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.
Types of promotional strategies include traditional and online advertising, personal selling, direct marketing, public relations and sponsorships and sales promotions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.