Ready, Steady, Launch!
The time, energy, and investment in a new business venture are enough to warrant a well-structured marketing plan. Many entrepreneurs fall into the same trap: improper planning leads to a less than spectacular launch. There are many hurdles on the path to success, but fortunately, you don’t have to do make the same mistakes. This user-friendly guide is designed to provide sensible steps to success for your small business website marketing launch

#1 – Enable Email Subscriptions
There are lots of third-party services making it easy for visitors to subscribe to your business website. Plus, there are benefits to enabling email subscriptions on your website; notably, your subscribers will automatically receive email updates according to specific parameters. For example, if your business launches a new product or services your clientele will be notified. It’s also a great way to keep visitors updated about new blog posts and articles, notable mentions in the media etcetera.

Whether you’re running a WordPress website or not, it’s relatively easy to add email subscriptions to your business site. Everyone agrees that social media is a fantastic way to communicate with subscribers, readers, and potential clients, but email subscriptions to your business website’s blog, or product pages are terrific ways to get a regular stream of visitors. If you haven’t launched yet, email subscriptions can notify your customers about the big day. WordPress RSS feeds are great for email subscriptions, and services like MailChimp are pretty popular too.

#2 – Create Lead Magnet
Leads can convert into sales, and sales are the lifeblood of your small business operation. A lead magnet is invaluable in this regard. It is also essential for creating Customer Value Optimization (CVO) systems. The first step in the process is determining what value items you can provide in exchange for the customer’s email address. Typically, businesses offer free PDF product guides, discount coupons, and introductory offers. With a lead magnet, your business is targeting one objective: maximizing the number of targeted leads. This is one of the easiest ways to conduct marketing activity for your small business.

Email addresses serve as entry points for converting customers to leads. It is also the apex of the customer Value Optimization Funnel (CVO), so focus on it carefully. Here are several steps to creating a lead magnet:

  • Select your specific buyer persona
  • Provide a quick solution to a buyer persona problem – this is your value proposition
  • Name your lead magnet by appealing to the buyer persona
  • Find additional and alternative value propositions
  • Generate your lead magnet

#3 – Prepare Your Branding Strategy
What is a branding strategy and why do you need? Every small business needs to establish itself with its clientele. It begins with something as simple as a logo and makes it a great proposition to the community of buyers it is targeting. You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression, so be sure to prepare your branding strategy well in advance. It’s imperative to create the perfect corporate image that espouses the company’s values.

Small businesses are well served by using powerful resources such as logo design tools geared towards enhancing the appeal, attractiveness, and efficacy of a business website. Branding tools are sacrosanct in small business website readiness. Things like customized brand books add tremendous value to the company and its business proposition.

#4 – Create a Customer Avatar
It’s not always easy identifying the right buyers for your company’s products and services. A customer avatar is effectively a persona – a composite character – which reflects the most important characteristics of your target market. The way to get there is market research – extensive interviews, analysis, surveys, market research studies etcetera. Your buyers are the most integral components of your organization, and a customer avatar should embody everything about your market.

Every business has a personality, much of which is a combination of factors such as the vision of the founders, the company ethos, the target market, and the products and services. Avatars need to be correctly defined to be effective. Extensive research needs to be conducted and spreadsheets should be created.

#5 – Select Your Marketing Channels
It is vital that businesses choose the right marketing channels for attracting customers. There are several channels available, including content marketing, referral marketing, SEO, email marketing, utility marketing, community building, online/offline events, social media, influencer marketing, partner marketing, and sales playbooks et al. These channels are not mutually exclusive, however – they support one another to boost sales.

In this sense, the marketing channels can be thought of as an integrated set. Certain channels may be better suited to business growth and productivity than others, that’s where market research comes into play. Test/fail scenarios are essential, but they must be conducted quickly to allow for enhanced success. A/B testing is also vital. The most successful marketing channel should be selected, and the results documented to evaluate the performance of these channels.

#6 – Create Campaign Materials and Creatives
Creative elements are essential to the success of your small business. Not only do they serve as eye candy to prospective customers and to generate leads, but they are also used for marketing campaigns, building brand awareness, and developing a niche on the World Wide Web. All sorts of campaign creative assets are available including social media toolkits, PowerPoint templates, web banner ads, print ads, identity suite materials and the like.

These marketing assets encompass images, audio, video, logos, articles, brochures, and flyers. There are many ways to secure ownership of these campaign materials and creatives such as creating assets through professional consultants, or in-house, partnering with other companies, renting these assets, or purchasing them outright.

Once you have completed these steps, you will move on to the final step of the process – testing and measuring the results. This control process is necessary to identify any anomalies, match objectives with actual performance, and drive growth for your small business website!