You did it. The day has finally arrived. You spent countless hours pouring over copy, building out your website and digital products, triple checking your opt-in forms, setting up your analytics, and you’re ready to LAUNCH.
So you send out the email, publish an image to the ‘gram, and…
You start to wonder, “Is it my copy? Are my new visuals not appealing? Are my product shots not compelling? Is my newsletter signup broken? Why is my mom the only person to like my post? Did I get it all wrong???”
And then you wake up from this nightmare and realize you’re still in the middle of your rebrand and you’ve still got time to build excitement and anticipation surrounding your launch! (I had you for a second there, didn’t I?)
If you’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into strategizing and designing your brand, nothing is more soul-crushing than crickets, or worse, the status quo.
Building buzz around your brand actually starts before you’ve officially launched. Escape this nightmare scenario by implementing six tactics to garner the attention your brand (and hard work) deserves!
1) Build anticipation
Idea 1: Create a splash page with a Coming Soon announcement and a way to subscribe to your newsletter for updates or special insider rewards.
Idea 2: Implement a countdown clock and tell your audience that anyone who signs up for your newsletter between a specific time will receive a special reward!
Idea 3: Routinely incorporate sneak peeks into your social media content. Show new product packaging or snapshots of elements of your new brand identity. Test out your messaging by filling in the banks:
“ BUSINESS NAME has always been a place where YOUR PURPOSE. We’re excited to take things to the next level by KEY MESSAGING POINT #1. We’re working on something exciting and want you to be a part of the action! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking you behind the scenes and throwing in some special surprises for our loyal fans along the way! CALL TO ACTION HERE (signup, subscribe, like)”
2) Build a new content calendar
Idea 4: Create a 6-month content calendar so you have a steady stream of fresh and engaging content for your audience that reflects your brand’s offerings and expertise. Be deliberate with your content strategy and design it to hit promotional periods and business goals. Launching a refreshed brand is the ideal opportunity to capitalize on the attention you’re getting and establish authority and extend your social reach by providing valuable posts designed to educate, connect, build trust, and promote.
Idea 5: Audit your social media platforms and start to focus only on the ones that add value to your business. This doesn’t mean you should get rid of a platform that isn’t leading to direct sales. There is as much value in building brand awareness as there is in instant clicks. But instead of worrying about creating original captions, researching hashtags, and optimizing graphics for all the platforms, be okay with automatic (and imperfect) cross-posts on the platforms that function more like placeholders. Pin a post requesting that people follow you on your preferred platform of choice for the most up-to-date and current content
3) Reach out to micro-influencers or your top customers/clients
Idea 6: Start a referral campaign. Reaching beyond your immediate audience and getting in front of new eyeballs is where the gold lies, so naturally, it’s crazy hard to accomplish. It’s why people hire extremely expensive marketing and publicity agencies to do the work. Take a note out of their playbooks and adapt it to a smaller, more manageable scale. Reach out to your most engaged audience members and offer them an incentive to tell or tag two people about your business.
Idea 7: Start an early review campaign. Similar to a referral campaign, reach out to your most engaged audience members and offer a limited supply sample of your product for them and a friend in exchange for a review. If you’re a services business, survey past clients and see if anyone is willing to be your guinea pig and receive some pro-bono work in exchange for a testimonial.
4) Go on a mini-press tour
Idea 8: Get out there and demonstrate your expertise. Pitch yourself for podcasts, blog interviews, and guest posts. There are lots of platforms that are open and eager for outside submissions for articles related to their platform. Do a little digging and trace where someone you admire in your space has appeared. Go after opportunities with an abundance mindset — even if there are a thousand people out there doing what you’re doing, you have a unique perspective you alone can speak to. There’s room for more than one opinion on a topic. Trust me. The internet wouldn’t exist if only one person was allowed to voice and own an idea.
5) Set up a pre and post-launch email funnel
Idea 9: If you’re trying your hand at any of the above ideas, you’re already creating a ton of new and exciting content. But not everyone is paying attention to your every move, so repurpose your activities by creating an email funnel for both post and pre-launch. Be strategic about the journey you’re taking subscribers on and remember the 80/20 rule of sales. (Ahem…give 80% of the time. Ask 20% of the time.) There is a LOT that can be said about email marketing, but remember that the goal is more than just the sale. It’s also about building trust. If your first campaign comes back with a minimal amount of unsubscribes, then you know you’re serving your audience and giving them something valuable to apply to their businesses and lives. And if there is a direct link between your email automation and a sale, even better. Pop the prosecco!
6) Tell everybody!
Idea 10: Order those freshly branded business cards, practice your elevator pitch, and tell e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. about your business. Head to as many networking events (Check out meetup.com to find some local groups near you!), coffee hours, and relevant events as you can. Chatting with your kid’s classmates’ parents before pick-up? Tell them about it. See an old colleague while in line at the deli? Tell them about it.
Idea 11: Keep the momentum of your launch moving by switching from the announcement phase to education. Host a webinar addressing FAQs. Make sure to include an incentive to sign up and stay until the end. Invite a happy client to participate and talk about their experience working with you. The purpose of the webinar is to lead interested or curious parties down the funnel from engaged to committed. By giving them a real-live-face to connect to, you can put people at ease and make the process of working with you feel like less of a risk. Make sure your webinar topic is compelling, you’re speaking from your audience’s POV and have practiced how you’re going to seamlessly transition to discussing your service offering without feeling sales-y.