Small businesses often shy away from promotion strategies because they equate advertising, public relations and promotions with large budgets, but good promotions don’t have to be expensive. Done right, a concise, focused plan can be effective in getting the message out about your business.
Promoting something doesn’t mean simply yelling about it from the rooftops. Approached correctly, promotions will make others desire what you have to offer, giving you exactly what you want — business.
The following lists the key steps necessary in creating a strong promotional strategy that works:
Identify your target audience
There are all kinds of potential clients out there, so honing in on exactly who you want to engage with is the first step to success. Demographic categories such as age, gender, location and marital status are a good way to refine your target audience. Things like lifestyle — outdoor enthusiast, frequent party-goer, crafter — are further categories that can help you focus in on the right potential client base.
Make people want what you’ve got
To convince buyers they want your product or service in particular, you have to point out why it’s different and better than the rest. This must be meaningful and accurate, or it — and you — won’t seem credible.
To best entice buyers, figure out what benefits your target audience finds most important. Do they want a warranty? Service options? Free return shipping offer?
Figure out what will seem most attractive to your potential buyers and present it to them so you are the ultimate clear choice.
Design a clear strategy
Start with a positioning strategy. This is who your target buyers are, what your competitive environment is and what the major differences are between you and others. From this, you can develop a consistent message to execute
both the look and feel of your promotional work
Your business relationship should have a personality to match your target audience. Are you hoping to reach young families with small children, retirees or teenagers? Your business personality might be young and carefree or maybe conservative and traditional. Whatever the case, the characteristics will affect the look, feel and tone of your business, and therefore of your promotions.
Create the optimal message to impact your target buyers
It might sound overwhelming to create a clear, brief and memorable message, but if you’ve clearly identified the unique features or benefits of your product or service, that’s the bulk of the work. Use this information and brainstorm for keywords, slogans and visual images that correspond to your business value proposition (BVP).
Not all promotions cost money. Word-of-mouth can go a long way, as can social media campaigns and customer referral programs. A customer who’s received excellent service or products from a company in the past is likely to be a repeat customer, and to tell others about their experience.
By being imaginative with promotions and careful with spending, you’ll be able to maximize the budget you have and create the most bang for your buck.