura's approach was so smart! She devised a system that helped her current customers but also introduced her product to potential new customers, too.
Calls to Action Are Key to Keeping Your Audience Engaged
Underneath each Facebook Live video, Laura would include links to buy the planner, watch the replay, and sign up for the rest of Planner Palooza. She also found that her planner sold really well through Facebook Ads. Even if she ran an ad to a cold audience on her planner sales page, people would buy it!
But it's even better to run ads to a warm audience, right? So Laura's goal was not necessarily to sell a lot of planners on the live events, but to grow the warm audience for the least amount of money. She was able to boost her events on Facebook and get a lot of engagement, and by doing it that way, it was super cheap to reach her target audience!
Each of the videos she boosted would get about 20,000 views, and it helped Laura's warm audience grow a lot bigger than it would have without the boosts. She also targeted:
- cold audiences;
- general audiences of pages she thought her target audience would like;
- a lookalike audience to people who had watched at least 50% of the videos on her Facebook page.
Laura Boosts Weekly Videos to Keep Her Audience Warm Throughout the Year
After Planner Palooza, Laura and her team decided to start doing a weekly Facebook Live event. They usually boost those just to keep their warm audience growing and warm all throughout the year, even when they aren't actively selling a bunch of things.
Laura's advice for boosted videos is to include captions from a transcription service before uploading them to Facebook, because then viewers can engage with content without having to turn on their sound.
Laura's videos ran anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, and she says they kept the live event going as long as the audience kept participating. A typical percentage of people who would stick with the video all the way through was 25%, and Laura said it's very normal to not have a whole lot of people watch 50% or 75% of a video.
Selling Out of Your Product is a Great Problem to Have
Laura sold out of all of her inventory earlier than she expected she would! She felt bad about telling people that she was out of the product they wanted, but really, that's a great problem to have! It's impossible to know how much inventory to buy ahead of time, and it's encouraging to watch your product fly off the shelf to eager customers!
That in and of itself is a really great marketing strategy to have. It's nice to be able to tell people that you sold out last year, so they need to hustle their buns and get their order in early!
Definitely don't feel bad about selling out! It's a great thing, and it keeps your customers and your audience motivated to make sure they're on top of your promotions!
Giveaways Engaged Laura’s Audience and Made Her Product Launch So Much Fun!
During Planner Palooza, Laura says she's never given away so much stuff! During most of the live events, she gave away digital products to anyone who attended. For example, when she talked about her budgeting tips, she gave away a free budget printable.
Laura says the freebies helped engagement, made the event more fun, and gave her audience a way to take action immediately.
In addition to that, Laura randomly selected someone to get a prize 3-4 times during each live event. Some of the prizes were a full digital pack, but a lot of audience members won a physical planner!
Laura would say throughout the videos, “OK, we've been talking for a few minutes, it's time to do a giveaway. Can you tell me what's your top budgeting tip?” And the first person who responded won a planner.
This approach accomplished a couple things:
- Laura got to give a lot of people planners, which made them thrilled!
- Laura got more engagement, because in order to win, audience members had to answer the giveaway question.
Laura also knew far more people would watch the replays rather than tune in live. She always said at the beginning and throughout the event that she would go back and award one or two prizes to replay viewers by the next day. So she was even encouraging the replay people to keep interacting with us that way.
The Grand Finale of Planner Palooza Doubled as Laura’s Birthday Bash!
The grand finale of Planner Palooza was Jan. 3, which happens to be Laura's birthday. She invited everyone to to her birthday bash, where she planned to give away one of every single item in her shop, digital and physical, which was worth more than $1,000!
I love everything Laura did for Planner Palooza because it had such a strong focus on giving. She taught amazing things that her audience wanted to learn more about. She gave away free printables away, physical planners, and other great supplies!
I think that so many listeners will be excited to hear that Laura also sold a ton of planners without having to be super pushy or upfront, which I think so many women are scared they are going to do.
Laura’s Advice for Brilliant Product Launch Newbies
Laura's advice for someone who is thinking about doing a launch like this is:
- Start small and do 2-3 days.
- Recycle old content. Laura wasn't spending hours everyday writing the outline for what she was going to say. All the things she talked about she had written on her blog in the past, so she had quite a bit of confidence.
- Simplify it to the point where it's doable for you! You aren't a failure if you don't use a certain fancy tech tool or have sparkling new notes. There's always a way to take a great marketing strategy and pare it down to something that's doable for whatever level your business is at.
Facebook was Laura’s Platform of Choice for Her Launch
Laura originally planned to do a webinar, but then realized it was going to be a lot of work! Facebook Live events just felt more casual, and that's the vibe her team was going for. They also knew that doing Facebook Live events would help grow their engagement on that social media platform.
Laura considered doing Instagram Live events, but for 90% of people who use them, they just don't get the engagement that Facebook Live events do. People are scrolling their Instagram feed and watching stories, but they are not really watching live or Instagram TV.
The other thing about Instagram that Laura noticed is that she can run ads on Instagram through Facebook, but they never got her the same results that running ads directly through Facebook did. Plus, they were just more expensive!
So what Laura decided to do was use Instagram as a way to promote Planner Palooza and drive customers to her landing page, and use Facebook as a direct marketing tool for ads and live events.
When using social media to connect with your audience, Laura says don't be afraid to test different things! Maybe your audience loves watching you on stories and maybe her audience doesn't, but they like seeing pictures of her planner on Facebook. It just depends on your audience and how they connect with you, so you just don't know until you try!
That's one thing I love about Laura. She is always testing and trying new things!
In the online world, it can be a pro and a con that things are always changing. But Laura tries to look at it in a positive light: Things are always changing, so she's not going to get bored!
Connect with Laura Online
And, of course, now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!
– Beth Anne