If you want to expand your customer base and increase your revenue, you have to take the time to focus on promotion. Marketing is one of those guessing games that can drive even a professional marketer crazy, though. With so many people shopping online these days, knowing whether to focus on online or offline promotion can also be a challenge.
Fortunately, there are some tried-and-true tips and tricks that will help you market both places and figure out what is successful and what is not.
Even if your business is local, such as a service business or brick-and-mortar store, your online promotions can help you gain an edge on the competition. It’s estimated that 81 percent of consumers do online research before they choose which local merchant to do business with. When you understand how a well-implemented online campaign can drive sales, you’ll pay more attention to online promotions.
However, not all promotions are created equal. Small businesses can’t afford to just throw money at promotions and not see results. There are some strategies you can use that will most likely benefit your business.
These are just a few of the more popular places to promote online. You’ll also want your own website and mailing list, of course. If you have a website, it is essential to have a blog, and we all know how crucial good and consistent content is. Fear not, you don’t need excellent writing skills, you can easily outsource your content writing.
There are a couple of businesses doing online promotions extremely well — one is a small skincare company called TruSkin Naturals. It sells exclusively on Amazon, but it reaches out to customers via social media and a mailing list, where it often offers discounts.
Another example of a small company using effective social media promotions is Red Mango, which is a frozen yogurt shop. It has put the time into gathering social media followers, and it promotes itself by offering gifts, exclusives and entertaining content.
You might think figuring out offline promotions would be the easy part of the equation. After all, print advertising has been around for hundreds of years. However, there are so many different options— and not all are effective for every business — that figuring out where to start can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are some techniques that seem particularly useful, even in this digital age.
Old Navy offers a good study in how to effectively use window graphics. Visit any brick-and-mortar Old Navy, and you’ll instantly know what is on sale and what the new arrivals are because of the brightly colored window displays.
Lays Potato Chips is one example if a good use of both online and offline marketing melded into one. Lays holds a contest to come up with a new flavor, and it calls its contest Do Us a Flavor. It advertises this contest in print and on television. However, you need to go online to enter your flavor and to vote for your favorite choices once the finalists are chosen. It’s a brilliant use of integrating both online and offline marketing and gets fans engaged.
Integrating online marketing with offline marketing is one of the smartest moves you can make, because it gives you the widest reach possible.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
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