When it comes to marketing, never underestimate tenacity. Done right, there are some inexpensive marketing techniques that can be just as effective as more expensive versions.
Once you have a website, the temptation is to focus your marketing efforts online, but this can be a huge mistake. In every advertising decision you make, you should consider your bang for the buck. How much could the money you are spending in online advertising do for you if used for the cost of booklet printing, as an example.
Before you get too focused on the online promotions side of things, consider the following forms of advertising. And, yes, these forms are just as important for promoting your website as online ads.
People love to receive mail. There is just something so satisfying about opening a mailbox to a piece of paper with your name on it. The trick is to make your postcard something they want to look at. It doesn’t have to be over the top with graphics, but even something as simple as an aesthetically pleasing color can draw positive attention, preventing your postcard from going straight to the trash.
In the information section of your mail, keep your sentences short. If it looks like a lot of effort to read, then it won’t be read. Lastly, make sure to direct the receiver to a website or Facebook page for more information. Consider using a QR code to help people scan the piece with their phone.
Brochures or Folded Booklets
Besides just direct mail, another easy offline promotion technique is to simply print brochures. You can distribute these folded booklets on your own, keep them around your office area, place them in packages for upselling items, or leave them in various locations within your community. Often potential customers may want brochures mailed directly to them. Brochures are a powerful way to promote, especially when it comes to face-to-face sales, and could be an important part of your arsenal of marketing tools.
Often overlooked, the simple business card may be the most important offline promotional tool you could purchase. What’s more, in terms of cost, a business card may very well be the most effective marketing tool per dollar you could invest into. Just keep the design simple and straightforward. The key is to keep your contact information in front of the client so they have it when needed.
In addition to offline promotions, you have lots of ways of advertising your products and services online as well. Don’t get overwhelmed and don’t go after the more exotic promotional campaigns until you have the fundamentals down well.
Email marketing still works. Response rates vary wildly by industry, but the key is to only send emails to people who have opted into receiving messages about your type of product or services. Don’t just find a list of emails and start sending messages. New laws mean you have to have permission before sending emails.
Everyone’s favorite word is their own name. Thus, if they receive an email from a company with the message beginning with “So and so, have you heard about…?” they will probably read it. It makes them feel valued. The email need not be very long, just lengthy enough to convey a general idea of a company. As with direct mailing, at the end include a web address or Facebook page. The great part about emails is that there is no additional effort to go to a computer, type in the address, and arrive at the site. They can simply click on the address and they’re there!
If you’re looking for a way to connect with a younger audience, Facebook is the way to do it. The best part about Facebook marketing is that it is totally free advertising. Create a Facebook page for your company, semi-regularly post updates about company goings on, and don’t forget to include a link to your webpage. This can also be used as a way to gain rapport with customers. If they see that a lot of people like your site and leave positive comments, they will be more inclined to check out your website and “like” it on the Facebook page themselves.
Another important place beside your own website and Facebook page is to develop a profile on Google+. Also completely free, the search engine giant is starting to corner the market. In a few minutes you can put together a simple Google+ page that helps both search engine users and search engines themselves know that you are a legitimate business.
Finally, a simple, free way to keep in touch with clients is through Twitter. This service allows you to send short, 140 character messages to everybody who is following your account. This allows you to send out marketing and promotional “tweets” at will.
Connecting the Pieces
Before you launch any campaigns, make sure any offline and online promotions are in sync with each other. Put your Twitter account on your business cards. Have your website on booklets. Invite people to your Facebook page in any postcards you send out. The key is to give customers every opportunity to find you.