When you have a product or service business you are also a brand and you must promote your brand to stay top of mind with existing and potential customers to increase your sales. There are lots of ways to promote your brand before and after the sale. Here are the 10 best Ideas that I have seen lately.
There are basic branded items like hats, t-shirts, and cups, but when it comes to a holiday gift you should give something people would actually use and want to keep. A few years ago, I gave out plush cuddle blankets with a foot pocket with my logo embroidered on the blanket near the bottom. I put them in nice boxes and mailed one to every customer we did business with that year. We got so many personal calls thanking us for the gift and we got lots of new contracts too.
2. Send a Direct Mail Piece
When is the last time you reached out to your existing customer base? You might want to skip holiday cards this year and instead do a direct appeal. If you want to boost your sales for 2020, why not send out an end of the year offer in a postcard mailer. Everyone loves a deal, think about making a 10% to 20% discount on reorders. That offer could be a great way to start the new year in the black.
3. Have a Killer Tradeshow Booth
If you are going to spend the money on a trade show booth at a conference, you need to make sure your display attracts your target customer. Your goal is to be remembered by attendees long after the show ends. Here are five elements to consider when designing a new tradeshow display.
- Have a great branded backdrop. Hire a graphic designer to make sure your display stands out with full-sized, colorful, and clean graphics that cover the whole display.
- Strategically place your logo. Feature your business name, brand colors, logo and tag line front and center.
- Use great lighting. Light attracts attention. Use lighting strategically to drive visitors to focus on the message your business is trying to convey.
- Capture leads. Scan attendees’ badges or collect business cards. You can also design a squeeze page to ask attendees to register using an iPad or laptop. Enter them in a daily giveaway for a prize or VISA gift card for providing their contact information at the booth. Have plenty of business cards to give out too. Above all be sure to follow-up with any new contacts individually as soon as possible.
- Have great swag. Great promotional products drive foot traffic. A fall back can be a candy dish but don’t give away junk. Giveaway items should be on-trend and of value. You want swag that people can use in their business and daily lives such as sticky notes, mugs, tote bags, phone chargers, and USB drives.
Running a social media contest is an amazing opportunity to grow your brand and give someone your products and services or you can giveaway a partner’s product. Social media contests are one of the few effective ways to boost your brand online with a minimal promotional budget. I’ve been doing SmallBizLady’s #5daysofgiveaways contest for the holidays in December for the last few years. I give away my own books & products and those of my corporate partners. It’s a Win, Win, Win for everyone; my brand, my corporate customer who’s looking for brand exposure and the recipient business owners who are getting a free service and the opportunity to become a high profile testimonial or brand ambassador.
5. Use Email Marketing
Keep your brand top of mind with your target customers by sending regular emails. You should send a weekly email newsletter with relevant and helpful information that is focused on your customers. Occasionally, you can include promotional offers with a CTA or call to action, but tread lightly. No one wants to be sold too, so you must seek to be a friend first, then once you build trust as a reliable resource of helpful information then you can ask for the business. Always ask for permission before putting any person’s email name on your list. A good way to build an email list is to give something of value away. It could be a free ebook, quote or even a free tip-sheet on how to do something. If you were a realtor, you might develop an ebook on 10 ways to stage a house to sell quickly.
6. Branded Thank You Gifts
National customer appreciation day is April 18th, but you don’t need a special day to thank you to customers. You can use the Fourth of July, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, or you could do something with every purchase. Your customers have paid you good money, the least you can do is show them how much you appreciate them with a branded gift. It can be big or small, branded lollipops, branded mugs, or something that really stands out. One of the best examples I heard of was a local funeral home who gave families a wooden clock with Always Remember the Good Times engraved on it after the loss of a loved one. Now, do you think that family would ever use another funeral home after a thoughtful gift like that? I don’t think so.
7. Outfit Employees with Branded Uniforms:
You want to create a professional business image. First impressions are vital, and your customers will view your business differently when your team displays a professional image with a uniform. Also, employees in a uniform become easily identifiable in the community and help your employees to be approachable to any potential and current customers. It helps to create a team environment. On or off the clock, your employees are brand ambassadors for your business.
8. Ask Influencers to Review Your Product:
How can you get the attention of some of the top influencers in your industry? Don’t start with the A-Team, the B-Team might be easier to get a response and quick win.
9. Provide Giveaways at Community Events. If you sponsor local community events, like a kid’s basketball league, a local street festival or farmer’s market one of the perks is you can also give away branded promotional products. Who can’t use a pencil, pen, water bottle or reusable grocery bag? And you can slap your business name, website and phone number right on it.
10. Use a Branded Backdrop for Live Video. If you are doing live or recorded video content on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, a great way to promote yourself is with a branded backdrop. Here’s a secret: Get a fabric backdrop, not a vinyl one. It will feature you much better if you are using professional lighting, (which btw you should be doing.)
You should try to incorporate as many of these items as you can into your marketing and branded efforts as possible. They will help you enhance your customer experience and make your brand more memorable. Think of a clever way to say thank you to your customers. It could be a phone call or personal note, or you could go the extra mile and really wow them and have a customer for life. When approaching influencers, it’s really bad form to send a cold email, if they’ve never had any interaction with you and you are asking for a favor. Email marketing is something that you can do ongoing. If you are going to develop a free ebook giveaway, make it your best work. No one gives top dollar to people who give crappy free content. When it comes to branded giveaways only chose things of value that people would want to use.
I wish you amazing success.
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