Marketers see the product-update announcements as gold mines for engaging with high intentions, educated prospects and for upgrading existing customers, but all is not rosy. There is a challenge that every B2B company is bound to encounter down the road. When you have new features, before announcing them, you should answer a few questions that will help you to make the announcement in the right way.
- Is it really worth announcing? The feature that you implemented could be a minor bug fix or a backend performance improvement that nobody really cares about except for you. In most cases, these announcements wouldn't be understood by the users.
- Who would be interested in that change? Most B2B products have varying types of user segments that use products in a range of ways. If you released a feature that'd only be used by a specific user segment, you must inform only them about the update. If you announce every single feature or improvement to everybody, you're going to affect how visible more important releases will be.
- Which medium to use? Not all product updates deserve all the media attention. It's better to announce a specific feature release via an in-app notification (inside your B2B application) rather than write a blog post about it or drop an email. There's a threat of it being seen as spam by your active customers if you send too many emails.
1. Is it really worth to announce?
This is the most critical question that you need to answer before writing a product announcement. If, in the end, you come up that the announcement you plan to publish is not something important, you can skip the rest of the questions (:
As a company, we are committed to release new features and deploy new code almost daily. We developed several methods to determine if the release we will ship/deploy is worth announcing on our changelog. Firstly, we try to prioritize the release that we shipped. We use the MoSCoW prioritization method.
The MoSCoW method is a prioritization technique used in management, business analysis, project management, and software development to reach a common understanding with stakeholders on the importance they place on each requirement's delivery.
As you may notice, each capital letter of the MoSCoW emphasizes one aspect/category of the prioritization requirement. In most cases, we only consider the features that fall under the Must have and Should have category to prepare an announcement. But on some rare occasions, we publish the Could have release (like this) announcements to keep our changelog page up to date and show our users that we are working on the product. We skip the Would Have features as they are mostly improvement or fixes.
|Feature||Must Have||Should Have||Could Have||Would Have|
|Multi Language Feed||✅|
|New Zapier Triggers||✅|
Determine the priority of the release actually is enough to make a decision. Those releases that fall under the Must Have and the Should Have categories make your product better. It is worth enough to make a public announcement and show your achievement to the world.
2. Who would be interested in that change?
Most B2B products have different types of user segments that use products in different ways. When you release a feature that'd be used only by a specific user type, why bother all users about that stuff? If you announce every feature or improvement to everybody, you're going to compromise the visibility of releases that deserve a spotlight moment.
The critical part here is to create User Segment Profiles before everything. Usually, from the early stages of the product, user segment profiles are established from the users' demand and interest. Those segments are used for marketing purposes and initiated on marketing platforms, CRMs, etc. You can use the same User Segments while you publishing the product announcement.
These days, we are bombarded with marketing content that we mostly don't care about. Segmented and personalized marketing contents like product update announcements have more chance to break that barrier by providing relevant and informative content. But be sure that you do segmentation in the right way to don't fall into this situation. Personalized marketing contents are also useful for the product update emails.
3. Which medium to use?
There are plenty of communication channels that you can use for product update announcements. Each medium has it's own user niche and effectiveness.
The MoSCoW method helps us to select the right medium for the product update announcements. We have prepared a communication channels list table and combined it with the MoSCoW prioritization categories.
|Medium||Must Have||Should Have||Could Have||Would Have|
|Changelog / Release Notes||✅||✅||✅|
|Feature||Multi Language||Intercom Integration||2FA||Minor Fixes|
As you can see in the table above, Must Have features should be published on all mediums to reach its niche potential and benefit from it. Some users may not follow your Social Media accounts and your Blog, but they will come up with the announcement with your In-App notifications since they use your application. So relying only on one medium will make you lose your visibility points for your product.
AnnounceKit is an all-in-one solution for your product announcements. Don't waste your time doing some repetitive works like publishing announcements on all mediums, let AnnounceKit publish it via In-App Notifications, Email, Changelog page, and Social Media accounts.
Product update announcements is a new and great way to do content marketing. Marketers just explored its effectiveness and saw it as a gold mine for engaging with high intentions, educated prospects, and upgrading existing customers. Answering these three questions would help you to make product announcements in the right way.