Small businesses these days have many choices when it comes to promoting their products and services. Regardless of what your company sells or does, it’s important to learn about who your consumer is so you can effectively target them with your promotion strategy.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Types of promotional strategies include traditional and online advertising, personal selling, direct marketing, public relations and sponsorships and sales promotions.
Before You Begin: Developing a Promotion Strategy
In order to create your brand promotion, it’s critical to gain a good understanding of what makes your product or service unique. Find out where you stand in the competitive landscape and pinpoint what it is about what you offer that is truly different from the others. This will help you figure out how you will promote your business.
Once you know your unique value proposition, it’s time to think about the best ways to reach your target audience. Do they spend most of their days online, or do they still appreciate print mediums? Do they listen to the radio, or do they read newspapers? Do they like the personal touch of a phone call, or do they prefer to be emailed instead? When you understand your consumer, you can effectively create a multi-staged promotion strategy. Each strategy will help you achieve a different goal. For example, personal selling helps businesses to establish close, trusting relationships with their customers, whereas advertising enables businesses to reach a wide audience with their brand.
Reach Customers With Traditional and Online Advertising
Typically, advertising has a far reach. It allows you to promote your business to a large number of people. Traditional advertising venues include television, radio, newspapers, magazines and billboards. Online advertising includes social media marketing, text and search ads and remarketing. Businesses use advertising to create a brand image for their company and reach both new and existing customers.
Cultivate Relationships With Personal Selling
While personal selling is one of the most expensive forms of promotion, it’s also one of the most effective because it focuses on relationships. Personal selling involves reaching out to your consumers one on one, either in person, on the phone or over email. Businesses use personal selling to cultivate long-term relationships and establish partnerships.
Target Your Customer With Direct Marketing
This form of promotion involves highly targeting your audience with tailored messaging that is geared specifically for their needs. Unlike advertising, which is about reaching a large number of people, direct marketing focuses on reaching a select, small group. Direct marketing can be done through email, postal mail or social media messages.
Make a Good Impression With Public Relations
One of the best promotion techniques is public relations, which refers to developing a positive brand image in the media. It’s a way to connect with your target audience by sharing favorable information about your business. Companies conduct public relations efforts through press conferences, press releases and media interviews. Often, organizations will also use sponsorships as a public relations method to establish a positive image for their organization. Small businesses can sponsor local fairs or markets in addition to local kids sports teams.
Increase Revenue With Sales Promotions
A good way to improve your bottom line in the short term is with a sales promotion. This kind of marketing promotion involves discounts, coupons, contests, prizes, loyalty programs and other incentives designed to entice customers to purchase products immediately. This is a good way to inform new customers about the products and services you offer and remind existing customers about your business, all with the goal of selling units quickly.
Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.