These days consumers are constantly bombarded with promotional efforts from many different channels. Marketers communicate with their audience in order to inform, educate and persuade them to purchase their product or service. With that goal in mind, there are several different promotional vehicles marketers can leverage to ensure their message gets across to the consumer, one way or another. In many cases, a multi-channel promotional effort is necessary to keep current in the minds of consumers.
Using Traditional Advertising
Promoting products and services through mass media advertising on television, radio, billboards, newspapers, magazines and other advertising vehicles is a great way to grab your consumers' attention. Advertising professionals conduct detailed research on your target audience, and build ads that specifically target their pain points, offering your product or service as the solution. Often advertisements include testimonials from real customers who have had success with your business, which further engages your prospects.
Employing Online Advertising and Social Media
These days, it’s common to promote your business online, whether that is through banner ads, keywords, social media ads or remarketing services. A significant benefit to online advertising is that it’s easy to test campaigns and make changes in real time. Many companies also use content marketing as a way to promote their products or services, which involves developing compelling and unique content related to the problem your business solves. It’s more of an indirect way to promote your business, rather than a hard sell like an advertisement.
Social media is a great way to propel your business, and it can also be free or relatively inexpensive. Many businesses use social channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to connect with their target audience on a more personal level. As a general rule, around 90 percent of your social media content should be around informing or educating your clients on something in your industry, while only 10 percent should be about your product or service.
Utilizing Direct Mail
Both snail mail and email marketing are effective ways to promote your business. Some organizations purchase lists of names and addresses for this purpose, while others build their lists from the ground up. It’s a great way to segment your audience and target them individually by name, offering your solution to their unique problems.
Adopting Public Relations and Sponsorship
It’s essential to develop a good relationship with the media in your industry to create favorable publicity for your brand. Positive publicity helps a business to minimize negative situations or scandals and can increase consumer support during tense situations. Issuing press releases when your company hits milestones or signs on major clients is a common strategy for staying top-of-mind with the media.
Some organizations use sponsorship as a way to gain good publicity for their company. Your company can sponsor anything from local school fairs to sporting events, focusing on areas where your target market may see your efforts the most.
Engaging in Personal Selling
Personal selling involves a sales representative from your organization dealing directly with a customer. This can be done on the phone, in person at your clients’ office or at a trade show or event. You don’t need a large sales force to do any personal selling; even doing it yourself is an option. The idea is just to connect with your customer on a one-to-one level, identifying with their problem and offering your business as a viable solution. It’s a great opportunity to develop meaningful and ongoing relationships with your clients.
- Learn Marketing: The Marketing Mix
- Oxford College of Marketing: Marketing Methods: Promotional Strategies and The Marketing Message
- Universal Class: Marketing Strategies: Promotion, Advertising, and Public Relations
- Small Business Development Corporation: Marketing and Promotion Strategies
- New Breed: 5 Lead Generation Strategies to Boost Your Brand
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.