It all starts with your business. You have a product, an idea, a service, or an event. Congratulations! The hardest part is over. However, no matter how spectacular your idea, it's useless if your potential client base doesn't know it exists, right? Now, you have one goal. Your eye is on just one prize: getting the word out about this next-incredible-thing you have created.
You need a well-planned, well-targeted advertising campaign. Perhaps threading that needle sounds daunting to you. No need to worry! Consider these few pieces of advice and you'll discover that creating an effective marketing strategy is not such a difficult feat.
Consider your audience:
You built this product or business because you saw a hole in the market. There were certain people who were lacking something in their lives and you set out to fill that void. Think back to that initial inspiration. Who were those people you were thinking of? Those are the same people your advertising campaign must aim toward.
Are they younger or older? Male or female? Hip or square? Tech-savvy or dirt-under-the-fingernails types? Of what class? Generation? Ethnicity?
Gathering as much information as possible about your target market will help you create a marketing initiative directed straight at your potential consumers' hearts.
Consider your timeline:
What type of relationship are you hoping to build? Is this a love-at-first-sight affair or are you aiming to be that elderly couple, still madly in love, dancing at their sixtieth wedding anniversary? Different products and services require different levels of commitment from their clients. Consider how early on you need your clients to commit, and whether you are providing something that relies on return customers. These variables will affect how quickly and aggressively you present yourself to your potential clients.
Consider your product:
Your advertising campaign, after all, is designed to sell your product. You want the two to be related. Your words, imagery, and promotional products should implant your product in your potential customers' minds. Varying ad campaigns use varying strategies.
Sometimes a more surreptitious connection is best. Sometimes we have to be up front. No matter the advertisement strategy, there certainly must be a connection. Although getting your name in front of fresh eyes is useful, getting your product into your customers' minds is what really makes the sale.
Consider the world:
Most consumers are taken by advertising campaigns that do not only sell product but also relate to their world. These possibilities are endless. Some businesses prefer current events references. Some prefer puns. Some companies aim for connections to community, family, or daily activities. Others aim for global relationships. Maybe pop culture is your thing. Or academics. Sports? Movies? Games?
Relating your advertising strategy to the world around your customers builds your image as more than a company, but also a participant in that very same world. Knowing what world your clients live in will make finding and cultivating this connection that much easier.
An advertising campaign doesn't just sell your product or service; it sells you. Customers have been proven to shop not only based on their consumer needs, but also on their perception of the business they are supporting. So build yourself an image that your potential clients will want to support. Whether that be the cool guy, the artsy lady, the business woman, or the hippie dude. Sell yourself while being true to yourself. Don't let your advertising campaign make you into something that you're not. Customers can sense disingenuousness. Your clients will first and foremost always respect your honesty.
Many of your potential customers may not know that your business exists. Even more, they may not realize the void in their lives that your product will fill. Introduce yourself. A phone call, a letter, or a handshake can all have incredible effects.
Providing a custom branded token to remind them of your business has even greater effects. They can take these back to their homes or offices. Wear them, play with them, cook with them, or work with them. The physicality of imprinted promotional products means more to consumers than any other promotional branding strategy. We build connections to things we can touch. And we appreciate gifts, which build brand loyalty. The right promotional product can do more for your brand than a thousand words.
Reaching out once rarely does the trick. From the beginning of your advertising campaign, be prepared to reach out numerous times. Try varying strategies. Send different promotional materials. Have fresh conversations. Meet under varying circumstances. The more deeply your marketing initiatives can engrain you into your customers' lives, the more likely they will think of you next time they need that certain product or service. Repetition has a greater impact on sales and brand loyalty than most entrepreneurs imagine. You put your heart and soul into this business. Do be afraid to sell it with enthusiasm, over and over again!