How do you create buzz about your company when you can’t rely on recognition? That’s a challenge that the marketing team at every new business has to face. Things are even more challenging if you’re in a unique niche. How do you introduce your products, services, and brand to people in a way that is memorable?
The following five steps will help you create a marketing plan, then deliver the kind of content that will help you reach the following goals:
- Establishing a solid social media presence
- Driving traffic to your website
- Creating brand recognition
- Getting the attention of customers and influencers
- Creating PR buzz
- Earning backlinks
1) Plan Your Brand Launch Well in Advance
The best advice for a successful brand launch might be the old adage that “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Launching a new brand is a thrilling occasion, and many companies are impatient to see it happen. But patience and planning are the key to mitigating risk and avoiding confusion.
There are many nuanced, moving parts that must be accounted for in planning your brand launch. And adequate preparation takes time.
Begin planning your brand launch in the earliest stages of the rebranding process. Work closely with your branding agency, as well as any external partners, to ensure all the pieces are in place for a seamless migration on the day of your external brand launch.
In addition to early planning, it pays to be intentional about your brand launch as well. Positioning the launch as part of a larger narrative is a great way to explain the rationale behind the change.
What changes in your industry or society as a whole indicated the need to rebrand your company? What does this new chapter of your brand mean for your customers?
When Airbnb launched a new visual identity in 2014, it was able to mitigate the backlash that ensued by tying the new logo to a deeper story about belonging and togetherness in an increasingly digital world.
By elevating your brand launch and connecting it to a story bigger than the brand itself, you give the transition a more meaningful purpose than just the need to refresh your logo.
A well-planned launch tied to a larger narrative is a chance to reengage with existing customers, attract new ones, and significantly boost sales.
A poorly planned launch creates confusion and customer backlash. You’ve only got one chance to make a first impression, so make sure you get it right by planning early and intentionally.
2) Create And Segment Audience Personas
It all starts with identifying the people who are going to be most interested in your products. Then, assuming that they aren’t a monolith, breaking those into different segments. Once you have your audience segments, you can then begin creating target personas.
There’s no single way to create an audience segment. You might choose to segment strictly based on demographic information (e.g.: Employed males under thirty, female college students 18 to 25). Another approach would be to determine how people might use your products, or to segment according to location.
Of course, people are more than their statistical data, or their interest in your products. This is where personas come in. By developing different audience personas, you can better prepare yourself to communicate with your audience. Personas take into account, interests, values, trends, even emotions. To develop a customer persona, you might ask questions such as:
- What movies and TV shows interest this target persona?
- What causes do they care about?
- What are their hobbies?
- What frustrations and problems do they have that we can address in our marketing?
- Where do they spend time online?
Once you have answered these questions, you can begin to create personas. It may help to think of each persona as a person that you address directly with your content.
3) Identify your key audience and influencers
Before you take one step, first identify where you will market your product. A staggering 42 per cent of founders cite a lack of market need as the number one reason for failure. Even if you have an outstanding product or an excellent service, it is absolutely useless unless people actually want to use it.
Of course, that’s not to say you should only cater to an existing audience. Steve Jobs famously said that people don’t know what they want until you give it to them.
For instance, smartphones were adopted extremely quickly, yet few people could have predicted their popularity. Even so, you must understand exactly who your product will be marketed toward so you can create relevant content and marketing campaigns that will actually interest your audience.
4) How to Choose a Market
- Value Proposition
5) Select The Right Platforms For Publishing And Promoting.
Now it’s time to start turning the answers to those questions into actions, and to start reaching the people behind those customer personas where they are. This means choosing the right platforms to publish and promote your content.
Simply put, you want to create a presence on social media platforms where your target audience spends time. This includes the well-known platforms such as, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, but don’t limit yourself. There’s also, Snapchat, Tumblr, Quora, Reddit, and more. Don’t forget video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.
Don’t be tempted to throw your efforts into every platform. You won’t strengthen your reach that way. You’ll just spread yourself too thin. Focus on where your target audience is. Then, impress them with consistent engagement, and plenty of content both created and curated.
6) Create a Wide Variety of Great Content.
This is the most important part of all of this. Companies that are successful at this, get content creation right. Obviously, at this stage, you want people to learn about your brand and your products. It makes sense that you are going to focus on content that works towards this end. Just remember that too much promotion will drive people away at any stage.
By all means use your content and your chosen platforms to share about your products, and services. Just remember that introducing your brand also involves sharing your values, and communicating to your audience what they can expect from you. The content you create and share should also show your brands personality, build trust, and establish your company as a thought leader.
Take a look at the brands you want to emulate as well as your competitors. What are they sharing and creating that is earning engagement? Use tools like Ahrefs and BuzzSumo to see the content that is buzzing. Brands often make a mark by sharing:
- Humorous Content
- Customer Stories And Testimonials
- Content on Charitable Work
- Emotionally Compelling Stories
Think of ways to reflect your company’s values and personalities while also promoting your products.
To really create effective content, there are some technical considerations as well. Great content is only as valuable as its ability to be read by the right people. Writing content that is optimized for search engines, keeps the interest of readers, and is linked and shared is something that takes special talent.
This is why so many people reach out to services that provide everything from writing examples to editing services to copywriting expertise to collaboration including, Rewarded Essays, Grammarly, Get Good Grade, Hemingway App, Hot Essay Service, and the Keyword Analyzer Tool. Each of these resources can help you create and publish content that helps you accomplish your goals.
Another concern that impacts businesses operating on an international scale is language. As you get started, you might need to consider finding translation and localization services through a review site like IS Accurate.
7) Reach Out With Paid Advertising
Brands that have name recognition can get noticed simply by participating on social media, and publishing content on owned channels. In spite of this, most still invest significant money in paid advertising online. This is because targeted, online advertising can help you get your content and your name in front of potential customers.
With Facebook’s sponsored posts, you can share posts, videos, and other content with a target audience that meets the demographics you choose. You can even target people by employer, zip code, and stated interests. Without paid advertising, you might struggle to get the reach you need with your content.
8) Keep Momentum Going After You Publish Content
Once you’ve published amazing content, you’ve got to help create and maintain engagement around that content. Don’t just publish content, promote it across all of your social media channels. Engage with audience members who take the time to comment or share.
Outreach is an important, but often forgotten part of this process. It’s how you gain the attention of influencers, and how you earn backlinks. It includes:
- Reaching out to other bloggers and writers to see if they want to link back to your content
- Offering to act as a source for reporters covering your niche through HARO.
- Asking influencers for a quote to include in your content, or for a mention in their own content
9) Create a Brand Migration Plan
Brand migration is the process of updating each of your brand assets and communications channels with your new brand’s visual and verbal identity.
Map out all the places your brand is expressed, both internally and externally. This includes your website, social media channels, marketing collateral, signage, business cards, stationary system, email signatures, advertising initiatives—for large, established brands the list can be a long one.
Extensive though they may be, it’s critical that all of these touchpoints are finalized before you unveil your brand to the world.
Each touchpoint, of course, requires a different lead time to finalize. Figure out which is the longest and plan backwards from there. This is how a well-coordinated brand migration plan comes together.
Just as important as updating assets and channels with your new brand, is identifying instances of your old brand that won’t carry over into the next chapter.
Included in your migration plan should be a plan to eliminate all instances of your old brand to ensure there won’t be any confusion in the marketplace. This is especially true for rebrands that include a rename.
The ideal brand migration plan is centered on a fixed, singular brand launch date before which no instances of the new brand are publicly available and after which no instances of the old brand are publicly available.
Obviously, this ideal scenario is not always practical, but if your brand rollout needs to be phased due to budgetary or other constraints, it’s important that it is intentional and strategic, so that the assets with the most visibility are updated first.
10) Stay the Course
A successful brand launch is only the beginning of your new brand. It sets the stage for new content creation, marketing campaigns, advertising initiatives, and more.
Alongside each of these new efforts should be vigilant brand maintenance and ongoing brand development.
Making sure that wherever your brand is executed it stays within the tightly prescribed guardrails of your brand guidelines will ensure the most important metric of a strong brand: consistency.
Utilizing brand tracking to monitor, measure, and optimize your branding initiatives is the best way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your new brand.
And conducting a brand audit regularly (at least once year, but more frequently for large companies) ensures your brand is operating at peak performance, powerfully differentiated, and taking advantage of opportunities in the competitive landscape.
You should never grow complacent or rest on your laurels when it comes to moving your brand forward. A brand, after all, is a living, dynamic entity that requires continual attention to thrive.
What’s at stake is nothing less than the connection you cultivate with your customers, the loyalty they engender because of it, and the brand equity that results in higher valuation over time. So, whatever you do, don’t take your foot off the gas.
It’s not easy to establish a new brand. You’ve got to reach out to your audience, identify your audience, meet their needs, and deal with a few frustrations along the way. There aren’t shortcuts, but there are the best practices. Take the five actions listed here, and use them to get started.