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 startup 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:
1. Explain 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 to change the status quo. This will generate the proper interest to get the market buzzing about your startup. Make notes on what your target market’s current mindset is and what you would like it to be after your business takes flight.
2. Pinpoint 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 mold 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.
3. Find 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 the right 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.
4. Create a 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 startup.
5. Hold 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 be something that appeals to the entire target demographic and will drive traffic your website.
6. Track and analyze 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 maximizing your online efforts. For your website, place an analytics code on every page to make sure each visit is being tracked. Keep a list of goals you want your website to accomplish. Once you have all the data, analyze what is working and what can be optimized.
7. Keep audience in suspense.
In months leading up to a launch, be careful not to 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.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by Entrepreneur.com.ph.