Photocredit: Maxime Bhm
Launches, by their very nature, are heavy on the hype. They're the fireworks display of promotion that spreads your message and showcases all of your unassuming hard work.
An online community's launch is a high-stakes opportunity to prove substantial worth to your target audience, and a couple of popular sayings that reflect this reality immediately come to mind. One that may be most appropriate as you stand on the brink of launch - "You only get one chance to make a first impression."
And another that you may desperately wish was true - "If you build it, they will come."
In an age of oversaturation and microscopic attention spans, we all know that just because you've done due diligence with planning your community, traffic and engagement are far from guaranteed.
The way in which you promote and launch your community has huge a bearing on whether it sputters or takes flight. Seize the opportunity to shout your community goals from the rooftops by following these 4 tips to execute an effective launch.
4 Musts for Community Launch Success
Considering all of the digital noise you need to rise above, the marketing for your community and its launch should always be purpose-focused and dynamic. Who is this for? What benefits does it bring to their lives? How? Use simple, effective language to appeal to early adopters and start to establish yourself as an exciting and useful tool for members.
Association staff will be a critical component in identifying and engaging with early adopters. In addition to having in-depth knowledge of your most active members and what inspires them, they can advocate for your community around the internet and chime into discussions to help reinforce its tone and purpose.
No one will believe that you're serious about being a change-maker unless they can see immediately after logging in that your community is bubbling with activity and information. Engagement should be defined by frequency - this means using every new member, comment or post as an opportunity to cultivate conversation. Reaching out via email to individual members to answer questions or comment on content is a great way to use multiple forms of communication to engage.
Your community's content needs to consistently deliver on the promises you made about your purpose and member benefits. To build a passionate community base, it's imperative that you keep the wheels of engagement churning every single day. How do you actually do this? Take steps to ensure that your community is continuously filled with relevant, fresh content. The effectiveness of your online community content strategy can make or break your reputation with members and likelihood that they become frequent and active members.