You have a business idea, an app or digital product that you are wanting to take to market. It isn’t quite ready for launch at this moment but you know that it is going to be a game-changer. How do you create hype and build interest around it before launch? Well, this what we aim to cover in this post.
A guide to building hype around your new digital product or offering:
Step 1: Start at the end
It may sound a little strange. Why on earth would you start at the end? Well, it is simple really. Start with why you created this startup. What problem is your startup solving? Essentially, why are you in business and who is going to be your target market?
Once you have this, together with the goals and objectives of the startup, it helps get the entire team on the same page. Unifying towards a common goal.
Take the Springboks recent victory at 2019 Rugby World Cup into consideration. When they got together just under two years ago, the team was a mess. The win record was dismal. They needed to start over. How? They started with a goal. A reason to drive them as a team. They set their objectives and why they were playing rugby.
Fast forward 18 months and they became world champions. Their why or reason is what got the team together and allowed them to drive to the end.
Step 2: Create a website
This is probably something not everyone is too keen on doing before the set launch date but it is something that you should be doing even before the product/service/app is launched.
You need to have a website where your target audience can understand your offering and hype can be created about the new launch.
Why? Well, the answer is simple, you need to show that your product or service is going to solve a problem. That it is going to be the one item that people or businesses really need in their lives and something they cannot live without. Essentially your website is going to explain the product’s potential impact on the end-user.
On the site you need to have the following:
- Explainer content
- Sign up for the release date form
- An FAQs section
- Step 3 Blog about it
Yes, you need to blog about it. You need to get as much buzz and hype around your startup as possible. A blog is the perfect starting point. It allows you to show that you and your company are experts in the field that you are entering.
This blog is going to be a long term strategy for even when your launch has come and gone. Essentially your blog can help establish your brand loyalty.
A company that is currently doing that very well is SparkToro. Have a look at their site and the content that they are producing. People have already bought into the brand and the product hasn’t even launched yet.
Step 4: Influencers
In line with blogging and creating content, finding the right influencers can really help your startup reaching new levels without launching. The great aspect of influencers is that they get to double up as testers which is a bonus.
With the right influencers in your industry, you know that you can reach a much wider audience with them at your side. They will create a series of content pieces that will be distributed across the web and social media and creating huge exposure for your startup.
The one thing that you need to be wary of is finding the right influencers. You need to make sure that they are the right people to be associated with your brand, otherwise, it is not going to work. Do your research and find the best possible people to align yourself with.
Step 5: Digital Marketing
With the above steps in place, we move onto marketing. The two channels that we would suggest to connect the above activities together are:
With SEO, you will have a blog, a site and outreach at your disposal which will help strengthen your brand in search result pages. If people can’t find your site online what’s the point?
Secondly, it is difficult to get organic visibility overnight. We know that SEO takes times to get you seen in search results so you need to start ASAP. Make sure that your site has the correct title tags, descriptions and good content. This will form the foundation of getting your site found.
With Paid Media, you are able to serve ads in search engines, on other websites (Display Advertising) and social media. It is a great way to build your brand and keep it at the top of mind for your target market.
Our suggestion in terms of a campaign would be as follows:
Remarketing – This allows you to follow your audience online, once they have visited your site. This is done through a series of banners which are served to this audience on third party websites (such as news portals, lifestyle websites, etc). This tactic will ensure that they are always reminded about your brand. The best part of this is that when you launch you can craft specific ads that notify them about your launch. Remarketing can be done on Social media, search results pages and various websites.
Brand Direct In Search Results – This is a great way to target particular search terms that relate to what your startup is doing. People will become more aware of the product/brand and hopefully sign up for the launch. It is a great tactic to get exposure.
Social Ads – With the influencer content, your content and general campaigns, social media can become a powerhouse to promote your startup. You can boost posts as well as create specific ads for relevant and targeted audiences. Secondly, if you have a list of people who have signed up for the launch, you can use that database for an audience lookalike campaign on social channels.
Step 6: Tracking & collecting data
In the wonderful age of digital, being able to track results is essential. It helps you to measure the impact of your various efforts but more importantly ensures that you are targeting the right audiences.
This data can also influence your business decision making processes. For example, if influencers have done a campaign after using your product, you can see how people are reacting to their content and use it to refine your offering before launch.
Data is imperative to decision making. Use it to its full advantage.
Let’s wrap this up
Creating hype is relatively easy and the results will surprise you. Many startups miss this crucial stage, focusing all their energy on the actual product launch. It takes a fair amount of effort, a unified team and a set of objectives to promote your offering long before it’s launched. It is important though to do though. You don’t want to be about to launch and then having to promote it.
It just won’t be as successful as it potentially could be if you started the process a lot sooner.
In the next post, we are going to be looking at marketing efforts once the product has launched. Essentially answering the question of sustainable marketing activities post-launch.