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Today we’re talking about launch content. What is it? What isn’t it? How do we do it well? I'll explain it all on this episode.
Transcript & Shownotes
Welcome back to Naomi Explains Marketing, the show where I help coaches, consultants, experts, authors, and other associated nerds, geeks and misfits sell the contents of their brains for cash money. I am your host, Naomi, and today we’re talking about launch content. What is it? What isn’t it? How do we do it well?
You ready? Let’s do this.
It’s possible you’ve seen this before. You’re on someone’s mailing list, or perhaps you follow them on social media. They state or imply that they have something for sale, or that they plan to offer something for sale shortly. Then they send you content, presumably to get you in the mood to buy that thing.
That’s launch content.
Launch content is dedicated content – not sales copy – designed exclusively to get potential buyers in the mood to, well, buy. Unlike regular content marketing pieces which tend to approach commerce as a “by the way” or parenthetical aside, launch content is only designed to market one product, and that’s all it’s designed to do. It doesn’t link to your other products. It doesn’t send people to check out your store. It’s all in aid of this one thing.
If you followed along with the AIDA series, launch content is designed to draw attention, generate interest, and create desire for something – probably an information product – so that when that information product comes up for sale, they’ll take action and buy it.
Now, one quick bit of housekeeping before we get into the nitty gritty:
I am going to operate on the assumption that you are, in fact, a coach, consultant, expert, author, teacher, guide, guru, healer, or similar. I am assuming you are selling the contents of your brain, in the form of information. If you’re not, that’s fine, but what follows will have to be adapted for your product. You could use launch content to sell a die cut machine if you wanted – you could, and it’s extremely effective. But I’m operating on the assumption that you’re using it to sell your four-part masterclass, Die Cutting For Fun and Profit.
If you were paying attention to the episode on copy versus content, you’ll remember that in general, content is designed to market, while copy is designed to sell. Launch content falls under the category of content marketing, and as such, launch content is different from sales copy. Launch content is designed to make you want to buy a thing, probably at some time in the near-term future. Sales copy is designed to make you actually buy the thing, ideally now.
In a perfect world, launch content would make a prospect so unbelievably excited to buy a product that they’ll hand over their credit card as soon as the sales page goes live. In the imperfect world in which we live, it’s more likely to get them open to the idea of reading the sales page, whereupon the sales page will do the actual selling. So launch content is designed to get a prospect open to the idea of reading a sales page and hopefully making a purchase.
Now, what makes good launch content? Here’s what I like to see.
First, I want to see content that is educational. It teaches. Your content versus my content will be different – we’ll teach different things, and we’ll teach in different ways, but we’re teaching. Maybe your content teaches like a university professor – here are the three psychological factors that go into impostor syndrome. I didn’t know them, and now I do, because you taught me. Maybe it teaches like a workshop facilitator – here are five things you can do when your sympathetic nervous system is dysregulated. I didn’t know them, and now I do, because you taught me. Maybe it teaches like an art teacher – put this much paint on your brush and then hold the brush like this. I didn’t know that, and now I do, because you taught me. There are plenty of things that can be taught, and there are plenty of ways the teaching can be approached, but fundamentally, launch content is education.
Next! I want to see content that is usable, or actionable. To refine on our previous point, in general, educational content that teaches you to do something is better at generating sales than educational content that teaches you interesting facts. As a rule, “how” sells much better than “why” or “what”. Things that teach “how” can usually be used by the prospect. They can take an action as a result of what we’ve taught them. When they take action, they get results. They enjoy those results, and are inclined to see what else we can teach them. (Incidentally, they don’t actually have to take the action for this to work. They just have to be able to completely see how it would work. If we’re teaching them to make a capsule wardrobe, they don’t have to actually follow the instructions we lay out in our launch content. They just have to viscerally believe they could.)
(As an aside, usability is why challenges work so well. If we’re doing the five-day Clean Your House Challenge, we’re doing it so that you’ll actually clean your goddamn house. You’ll see your newly cleaned house and say, “Wow! It worked! That’s so cool! If her free challenge changed my circumstances in a meaningful way, it stands to reason that her paid offering will also change my circumstances in a meaningful way. Perhaps I should give her some money.”)
So that’s usability. I want to see things I can take action on.
Alright, last thing I want to see. Good launch content should be able to exist even if the product did not. Ideally, launch content should stand alone as content even if there was nothing for sale. How to make a capsule wardrobe works as content even if you’re not about to sell a product on personal style. Sure, the way the content works up will be different. If you weren’t selling something, you wouldn’t have that part at the beginning that tells them to get on the VIP list or that part at the end that links to a sales page, or that part in the middle that says “we talk about that more in module three” or “chapter nine” or whatever. But if you were to remove any reference to buying a thing, I want to see content that still functions. If not, that’s not launch content, that’s sales copy. I like sales copy as much as the next girl, but let’s call it what it is.
Education, usability, and independence from the product. If you can pull those off, your launch content is going to be pretty darn good. See? I knew you could do it!
That’s it for today’s episode! If you would like to suggest a topic for Naomi Explains Marketing, something you want explained in simple terms, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at [email protected] and if I can explain it, I will.
Take great care of yourself and I’ll see you soon.
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