Thursday, August 30, 2012

Effective Ways to Promote Your Business Your Competition will Do If You Don't

There are three great times to promote your business:  Always, Anytime, and Now!

A tough economy is not the time to skimp on promoting your business or company. If anything, businesses should advertise even more now than during robust economies. Those who fail to do so risk financial setbacks.

Digital Marketing: The opportunity to grow your business with digital marketing services has never been greater. What is digital marketing? Defined, it is promoting your company or brand by using all forms of digital advertising channels to reach new customers.

Promotional or Specialty Advertising: Customers and potential customers alike want to feel appreciated, thanked for their patronage. Today’s businesses can’t always rely on past customer loyalty. All things being equal, customers will often go where they feel valued—even if it comes in the form of an inexpensive ink pen, 
stress ball, or ball cap.

Business Incentives: Increase attention and increase traffic to your business with these unique gas, travel, retail, grocery, and dining certificates. For only pennies on the dollar, these incentives are sure to please even the most particular consumer.

Signs: A friend owned a sign company for nearly twenty years. Inside her showroom was a message: A Business without A Sign is A Sign of No Business. Think about it: How can your customers find you without a sign saying Hey! Here I am!?

Advertising: Several types of advertising cover the landscape

Radio: Radio gets results! As a former radio announcer, I believed those words daily. After all, that’s how I was paid—from advertising revenue. (Sadly, I thought it was my magical voice!) These days, find a format your audience—err, customers—prefers. Also, find time slots that deliver the most bang for your buck (i.e. 
drive time mornings and afternoons). Be creative, have fun, and get results!

Television: While I have a face made for radio, I do have a little experience in this field. (My college degree was in English-Journalism. That and $1.99 will get you a cup of coffee somewhere!) Check out the station’s demographics. How do they pertain to your audience/customers? Like radio, television can be iffy where success is concerned. After all, so many folks have TIVO these days to skip through advertising. Try to get a package rate during the best possible time slots.

Print Media: Newspapers, shopper’s guides, and local magazines often offer media kits. Readership of some media is down, so make sure to do thorough research. This type of advertising can be iffy, as many periodicals are shutting their doors. Ask clients of this type of media on their personal success before purchasing.

Free: Use these sparingly! The web offers numerous free classified advertising sites—especially for those with websites. Warning: You’ll receive a lot of advertising as a result, so designate an email address for your messages!

Direct Marketing: Business cards, fliers, door hangers, and ads placed in windshields are inexpensive, yet offer mixed results. Do not violate any laws when distributing, however.

Writing Articles: Are you an expert at your product or service? Write articles about your expertise with a small link to your website at the end. The internet is hungry for original, well written articles that are not blatant attempts at advertising. A great website for sharing ideas is Hub Pages! Tip: Make sure you share 
these articles with the public!

Word-of-Mouth: Always, always, always ask friends, family, neighbors, and others if they know of anyone who may be interested in your services. One of the best ways to help you with this rewarding, yet challenging task is through:

Networking: Online or offline, networking groups abound. Online, I would suggest joining effective sites like Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Linkedin, or Ryze. Offline, I would suggest Toastmasters, BNI, your area chamber, Meetup, or after hour social events.

An Effective Website: Nearly 55% of all small businesses have a website. The minor investment has nicely rewarded these business owners:

Most consumers search the web before making a purchase or visiting your store. Phone books are nearly obsolete.

The world is now your marketplace, so you can sell your products or service anywhere in the world. This means more money, opportunity, and a more professional image for you.

Websites become your hardest-working employee, working around the clock daily to promote your products or services. Your site can work as a super sales tool, thus increasing customer satisfaction. These are wonderful results you can take to the bank.

Telemarketing: Forgive my grammar, but this ain't your father's form of telemarketing--where folks lacking personality seem to be reading from poorly produced scripts. Technology has helped produce an excellent telemarketing product! Many companies offer telemarketing on a commission basis: You pay only if You make 
a sale!

Start Succeeding Today!

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