Tips and advice, Writing for Business

5,4,3,2,1…Using Content to Launch

Whether it is a new blog, service, product, package, newsletter, location, opening hours…I could go on…you need to create a powerful content plan to ‘launch’, whatever is new with your business.

I see too many small businesses offering something really new and exciting, but there is no build up – it just suddenly appears on the website or in a couple of social media posts and it is then forgotten! What a waste of all of the time and energy that has gone in to creating that ‘something new’. Even if you are simply planning a new page on your webiste or starting a blog – it deservces a launch and it deserves to get some recognition!

Here’s how to use powerful content to launch…

Three decisions to make

I’m assuming you have made the decision to offer something new or a bit different already. Then, there are three more decisions you need to make. First (as this guides all kinds of schedules and timelines), when are you going to launch? …and tomorrow is not the correct answer! Give yourself a bit of time, even if everything is pretty much ready. We all know that advertsiing anything is difficult these days. There is so much online traffic you need as many opportunities as possible and a good stategy and plan is really important.

Once you have decided on a launch date then you can work backwards (and forwards with post launch content, don’t forget!) and set realisitic deadlines and timelines. I discuss below all kinds of content you can create.

The secon decision is how are you going to best advertise your new ‘thing’? What platforms are you going to use? You need to consider everything: print, website, social media (and how you will communicate differently on your different platforms to best reach your target audiences) and email marketing.

The third and final decision is about ‘what’ you are going to produce, content wise, to launch your ‘something new’? What budget have you got? Are you going to use paid posts on social media? Are you going to create a brand new webpage? Does this need designing or any special functionality? Are you going to create a promo video or create a range of images? All of this needs time and planning.

Now you have made these three decisions, you next need to think about four phases of your launch.

Four phases of launching your ‘something new’

Teasers

Teasers are a great way to build anticipation. Don’t stray in to the field of click bait but do let people know ‘something is coming’. It can be a holding page on your website (‘coming soon’), a social media post or two ‘telling people to keep following’ or even an email telling people where, how and when they will be able to find out more.

The most important thing with a teaser is to follow through. So never tease unless all of your plans are in place and you are 100% sure of your launch date. A teaser can (and should) contain a reveal date. Then stick to it! There is nothing worse than seeing a teaser for it to come to nothing.

Pre-launch

Many people treat the ‘launch day’ as the most important stage of offering their ‘something new’, but actually I think the pre-launch is so much more important. Think about a book or film, the sales made in the pre-release period are vital! They are also a fantastic indication of how clients/your audience feel about your upcoming ‘something new’! Are they desperate to get there hands on it? Are you creating a real buzz? Are you getting your messaging right?

It is so important to really consider great content here. You need to offer enough information so that people are ready ‘to buy’. And I don’t just mean products, but ready to buy in to your new offering. Taking a blog for example, are your clients desperate to read the first posts? Are they already signing up…or asking how? This is a fantastic sign!

Remember your USPs at this stage – you must share them. Remember also the vital information – price, date available from, key details, how to book/sign up/buy. You want people to be ready…no barriers…for when launch day arrives.

If it is a new product or service, are you going to offer a special discount, offer or gift for those who sign up early?

Launch Day

Launch day is super exciting and if you have done your pre-launch campaign well then you know it’ll be a busy day for you with enquiries, bookings, social media engagement, and blog post comments. So firstly, anticipate this. Make sure you are free! Don’t book loads of meetings! If you are launching a new product, consider if your website is ready for the traffic. I know it is unlikely that it will overwhelm your site, but just know when this could happen and how you could resolve it.

Have template emails ready for quick responses and plan something extra special and out of the ordinary for social media, perhaps do a Facebook Live or an IGTV sharing your exciting launch day!

Consider if you are going to offer a launch day gift, special or discount – perhaps on your products or services. Remember, even if you are launching a blog or a new email newsletter, you could offer a small discount on your services on launch day for those who sign up or subscribe.

Post-launch

As you’ll know, if you have had engaging and popular posts on social media then, in the days following, you’ll often find your posts remain more popular for a while, so get ready to capitalise on this wave. Ask for reviews, feedback, testimonials and use these to continue to promote your ‘something new’.

Talk about its success and gather case studies too, if you can.

Five-minute evaluating task

And finally, spend 5 minutes once you have a launch content strategy in place asking ‘so, what?’, ‘could I do more?’ and ‘how will I measure the success?’ Be super critical and ready to evaluate the effect of your launch campaign. Learn from it and have a little set of tools in case you don’t get the response or traction you were expecting.

5…4…3…2…1…you are ready to launch

Taking a little time to prepare to launch your ‘something new’, writing some great copy and gathering good imagery (including videos), will be worth your while. And importantly, it means all of your hard work on your ‘something new’ won’t go unnoticed!

If you are interested in launching a blog, speak to me about my Blog Starter courses.

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