A launch campaign is a specific, defined series of activities used in marketing a new or changed product, service, brand, etc. or in using new marketing channels and methods.
Marketing campaigns come in all shapes and sizes. At Kinetic, we believe that everything that time and money has been invested into is worth the additional investment of a launch campaign. However, we often find that smaller initiatives tend to be overlooked and are not deemed “worthy” of a launch campaign. Failure to launch a product, service, or other investment, however, is not only a missed opportunity to engage with your audience, but it also reduces the likelihood of early adoption by users or consumers. Change is often met with resistance, but creating excitement around the change and communicating the benefits of the change within your launch campaign can ease the resistance. And the more people who buy in and get on board with the changes, the more impactful your product or service will be.
In our case, we decided to re-vamp our brand to create an identity that more closely aligns with our culture and company. In doing so, we also re-designed our website to reflect our new brand identity and to improve the user experience for site visitors.
We’ve put together a list of our top recommended components of a successful launch campaign—13 of which we included in our own launch campaign. Consider these best practices when developing your next launch campaign strategy.
- Define goals.
What are you trying to achieve? Whether it’s promoting a new product or service, creating brand awareness, or building a sense of community, outline your desired expectations for the campaign.
- Know your audience.
What is the best way to engage with your audience? Consider the platform(s), tone of message, type of content (videos, images, blogs, polls, shared articles, etc.), days of the week, and times of day that they tune in.
- Design a teaser campaign.
Generate excitement, interest, and anticipation. Your audience will follow along to track the progress of the campaign and be present for the reveal, making them more apt to engage, share, or purchase the revealed product or service.
- Create visuals.
There are countless articles that define the impact of adding images (or videos) to content—all of which are extremely positive. In addition to a greater chance of engagement, creating visuals can help set the tone of your product, service, brand, campaign, etc.
- Designate a hashtag.
Hashtags make it easy to categorize your product or service and ensure that any piece of content or information put out by you or your users is easily accessible and available in one collective location. As a rule of thumb, hashtags are typically more successful if they are unique, easy to remember, simple, and related to what’s being launched.
- Build excitement with a countdown.
The anticipation will keep them coming back. This could look like a countdown clock on the face of a new website, a series of pictures that piece together, or an image the gains clarity the closer it gets to the end of the campaign.
- Be consistent across all social media platforms.
This doesn’t necessarily mean a word-for-word copy and paste, but definitely a consistent tone and message. Your audience may differ across platforms, so while you’ll want to tailor your approach, you don’t want to lose the overall message.
- Post consistently—and at the right times.
Make sure you aren’t leaving your audience hanging. Once you begin posting for your campaign, be consistent so that they know when to expect your next update. When defining your post strategy, keep in mind when your audience has demonstrated the most engagement, so that you can post during the times they are most likely to see them and engage with them.
- Utilize paid social media.
Achieving organic reach on social media is great, but in many cases, a paid boost is necessary to gain visibility against competitors and ensure targeted reach. Remember to define your target audience so that you’re boosting your posts to the right people.
- Call your audience to action.
Involve your audience by posting polls to learn their opinion, asking them a question to respond to in the comments section, inviting them to share the post to spread the word, or by providing them links to click on to learn more and be more engaged with the campaign.
- Engage with your audience.
You’ve given them something to talk about—and maybe even encouraged them to get involved in the conversation—now make sure it’s a two-way street. “Like,” reply, or re-post interactions with your audience to let them know that you see what they’re saying, appreciate their participation, and value them enough to take the time to respond to them. This is also a perfect opportunity to humanize your company or brand, building trust with your audience.
- Thank your audience.
At the end of your campaign, thank your followers and supporters for their time and attention throughout your campaign. Gratitude goes a long way.
- Measure your results.
Once your campaign has ended, recall your goals, and analyze the success of your campaign. Dig in to why certain goals were reached, exceeded, or didn’t quite hit the mark. Every campaign is an opportunity to learn.
In addition to the 13 best practices that we included in our launch campaign, here are three additional ideas to consider implementing in your next launch campaign.
- Host contests.
Who doesn’t love free stuff? This is a great opportunity to encourage likes, shares, or other submissions from your followers—and gain new followers. Think photo challenges, scavenger hunts, etc.
- Create fun quizzes.
We’re all guilty of getting sucked into quizzes we stumble upon (or maybe seek out) online. Developing a fun quiz that relates to your launch is an easy way to engage your followers—and their followers when they share their results!
- Develop a founder’s list.
Those who express interest in your launch early on can become part of an exclusive list and receive special, behind-the-scenes information. Everyone likes feeling special.