By Sweta Patel

Many startups are preparing major launches in 2015. They have an idea and a vision in mind for the results they want to produce. However, developing a killer strategy to produce those results is the tougher challenge.

Here is a list of strategies to use to get a head start among competitors:

San Diego-based marketing entrepreneur Sweta Patel.

Fuel Your Pre-Launch Marketing Initiatives

First you want to build a fan base on your Facebook page by interacting with different groups, creating a connection outreach, and building loyalty with your fans. Then create a simple landing page that creates curiosity around your product or service. Here are the components you want to keep in mind:

  • Landing Page Design: The design must be minimalistic, simple and eye-catch One large image is usually enough to capture attention.
  • Copy for Landing Page: Less is more when it comes to content on the landing page. We recommend just 12-15 words to showcase our brand.
  • User Details: When you go on a first date, do you overwhem your date with questions or do you gently nudge here and there to bring out a little more information? For your launch an email address is all you need to obtain.
  • Call-To-Action: Make sure this is a big yellow button. The bigger the better. My suggestion is to make it overtly clickable.

Now that you have the landing page done, the next step is to create a referral program for your product or service. It’s hard to divine which variables are actually working as there are too many interactions and combinations to know for certain.

  • Ethical Bribe: Incentives have a way of helping us find connections. But make sure the incentives you select will be scalable.
  • Tone: The tone of the program should be personable, yet simple, to engage the target audience with the program. Targets should feel exclusive and special. As an added perk, if they share the program with friends, it should be designed to make them look good.
  • Testing: You want to create three different variations of your landing page. Set-up A/B testing so you can gather quantitative data on which draws best.
  • Channels: Before you jump onto social networks, determine which your target audience is using so you’ll know the best way to reach out to them.
  • Viral Loop: Make sure you engage with the end user yet don’t drop the ball when it comes to follow-up to keep the original sharer/referrer informed. Try to connect your program with an incentive offer so targets have extra reasons to share your program with friends. This may include giving them a special URL or links to Twitter and Facebook.

Best Practice: Create a landing page, choose your channels of acquisition, and start gathering data. Aim to reach 100 people a day via various social networks. 

How To Build A Community Around Your Website

As mentioned before, it is important to have a community on Facebook. However, trying to build an organic community on Facebook nowadays is next to impossible. I don’t recommend paying for likes because the technique amounts to just a puff of smoke. My suggestion is to stop wasting money on Facebook and Twitter and start building a community that you actually own.

  • Create a community in which the central engagement factor is located on your website and not on social media channels.
  • Turn your website into a social-engagement machine by adding a Q&A feature, live updates and live events. Make sure your audience is able to connect via Facebook and Twitter. Create a web experience that is ever changing, so the audience doesn’t grow bored. This means less static and more interaction.
  • The community should be the core of your company culture. There should be regular communication with your community, and not just when you are trying to make a sale. It is important to seek and receive feedback from your community members as well.

Yes, building a community will take time and effort but effective engagement solutions will yield a direct benefit to your bottom line.

Best Practice: Stop using social networks and renting a community. I suggest you start your own and nurture it. Your bottom line will benefit far beyond your expectations. 

Tying it All Together: Content, Community and Commerce

The easiest way to produce content for your business is to partner with influencers to co-create content. You can’t have an effective commerce community without content the end user actually wants. In return the users will bring back value.

We know quality content makes a huge impact on the bottom line. This is why storytelling can make all the difference when it comes to building your brand. For example, for a resort in Spain, we used SnapChat to capture customer moments. We had a collection of different snaps we then transformed into digital magazines and picture books via Storify.

Then, we used a platform called Naritiv to allow our customers to share their stories on other social networks. This platform increases engagement and ties everything together.

Best Practice: Find out who your top influencers are and where they are located. Ask them to participate in your brand-advocate program, which will benefit them in specific ways. Pick four to 10 influencers to drive others to your brand.

Which was your favorite tip and why? Please comment below.

Sweta Patel is a San Diego-based marketing entrepreneur whose company is Global Marketing Tactics.