With so many stores and online businesses springing up, you need a solid pre-launch strategy that lays the foundation of your future consumer base. Buyers will come and go, but lasting communities keep companies going for years. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to launch your next endeavor. The best part is that this advice applies to everyone, so it doesn’t matter what business you’re in or how long you’ve been in the marketing game. This is your go-to, super-simple rundown of pre-launch marketing tips.
Figure Out Your Focal Point
Build a landing page that will be the central hub of your entire strategy. The secret to a successful pre-launch is generating buzz around a particular topic; overall brand awareness is secondary to directional action. In other words, you want people to learn about your brand by talking to them about something else. A coming soon page that features enticing preview images of inventory or even a freebie will bring value before your business is even open. You can also include a countdown timer that gets people excited for the launch; it creates an anticipatory reaction that inspires intrigue even if they know little about your company thus far. Remember that action is the focus here, so you need to provide something for people to do on this page. You might have them follow you on social media, but it’s even better to have them join a mailing list. This is a fantastic way to start building leads. Here are some phrases you can use:
- “Don’t miss our big opening! Click here to sign up for a reminder when we launch”
- “Join our mailing list to receive an opening day reminder and exclusive offers”
- “Subscribe now to get an email as soon as we launch”
- “Incorporate Visuals”
Building brand recognition requires strong visual reinforcements; make sure that any advertising content includes your logo and watermark. Colors are also powerful; create a social media feed that emphasizes your brand’s color palette through complimentary imagery. Themes can be harder to master if you lack content, so plan your general aesthetic, message and content theme ahead of time. You can also set up an automatic social media calendar that schedules and posts content on a routine basis. Platforms like Buffer allow you to get a bird’s-eye perspective of your social media pages, granting you greater insight into performance and the direction you need to take.
You may need to adjust your personal branding budget before you can really go all-in with social media marketing. If you’re having trouble saving up with your current income, it helps to assess your current debts and bills. Many people save hundreds through a student loan refinance, where you can customize a new loan term that includes removing a cosigner and incorporating many loans into a single payment with the help of our Client Happiness team. Cutting back on debt and living expenses will give you enough left over to buy some high-quality branding images, promotional videos and ad promotions on Instagram and Facebook.
Segment Your Audience
The most valuable thing any business can have is audience data. Segmentation helps you build more targeted marketing campaigns that speak directly to the consumer; you need to build several different buyers personae based on pre-launch data, which will shape the content you produce in the future. Segmentation is most easily done through Facebook ads and Google Analytics. Some of the most essential bits of information to collect are:
- Income level
- Online communities
Even within particular segments, you may realize that certain demographics are not responsive to particular pieces of content. Refine and reevaluate through A/B tests, but don’t try to appease everyone. It’s better to identify your most engaged audience demographic pre-launch and continue to target them post-launch; focusing solely on winning over an audience demographic that isn’t responding to your content will waste valuable time and money.
Research Potential Influencers
Building brand awareness through social influence will help you launch a business that feels real and personable. Reach out to micro-influencers who are more likely to work with small and up-and-coming brands; unless you have a bigger budget and affiliate marketing program already lined up, micro-influencers on blogging sites and social media networks like Instagram will be your best bet. The best thing you can offer is a free product; sending a product along with a press kit creates a connection with potential affiliates. The best-case scenario is that you establish a successful relationship with them pre-launch, so you can come back to them again after your business takes off. Make sure that every outreach is individual and authentic; ask each person to take a look at your catalog and specify their size and preferred style. Include a handwritten or individualized, printed thank-you note with each shipment, and make sure you specify that there is no obligation to promote your product if they aren’t 100-percent satisfied with it.