See the post below the website launch plan graphic for more details and links to examples of each item.
- Set A Firm Date. The best thing you can do for yourself and your web design team is to make a hard deadline and publicize it. (If you don’t set a real deadline, the project will drag on and on. How long does it take to actually build a professional website for a small business? One Week. Contact us today for details on our One Week Website process.) Setting a firm date gets people excited and gives them a reason to put something on the calendar. Here’s what Pat Flynn has to say about setting dates to build buzz: “When people know what date something is going to happen, not only will people anticipate that specific date and get excited about it, but if you have a specific schedule you can follow leading up that launch date, you can better drop hints and generate excitement leading up to that date.”
- Post A 1-Page Landing Page. Here are a few great one-page WordPress themes with countdown clocks. Make sure and ask for email addresses, so you can contact them when the site goes live. Then follow up with more email marketing in the future. We can help with that through Inbound Marketing and The Gravity Strategy. Even if this is a redesign of your current site, you can do a one-page landing page that you can promote in the sidebar or home page of your current site. That lets folks know something better is coming. By now, you hate your current site and you want folks to know something better is right around the corner.
- Use A Test Group. You can send your test site out to a few influentials in your industry or a few of your favorite customers. Those folks will appreciate the trust you put in them and will help publicize the new site when it launches. It’s kind of the idea of scarcity that many big brands use to build buzz around new stuff.
- Make A Preview Video. If you have a big social media following or large email subscriber list or even a lot of general traffic on your current site, you can make a screencast video showing people around the new site before it launches. This is probably a week or less before you launch. “I’m going to go show you around the new site which we are launching on Tuesday.” Then they can’t wait to actually get on there and start using it on Tuesday. Here is a preview video I put together for a personal site I launched recently.
I used Screencast-O-Matic, a free easy-to-use tool, for the recording.
- Giveaways. We’re big on giveaways. We give something away in our monthly newsletters and in pretty much all of our marketing. Use the giveaway to entice email subscription opt-ins and give something away on launch day. “Subscribe to our email updates right now for a chance to win _________ when we launch the new site.”
- Post The Launch On An Event Website. I’m taking what Jay Baer said in his 7 Ways To Use Social Media To Create Buzz-Worthy Events and using it for a website launch in this instance. Use EventBrite, Facebook Events, or LinkedIn and create your event page. The incoming links from those sites won’t hurt your search rankings! (For a free link from us–a PageRank 4 site–see below.)
- Ask For Input. Do you have an existing customer base you can contact via social media or email? Ask them for input on some part of your new site. If there’s a logo redesign, throw three choices out there and ask for feedback. Tell them you are working on your new menu structure and ask what items they are most interested in. Crowdsourcing of this type builds ownership in the new site for your most devoted fans. We’d be glad to give you a little input as well. Leave your test site link in the comments below and we’ll give you some feedback!
- Schedule A Chamber Event. Are you a member of your local chamber? Many chambers have “Business After Hours” events you can host at your office. Again, you might get a good ole incoming link from your local chamber which usually has high authority in Google.
- Throw A Party. A few years back, I was about to launch a new website and business and used my own birthday as an excuse to throw a birthday/launch party. You don’t have to have an external event to build your launch party around. Folks will come for the free food no matter what.
- Write A Great First Post. (This is a bonus!) If your new site has a news or blog section, don’t leave it blank when you launch. And don’t just say “Welcome to the new website.” Do some screen captures of the cool new stuff and show folks around the new site. Don’t know what to write? We’ll do it for you! Seriously, no fees, no catches. Just contact us or leave a comment below and we’ll write your first blog post for you.
Sites That Have Used These Tips
Let us know if you put any of these tips into practice. Leave a comment below with your website address and we’ll link to it here. Yes, that’s a real link with real Google juice to boost your SEO!
What are some other ways to generate buzz around a website launch or redesign? Have you ever used one of these strategies? Do you intend to? Let us know in the comments.