How to successfully announce the launch of a new business

Rocket on a desk

About to launch a new business but not sure of the best way to announce yourself to the world? We’ve got you covered. This article will help budding new businesses plan their launch to market. It outlines the fundamentals for a great communications strategy to get your business off to the best possible start.

We’re taking it as read that you have sorted the business essentials; you have a good idea, a solid business plan and a clear brand identity. The next step is introducing yourself to the world.

What is a business launch?

Starting a business is different from launching a business. Starting a business involves developing your idea, creating your brand, planning your financial model, choosing your team and generally setting up the infrastructure to develop and deliver a product or service.

Launching a business means bringing your brand to market for the first time, introducing yourself to the world through a mix of marketing and communications channels such as press coverage, social media, email marketing, paid advertising (print or online), direct mail and SEO.

When is the best time to launch a business?

While there have been some interesting articles on the pros and cons of the different times to launch your business, for example, Forbes’ ‘Tis The Season: Taking A Seasonal Approach To Launching Your Business, there are no set rules. You’re good to go if you’re ready to start selling and your customers are ready to start buying.

Of course, you’ll need to use your common sense about the exact time to launch (so don’t do it at 5 pm on a Friday). This might depend on what’s happening at the time and if you’ve got a lot of noise to compete with. Working with a talented PR agency will help you here as you’ll be guided on what’s likely to happen in the media cycle and when you have the best chance to make the biggest splash with your launch announcement.

How to prepare to launch a new business

When you launch your business, you want to sell your product or service as soon as possible. It’ll be much easier to do this if you’ve already built up a following online weeks (if not months) before launch. To do this, you must “soft” launch your brand by creating an online presence, even if your product or service isn’t ready for consumption yet. While this might seem scary, building followers for your brand before launch is vital for several reasons. Firstly, these followers are likely to become your first set of customers. Secondly, if you’re able to generate a little bit of a buzz, this will only strengthen your hand when trying to persuade media outlets that your new business launch deserves coverage.

Create a website and start populating your blog

Ideally, you should have a website that (at the very least) teases your product or service and gives curious visitors the chance to leave their contact details so that you can let them know when you’ve launched. It’s also a good idea to get blogging early, as having quality content on your website will help your discoverability in Google and other search engines (find out more about search engine optimisation with our Ten Step SEO Plan For Beginners). Early blogs can help to explain what inspired you to start creating your new business, and they can also document key milestones of your journey, including funding and recruitment announcements.

A website will also be the keystone for telling your brand story. As well as explaining your vision and values, it is a place where you can show off the experts in your team through staff profiles and thought leadership blogs.

Start building your audience

Before you launch, you need to build up an audience already itching to use your product or service (if you’ve knuckled down your target audience yet, check out our target audience checklist). You’ll need to grow awareness and excitement by teasing your product in advance. Your objective at this stage will be to build a following of:

1) Social media users

Even before you launch, you can do plenty on social media to build excitement around your brand. You’ll no doubt be busy preparing for the big day, so make sure you share behind-the-scenes pictures and videos to show off your hard work. You can also post competitions, comment on the latest stories of the day, and tease the launch by explaining your product or service’s exciting and unique benefits.

One warning: Don’t go crazy on social media by setting up accounts on half a dozen channels. We recommend you pick two channels that suit your business (these will likely be the most popular channels with your target audience!) and get these working before expanding further.

2) Email subscribers

You will need to incentivise people to sign up for your emails. This can be done by giving early access, personalised offers, gifts and exclusive invites to launch events. The more special that you can make people feel, the better – after all, these will probably be your first customers and brand ambassadors!

3) Journalists and industry experts (influencers)

If you don’t have any connections, introducing yourself to the media isn’t always easy. This is where the services of an experienced PR team become invaluable. Skilled public relations professionals will not only facilitate introductions but also help you spot opportunities for your business to make the most of the media opportunities out there.

You can also consider sending free promos or samples to experts who have a large following on social media (but choose people for their expertise and their clout, not just their follower numbers).

Start telling your brand’s story

You’ll need to tell an appealing story about yourself to pique people’s interest, whether a journalist or potential customers. This story might highlight how innovative the technology behind your product or service is, your passion for your new venture, your strong moral values, your journey towards solving a challenge, or it might simply be a fresh take on something that already exists. 

Telling a compelling story for your brand will help you cut through in a way that traditional marketing can’t because it helps to create an emotional reaction towards your company. It’s this reaction that will get people talking about you, online and in the press, so it’s a hugely important part of the comms strategy for any new business launch. As a result, it needs to permeate everything you do – your website, your social media, and your conversation with journalists and experts.

Launch: how to announce a business launch

1) Throw a launch party

What better way to start things off than by throwing a party? Launch parties are a great way of introducing your business to journalists, local businesses and even your first potential clients. Plan the perfect launch party with our Launch Event Checklist. We also offer PR event management to support your biggest occasions.

2) Send out your launch press release

Your launch press release should clearly state who you are and what you do. It needs to tell the factual story of how and why you created your brand, covering the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where” and “why” of your launch. This means that you must clearly explain what your product or service is and how it will benefit and delight your target audience if you can do this while highlighting your values and passions, all the better!

Pack in any exciting statistics that backs up why your launch is newsworthy, such as funding figures, pre-launch sales, number of email signups or social media followers (if enough have already taken an interest in your brand). Also, add in a couple of quotes that pack a punch, highlighting your expertise, attesting to your ambition for your businesses, or just reemphasising why and how your new business meets your customers’ needs.

The Apple store’s launch announcement is a great example of a launch press release. It’s concise and has a lot of factual details, including dates, times and product specs. Still, their passion for their audience shines through as they explain why visiting an Apple store is a superior way of buying a computer: “Rather than just hear about megahertz and megabytes, customers can now learn and experience the things they can actually do with a computer, like make movies, burn custom music CDs, and publish their digital photos on a personal website.”

3) Launch your business to your emails subscribers

Hopefully, you’ll have prepared and built up a database of subscribers you can email. If so, start emailing! Let everyone know you’re open for business and thank them for their early interest with a gift or an offer.

4) Launch your business on social media

Launching your business on social media can often be the most rewarding part because you can see your audience react to your new product or service in real time. Make your announcement on social media shortly after you’ve emailed your database and sent off your press releases.

Get ready to answer questions and respond to feedback, especially if you’ve been lucky enough to grow a big following! A robust and proactive approach to customer service on social media will help.

As well as promoting your launch from your company’s social media accounts, make sure your staff and other key influencers are briefed to help spread the word. The more people sharing and commenting, the wider your reach and the bigger the buzz!

4) Start advertising

The scale of your business launch will depend on your budget. Businesses with large budgets will likely want to couple a PR campaign with a larger marketing effort involving media buying and paid advertising. 

If you don’t have a large budget, starting small is fine. Make sure you’ve got Google Analytics set up so you can measure your campaigns and then test a few different advertisements to see what works. If your ideal customers are likely to search for your product or service using Google, Google Ads is a logical place to start. If not, social media can be used to target people by their demographic and interests, giving you an easy way to advertise your business directly to your ideal customers.

Need help with your comms strategy for launch?

Are you planning on launching a new business? We’d love to help. We develop compelling launch narratives and media campaigns that will catch the attention of journalists and your target audience.

Get in touch today.

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