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Marketing Tactics

7 Ways to Build Hype Months Before Your Business Launches

Have you heard about that new company? I don’t know exactly what it is, but it’s going to be amazing!

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You’ve been prepping for months – maybe even years – and your new business is finally starting to take shape. Chances are, you’re getting extremely nervous about whether or not your start-up will be successful. You can have the most groundbreaking product or service in history, but without building anticipation in the months leading up to the launch, your business will fall flat, right out of the gate.

Nearly 75 percent of startups fail within the first three years. The classic saying “prior planning prevents poor performance” applies directly to a startup. There needs to be an established audience presence beforehand to achieve this. It is crucial to look at the big picture and how you can build up excitement leading up to the big day.

Here are some ways in which you can ensure a strong start for your business:

1Explain how your product or service changes lives

Think back to the reason you started a business. What makes your idea innovative? When you begin to lay the framework for promoting your new business, the preliminary advertising has to have a clear cut way of saying how you plan change the status quo.

This will generate the proper interest to get the market buzzing about your start-up. Make notes on what your target market’s current mindset is and what you would like it to be after your business takes flight.

Related: How To Launch Your Business Like You Mean It

2Pinpoint interests of your target market

Knowing your target audience and everything about it is key to running a successful business. Being educated on your market can tell you which tools to use to make the biggest impact. What type of media channels is your target market most receptive to? Once you have determined this, you can create your brand’s personality to fit the mould and speak the same language.

If your brand was a person, what would they be like? What do they stand for? How are they relatable? Having a firm understanding of the target market’s interests and positioning your brand accordingly will get consumers on board early on to create a strong foundation.

3Find the right influencers

Once you have successfully pinpointed your target market and their interests, the challenge is reaching them on a level in which they will critically engage. To overcome this obstacle, it is crucial to find right the opinion leaders or influencers within the respective communities.

These influencers have the ability to make a profound impact on public perception for matters in which they are well known. These can be bloggers, politicians, educators, journalists or even other business owners. Getting key influencers on board early will do wonders in getting consumers excited to see your innovative idea take shape.

4Create a webpage with a sign-up form

webpage with a sign-up form

As soon as your business launches, growth should be a top priority and should be carefully premeditated well before the big day. A great way to do this is to create a pre-launch webpage with a sign-up form. Not only will this help gauge consumer interest early on, it will take the pre-launch hype and generate it into customer leads.

It is important to make this page as quick and user-friendly as possible. Only collect information that is absolutely necessary as the user will likely give up if it is too time consuming. Be sure there is a clear call to action and the page is easy to share on social media. In the digital world, creating a strong pre-launch website is essential in creating hype for a start-up.

Related: 7 Steps To Launching Your Own Business

5Hold contests with giveaways

A fun and effective way to build brand exposure before a launch is to have contests involving potential customers. Provide some motivation to sign up early. This will help build rapport with your target market while keeping costs relatively low. In order for a contest to be valuable to your business, it must have defined goals.

Do you want to raise awareness? Generate more leads? Show social responsibility? Regardless of the end goal, the strategy needs to be clear from the start to be effective. Most importantly, make sure the giveaways are unique and meaningful. The prize should something that appeals to the entire target demographic and will drive traffic your website.

6Track and analyse everything

Business results are becoming more and more data-driven. Tracking is critical in determining what works and what doesn’t. In the months leading up to your launch, you need to capture every element to ensure you are maximising your online efforts.

For your website, place an analytics code on every page to make sure each visit is being tracked. Keep of list of goals you want your website to accomplish. Once you have all the data, analyse what is working and what can be optimised.

Related: 6 Inbound Marketing Tactics Every Business Should Use

7Keep audience in suspense

In months leading up to a launch, be careful not give away too many details about your product or service. Keep in mind, building hype before a business launch is not about what your product or service does, but what it might do.

The more information you give out beforehand can kill anticipation, and the hype will not be as strong. However, you do want to give the public small hints of what is in store to draw attention. Think of how you can creatively hold out while advertising small tidbits leading up to launch day.

Launching a new business is undeniable stressful. Doing the proper due diligence to build up excitement in the months before will make the experience exciting as opposed to worrisome.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Sheila Eugenio is the Founder and CEO of Media Mentions, a leading PR and digital marketing agency. Before founding Media Mentions, Sheila has consulted with several mediums to large businesses on how to position their brand and attract the right audience. She helps brands and startup companies to create PR strategies that reach to the right audience.

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Marketing Tactics

Useful Marketing Tactics For Growing Businesses

Customer acquisition, customer experience and content marketing can be identified as the three most important marketing strategy areas to focus on.

Jandre de Beer

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Digital marketing offers the business world so many advantages, including the ability to communicate with their target markets quickly and easily. Unfortunately, digital marketing has also opened doors for companies to flood mail boxes, news feeds and ad spaces with junk mail and spam resulting in customers tuning out to anything irrelevant and suspicious.

Customers have become less likely to trust companies and less receptive to messages. The only way for valuable messaging to stand out from the noise is if a business knows how to market itself properly.

Over and above advertising, there are a lot of other aspects that contribute towards an effective marketing strategy, these include research, email, content creation, list curation, social media and even customer service. To be a successful marketer it isn’t necessary to become an expert in every single marketing tactic, but it is important to master the most important areas. Customer acquisition, customer experience and content marketing can be identified as the three most important marketing strategy areas to focus on.

1. Customer acquisition

Of course, not all customers are the same. Some customers are only interested in buying products on sale from a particular brand and then never interact with that brand again. Acquiring, and of course retaining customers with a high lifetime value should be the overall objective for businesses, but this requires more time and money being invested in better, more qualified leads. While the upfront costs might be higher, in the long-term this investment will pay off with continued business from these lifetime customers.

2. Customer experience

Competitive pricing can’t be the only aspect that businesses focus on in order to stand out against competitors. In the current digital era customers expect a good customer experience when they deal with brands so this should be an important focus area for all businesses. Customers expect fast and seamless experiences such as intuitive user interfaces and processes, fast websites and service response times, as well as accurate information about the problems they face.

Customers don’t want to waste their time on websites that require them to jump through hoops, and they definitely don’t want to feel misled by anything a business is communicating. Customers will quickly move on to other sites that offer better experiences as well as other businesses that are more trustworthy. Good customer experiences can go a long way.

Offering more personalised, interactive engagement tactics and improving the customer technology interface should be high priorities for businesses.

3. Content marketing

Marketing is no longer about telling customers that your brand is the best. With the movement towards content marketing, marketing has become about showing customers why you are the best. Content marketing is a legitimate, effective strategy that every business and brand should make use of. While content marketing is a lot more cost effective than outbound marketing, it also generates three times as many leads and offers many other benefits.

Content is a key feature for growing businesses who want to survive in an information rich environment. Customers are looking for brands that provide value beyond their products so creating high-quality content can help you grab your audience’s attention.

In conclusion

Although there are many other factors that are involved in an effective marketing strategy, seeking out customers with a high lifetime value, providing them with a great customer experience while also providing them with valuable content is a recipe for success.

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Marketing Tactics

An ‘Outside-the-Box’ Approach to the e-Commerce Unboxing Experience

Get started by keeping three elements in mind – recyclable/re-usable packaging, personalised thank-you notes and free samples.

Daniella Shapiro

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With a predicted 24,79 million e-commerce users in South Africa by 2021, online shopping is here to stay, making it impossible to escape the predicament of perfecting the art of product packaging. It’s time to think outside the box when it comes to creating a meaningful unboxing experience. Get started by keeping three elements in mind – recyclable/re-usable packaging, personalised thank-you notes and free samples.

Recyclable/Re-Usable Packaging

Certain types of product packaging are having a tremendous negative impact on our environment, with 5.35 trillion pieces of plastic debris littering the world’s oceans, and with 269,000 tonnes of this amount floating on the surface – and plastic isn’t the only culprit. Did you know that it’s impossible for Styrofoam to ever be broken down completely? And that 1 million single-use coffee cups wind up in landfill every single minute of every day? These statistics make it obvious as to why it’s becoming so important for business owners to be more conscious about the type of packaging that they use.

Many business owners wonder if their customers really care whether their business is doing its part to protect the environment. According to Forbes and a 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study, the answer is a resounding ‘YES, they most certainly do!’.

87% of the consumers surveyed stated that they always have a more positive image of a company that supports social or environmental issues, and 88% claimed that they usually feel more loyal toward a company that they know supports social or environmental issues.

Thoughtful Thank-You Notes

The unboxing experience should be a unique and personal one, and it should be just as memorable as the experience of utilising the product itself! So, make it all the more special and build customer loyalty by including a personalised thank you note. Address the customer by their first name, thank them sincerely for their patronage and end off by giving them some helpful advice regarding the product, or share an interesting benefit of using it. Go the extra, extra mile by hand-writing the letter too.

Free Samples

Everyone loves getting free stuff. Why not bolster the unboxing experience by sending over a little bit more than expected? Not only will a free sample put a big smile on the face of the receiver, if they actually enjoy using it, there’s also a good chance that they’ll be coming back to order more. According to Shopify, free samples have the potential to boost sales by as much as 2,000%.

When it comes to packaging, make the right choice. Sustainable, thoughtful, memorable. Your customers, and the environment, will thank you for it.

 

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Marketing Tactics

The Facebook Ads Strategy That Can’t Lose

It’s a numbers game.

Entrepreneur

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Running a profitable Facebook Ads campaign is simple. Not always easy, but simple.

There is a formula that can guarantee a profitable Facebook Ad campaign. Once you know the formula and the values to plug in, you’ll never sink money into a losing digital ad campaign again. I know it sounds too good to be true, but stick with me…

The Guaranteed Growth Formula

Here’s the entire formula: CPA < AP

Were you expecting coefficients, remainders and dividing by polynomials? Nope, there are only two values that matter when assessing your digital marketing funnel.

1. CPA – Cost Per Acquisition

2. AP – Average Profit Per Client

If your Cost Per Acquisition, the amount you pay to generate a paying customer using Facebook Ads, is less than the Average Profit you make from each new customer you’re guaranteed a profitable campaign.

Calculating Average Profit

To get average profit per client, sum your total revenue from new clients and subtract what you spent to serve them. Divide the result by the total new clients. For example, if you made $75,000 from 10 new clients over the past year and it cost you $40,000 to serve them, your average profit is:

 ($75,000 – $40,000) / 10 = $3500 Average Profit Per Client

If your average acquisition cost for similar future clients is less than $3500, your campaign will technically be profitable.

Of course most businesses won’t want to spend all of their profit on acquisition. An average business can expect to invest at least 7 percent but no more than 15 percent of revenue in sales and marketing. If Cost of Goods accounts for 60 percent or more of total revenue, your low profit margin may make it difficult to afford successful advertising. Decrease operating costs by increasing efficiency or adjust your margin by raising prices.

Don’t make the mistake of calculating Average Profit based on revenue only from the first sale. Use at least six months of revenue or your lifetime client value as the basis for your calculation, or you risk underfunding your marketing and sales budget.

Related: Here Is Why Your Facebook Ad Campaigns Aren’t Producing Results

Calculating Cost Per Acquisition

Let’s assume you’ve considered all of your marketing and sales costs and determined you can spend $350 per new client on Facebook Ads. Let’s reverse engineer your ad campaign to see if a $350 cost of acquisition is reasonable.

The simplest Facebook ads funnel includes four metrics that build upon each other to determine your acquisition cost. I’ve included standard benchmarks for use as a starting point, but your results may differ:

1. Click-Through Rate (CTR) – Percentage of people clicking on your ad. Your CTR should be near or above 1 percent.

2. Cost Per Click (CPC) – The cost of one website visit. CPC should generally be below $3.

3. Lead Conversion Rate – The percentage of site traffic that becomes qualified leads. This value should be 20 percent or above.

4. Sales Conversion Rate – The percentage of leads that convert to a sale. Aim for sales conversion at or above 5 percent. (E-commerce companies often skip the Lead Conversion stage and have a Sales Conversion Rate of 1 percent or greater.)

If 10,000 people view your ad at a 1 percent CTR, you’ll get about 100 website visits. At a $3 CPC, you’ve spent $300. Since 20 percent of your traffic will become leads and 5 percent of those leads become closed sales, we can calculate that you’ll generate approximately 60 leads and three new customers.

Your estimated acquisition cost using Facebook Ads is $100 per client, which is well within your budget of $350. This cost may rise as you scale and target less optimal prospects, but as long as your acquisition cost is less than $350 you’ll make an acceptable profit.

Complex funnels can include several ads and conversion points, but the Guaranteed Growth Formula of CPA < AP still applies. There’s no immediate reason for concern if your metrics differ from the benchmarks. You can and should split test ideas for improvement if your numbers are far from what you expect, but don’t mess up a good thing until you’ve got a better one.

Optimising Your Guaranteed Growth Funnel

If unhealthy metrics cause your acquisition to cost more than what you’ve budgeted, start with these adjustments:

Click-Through Rate Too Low or Cost Per Click Too High

If your CTR falls far under 1 percent Facebook may stop showing your ads or show them to second-rate audiences causing your traffic to tank and CPC to increase. To improve your click metrics, adjust your ad copy (headline and body text), ad creative (image or video) and highlight the benefits in your offer.

Refine your audience. Tailor your copy, images and call-to-action to the audience you’ve selected and ensure that your audience has the desire and means to act.

Lead Conversion Too Low

If leads aren’t converting at 20 percent or more, either the promise made by your ad isn’t congruent with your landing page, or the process of moving forward is too difficult. Try using the same image and headline in your ad and reduce the form fields in sign-up forms to the bare minimum. Also try retargeting visitors who don’t sign up with ads stating the benefits of acting now, or with a different offer.

Related: Staying Relevant In The Facebook Age Of Meaningful Social Interactions

Sales Conversion Too Low

If you’re an Ecommerce brand with sales conversion below 1 percent your shopping cart or sales process may have too much friction. Simplify the sales process to decrease clutter, or increase trust by adding testimonials and trust signals near important calls to action.

Your sales process may need improvement, but that is beyond this article. In the meantime, you can still increase revenue by cross-selling and upselling those who convert. You may also improve client retention with recurring contracts. Yes, that’s why many software companies are switching to cloud-based subscription models.

When used properly, The Guaranteed Growth Formula of CPA < AP makes Facebook Ad marketing an investment, not an expense. Using the formula, the most you should ever risk is a small initial budget to test whether your estimated calculations hold true in practice.

If your net profit is 3X your acquisition cost, your funnel returns $3 for every $1 you invest. Instead of asking “How much should I spend on marketing?” The question becomes, “How much do I want to make?” I’ve built a Facebook Ad Growth Calculator that incorporates the Guaranteed Growth Formula to help execute your growth strategy. Input your revenue goal and it will estimate the Facebook Ad impressions and traffic required to reach it.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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