Promoting your business is a lifeline to keeping it healthy, but creating an effective promotion strategy can be challenging.
In the past, choices for promotional channels were limited. And although ads in newspapers, radio, TV, and billboards still have their place today, the internet has opened up a world of opportunities for today’s entrepreneurs to promote their business for optimum success.
Promoting a business involves the process of using marketing communication to inform and persuade potential customers to make a purchase. A promotion strategy provides a roadmap for how and where to promote your product or service. Business owners must make a lot of informed decisions when it comes to promoting their business online.
To help you understand the process, read the following guidelines for how to develop a strong promotion strategy for your business.
Recognize Opportunities and Challenges
In any endeavor that requires winning and losing, it’s a good idea to take a look at your competition. It can help you identify any challenges you’re facing in the marketplace.
Learn what your competition does well and how you can improve on it. Think of ways you can position yourself in the marketplace to appeal to your target audience. A promotion strategy can help to establish your brand and give your business public exposure.
Prepare yourself for opportunities by learning the tools of the trade. Here are some essential tools for online businesses:
- Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM)
- Email Campaign Autoresponder
- Social Media Manager
- Graphic Design Software
- SEO and Site Loading Speed Checker
There are a lot of things to learn if you’re new to doing business online. But there are also many resources available. A good way to find those resources is to work with a mentor or coach for online marketing.
Develop a Plan for Your Promotion Strategy
Your promotion strategy is part of your marketing plan. Before you develop a plan to promote your business, answer these two questions:
- What are my goals and objectives?
- What resources will it take to accomplish them?
Goals and objectives provide a provide a path to success for your business. Focus on your customer’s needs. Determine what outcomes you want your business to have, then plan your promotion campaign to accomplish them.
Successful promotion of your products or services depends on these things:
- Successfully reaching your target audience
- Effectively explaining product benefits and features
- Evoking a desire in your prospect for your offer
- Providing a clear call to action.
Good marketing plans will have goals and objectives that are clear, relevant, realistic, measurable and timely.
The Message Is the Medium
In the 1960s Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message.” He was right.
In a promotional strategy, there are various types of communication collateral you can use. Here are a few examples:
- Promotional videos
- Direct response copywriting
- Social media platforms
- Email campaigns
Use the advantage of the medium to highlight promotional efforts. Match the medium to the audience. For example, millennials prefer getting their information by video on mobile devices. Seniors respond better to direct response appeals.
Regardless of the type of media you use, be sure to use compelling, persuasive language
Social media provides a great opportunity to reach many people in a more relaxed environment free from the pressure of a hard sell. It allows for a more genuine connection with prospective customers.
Running promotions on social media is a low-cost way to get access to a wide range of audiences and experiment with your message. Facebook Ad Manager allows you to test multiple ads to find what is most effective.
If your competitors are on social media, you’d better be too. Companies that promote on social media are perceived as more personable.
Videos are another great tool for promotion. In 4 years, it is expected that 80% of all internet traffic will be video-driven traffic.
Online promotional videos should be between 5-8 minutes in length. You should write a strong script and use compelling images. They work well on your website or you can combine them with your advertising campaign. Short promotional videos can also be part of an email campaign or you can promote them on YouTube.
Remember to communicate a consistent promotional message regardless of the channel used.
Who Is Your Customer?
Before you begin developing the message you will send out. You need to spend some time learning about who you’re talking to.
It’s fundamental to success to know your market and to understand your customer’s needs.
To do that, you need information on customer demographics and preferences. Some marketers get this information from survey data. If you decide to do a survey, you need to gather information that will help you answer the following questions:
- Who are your customers?
- Where do they live?
- Where do they gather online?
- How do they search for products?
- Who influences their buying decisions?
When it comes to surveys, shorter is better. People don’t like to answer too many questions. Ten questions or less is best. You can use a simple tool like Survey Monkey to conduct your survey.
Substance Increases Value
So, you’ve done your homework, now you’re ready to promote your product or service to your customer. Here are some tips on the best way to shape your message.
Give Substance to Content
The information you present should educate your customers and position you as an expert in your niche.
Make sure your topics are relevant to your target audience. Use a personal tone in your message and speak from the heart. Talk to them, not at them.
Use Bold Headlines with Impact
Heads should be memorable, but simple.
Give your brand visibility and personality. Your logo should be uncluttered with little or no text. Use professional graphics and simple fonts. Remember your logo represents your brand.
No matter how great your content is, it won’t do you any good if no one reads it. So, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important.
SEO is a valuable tool that uses keywords your prospects use when searching on the internet. When optimized, your website will rank high on Google’s rating scale, so it shows up on top when people search for businesses in your niche.
Create Consumable Content
Content marketing can attract new customers to your website. It’s a non-threatening way to promote your business.
But it must be done right. Here are some tips to keep in mind when developing content for your website:
- Write high-quality, relevant content
- Optimize for SEO
- Make content scannable by using lists and bullets
- Use lots of white space for readability
- Add fresh content frequently
- Have a strong promotion strategy
What kind of content should you include? Anything that goes on your website is considered content. Here are just a few examples:
- Blog posts
- Educational webinars
If you give your audience valuable content that’s easy to consume, you will draw more traffic to your website. And you will establish yourself as an expert in your niche.
Assess Your Efforts, Adjust
The proof is in the data pudding. Gather feedback on your content. Check Google analytics to see what content was viewed more and how many clicks you received on your Call to Action buttons.
Develop a metrics for measuring your outcomes. Without a way to measure your efforts, you won’t be able to tell if you have successfully achieved your goals.
Use data analysis to determine if your marketing communications are on track. If not, make adjustments to your promotion strategy accordingly.
Need More Information?
There are many factors involved in developing a successful promotion strategy for your business. I’d love to give you the benefit of my vast marketing experience.