Whether you’re just about to pull the trigger on a new site, or in the final stages of completion, there are plenty of ways to put your new digital digs in the spotlight. Take a look at these surefire tips for getting noticed.
Get started before you launch.
The biggest mistake you can make when it comes to launching a new site is not being proactive. Long before you finish the final tweaks and tests, you should have a roll out plan that works alongside the development of the site. So what should you be doing to prep for the launch day?
Excitement is contagious…generate some!
When you make the decision to launch a new site—whether it’s a redesign or a brand new space—part of the planning needs to include the rollout. Once you’ve determined the delivery schedule of your website, figure out the communication plan.
1. Start a conversation early
Use social media and email to share your news. Expectancy is a powerful tool when used strategically and authentically. Consider Tweets that announce you’ve started the process. Check in on Facebook with progress reports. Send an email out to your list announcing that changes are on the way. The important thing to remember is: don’t oversaturate your audience, and don’t share news if it isn’t new or significant. Choose your content and your consistency wisely—don’t allow too much time between your communications, or you may experience a drop-off in interest.
2. Let them behind the curtain
Another great way to build excitement is to give your audience a sneak peek at what you’re doing. Sharing the process, especially during a big project like a website, creates a sense of camaraderie, trust and anticipation. It doesn’t need to be daily updates; figure out what you want to feature and how often. Share screenshots of color palettes, hints of UX, or a slice of photography. Be sure to broadcast this through all your social media channels…turn your impending launch into an event.
3. Have some fun
Generating interest and interaction isn’t just for after the launch. Begin building your audience (or re-engaging them) by offering up contests and invitations to play along the way. Depending on your industry, it could be a giveaway or coupon, or a crowd-sourced decision like “Choose your favorite font for our new site.” This could be a gradually ramped-up contest, too, with small prizes leading to the big one after launch.
When it launches, make some noise!
Now that you’ve put the work into your online presence, it’s important to show it off. When your new, awesome website is ready for public consumption, you want to shout it out to the world! Be proud and share the news with everyone, in every way possible.
1. Print pieces with personality
Have some fun with this. Send out announcements to existing and potential clients, friends and industry peers. Keep the look and feel consistent with your new site, and inject it with humor, sass, or whatever tone will help to showcase your company’s excitement.
2. Use email to create a click-through announcement
The great thing about a smart email campaign for website launches is that it’s truly interactive; your audience can click right through to the website (and you can track how well the email is doing its job). Use your emails to highlight what’s new, provide a guide to content location and feature teasers that lead to blog posts or galleries on the site.
3. Be social
If you’re not an avid user of social media platforms already, look into the ones best suited for your business and *use* them. Social media is only as powerful as you make it. Create a digital announcement and share it on Instagram and Twitter. Create a blog post talking about the new site and post it on Facebook. Create short videos on SnapChat. In other words…get it out there.
4. Party on down
Think throwing a shindig to celebrate your site launch is over the top? Exactly. If your site is stunning and you’re looking to attract new clients and retain current ones, this is a great way to do it. Throw a cocktail party, or a themed mixer. Have a large staff? Make it an internal party to recognize everyone that worked on it, foster a fun work environment and blow off some steam. Take video and pictures and send them out into the world.
You’ve got the looks—now get the attention.
If your site looks even more amazing than you dreamed, why not show it off beyond the usual channels? It puts your business in the spotlight and opens up a world of potential new clients.
1. Get in it to win it
Enter your new, gorgeous site into branding or design contests for a great third-party way to attract attention. If your design was done by an external agency, get the creative team on board to enter the site (it’s a win-win for everyone!)
2. Let others brag for you
Tap into the many branding and marketing sites or print magazines and get a feature on your new website.
Don’t go into autopilot mode.
Once it’s built, you can’t let your site just sit there. The best sites are tended to with an eye to constant evolution, attention to trends and a desire to keep things fresh and exciting. That creates consistent engagement, sharing and retention.
1. Assume you’ve missed a few things
After looking at the same pages over and over, the little errors or needed tweaks become virtually invisible. Get a set of fresh eyes on your new site to find any little things that weren’t caught.
2. Hire some digital bodyguards
Keeping your site safe is a priority. Maintain security with regular checks, updates and the eyes of an IT professional.
3. Keep it fresh
New content is the key to a site’s relevance (and a brand’s credibility). Use an editorial calendar to determine blog post topics, and keep them coming. Offer value add content, too, like free downloads. They capture customer information and create a strong trust.
4. Track, tweak and track again
Not comfortable with analytics? Start with a simple program like Google Analytics to begin tracking your site visitors and their online behavior. For larger sites with heavy traffic, consider hiring a data analyst that can help you implement smart tests, interpret the results and make recommendations for what needs to be tweaked and how often.
Launching a brand-new site can seem like a daunting task. If you’re on the fence about creating or recreating your company site, bring in a team of branding and design experts to help you create a plan. And if you’re near the point of completion on your site, congratulations! Now, tell us all about it.