You’ve been through a long process, and at last it’s done! Hurrah! You have a beautiful new website and you’re excited to share it with the whole world.
Maybe you post it on social media once or twice, with a link or a screenshot. You share it with a few clients. You get some praise and a few encouraging comments.
Is that it? Where’s the hoopla, the ticker tape parade, the acclaim?
Launching a website these days can feel like a little bit of a letdown. We’re mostly past the days of a “hard launch”, in which case no one knows anything about it until the Great Day. With that approach, firms used to pick a day for launch, would tell everyone it’s coming, prepare emails and social posts and practically hold an event in your offices to announce it.
Instead, most firms these days are going for more of a “soft launch”, which means you mention it a few times and it can take people weeks if not months to figure out that things have changed.
That’s actually a real positive. It releases a lot of stress when you don’t have an official launch (most websites have a few glitches on day one anyway), and it’s good to recognise websites, like most marketing, are going to be continually changing. They’re never fully complete.
There are still some things you can do to make sure the whole world knows what’s different and why!
1. Write a blog post about the website build process
Simply saying “we have a new website” is redundant. (It’s like having “Welcome to our website” or “Welcome to XYZ Firm” on the home page of your site. They already know they’re there – get to the point!). I would hope it’s fairly obvious to anyone coming to your site that it’s new.You want to explain the process, so people feel part of it.
Why did you create a new site? Did you simply feel it was outdated and wanted a refresh? Were you conscious that your buyer journey wasn’t reflected in your website, and you wanted to make sure visitors could get to what they needed more quickly? Did you do a rebrand?
Explain your reasons, and bring people into the start of an actual relationship with you. That’s what your website is for, anyway!
Example: Raedan: A New Look
2. Tell everyone about your new site on social
You absolutely want to share it on social – but don’t merely share it once. Prepare a whole list of posts to go out on all the different social media platforms, with different messages depending on the platform.
Some of the things you can share are:
- Portions of your website content
- Photographs of the team
- Calls to action
- Awards you’ve won
- Links to your blog (see point 1)
- “Before and after” (see point 3)
- Clever things you did differently (caricatures, funny content, new videos, etc)
Here’s a quick reminder of the focus you may want to have on different socials:
- Heavy on imagery: You can’t post on Insta without an image or video, so make sure they’re good. Select some of your favourite elements of the site and share portions of those through Insta-size images. Record a moving video of your site (you can do it in seconds using screen record on an iphone).
- Share your thoughts: Insta has a lot of room for content, too, so you can practically write a mini blog post in the content part. Make it personal, and write it quickly. Don’t belabour it or make it too “professional” (ie boring).
- Heavy on the hashtags: With insta, you can include 15-20 hashtags in each post, and that’s normal. #newwebsite #announcement #bestaccountants etc
Twitter: Keep it short and sweet. You’ve got 280 characters, so use them well. Wherever possible, use an image, a GIF, or a video alongside your post – it will be far more likely people will connect with it. A website is visual: show it off! You can use a hashtag if you want, but go easy on them.
Facebook: Combo of content and imagery. The images are the first thing people notice, so spend some time on them. You could get some custom imagery designed with your logo & branding to announce the site. Or use some of the items in the list above.
LinkedIn: Remember this platform prioritises your content as follows:
- Video first: If you include a ‘native’ video (ie one you upload directly to LI, not a link to one on Youtube), it will be pushed to the top of your contacts’ feeds.
- Content next:Better to have a post that is text-only than to include links or images in the first instance. Here’s your opportunity to talk about why you launched your new site, what’s new, and how it will help those who visit.
- Photographs: Next up in the list is photos & imagery. It’s great to have them, but it’s not prioritised as high as video or content.
- Links: When you include in your post a link to a website URL, a social post, or anything else, it’s filed at the bottom of the barrel, and is much less likely people will see it. Better to put a link to your website in the comments.
3. Share before and after screenshots
Everyone loves a rags to riches story, and websites are no exception. One of our clients recently did a complete rebrand – and I mean, complete. Her firm was called Simplified Accounting, and through an extensive branding process she realised she wanted to focus her brand on herself, and renamed the firm accordingly. Here are the screenshots of her before and after. You’d think it was an entirely different company!
When you do a rebrand and a new website combined, you’ve definitely got something to shout about. Show people where you were, and where you are – and again, explain your reasons for it.
4. Write an email to your clients
Email is still a good way to share news! Write a personal email – from yourself – to announce the website launch, and to share your excitement.
I usually recommend keeping it really simple. Your goal is for people to actually go visit the site and tell you what they thought. Tell them you have a new site (and why you’re excited about it), include an image or a video of the home page, and link it to the site itself. Done.
Another option is to write a personal email which is like a blog post (or is even the same content as your blog post explaining why the change), and make it text-only. Then link to the new site at the end of the email.
5. Send a link to your new site to certain people you know will appreciate it
All the mass-marketing stuff is great in the long run. Lots of people see it and share it and are aware of it. But there’s great power in the personal, one-on-one contact.
Send an email, a text message, a DM on social media to certain key people who have been influential in your marketing journey. Thank them for the video, the training course, the outsourced work, the advice, the suggestions, whatever.
I’m so honoured to get these often from accountants who aren’t clients of ours at PF, but who learn loads from our free content and are grateful for how it inspired them. Not only do I get encouraged, but it’s more likely I’ll share the new site, myself!
6. Keep the sharing going for a month
Sending one email, and posting a few times on social, is the tiniest drop in the ocean of online content. So many people are going to miss it the first time. Don’t be embarrassed to keep posting, keep sharing, for several weeks at least.
One of your greatest fears is that you will “annoy people”. It’s very, very unlikely you’ll do that. First because as accountants your default is to post less, not more; and second because most people will be excited with you. The only people annoyed are those you don’t care about anyway, so, let them do their own thing while you do yours.
(Granted, if you post every hour, on the hour, for an entire week or month, and you tag a bunch of people every time, you will probably start to annoy people. But I’m guessing chances are slim you’re going to be doing that.)
Launching your site is merely the first step. There’s loads more marketing to come now that your site is here: but make sure the world knows about it!