For months, you and your team have worked hard to design and build a brand new website that not only looks amazing but works like a dream. You’ve included all the right features and planned a successful launch. You’re ready to push your baby bird out of the nest into the world wide web and you couldn’t be more proud. But what’s next?
“If you build it, they will come” may be true for a baseball field in the middle of an Iowa cornfield, but it doesn’t apply to websites. It’s tempting to think that once your website has launched, your work is done, but, in fact, it’s just beginning. Even if you have the best website in the world, quality leads won’t magically show up on your doorstep without concerted marketing efforts. This is the most critical time period in the life of your website to gain traction and maintain momentum.
Picture this: you just rented out a space downtown to house your new business. You spent months designing every square inch and filled it with beautiful products showcasing your talent. Would you just sit back and wait for the crowds to pour in? Absolutely not. You would put in massive amounts of time and energy to get the word out about your new location. You would employ all sorts of marketing techniques to make sure people knew where to find you and what they would find when they got there. If you didn’t, your new store would open to the sound of crickets.
The same is true for websites. In order to get the most out of your brand new website, you have to attract visitors to your site and find a way to keep them there. Your website is not self-promoting; it’s only as good as the marketing strategies you have in place to support it.
So which marketing strategies work best to generate traffic and boost the quality of leads on your page? Here are five things you should focus on immediately after launch to hit the ground running and make your website work for you.
First, it’s important to find a way to educate potential customers on your brand: who you are, your values, and what you have to offer. One of the best ways to do this is through social media. A social media presence will increase your legitimacy online and add a personal dimension to your brand and business. Being on social media may sound like a simple task, but it can be a full time job. As a best practice, task one or two people in your company to be responsible for posting to and monitoring social media accounts. If they don’t already have social media experience, have them complete some kind of training to get a better understanding of how to use social media effectively.
The biggest thing to remember about social media is consistency. Post consistently and make sure your brand voice comes through in a consistent manner. The content you publish on your social profiles should be relevant to the audience you are trying to reach, keeping in mind that your audience might differ from one platform to the next.
Social media falls under your broader digital marketing strategy. It’s a good idea to leverage other digital channels, such as search engines or affiliate websites, alongside social media to further boost your overall presence online. Your goal is to get as many eyes on your new site as possible and connect with both current and prospective audience members.
Now that people know about your new website and where to find you, you have to give them a reason to stay and come back for more. The best way to do this is through content marketing. Content marketing is the use of helpful, relevant content to endear yourself to your audience, establish thought leadership, and create brand loyalty. Great content marketing always adds value and never comes with a sales pitch. Some examples include blogs, vlogs, shareable infographics, product reviews, or helpful tips and tricks. While it might be overwhelming to think about topics to post on, don’t let that hold you back. Start somewhere and learn as you go.
Once you’ve taken the previous steps to attract and retain website visitors, begin capturing more concrete leads by introducing email signups. Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is an effective marketing tool and a great way to engage with your audience. But you have to do it right. Spamming your subscribers with dozens of emails will turn them off and cause them to tune you out. A few well-timed emails jam packed with helpful content will accomplish much more than daily throw-away emails. If you feel uneasy about email marketing, keep this in mind: if people have voluntarily signed up to receive your emails, they enjoy your content and want more of it.
Email is a great way to create a VIP experience for your most loyal fans. Send out a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter with insider info, sneak peeks, new product announcements, specials discounts, and more. By sending this information to your email subscribers first before it hits the general public, you will keep people who are already committed to your brand engaged and on your side.
The importance of data analytics cannot be overstated. In order to get the most out of your brand new website and various marketing initiatives, you should perform routine data analysis across all platforms. These audits will give you powerful insight into how your users are behaving online and allow you to optimize your online presence based on that information.
It paints a detailed picture of what’s working, who your key audience is, what they are responding to, and much more. For example, maybe you notice certain blog topics perform better than others; or the average play through rate on a one minute video is much higher than a video lasting three minutes or more. Over time, as you keep testing and creating you will learn what your users want and expect from your brand and you can use that information to focus your efforts.
This five-step game plan will help you get the most out of your brand new website. Remember: your website is only as good as the marketing strategies you have in place to support it. The most successful websites don’t happen by chance — they require continued work and investment.