You’ve invested time and money to launch your new brand, product, or company. You had a few sleepless nights and some anxiety leading up to the big day. The launch went well with lots of positive buzz and visibility. You’re proud to have had such a great response from the community and your potential customers.
Now it’s a week later and all the excitement has started to fade. There are fewer visitors to your website. Your social media channels aren’t as active as they were before. Fewer customers are showing interest. You start to worry that you wasted the time and money you invested.
This is a common issue. Many companies focus their efforts on a launch and then forget to build a post-launch plan. The result? There’s a big splash, and then the waters calm down and go still.
You Need a Post-Launch Strategy
It’s essential to build a plan—like you did for your launch—for what happens after launch. This should include a 360-degree game plan for each of your marketing channels. Consider what you will do weekly on social media to maintain follower engagement. How often will you send out email campaigns to your current or potential customers?
Don’t spend your budget on the launch and forget about the rest of the year. Traditional advertising, social media boosts, and targeted digital advertisements need funding. Take retailers, for example. They usually spend up to 20 percent of sales on marketing in the first years to build brand awareness.
The US Small Business Administration suggests small businesses should put 7-8 percent of revenue toward a marketing budget. This budget is for the ongoing expenses of executing your marketing. This doesn’t include essentials like brand development, marketing strategy, or a website. These are extra investments that take place before the launch.
Here are five things to consider before launch so you can prepare for the post-launch period.
#1: What should your customers expect from you?
Will you post daily on social media? Is once a week more reasonable? Should customers plan to see you at a certain community event, like homecoming or a trade show? Is there an annual sale you plan to host? Build a high-level list of these expectations and consider your ability to keep up. A monthly newsletter may seem doable, but are you willing to put in the time required to make sure it goes out? If not, offer a quarterly newsletter instead. Don’t make promises (formal or implied) you may not be able to maintain.
#2: Where do you want to be visible?
These should be the places your customers already spend their time. What presence do you want to have online or on social media (andon which platforms)? Consider your typical customers. Where do they spend their time or get information? These are the channels you should use to reach them.
#3: What do you want to communicate or share?
What will you share in an email or e-newsletter or on social media? Will your followers find it interesting? Remember, it can’t always be about you. How can you find a way to engage your audiences?
#4: Are you maintaining your brand identity?
A brand is more than a logo orcolor. It’s your tone of voice, imagery, consistent messaging, and who you represent to your customers. Your brand is the focal point of the launch. Don’t forget your brand personality, guidelines, and value propositions after launch. The brand should be present at every touch point with your audiences.
#5: How will you know if your ongoing marketing efforts are successful?
Measurement is important, but it’s even more important to measure the right things. While the number of social media followers or likes on a post may be exciting, do they generate sales? Instead, you should measure the things that support your business goals. We discuss how to build acomprehensive marketing plan in previous blogs.
It’s true: Your day-to-day marketing operations won’t be as exciting as your launch. But having a firm plan in place will allow you to hit the ground running and establish a new marketing routine.
For the best results, build on the momentum from the launch and keep engaging with your audiences. Be reasonable with your time and avoid planning more than you can manage. Follow through on your commitment to market your business. If you do, your launch will be a great starting point.
Are you ready to launch a new product, a refreshed brand, or a new company? We can help you reach your audiences for launch and beyond.Reach out and let’s chat!