No one is going to buy a product or service they haven’t heard of, nor will they buy it if they don’t know what your company offers. This is why a great promotion strategy is vital to growing your business. Some companies use more than one method, while others may use different methods for different marketing purposes. Regardless of your company’s product or service, a strong set of promotional strategies can help position your company in a favourable light, while opening the doors for future communication.
It’s no secret a well-executed content marketing campaign can deliver a solid return on investment.
According to Demand Metric, content marketing generates three times more leads than most outbound marketing strategies at 62 per cent less cost.
As marketers pad their budgets with more money to invest in content marketing this year, one strategy that often gets overlooked is content promotion.
What is a promotional strategy?
A promotion strategy is an actionable plan to influence people about your business, generate more leads, and boost customer engagement. It visualizes how to perform your marketing strategy and communication, who to target as your audience, and where and when to execute the promotion plan.
Many marketers spend more on business promotion each year, but they receive less. There are too many options and marketing voices, so you have to make sure that your messages are reaching the people you want to approach when you promote your business.
What’s more, it is very difficult to convert people into customers without resonating marketing voices to create emotional connections and arouse interests and demands to your offers.
Types of Promotion
There are many promotional marketing approaches where you can attract your prospects and customers and draw people into the A.I.D.A. process. From traditional promotions like face-to-face selling to digital advertising and the customer loyalty program.
The key promotion types are:
- Personal (face-to-face) selling – Salespeople from a company give you a sales presentation in person to persuade their offer. Unlike the other approaches, it is easier to build relationships with you.
- Traditional advertising – You can use any paid advertisements to reach a bigger audience and prompt short-term engagement and sales. It is one-to-one marketing, and its costs are based on the bidding.
- Direct marketing – It is direct communication with a highly-targeted audience through marketing channels. It has more chances to get quick feedback and retain customer relationships.
- Sales promotion – Performing a short-term marketing campaign to gain attention and encourage conversion or purchase. You can get immediate responses and interactive, but it’s not good for developing a long-term relationship.
- Public relations – To build a good corporate image and cultivate a stronger customer relationship, you can provide appropriate information and handle both positive and negative voices from consumers.
- B2B promotions – a B2B company offers materials and services that other businesses need to work and get benefits. It focuses on how people will benefit from using your offers.
- Word-of-mouth marketing – It is the process to motivate people to share information about your products and services with others. Since people trust words more from close people than from a company, it will bring qualified leads.
- Customer loyalty program – a Customer loyalty program induces your current customers to make frequent purchases and retain them, which brings you great profits in the long run.
You’ve got what a promotion strategy is and what you can do. Before we go any further, let me explain why it is critical for your business.
Top Promotional Strategies
Contests as a Promotional Strategy
Contests are a frequently used promotional strategy. Many contests don’t even require a purchase. The idea is to promote your brand and put your logo and name in front of the public rather than make money through a hard-sell campaign. People like to win prizes. Sponsoring contests can bring attention to your product without company overtness.
Social Media Promotion
Social media websites such as Facebook and Google+ offer companies a way to promote products and services in a more relaxed environment. This is direct marketing at its best. Social networks connect with a world of potential customers that can view your company from a different perspective.
Rather than seeing your company as “trying to sell” something, the social network shows a company that is in touch with people on a more personal level. This can help lessen the divide between the company and the buyer, which in turn presents a more appealing and familiar image of the company.
Mail Order Marketing
Customers who come into your business are not to be overlooked as they have already decided to purchase your product. What can be helpful is getting personal information from these customers. Offer a free product or service in exchange for the information. These are customers who are already familiar with your company and represent the target audience you want to market your new products.
Product Giveaways and Samples
Product giveaways and allowing potential customers to sample a product are methods used often by companies to introduce new food and household products. Many of these companies sponsor in-store promotions, giving away product samples to entice the buying public into trying new products.
Point-of-Sale Promotion and End-Cap Marketing
Point-of-sale and end-cap marketing are ways of selling product and promoting items in stores. The idea behind this promotional strategy is convenience and impulse. The end cap, which sits at the end of aisles in grocery stores, features products a store wants to promote or move quickly. This product is positioned, so it is easily accessible to the customer.
Point-of-sale is a way to promote new products or products a store needs to move. These items are placed near the checkout in the store and are often purchased by consumers on impulse as they wait to be checked out.
Customer Referral Incentive Program
The customer referral incentive program is a way to encourage current customers to refer new customers to your store. Free products, big discounts and cash rewards are some of the incentives you can use. This is a promotional strategy that leverages your customer base as a sales force.
Causes and Charity
Promoting your products while supporting a cause can be an effective promotional strategy. Giving customers a sense of being a part of something larger simply by using products they might use anyway creates a win/win situation. You get the customers and the socially conscious image; customers get a product they can use and the sense of helping a cause. One way to do this is to give a percentage of product profit to the cause your company has committed to helping.
Branded Promotional Gifts
Giving away functional branded gifts can be a more effective promotional move than handing out simple business cards. Put your business card on a magnet, ink pen or key chain. These are gifts you can give your customers that they may use, which keeps your business in plain sight rather than in the trash or in a drawer with other business cards the customer may not look at.
Customer Appreciation Events
An in-store customer appreciation event with free refreshments and door prizes will draw customers into the store. Emphasis on the appreciation part of the event, with no purchase of anything necessary, is an effective way to draw not only current customers but also potential customers through the door. Pizza, hot dogs and soda are inexpensive food items that can be used to make the event more attractive.
Setting up convenient product displays before the launch of the event will ensure the products you want to promote are highly visible when the customers arrive.
After-Sale Customer Surveys
Contacting customers by telephone or through the mail after a sale is a promotional strategy that puts customer satisfaction first while leaving the door open for a promotional opportunity. Skilled salespeople make survey calls to customers to gather the information that can later be used for marketing by asking questions relating to how customers feel about the products and services purchased. This serves the dual purpose of promoting your company as one that cares what the customer thinks and one that is always striving to provide the best service and product.
How To Promote Your Business: Build Your Promotion Strategy
Now you’re good to start developing your promotion strategy.
Here is the step-by-step process to successfully promote your business using a great promotion strategy. I’ve also made a list of all the things to do for a successful promotion. In each step, you will find tips and some pieces of advice that will help you in the process. Following this guide on how to promote your business, you are closer to building a winning promotion strategy.
Set Your Promotional Goals
Goal-setting is vital to your promotion success. It will give you a sense of direction and motivate you to be productive and achieve your goals efficiently. Think about what you want to achieve with it and establish your promotional goals. If you set goals that you cannot control or that are dependent on others, your goals may block off your progress and waste your time and money. So, check the following goal-setting tips to ensure your promotion will work effectively.
Define S.M.A.R.T. Goals
There’s a reason why people follow S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting. Specific goals make it easier for you to create detailed action plans and achieve them. A measurable plan visualizes your progress and helps you to stay on track. Achievable goals motivate you to focus on tasks and improve your progress. Realistic goals lead you to accomplish your progress and avoid a big failure. Time-bound goals give you a sense of urgency to achieve the goals and ensure your plan to complete on time.
Align The Goals With Your Overall Marketing Strategies
Review your overall marketing strategies. Since if your promotion goals don’t fit in with the other 3 P’s of marketing mix strategies, your promotion strategies won’t work. Consider how your price and product strategies are devised and influence your place strategies.
Determine What You Want To Achieve With Promotion
As I mentioned in the previous chapter, there are a number of potential benefits on a promotion strategy, such as, providing features and the functionality of your product to create interests, turning your one-time customers into loyal customers, or beating your competitors on customer acquisition. You can get ideas from those advantages to set your goals.
Keep It Simple And Small
Your goals can be big, but you must keep them simple and break them down into small goals. That helps you to stay focused and certainly attain your goals. Like you have yearly goals, quarterly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals, and daily goals. It allows you to create action steps that assist you in reaching your goals.
Set Up Your Success Metrics To Measure
Once your goals are set, you should determine what metrics to measure for your promotion success. If your goal is to increase customer traffic, you need to get data on traffic growth, traffic sources, organic keywords, etc. The metrics you should track vary depending on your goals, so work on them right after goal-setting.
Finding the right sales promotion strategy
The truth is, there’s no perfect recipe for success. Can’t follow certain steps and have guaranteed success. Why? Because success is variable and is influenced by multiple factors, such as positioning, quality of the product, the market’s power of purchase, economy, trends, needs, localization, and access to the product or service, product category – do people need it or is it a luxury purchase and so on. But the most important influencer in this is the audience.
You have to know your audience in order to know how to preach to them. It’s really simple. Think about a simple white T-shirt. How would you sell it to a teenager in comparison to a woman in her mid-50s? The same product, same fabric, same material. Two different audiences, two different approaches. While the approach in the second case might have something to do with staying classy & appear slim, in the first case, it will probably be about being trendy & cool. Now, this is the right positioning for the right audience. Assuming you already know your audience well. The next thing you should practice and reflect on your sales promotion. If you’re still trying to figure out your target audience, you have to take a step back and get your research going. Start by looking at the big picture, combine it with all the data you already know, and create your buyer persona in 5 easy steps.
Moving on, sales promotion base their principles on incentives. Usually, short ones, limited by time, in hopes of getting a buying response. Promotion strategies usually divide themselves into two big categories: push marketing and pull marketing.
Push Marketing aka Outbound
Push marketing goes back a long way and uses a more traditional approach. Push marketing strategies focus on a product-client facing. The main objective in this type of approach is to minimize the time and effort the customer is making from the beginning to the purchase. The typical brand behaviour, in this case, is almost synonymous with traditional marketing. Techniques such as direct selling (either door to door or through showrooms), points of sale and distribution, trade shows, public transports or highway ads and so on.
The push marketing strategies count most of their techniques on an intermediate, such as retailers, providing them with their product, so that at the end of the day, the retailers will display the product and have it easily accessible for the final targeted consumers.
Pull Marketing aka Inbound
Pull marketing sales strategies are, at the core, a little different from push strategies. Their main focus is on brand awareness. Pull sales promotion strategies require a lot of investment, time and of course, money. If push strategies would be the product that you see on every shelf at the supermarket, yelling “pick me, pick me”, the pull marketing would be the product that focuses on itself—creating a cool image about the product or service, thus making people look for it and recall it, without the need of seeing it everywhere and every day. It kind of works like reverse psychology.
Pull sale strategies are associated with a more our “era” type of approach. Thus, brands that go for it and adopt it don’t settle for a one time try “affair”, just because it’s accessible (since it’s not necessarily that. But instead, goes for customer loyalty by building a strong customer relationship. The request, in this case, is reversed. The customer is looking for the product and is requesting retailers for it, then the retailers are requesting it from the manufacturers.
The main difference between the two very different sale techniques is that push strategies are trying to sell an already existing product supply while pull strategies are trying to increase the need that would immediately increase supply requests. By cutting it down, push strategies would be like a chase, while pull strategies would be like magnetism.
However, even though nowadays, inbound marketing is considered more targeted and cost-effective, these two strategies don’t exclude one another.
Fail on content promotion and the hours you spent on content creation will have been in vain. Without a promotion strategy, your content will accumulate dust in the corner of the web instead of driving traffic, leads, and revenue for your brand. These expert tactics will help you drive the traffic and engagement you need.