Why businesses should build a community before launching
When a business launches their new proposition, they often consider PR the go-to option for getting their brand in front of the masses.
They’re right: a strategic PR campaign can propel a startup brand to success. But, there are things you have to do first to make it work. As we’ve said before, tech PR alone isn’t enough.
Here’s how – and why – businesses can create a loyal community before launching their startup proposition.
If you take away just one thing from our blog, let it be this: never launch a new company without a proper website.
We can’t overemphasise how important this is. Your website will be the first port of call for anyone looking up your brand. Ensure all messaging clearly explains your brand proposition, and make it simple to get in touch with you. Ensure your business has an online presence before you attempt to launch to the masses. This allows anyone you speak to in the very early stages of your business to learn more about your proposition. Et voila – the makings of an online community.
An active and engaged social media network is the perfect partner to a PR campaign. Before you launch anything, be sure to create and maintain social media accounts across the platforms most relevant to your target audience.
Tweeting about current events and sharing relevant industry news will position you as an authority in your field. Check out our guide to using social media to support your startup launch over on Talk Business Magazine.
If you don’t have an engaged social media community, who will see you PR coverage when you tweet about it? You can’t rely on your target audience seeing your brand’s PR coverage in situ – you have to make it easy for them.
Once your business website is up and running, you should be blogging. That’s right – start blogging before you officially launch your new business.
There are several reasons why business should commit to blogging regularly. Firstly, it gives you something to share on social media other than industry news. Sharing blog posts can help drive engaged visitors back to your website, rather than directing them to online news sites. Secondly, blogging is beneficial for SEO.
So, share blog posts on social media before your startup launches to help create a loyal community of early adopters. These ‘brand advocates’ can be essential in endorsing your company to other prospects. Give them the information they need to do it!
Email mailing list
A well-written email newsletter is one of the quickest, cheapest, and most effective ways of letting people know you’ve launched.
This article from the Kickstarter blog gives some handy tips on how to create a mailing list of intrigued community members, and how to use it to launch your brand.
If you’ve never put together an email marketing campaign before, MailChimp is a great platform to try. The best news is, it’s free for businesses with a short mailing list.
For startups starting from the very beginning, networking is a great way of creating a community for your business.
Not only is networking a daunting task for many, but it can also feel a little vague. How do you know if time at a networking event is worthwhile? Wouldn’t it be better to spend that time actually ‘working’?
In order for networking to be profitable, you need to treat it like you would any other area of your business. Have a plan of how you will proceed, what you’re trying to achieve, and how you’ll measure whether it’s been successful. Check out this guide from Forbes on how to get the most out of your networking activity.
Launching your startup before building your community is like shouting into a vacuum: nobody will know you exist. Prime your target audience beforehand for maximum results.