When was the last time you evaluated your inbound marketing strategies? When was the last time you implemented a new promotional strategy within your brand?
At New Breed, we like to think there is always room for improvement. Maybe you have a strong, conversation-driven Facebook audience. How about starting a Twitter account? Perhaps your e-newsletter mailing list has doubled over the past year. How about sending out a call to action and drawing some of your readers back to your website?
Strategies to Promote Your Brand
Don’t let your innovative marketing techniques from last month or even last year go stale! It’s time to give your promotional strategies a face-lift! Here are some fresh ideas to get you started.
1. Get the Most out of Social Media
One of the most obvious advantages to using social media is that they’re typically free (unless you choose to invest a portion of your budget towards promoting social ads) and most take less than an hour to get set up. These things considered, there’s no excuse to not give them a try and see what works.
Set up a time frame, 3 months for example, for a trial period on a new network. Every company is different and certain social media networks are more suited for you depending on your target audience. Make sure to track the success of each. Increase your presence on networks that are working, and discontinue the use of ones that aren’t.
Social media is easy, but there’s still a right way to use it and a wrong way. Do your research and don’t fall victim to commonly made mistakes. For example, do you know how to tweet something? You may think you do, but just in case, read over a list of “Twitter terms” and make sure you truly know how to use a hashtag effectively. Review the type of language used on each network and make sure to share relevant content that your target market is interested in.
As a general rule, 90% of the content you post should be about sharing knowledge and educating. The other 10% should be about your product. Once you understand the logistics of these networks, you can be sure you are utilizing them to their fullest potential.
2. Generate Conversation with Swag!
Start by asking what your target audience would want. Take into consideration size (does it easily fit in your bag?) and quality (will your logo wash off after one use?). Make sure it is purposeful and useful. No one needs extra clutter, so get some feedback before you place an order.
If 3 out of 5 people surveyed say they would toss it, don’t waste your time and your company’s money. There’s no question that swag can be a great promotional strategy, but it’s only going to generate conversation if it avoids the trash. Remember, these items are custom to your brand, so always leave enough time for the order to be created and request proof. It’s better to spend a little extra attention and catch a mistake on the proof than not realizing it until after a large order has been received.
Test Your ROI
Understand the point of ordering this swag and make sure that the point is met once you start passing it out. Find creative ways to test and see if the ROI was met. Maybe the goal was to increase your mailing list:
- How about requesting a business card or email address before you give someone your new swag?
- Maybe you want to encourage more followers on a social media network or increase attendees at a promotional event you are hosting.
- How about offering the swag as an incentive for new likes, and shares, or giving them away at your event?
Business cards are a creative way to incorporate swag without giving people more than they want. A windshield replacement shop with a business card that doubles as a pocket-sized ice scraper or a graphic design firm that includes a ruler along the bottom of their card give someone another reason to hang onto your contact info (other than keeping in touch). Don’t let those age-old logo-printed stress balls deter you from finding a creative way to use swag as an effective promotional strategy.
3. Offer Incentives with Targeted Landing Pages
So you’ve created an e-book, or you are offering a webinar that might appeal to two different types of people within your target audience. Why not create two different landing pages that offer the same content but tailor the language, so it’ll best relate to each group?
The goal of your landing page is to create conversation, and targeted landing pages always have a higher click-through rate, which means more leads and better ROI. Make sure you have a clear idea of who these target audiences are and what they are looking for. What words are they searching for? Why do they want this information?
Once you know this you can adjust the copy so that your landing page comes up in a Google search, for example, once on the landing page, the reader is compelled to download your offer or sign up for your event. Don’t forget these key aspects of creating a basic landing page:
- A strong headline
- A clean, attractive design
- Dynamic copy
- Ease of use
- An eye-catching, clickable button
4. Appeal Locally and Create an Event
There are lots of excuses to get together with potential leads and like-minded businesses in your area. Networking, marketing, and knowing the competition are a few obvious ones. You can also take advantage of this face-to-face meeting to pass out swag, personalize your brand and explore potential new markets. This is also a great promotional strategy because it gets your name out in the local community.
Consider different types of events that might appeal to your target market. Maybe it’s a seminar that’s purpose is to educate your audience on a particular topic. Perhaps you want to do something less structured, like a social mixer. Encourage people to attend by marketing the networking potential and offering an incentive, like snacks or prizes. Even though you are the host, don’t miss out on the opportunity to get to know your local competition and build relationships within the community.
Save money by utilizing social media to promote these events. Many of these networks also have an RSVP function that can help you gauge what to expect as far as attendance. You can also utilize social media to brainstorm ideas for events and get a feel for what your target market would be interested in.
A Facebook post asking readers what topics they want to know more about can generate conversation and give you specific feedback. If you already have an idea throw it out there. A post reading, “Like this if you would be interested in attending a marketing mixer” can give you an idea of whom and how many people would come.
5. Boost your Brand with Education
You probably have a wealth of knowledge about a particular subject. Maybe you have been blogging about it every day for months, sending out newsletters weekly, and actively posting on social media networks. Well, now it’s time to compile all this information into one downloadable book, an e-book. If this seems like a lot of work, let me remind you that you have already created this content.
All you are doing is gathering it and repurposing it into an e-book, which not only makes your site appear more credible but it also makes your content more accessible to your readers. With an e-book, readers can learn all about creating a logo, for example, in one spot instead of searching through several blog posts.
CTAs and CTRs
Use call-to-actions embedded in targeted emails at the end of relevant blog posts, or share on social media to increase the traffic to the landing pages made specifically to download this offer. If you are targeting the right audience and creating dynamic content, your click-through rates will increase as well as shares, followers, likes and potential leads. Not only can this increase your ROI, but all this activity will make your website more popular with search engines.
Evaluate Appropriate Strategies for Each Promotion Goal
Before diving into your brand-boosting efforts, take a step back and first identify your goals. Only then can you develop the appropriate strategies to achieve your end results. For example, decide if your objective is going to solely promote your brand or if you want to integrate product promotion strategy as well. While both aim to increase sales and revenue, the two objectives differ in scope and focus.
Brand Promotion vs Product Promotion
Brand promotion is going to require a longer-term strategy than product promotion will. It focuses more on increasing brand awareness and driving loyalty over time rather than emphasizing discounts and incentives. Brand promotion strategy will involve a combination of a number of different factors. This may include storytelling, inspiring imagery, relevant messaging, and engaging campaigns. When it comes to product promotion, however, it’s important to be as clear and concise as possible about product benefits and to focus on reaching the market quickly.
Your brand promotion strategy is going to be more multifaceted than your product promotion strategy. This is because it is designed to create a relationship between the brand and customer that will delight them throughout the funnel. Both strategies keep customer relationship development top of mind, but brand promotional strategy is all about nurturing that emotional connection over time rather than working toward quick wins.
Common brand promotion strategies include aspects like:
- Advertising and campaign management
- Public relations
On the other hand, common product promotion strategies include aspects like:
- Discount offerings
- Upsell opportunities
- Product demonstrations
All of this is to say it’s important to first define your goals before developing strategies on how to reach them. Ask yourself questions like, Am I trying to position my brand as the best on the market to achieve long-term customer retention or am I trying to increase the sales of my product to boost my bottom line?
Either answer is valid and can invite an exciting strategy that drives significant results. It all boils down to what you have identified as your company goals and what you aim to achieve, in both the short and long term.
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Guido is Head of Product and Growth Strategy for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.