Even the best mousetrap can't catch mice if the public doesn't know it exists.
How do you advertise a product? When you have a new product, building a market from what seems like scratch can prove a challenge — especially if your business doesn’t benefit from a large array of advertising resources. But having a modest budget doesn’t mean you can’t advertise. From traditional media to new, online options here are five tips for product promotion:
Outdoor and Transit
Outdoor and transit advertising, such as billboards, bus wraps, vehicle toppers and other signage, are easily viewable by the mass consumer. Though some of these options come with higher price tags than a small business can afford, others are as affordable as a simple business decal on your company’s vehicle. A couple of other options included in this type of product promotion are:
Transit advertising: Advertising inside (rather than on) busses and other forms of public transportation works well to reach prospective consumers who ride the buses rather than take their own form of transportation.
Vehicle toppers: Advertisements, such as those on top of taxis, may make sense if your target customers live or work where cabs typically run, such as urban centers and transportation terminals.
While outdoor and transit advertising can be very effective, the downside to this type of advertising is that most potential customers will only view the advertisement for a brief period — often measured in mere seconds. Therefore, if you want to advertise in one of these mediums, consider a simple message using larger type to reach your customers.
Though a blog or social media presence can be a great source for inexpensive (or free) advertisement, these forms of advertisement take time. In fact, tech consultant Deb Shinder of TechRepublic.com, suggests that creating a social media account is only half the battle. The other half is devoting time to creating a social media strategy, and sticking to that strategy.
If you're already active online, promote your product to people who you are already connected to. Consider using posts and tweets to leverage your visibility without investing in an advertising program. On your own blog, the sole limit to your ability to advertise comes from the amount of traffic you can drive to your content. If you're ready to invest in a paid advertising program, you'll find many pay-per-click options through advertising networks and on social media sites. However, don't overextend yourself with an unsustainable level of online activity. The result can be counterproductive and less effective than a smaller-scale but maintainable outreach.
Radio, broadcast television, cable and satellite providers offer advertising options, especially if you want to promote a product to a targeted audience. The trick lies in finding the right media and time slots — early morning, midday, afternoon or evening — to reach your desired audience based on age, gender and other demographic characteristics. Whether you buy ad time directly from stations or work with a media-buying service, make sure that you set a broadcast schedule that plays your ads often enough to encourage new customers, but not too often to make potential customer want to change the channel, switch the radio station, etc.
Though online media is becoming more and more prevalent, traditional forms of advertising — from newspapers, magazines and even newsletters you create yourself — are still great options to expose your product and business. Whether you design and typeset the ads yourself or commission someone else to prepare them for you, print offers a durable, tangible way of making lasting impressions on everyone who reads a publication.
Postcards and other through-the-mail media put your message on your prospective customer's doorsteps. If you know where to find your prospects geographically, the United States Postal Service offers programs you can use to target businesses and residences in specific locations without the need for address lists. Or, if you've built a list from scratch through in-store and email signups, you can use it to create a full-fledged direct mail campaign. Find a vendor who specializes in designing and mailing product promotions if you're not comfortable with the process of doing it yourself.
Elizabeth Mott has run a consulting firm since 1990, providing her clients with a wide range of services, including campaign strategy, production and implementation. Her work has appeared on publications such as The Arizona Republic.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
/account/v2/editBillingDisplay,/orderhistory/subsManager,/orderhistory/submitReturn,/account/accountSummaryDisplay,/account/loginAccountDisplay,/account/myfiles,/csl/listAllhttps://request.eprotect.vantivcnp.com/eProtect/js/payframe-client3.min.js?d=20200809 Join Now