Why Pre-Launch Marketing Is Essential For Your Startup

Greg Miles | 16 August 2017

“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.”

An economist called Herbert A. Simon said that all the way back in 1971, but it’s more relevant now than ever. In today’s ultra-connected world where the pace of news and information is only limited by the speed of light, getting noticed — and remembered — is extremely difficult.

Brands are fighting a war for attention, and the enemy includes memes, cat videos and Kim Kardashian. In this complex, fast-moving environment, brand momentum is everything. And as a result, there are two kinds of startups: Those that launch from a standing start, crawling along for months until they eventually gather enough steam to break even, and the other that announces its inception with a well-considered pre-launch strategy, building excitement and sustaining ongoing buzz before, during and after launch.

Here’s how your startup can gain and hold attention in these fickle times.

Social Media

The primary aim of any pre-launch marketing activity is to build awareness with potential consumers in an effort to generate subscribers, pre-orders and early-stage sales. Social Media provides the perfect space to reach your target customers, whoever they may be.

Targeted Facebook and Instagram ads will allow you to reach the people who will be most interested in your product or service, without casting a net too wide and wasting budget reaching the wrong people.

Posting product teasers, competitions, and content that will resonate with your customers on social media will also help you build an audience, many of whom will be ready and waiting to buy upon launch.

Although you will have already developed an idea of who your target customer is, social media will also offer a speedy feedback loop so that you can gather valuable insights about your audience. Testing the market will help you establish which of your target consumer groups is most interested in your product, which can influence future targeting and messaging.

Influencers

Leveraging influencers and bloggers to help spread the message about your upcoming product is one of the most effective ways of reaching your customer’s conscious. Offering a physical prototype, early access to your service, or exclusive details about the product, and asking them to share and review it will help you tap into their loyal and engaged audiences. Identifying influencers that operate in the spaces most-aligned with your product or service is a crucial first step.

Launch Pad

It goes without saying that a website is fundamental to most businesses today, but how do you make the most of those months running up to launch when the website is under construction?

Using a temporary landing page that provides visitors with clear information about the brand and product while collecting emails with a simple sign up function is always better than an uninviting ‘coming soon’ or ‘under construction’ page.

Even when it comes to a landing page, a bad website will reflect badly on your business, so keep it visually appealing with a sleek design and use catchy copy with an enticing call-to-action. Sign up forms should always be as short as possible — only collecting the vital information (an email address is often enough). The less effort for visitors the better.

Email Marketing

Sending sneak peeks and exclusive content to those that have signed up on your landing page is a great way to sustain their interest. Your email list will be made of people who have demonstrated that they actually want continued correspondence, so your messages should be well received — unlike cold emails and newsletters end up unopened or in the spam folder.

Sending periodic teasers, messages from the CEO, updates about the product and release dates are all good ideas for your pre-launch email marketing campaign.

Referrals and Rewards

A final tactic that can have a huge impact on your early marketing efforts is to encourage referrals with rewards. The nature of this will vary depending on the nature of the business, but ultimately if you can offer some form of reward related to your product or service when people refer their friends and family to sign up on your landing page, your email list could see some exponential growth.

Anyone who understands compound interest will know how powerful this can be. If each new subscriber could claim a reward for getting 5 more people to sign up, one subscriber would become 5, which would then become 25, then 125, 625, 3,125 and so on. Of course, in reality, not every person would refer 5 friends — but you get the idea.

Need some hands-on help with your pre-launch marketing? Give us a shout.