Look around you and take in the sheer variety of products and services available to you. There are multiple inventions and scientific breakthroughs happening in different corners of the world and every day, there are new products and services making their way into the market. As an entrepreneur, how do you plan to convince the target market into buying your product or service? By successfully promoting it, of course! Before you sigh and turn away on hearing the word ‘promotion’, let’s debunk the common notion that the blanket term, ‘advertising’—for which companies shell out billions—is what constitutes promotion.
With large companies such as Apple spending billions of dollars on advertisements alone, it is plausible for small businesses to misconstrue the costs of running a promotion. You don’t need big bucks like them to promote your product. All you need to do is just learn from the principles that form the backbone of their winning campaigns and use them, on a much smaller scale that is, to promote your product! Here is a list of amazing ways you can promote your product without razing through your marketing budget!
1. Start a blog: Why do corporates and larger organizations have blogs? The purpose of having a blog is not just to document the growth of the company or to become authorities in the field that the company is in. Blogging is also an efficient way to create exposure for your product and your brand. Blogs increase your website’s Search Engine Optimization, making it easier for internet users to find or stumble across your products and you company.
While we are on the subject of blogs, don’t just stop with starting a blog of your own. Write guest posts for other popular blogs that have large followings, and don’t forget to include all the awesome features of your product/service!
2. Bank on email marketing: While email marketing is not something you should randomly decide to run with in the days leading to your product launch, it can help in promoting your product if you already have a dedicated subscribers list. Aim to have such a list at least a year before your product launch so that your readers already know that the emails they get from your company have quality content. Build up some mystery around your product launch, run a teaser campaign maybe, or use it to give your subscribers a first glimpse, a sneak peek of your new product.
3. Draft a press release: Before you jump in and tell me that press releases are dated, let me tell you otherwise. Small businesses need the love and support of their community and what better way to earn some than by reaching out to local newspapers and media channels with a press release about your upcoming product launch?
4. Employ story-telling techniques: Whether it is in your blog posts or your social media posts, employ the art of story-telling. Let your users know the story behind your product and build on the same story for further campaigns. Audiences tend to be moved by stories; they also tend to remember those brands that tell excellent stories.
5. Attend trade shows: Trade shows and expos are easy ways to get early adopters for your product, even before the actual launch. It is also a way to place your product in the limelight as most trade shows will be covered by media, sometimes international, national as well as local! While getting your business a spot could be a little pricey, the benefits that accrue from it make it totally worthwhile!
6. Offer exclusive previews: Who doesn’t like sneak peeks, right? Invite some of your most loyal customers and throw a private party unveiling your latest product. An online preview can also pique their interest in what your company is up to. Having a select list of customers will add that feeling of exclusivity, making your product seem coveted. If all goes well, not only will you succeed in making all the invitees feel special, you will also be turning them into unofficial brand ambassadors who will back you and your business in the days ahead!
7. Conduct social media contests: We all know that the era we live in compels all companies to have a strong social media presence. But what can a company do on a platform to gain more traction for a promotional campaign, let’s say? Contests are a sure-fire way to arouse curiosity and the idea of winning something at the end of it will drive traffic your way, and thereby, publicity for your product as well.
8. Collaborate with influencers: If your brand’s social media pages don’t have as big a fan following as what you would like to have some day, reach out to somebody who already has. Social media influencers are people with huge fan followings who collaborate with brands to promote their products and services, in exchange for either monetary compensation or a free sample of the product itself. The terms that each influencer lays out vary, but if you could get an influencer to review your product, you are ultimately going to end up with a whole lot more of followers, aka, a whole lot more publicity!
9. Make use of Facebook Ads: Facebook Ads are so extraordinarily useful because they are targeted ads as opposed to non-personalized ones. True that the number of people who view your ads are less, however, the chances of them making a purchase are significantly higher than serving the ad to countless others who probably wouldn’t even take notice of it. So, if you are using Facebook Ads, narrow down your target audience to get the best results.
Now that you have a fair idea regarding all the different ways in which you can go about promoting your product, you should be able to identify what would work and what wouldn’t for your brand. Even if you do go wrong, know that it is always better to fail fast, realize where you went wrong, recover and get back on your feet before the world even realizes you made a mistake! It will only make your entrepreneurial spirit shine brighter in the days ahead.