What do your customers think about your business?
Do the prospects you are working with now know enough about your company, and the products or services you sell?
Unfortunately, many companies aren’t doing enough to promote their business or inform their prospects. They have no idea what impression they are making in the market. They aren’t taking a strategic approach to their marketing, leaving a knowledge gap around the company.
Prospects and customers are filling the gap with their own research. Without a promotional marketing plan, the business is leaving sales and marketing up to chance.
Promotional marketing is a strategic approach – the tactics and plan – to increasing awareness of your product or service to a market. With promotional marketing, you are reaching as many people as possible with information that increases brand awareness, knowledge of the business, and sales.
Promotional marketing gives control back to the business. With a focus on communicating with and teaching customers, it puts companies in control of perception and the brand, and can also boost sales and company growth.
What Promotional Marketing Can Do for Your Business
Today, customers are knowledgeable. They have access to information like never before – from websites, review boards, friends, forums and more. Customers use that information to evaluate your products, service, and business before they even reach out to a salesperson.
Studies show customers are doing research online before they make a purchase. The sales process is almost complete before you even know a prospect is interested.
What is your business doing to guide their research? Are you providing the best, most accurate facts about the products and services you offer, or are you relying on the kindness of strangers on a message board? Is the home blogger writing about your product the best advocate with new customers?
Having a Conversation with Customers
You need to provide the information you know your prospect is looking for.
In the past, promotional marketing focused on brand awareness and product recognition. It was billboards and ads. It was an offer that made your business more appealing than competitors.
Today, with the changes in consumer behavior and the prevalence of online and social information, promotional marketing needs to do more. It needs to be a tool for companies to instruct and teach – to fill that research gap about your business.
If you know prospects are going to be doing research on your company, product or service, then you should be the one providing answers. Your goal should be providing the best answer – an answer that is easy to find. Delight the customer with your information and meet the prospects needs.
Do it right, and when the customer is ready to buy, they will turn to your company.
6 Top Promotional Marketing Ideas for Business
Rather than going to an ad in a magazine for information on a purchase, prospects are going to the internet and social media. Those are the channels that should be the focus of your promotional marketing efforts, but they're not the only areas you can concentrate on.
We’ve gathered a few of the top ideas for jump-starting a successful promotional marketing strategy for your business.
The goal of any business is meeting the needs of and delivering solutions for customers. Your content marketing strategy should deliver the answers and information customers are looking for as they research a product or service.
Consider the questions customers will have. Keyword and search data are avenues for content marketing research. Once you have a list of potential questions, your content marketing plan should focus on answering them. Content should be informative for customers. Make it an answer, and not just information about your company, product, or service.
Often, businesses look at social media as a popularity contest. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) focus on clicks, reach and views. This might be how past promotional marketing worked, but prospects are looking for more than just a logo – they want information.
There is a place for popular posts, but social media can also be a strategic tool in your marketing arsenal. Include educational posts in your social feed. Look at teaching people about your business and the problems you can solve. Talk about what is important to your audience. What problems can you solve? What is the purpose of your business? Social media works like a door to your other content, leading a customer to learn even more about what you can do for them.
It used to be a trade show and event sponsorship were great ways to promote your business, but in-person events aren’t possible. World events have placed roadblocks between customers and your business, and it is up to you and your promotional marketing strategy to overcome them.
Instead of using traditional in-person events, look at setting up online events and webinars. AR and VR can help educate your audience. Look at creating quick one-hour webinars that recreate the experience of a trade show – both educational and informative, highlighting the expertise and capability of your company. Quick educational videos are another great way to promote your business and communicate with customers, even in this age of remote work.
A strategic approach to promotional products can amplify your promotional marketing. With a little planning, your promotional products will not only promote your brand, but also educate and inform customers and prospects. Look for items that are useful for customers, providing a link between your business and the value you provide.
Before ordering another pen with your logo, take a step back and consider your promotional marketing strategy. Rather than going out to the internet to find the cheapest promotional items, work with experts who can help you maximize the benefit with your promotional products. For example, building a promotional kit with useful items can lead to additional sales, rather than spending money on a quick giveaway that is quickly forgotten.
Brand Ambassadors and Referrals
Your happy customers should be your best promotional marketing and sales tool, but sometimes they need a little help. Look at building a post-sale strategy for your customers to turn a client into an evangelist for your business. Consider customer needs after the sale and build proactive services into each sale. Stay a step ahead of customer needs and the next sale will be even easier.
Loyalty programs are another way of continuing to market your business long after the purchase. Once you’ve turned a customer into a happy customer, and a happy customer into an evangelist, they will be excited to inform and educate prospects about your company. Look at adding a referral program for customers and you’ll have a steady stream of educated prospects asking about your business.
Pilot and Trial Programs
Sometimes the best way to teach someone about a product, service or your business is to let them try it. Look at setting up pilot programs as a promotional marketing strategy. With a great product or service, prospects will quickly discover how powerful and useful your company can be. They are learning about your business as they use it.
Offering a trial or pilot program is the easiest part of the strategy. You also need to consider how to facilitate the transition from “trying” your business to becoming a full-time happy customer. How easy and seamless can you make the transition from the trial period to a paying customer. The solution may be linking the pilot program to your loyalty program – helping the customer move from one to the other.
Launching Your Promotional Marketing Strategy
Adopting a marketing strategy that incorporates promotion – educating and informing customers – can be very powerful, but many businesses struggle to see success. They target one marketing channel with their promotion or produce a few disconnected pieces of content and then move on to the next strategy.
Start with your buyer personas. You need to know who you are targeting with your promotional marketing. Next, build out a buyer’s journey for them. The journey should inform the marketing channels you target, the content you produce and the strategy you take. Once you have a strategy, set up KPIs to measure success, and be prepared to adjust your strategy as needed.
If you need help or want to talk to someone about how to incorporate modern promotional marketing for your business, then contact GO2 Partners today. Ask about how the 20/20 Marketing program can help jump-start your promotional marketing and give your team all the tools they need to succeed.
We’re here to help.