How to prehype your new website in 4 easy steps

hyping a website launch

How to prehype your new website in 4 easy steps

by
Harry Bartlett

Your new website is in process and you cannot wait to share it with your clients and the world, and you don’t have to! There’s no reason to play the waiting game when you can build anticipation now. It is typical for traffic and rankings to go down on a website redesign as search engines seek to re-evaluate your website with the new design and content in place. It is similar to an update on your smartphone, there are new features, sometimes design changes and you have to re-evaluate how to perform your daily tasks. In a previous post, we discussed 5 Way To Promote A New Website which are great tips post-launch and now we’ve got some tips on what you can do beforehand to increase interest and create a buzz even before the curtain comes up.

There are 4 key pre-launch marketing ideas that you can target while your new website is being developed.

1. Paid Social Media Posting

Paid social media ads are the perfect way to kick-off your campaign to increase your social media following leading to more website visitors. Major search engines like Google crawl websites based on of the amount of traffic they receive (along with other signals), so if a website is gaining visitors search engines are more likely to crawl it and understand it faster. This is good because it leads to a shorter drop off time.

An effective strategy is to run a giveaway. It's an easy way to give potential followers incentive to follow you because you are potentially giving them something in return.  We hosted a giveaway for one of our clients, SweetmanCragun Group, which increased their Facebook following by 23,639 people and LinkedIn by 74 people in just four weeks! 

giveaway promotion on social media

2. Organic Social Media

While your paid ads are doing their part to bring in new followers, the next step is to tell people who you are. Post reviews from clients, successful projects you have worked on, or where you're traveling– and do this on a regular basis.  Sharing through photos, videos, and posts will help visitors and followers feel connected with your organization’s personality and increase the potential for conversions.

A social media posting calendar is useful to help organize and plan social media campaigns. An organized calendar should list out each day, the social platforms, the content, and imagery/videos that you will use or that need to be made.  Online tools are available that allow for scheduled social media postings to go out whenever you want and can be very helpful. We use Hootsuite, which is free for 3 social platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn), and Gramblr for Instagram scheduling.

Download a Social Media Posting Calendar Template Here!

3. Set Up a Maintenance Page

If your website needs to come down during the redesign, or if you’re starting a brand new site, then a maintenance page — or a “Coming Soon” page — is a great opportunity to pique interest while allowing for potential clients to contact you. A maintenance page should include a short overview about your organization and a list of any services you may offer that are not expressed in your overview. Additionally, you want to build your reputation even while the maintenance page is up. People coming to your site will only be able to access little information about your organization so include a stellar client list or some kick-ass testimonials to increase credibility. Finally, include a way for visitors to contact you, ideally with a  contact form. This page may have limited information but should entice people to want to learn more, so make sure they have the opportunity to do so.

Website maintenance page example

4. Email Campaign

Finally, put that email list to good use if you have one. Start an automation campaign for current and new subscribers during your website development to keep people informed and connected.

A simple example would be: first email to announce the new website and the giveaway; second email to re-remind subscribers about the giveaway and update them on what you are up to (for example, building a site that can be mobile accessible, growing your knowledge base with global collaborations, etc.), and; finally the last to announce the new website and explain its new features.

Website hype email campaign

Now that you have a plan of attack it is time to get started. Begin by setting goals to focus your efforts (for example, X new social followers, X new website visitors, etc.). Doing so will help you target your intended audience and run a successful pre-launch hype campaign and will only serve to benefit your investment once the new site is up and running.  In the end, launching a  pre-hype campaign will help in hitting—and hopefully exceeding–your new website goals.

About the author

Harry started Bartlett Interactive in 1998 and focuses on integrating best practices in branding, user experience design, Internet marketing and technology to increase the value of an online presence.
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