Launch

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Peri Elmokadem

Written By

Peri Elmokadem

Peri is the content marketing manager at Uscreen. She writes to teach the world about the ways of video monetization. She’s also a visual artist, traveller and dog lover (although she’s starting to warm up to cats).

How to Pre-Launch Your Video Business

What if we told you your ideas can be sold before you’ve even created them? That you can get paid to create them, and that you can be extra sure that people need it?

You can, and we encourage you to do this through a process called pre-launching.

What is pre-launching?

It’s exactly what it sounds like – launching before actually launching. It’s a marketing technique that lets people know a product will be introduced at a specific time in the near future. Its benefits are threefold:

  • Create a buzz: you get people curious and interested in your new product or service before it’s even launched, making them eager to be the first ones to buy into it. This is especially effective with existing followers who are already huge supporters of yours.
  • Pre-sell your idea: set up pre-orders with early-bird deals and exclusive treatment to get people to pay for your product or service ahead of time.
  • Ensure demand: this is the final step to fully validating your VOD idea before you invest any more of your time and money into producing it.     

But first – Is your existing email list big enough for a pre-launch?

The best way to sell your video business is to target an audience you already have. These followers already know you and trust you as an authority figure in a specific niche field. They don’t need much convincing to buy a service you haven’t launched yet!

They’re also the best sample to test your idea out on. If no one on your email list will pay for what you’re offering, then it’s likely not a good idea – back to the drawing board (and don’t be discouraged!).

Aim for a conversion rate of about 2% of your existing audience. Remember what your revenue goal was from pricing lesson 2 and use the following calculator to see if your current audience size would get you there.




Paying Subscribers

0

Subscription Price:

$0

Will it? Great! Carry on.

Hot-tip

If your current audience size won’t get you to your revenue goal at 2% conversion, then you can either lower your revenue goal to better match your audience size, or you can take a step back and focus on list-building first.

Pre-Launch Checklist

Product launches aren’t just about the product. The product is only one half of the equation. The other half is the launch itself and getting people interested before you have a product.

1. Create a sales landing page

You need somewhere to direct people, and you need it to be strong because this is where all the pre-launching magic will happen!

This sales page is the main tool that will convert your potential buyers into early adopters of your VOD.

Your sales page needs four main elements to get you started:

  1. A clean layout: You don’t need much going on here – actually the simpler the better! Incorporate your branding into the page in a simple way, and designate one color from your brand pallet to your call to actions (CTA).
  2. Concise and effective copy: include simple yet powerful copy that sells your VOD (coming up in Website and SEO, lessons 1 and 2). Clearly state that this is a presale, and give the expected official launch date. You can go over the SEO lesson of VBS first to make sure your copy is search engine optimized.  
  3. The value your VOD offers your viewers: what’s your VOD all about? Why would someone pay for it? How is it going to affect their lives? If it’s educational or inspirational, clearly state the results you’re promising them. If it’s entertainment, promise them a good time consuming your content. If you have a trailer, teaser, or explainer video, which we will discuss next, embedding it in the sales page would be perfect.
  4. A clear call to action: are you asking them to pre-order? Are you asking them to leave their emails for updates? Make your CTAs verbally and visually clear on the page. Don’t use hyperlinks – use buttons instead.

If you’re using Uscreen to build and launch your VOD, here’s how to set up your pre-launch landing page.

2. Create an explainer video

As we’ve talked about over and over again in our blog, video marketing increases engagement like no other form of marketing for all types of products.

So what about when your product is a video? Then video marketing becomes a triple must!

When your product is a video, it’s also much easier to create video content to use for marketing because you already have plenty of footage to work with and it’ll just come down to editing it in a way that creates a sense of anticipation in the viewer. So you’d already be more than halfway there! If you don’t have your video footage yet, that’s ok too.

Make a short trailer, teaser or explainer video (2 minutes max, the shorter the better) that you can distribute to your audience online to quickly capture their interest and give them a glimpse of what you have to offer. Be sure to share it on all your social media channels and include on your sales landing page behind a “watch video” button.

There are so many ways to easily start creating effective teasers and trailers – here’s a good place to start.

3. Set up for pre-orders and email updates

People overlook setting up pre-orders in pre-launch all the time, which is such a loss.

Any brand with a good amount of avid followers has a group of potential customers who would be ready to buy anything the brand launches.

You can end up with hard cash in your hands and a list of “early-bird” customers before the product is even launched.

In other words, you can get paid to launch your VOD.  

Recognize, however, that not everyone will be ready or interested in your pre-launch, which is totally fine, but don’t let them leave empty handed! Make sure you set up a sign-up for email updates email call-to-action.

For those who’ve pre-ordered, make sure you send them an initial follow-up email with when to expect access to your VOD and provide contact info to call in case they have any questions – maybe even some exclusive behind-the-scenes content. Then, follow up with email updates of milestones you’ve reached in launching your VOD. As someone who’s pre-ordered access to your VOD, you owe them these updates – but don’t overwhelm them with daily emails! Weekly is all you need.

4. Come up with an early-bird package

Unless you’re as big as Apple, pre-sales are usually only attractive to customers when they offer a really good early-bird discount to incentivize buying access to a VOD that hasn’t been launched yet. A 20% discount is a really good range to be offering an early-bird discount.

If you’ve opted for a subscription video business model (which we totally encourage you to do), one month of 8$ instead of 10$ won’t be enough of an incentive to get people to pre-purchase.

To make the early-bird package even more attractive, give it an exclusive insider feel by promising to give them first access to your VOD before anyone else. People love feeling like they got things before anyone else.

And you literally call them insiders. People love being insiders.

Last but not least, you can offer your early-birds a good and free piece of content you know they’ll want. For instance, do you have an ebook? Give it to them for free. Do you have a collection of videos? Do you have a bundle of how-to content upgrades? This one isn’t necessary, but the more enticing the offer the better!

The point is, make them feel special.  

5. Send an email to your targeted audience

Just one email is all you need.

Once your landing page is published and ready to go, blast out an email to your email list promoting your pre-launch. Similar to the landing page, you want to be effective and concise, but a little more exclusive with your tone.

  • Include a very strong subject line that communicates excitement and exclusivity
  • Clearly outline the early-bird deal, what your video business is all about and the value they get out of it
  • Include a strong and clear CTA in the body of the email – no hyperlinks! Always use buttons
  • Let them know that as a subscriber, they are the firsts to get their hands on this pre-sale deal

6. Social Media Networks

This part is different for everyone, depending on where they’re most active online. Promote your pre-launch wherever you have existence, no matter how small, but focus most of your energy where you know your die-hard fans are. Go beyond the basic posts of your landing page, existing copy and explainer videos for those platforms you perform best on.

For instance, if you’re a YouTuber, maybe create a casual video explaining your to-be video business and asking for their support. If you’re huge on Instagram, consider going live to explain your upcoming service to your followers.

Tip: general rule, careful not to overdo it

You don’t want to exhaust your audience with your pre-launch, so much that the actual launch is underwhelming and boring. Your pre-launch should just be a powerful but modest nudge, meant to capture the audience paying the most attention to you. Send one email, and another one a week before launch. Make your pre-launch a one-day thing on social media, then let your following digest your information. Don’t overkill, because you’ll go all out with your actual launch.

And that’s it! When you follow these steps to pre-launching, you’ll find your most eager customers (the most valuable ones) signing up for updates, paying for your service, and helping create and spread the buzz you need to make your actual video business launch a major success.

Lesson 2:

Video Website Launch

Go to Lesson 2
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