It’s the season of predictions. One fairly safe bet for the coming 12 months is that we’ll see thousands more startups being launched—many with significant backing behind them.
Following the many successful tech IPOs of last year and the stories of new billionaires, not only is there plenty of money finding its way back into the startup ecosystem, but the allure of entrepreneurship is glowing brighter than ever. So, here are a few tips for those planning launch campaigns for startups in the year ahead.
1. Consider all available channels, platforms, and touch points.
Don’t think in terms of traditional media vs. social media. Weigh all the relevant channels for reaching your target audiences, whether specific media, online communities, forums, or offline events. Develop a profile of your target user, and consider all the potential ways to reach that person. It will probably be a combination of many methods that will inform your target users and motivate them to take action.
2. People want to be involved, so let them be.
The surging growth of crowd funding not only is testament to the growing appeal of investing in enterprising ideas, but also is indicative of people’s desire to be engaged and involved in bringing new products or services to market. They want to share their views on products and contribute to their success. Crowd funding is just one of many ways that startups can build a community of supporters before a launch.
3. Create great, digital-friendly content.
Though journalists still value formal written announcements with facts, dates, and media-friendly quotes, there are many other ways of disseminating a message through digital channels—whether it’s with photos, video, or infographics. For startups that are aligned with topical trends or are defining new ones, serving as a source of insight through high-quality and informative content will help attract potential users.
4. Take a fully integrated approach.
As well as working your media relations skills, managing social media channels, and engaging in great content creation and content marketing, make sure you consider paid media campaigns. Though you may want to avoid traditional media purchases and display ads, social media now presents an array of more subtle techniques for propagating the message and can be highly effective when used in conjunction with traditional PR tactics.
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5. Use analytics to track progress and tweak strategy.
Delivering a successful launch campaign can make all the difference, so you should keep reviewing progress and tweak your approach if necessary. When you’re using analytics, it shouldn’t be too difficult to spot which tactics are working and which need adjusting. It may also be worth realigning your budget so you can put a greater emphasis on the most effective channels and ensure maximum impact from the campaign.
Toby Walsh is an independent consultant at TWPR. He has extensive experience in corporate, B2B and consumer communications within the technology and digital media industries. You can follow him @tobyjwalsh.