Categories: Creating a New Website, Email Marketing, Facebook, Getting Started, Social Media, Twitter, Web Design, Web Marketing, Website Content, Working With a Web Designer
You’ve assembled a great team to build your new website: Congrats – that’s huge! Besides providing content & monitoring their progress, what should you be doing to help the site succeed?
- Understand Your Audience. The content you create for your website, including your blog, is there to serve your existing and potential customers. How much do you know about them? Do you want to evolve your customer base? What have they come to expect? Do your research to make sure you can easily answer these questions. Not only will it get you started in the right direction, but it’ll make it easier to measure the success of your site, and give feedback to the people designing and implementing it for you.
- Get to Know Social Media. If you’re not yet familiar with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, it’s time to get to know them really well. This doesn’t mean that you need to utilize all of them, or that they’re aren’t other social networks that might work better for you, but you need to understand the basic rules of engagement for the big three. Once you understand what each offers, and how you define success for using them, you’re armed to make sure social media marketing is built into your platform from the ground up so that you’re getting the most out of them.
- Gather Some Testimonials. Whether you offer a service or a product (or both), you’ll want to have a handful of testimonials you can use throughout your platform to build confidence. Ask your existing customers what they liked best about working with you, or what differentiates your product from other similar products. If you don’t have the basis for testimonials just yet, don’t worry – you can provide inspirational quotes yourself as the founder of the company as placeholders. The goal is for your site visitors to easily recognize themselves in these highlighted snippets of text.
- Think About How People Will Get in Touch With You. Will you offer an email address? A form? A phone number? A newsletter signup? Build your email lists, but also organize your ports-of-call so that your communication is streamlined and clear. Consider a temporarily landing page that offers this info & acts as a teaser for the larger site launch.
- How Will You Announce? If you’ve spent some time building an email list, here’s the perfect chance to use it! What about a social media press release (pitchengine.com)? If you’re targeting a regional audience, what about local newspaper or radio? Are you ready to build some buzz on Facebook? Make sure you have a punch list lined up so that you can easily put everything in motion on the big day.
- Consider Having an Event. It may be a “real life” event with wine and cheese for local customers, or maybe it’s a webinar, or a 1-day sale. If you create an event around the launch of something new it will have more lasting impact, and gives you a reason to celebrate that people can get behind. Of course it’s exciting for you to have a new website – but how can you make it exciting for your customers?
- What About an Incentive? This may be tied to your launch event (see above) – but offering a discount or a freebie is a great way to get people “in the door.” Existing customers like when they are rewarded for their business, and everyone likes getting something for free. It builds good will and is something people are likely to share with their friends.
- Update Your Collateral. Make sure your email signature, business cards, etc.. have the latest/greatest information on them. If your site is brand new, be sure there’s a URL listed everywhere. If you’ve rebranded – make sure the rebranding carries throughout your entire marketing platform.
- Check In! It’s so important to measure the success of your investments – it gives you the information you need to decide where to put your time, energy and money in the future. Make sure you’re hooked up with site analytics.
- Keep it Fresh. Blogs and social media outlets won’t work for you if they’re stagnant. Have a plan-of-action for updating your venues regularly. Consider a regular schedule for yourself for updating everything, and a regular schedule for incentives to keep people coming back again & again.
- Reach Out & Stay Flexible. Seek out people via blogs or social media and become a resource for them. Give your new ventures some time and space to succeed, but be willing to pull the plug and try something new if it’s clear there’s no momentum. For example, if you’re launching a new webinar series – make sure you’ve got a handful of them lined up and shout them from the rooftops (so to speak). But if you’re not getting even a nibble of interest, try something new. What about video tutorials?
- Don’t Obsess in a Bad Way. Measuring your success or failure day-to-day is setting yourself up for insanity. Sure, things move fast on the web, but try to balance your short-term assessments with some longer-term ones. If your site traffic is down by a few visitors one day the week after your launch, it doesn’t mean the overall upward trend isn’t valid!
New websites are launched daily by the thousands – some with a whimper, and some with a bang. Optimizing your approach to your website launch can get you started on the right foot, and give your investment its best chance for success!