Many people get mixed up between the concepts of marketing, advertising and promotion. Today I wanted to discuss promotion. Promotion has nothing to do directly with sales. It is the modern version of the town crier, the guy who would walk around and say, “Hear ye, hear ye,” and then relate the latest news. Promotion is telling people about something, your company, product or service.
Depending on what you do, offline promotion is still a very good way to let people know about something. Here are some of the ways we promote offline:
- Hand out flyers
- Hand out business cards
- Hang posters up in stores, libraries and on telephone poles
- Press releases
- Articles in newspapers and magazines
- Telling people, talking to people
- Giving a speech
- Teaching a class
- Networking professionally or casually
As you can see, you can promote your products or services offline to many people.
Most of us work online or at least partially online. One of the differences with offline and online promotion is the distance and speed our promotion can travel. Global online promotion can happen in minutes with online methods. However, for our purposes, let’s discuss ways to promote our products or services to our own country or at least to people who speak and read our own language.
Here is a list of very popular ways to promote our business online:
- Create a website
- Write a blog
- Write articles
- Create graphics/images
- Create infographics
- Social media posts and pages–Facebook, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and so on
- Groups or clubs
- Teach classes
Promoting on a Budget
If you are working alone or have a very tight budget for promotion, then it is best to limit your promotional techniques to no more than three or four types. After all, while promotion brings us name recognition and traffic which lead to eventual sales, it doesn’t pay the bills directly. Nor does it create products or fulfill our clients’ needs right now.
Figure out how much time you can spare from production and service to promote. Then choose methods that will draw in your ideal customers. Start with two or three methods and then track their success. Survey your existing customers and find out where they hang out online and how they found you. Then with tracking URLs and analytics, see which methods send you customers and which are basically wasting your precious time. Then drop one of the methods and try another one.
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