Picture this: you’re ready to launch a new business, promotion, or project. It’s taken months or even years to get ready. You’re excited. You feel like it’s going to take you in the right direction. This is the culmination of all your blood, sweat, and tears.
But how do you know that anyone will check the launch out? Without a strategy in place, you won’t know!
The most successful launches have a pre-launch marketing strategy in place before the launch even begins. If you’re worried because you don’t have a background in marketing, take heart. We’re here to talk you through everything you need to know about pre-launch marketing.
Most of the parties and events we decide to go to all boil down to pre-launch marketing. Think of the first party you went to as a kid! How much buzz did you hear at school? Did everyone whisper about the pizza, the laser tag, or the huge trampoline you all got to bounce on? That’s pre-launch marketing.
Pre-launch marketing is planning and taking action to generate buzz and gain customers before the event. And some methods are better to build attention or excitement than others.
Pre-launch marketing is important because it helps you reach and refine your target audience. It helps them get excited! You’ll have customers lining up in anticipation rather than waiting for months after a non-hyped launch.
Pre-launch marketing also has an impact on your post-launch marketing strategy. If planned well, the email list or the social media platforms you began when starting your business can continue to serve as a link to your customers. With these channels established, you can communicate about new ways you’ll be serving them in the future.
One thing to note about pre-launch marketing is that your business should be further along than it would be when creating your general marketing strategy. Because it’s a pre-launch, your business or product will already be named, your prices decided, and your market identified.
If you’ve now got those ducks in order, let’s get started! Here are five of the best pre-launch marketing strategies to help make sure your launch is as successful as possible.
Advice from the Experts
Top Tip: Pre-launch marketing is also a way to start a dialogue with potential customers. It’ll help your business avoid coming across as a brand merely pushing products on them.
Build an Email List + Email Teasers
An email list allows you to communicate with those interested in hearing information, special offers, promotions, ideas, motivation, suggestions, and other things about your online business. When done correctly, an email list combined with strategic email marketing increases readership and engagement. They also enjoy an amazing return on investment, bringing in $36 for every $1 invested.
Once you have your website landing page and dedicated email address in place, make sure the language you use for your potential sign-ups is exciting and enticing. Always tell them exactly what to expect from your email list and guarantee privacy – let them know you won’t sell any information!
Besides that, it’s good to leave room for teasers to build intrigue. Make the subject line exciting so that recipients open it. In fact, 47% of people decide to open an email based on the subject line.
Teasers work well when they build curiosity. They encourage the customer to learn more, so be certain that the email is structured well to attract attention. Questions are great and stories work extremely well. Where did you get the idea for the company or the specific launch? Did you have a big obstacle to overcome? Customers love to know this! It gives them an insight into who you are and helps them emotionally bond with you and your values.
Build a Social Media Following + Post Teasers
All online businesses should have a social media strategy in place, but the platforms and approaches will differ depending on the business. Some platforms will be more obvious according to the nature of your products, experience, and talents. If you’re great with photography and your products are beautiful, Instagram will be a natural home. If your products look fun or interesting to use, YouTube might be an ideal location. On the other hand, a guest blog entry might suit your storytelling abilities.
As with anything on social media, use the opportunity to create value instead of simply “pushing” the product onto people. Adding value could be anything from shaping the product based on a customer’s feedback or experience to providing tips (or uses for your product) that will help your customers.
Advice from the Experts
Top Tip: You’re not just sharing the specific launch, you’re sharing your brand. A particular launch might not appeal to everyone, but a customer might love your brand and stick around for your next offering.
Create Killer Content
Who doesn’t want to be known for killer content? Knowing your ideal customer helps you create appealing pieces of content. Killer content is unique and memorable – it’s easy to understand and has a point. The essential message of your content should be something that’ll stick in your audience’s minds, even if they forget everything else.
For some brands, it’s very easy to create killer content. Rap supergroup Mount Westmore – made up of Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, E-40, and Too Short – created pre-launch marketing for their upcoming song “Too Big”. It gave both potential and existing customers a little taste of what was to come. It speaks of confidence in the product and gets people excited about the launch.
Advice from the Experts
Top Tip: If you want to make content that stands out among your competitors, research what they’re doing. What works for their business? What encourages good engagement? What fails?
We’ll bet you remember the first thing you ever won, and quite possibly everything you won after that as well! There’s something exciting about getting a product or experience for nothing. Competitions are a surefire way to grab attention – over ⅓ of customers are more likely to listen to information about your brand if you host a competition. Make it fun and easy to join, preferably with auto-fill fields if you have a competition pop-up on your website.
Competitions also encourage user-generated branded content. Why not encourage new and established customers to make content about their thoughts on your brand or how they use specific products? Stewart’s Market is famous for hosting coloring competitions for new seasons and family events. Not only do kids have fun, but it creates brand loyalty! Win-win.
How you share your competition is another opportunity for success. The best platform to share a competition giveaway is Facebook, the home of 78% of competition shares. If your target audience uses Facebook, this is a great boost for your message.
Partner with Influencers
Online influencers bring an already-established audience and a level of trust for recommended products and services, so they shouldn’t be overlooked as a resource for your pre-launch marketing strategy. A study by Digital Marketing Institute found that:
- 70% of teens trust influencers over celebrities
- 49% of customers look for influencer recommendations
Finding the right influencers is a must. Look for people with solid reputations who reach your target audience. Does their personality fit your brand? Is their engagement rate good? How have their previous product recommendations worked? When you find your ideal influencer, work with their talents and ideal posting times. You can even give them a special code for their followers!
Dior’s Forever Foundation line is an excellent example. The brand wanted to launch around the world, so it enlisted a mini-army of multinational influencers to make sure no market went ignored.
Advice from the Experts
Top Tip: Not all influencers work on Instagram and YouTube. Broaden your reach to podcasters, comedians, sketch groups, complementary brand influencers, and micro-influencers.
No matter what type of product or service your online business sells, there are many ways to generate a buzz ahead of your launch.
Influencers, competitions, killer content, teasers, and email lists (or all of them if you’re a true marketing beast!) make up an effective pre-launch marketing strategy. Once you decide on your strategy makeup, it’s time to see it through to launch day!
Just remember to focus your pre-launch marketing strategy on your target audience and get them as excited as you about what you have to offer.