One of the easiest ways to gain some quick exposure for your small business is through a simple promotion. It doesn’t need to be anything complicated or fancy, but it should hit the mark and create some valuable awareness.
Keeping your marketing strategy in mind when developing your promotion, think of who would be most receptive to it and what kind of image your company will be portraying. It’s also essential to set some goals for yourself, so you can make any changes as you go and have benchmarks to go off for the next one.
Promotions are meant to be a quick boost to your total marketing gameplan, by creating awareness and getting new customers to try what you offer.
Since small businesses truly run the gamut of all industries and types, these ideas are meant to be fairly inclusive and get you started. Carefully look at the benefits of each one and decide which fits your business best. Need help creating a promotion for your small business? Give us a shout so we can develop one for you!
Here’s our top 4 ideas for a simple and great small business promotion:
1. Giveaway – Everything likes to receive something free. It’s a fact of life. The important part here is making it relevant to your business.
Host a giveaway where entrants get a chance to win one of your products or services for free. Not only will the be willing to participate if entry is simple, but it gives you some easy exposure to anyone interested.
Having your business name, slogan, logo, and all that repeated every time they see something about your giveaway raises awareness that you exists. Maybe a family member or friend then sees it as well and is now familiar with who you are and what you do.
It’s a pretty simple marketing concept, but sometimes when your small or starting out, a simple mention or glimpse of your brand is all it takes. These are people who were previously unaware that you are out there, and now it’s in their mind somewhere. I’d take that any day of the week.
2. Free Trial – Have a product or service that takes more commitment before someone buys? A free trial or test trial is an excellent way for them to get the product in their hands and trying it out.
This allows potential customers to see the benefits it has and compare its value to the price. There is no better sales pitch than allowing consumers to give your product a try in real life. It will bring them further down the sales funnel, and one step closer to purchasing.
Just require some basic info before they begin the trial so that you can continue to connect with them as they experience it and afterwards. Certainly pitch this as a promotion however. It’s a lot more enticing from a consumer’s viewpoint if it’s only available for a limited time as a free trial.
3. T-Shirts – Want to get your name and logo out there fast? Get some custom shirts printed and hand them out!
This takes us right back to my point in promotion #1, people love free stuff. Find a good venue to hand these out, whether it’s a county fair, mall kiosk, or downtown shopping area. All that matter is that there are people there who would be happy getting a free shirt.
You’ll get views of your logo, name, and even slogan if it’s on there. Add a web address they can find you and you’re well on your way to getting some fresh traffic. Keep in mind that the quality of this traffic may be somewhat poor as you can’t control where people wear them.
4. Contest – This idea varies from a giveaway since there is typically one or only a few winners. But with fewer winners comes a better reward, so choose wisely with this one.
Here at Cyclone, we are actually thinking of running a contest at some point in the future. If all goes according to plan the prize would be a website designed and developed free of charge. Pretty enticing, eh?
See the point of a contest is to create a promotion with much more value than your typical incentive marketing. Give your customers something they really want and see the value in.
It creates new awareness, interest in whatever your offering, and hopefully lots of people coming to your site or door. Try to use it fairly infrequently, so it becomes a special experience for potential customers and not something your trying to do just because your desperate for sales.
No matter which you choose, just make sure it is the best possible fit for your business.
A poor promotion does not help your image very much, and can actually give potential customers the wrong ideas.
Use these ideas wisely. You don’t want to pull a J.C. Penney’s and start devaluing everything you offer with constant promotions and incentives.
Take your time, keep your strategy in mind, and get creative enough that potential customers really want to participate. Done right, it can offer a really great boost to get your marketing going!