10 Highly Effective Ways to Promote a Product
How to Promote a Product
You're at the helm of a hot young startup peddling a new product that's set to revolutionize your industry. Or maybe you're an up-and-comer in your company's marketing department looking to make a name for yourself with a killer promotion plan for a product in your catalog. Whatever your role in the business world, if you're in charge of selling a product, you'll want to boost your sales and build brand recognition with an intelligent, well-balanced promotional effort.
Optimizing Your Promotion Strategy
Always aim to increase demand for your product.Above all else, try to design your promotions to create a greater need or desire for your product in the marketplace. There's no right way to do this - you may, for instance, decide to increase awareness of your product through an advertising campaign, offer a special deal or "bonus" to make your product more appealing, or engage in public relations work to build inroads with your customers. Often, an effective promotional effort will incorporate all three of these things (or more). Regardless of the path you take, keep your end goal in mind:You want to make your customers want your product.
Present all information clearly and concisely.Modern consumers are constantly bombarded with advertisements and information relating to business's promotional efforts. Because of this, their attention spans are short and they're usually somewhat cynical when given information about a new product in the form of an advertisement, etc. Make all of your promotional efforts clear, quick, and informative without being overly-dense. Prioritize the most important information about your product - namely, whatever makes it a better product than its competitors.
- Remember, a short, memorable ad is much more cost-effective than a longer one that's equally memorable.
Differentiate your product from its competitors.As noted above, you'll want your promotional efforts to emphasizewhy your product is a better product than whatever it's competing against. Does it offer new, exciting features? Is it better-made? Will it save your customers time? Money? Effort? Consumers aren't keen on buying two products that do the exact same thing, so make sure it's obvious that yours is the better choice.
Know your customers.Think of promotion as an art form. Just as painters, musicians, writers, and actors must understand their audience in some capacity for their art to produce the emotional effect they desire, so too must you understand your customers as a marketer. Who are they? How wealthy are they? What are their lives like? You'll generally want to conduct market research before promoting your product to ensure your promotions are tailored to strike a chord with your key demographics.
- Different types of customers can (and do) respond differently to different promotions. For instance, let's say you're in charge of promoting a new brand of beer at a music festival with a wide variety of acts. Let's say that your company's management wants to market this beer to hip, young businesswomen. In this case, sponsoring one of the acts at the festival is a good promotional idea. However, you'll want to choose carefully - sponsoring an act famous for its misogynistic lyrics, for instance, is a recipe for a PR disaster.
Couple your promotional efforts with smart PR practices.A successful promotional strategy will increase the visibility and awareness of your brand. However, if you allow your public relations to go sour, this increased visibility can become a liability, rather than a boon. You want your advertisements to serve as reminders of your product's benefits, not of its failing - good PR is crucial for this. Below are just a few of things that great PR strategies shoot for:
- Favorable media coverage
- Increased community engagement
- Effective cross-promotion and partnerships
- Quick, professional responses to crises and bad press
If you can, buy advertising space (or time) in traditional outlets.The internet has revolutionized the process of promoting a product, but "traditional" means of advertising aren't dead by any stretch of the imagination - they're just competing with the internet for customers' time and attention. If your business is established and profitable, you may want to use these non-digital mediums for advertisement. Doing so almost always costs money, so be sure to carefully considerwhois likely to view or hear your advertisement before agreeing to pay for advertising space or time. Below are just a few of the most common places you may want to advertise:
- Newspapers/magazines - Ads here are solely visual, so focus on attention-grabbing imagery. The price of the ad usually based on its size, full-page being most expensive and so on.
- Billboards - Solely visual, like newspapers and magazines, only bigger. Often, drivers can only safely look at the billboard for a second or two, so try to convey your message as simply as possible.
- Television - Ads incorporate audio and visuals. There are many options here, but short ads are always cheaper, so try to make your ad as "lean" as possible. You may want to tell a quick story, use a joke or gag, or simply compare your product favorably to a competing one.
- Radio - Ads are solely audio-based, so you may need to be creative to effectively convey your message. Catchy jingles or slogans are a smart bet.
Embrace online advertising.The internet has created an enormous new medium for advertising. Even today, decades after its invention, marketers still haven't fully mastered the art of advertising online, so you'll have lots of room for creativity here. Unfortunately, onedisadvantageof online advertising is that many online customers actively avoid advertising, using ad-blocking browser add-ons, spam filters, and other tricks to eliminate the majority of ads from their browsing experience. Below are a just a few (goodandbad) opportunities for paid online advertising:
- Pop-up ads - Notoriously annoying, pop-up ads (and related variants) are just what they sound like - windows that "pop up" as a user views a website and display an ad. Since these ads are commonly regarded more as annoyances than as legitimate items of interest (even by the U.S. government) and countermeasures are widespread, these are usually abadidea.
- Banner ads - Like ads in a magazine, these ads sit adjacent to content on the page. Though not as annoying as pop-up ads, these are still often rendered moot by ad-blocking software.
- Search engine ads - These ads appear at the top (or along the sides) of search engine results when a potential customer searches for key words related to your product. Some search engines offer results-based payment schemes - that is, you only have to pay if people click on your ads- making this option a smarter bet than other online forms of paid advertisement.
Look for free (or very cheap) opportunities for advertisement.Why pay for the opportunity to advertise when you can do so for free? Not all avenues of advertising cost money, so any business,especiallyyoung, cash-poor ones, should consider their options when it comes to free or cheap advertisement. Below are just a few ways to advertise for free (or relatively little):
- Social media - Since it's free to sign up for an account on Facebook and most other social media sites, it's free for your company to maintain a presence on these networks (not including costs associated with paying an employee to do so).
- Flyers/handouts - Besides the costs associated with printing your materials, distributing flyers or brochures can be a very cheap way to get the word out about a new product. It's also an opportunity to associate a human face (yours) with your product and strike a connection with consumers on a personal level.
- Sponsoring a charitable organization/cause - Many charities and non-profits (like, for instance, college radio stations) solicit sponsors to contribute to (or underwrite) their expenses. In return, these organizations usually offer free advertising. For maximum cost-effectiveness, look for organizations asking for relatively minor contributions, like a small amount of money or equipment you aren't using.
Grab the viewer's (or listener's) attention.The simple fact of the matter is that most of your customers see so many advertisements per day that they've most likely learned to "tune out" when they see a new one. Thus, for the greatest-possible effect, you'll want to design your ads to be as attention-grabbing as possible. There's no right way to do this - a stylish aesthetic, hilarious content, and striking imagery are all possibilities, but they are far from the only ones.
- Above all, try to beunique. You never want to pay for an advertisement that can be confused with a competitor's. Do something different - something your customers will remember.
- One modern example of this is the stylish, brightly-colored ad campaign for Apple's iPod. This promotional effort was so eye-catching at the time that it's now difficult to look at a person's black silhouette against a solid-color background with mentally inserting the iconic earbuds.
Associate your product with a memorable jingle or slogan.One great way to increase your advertising campaign's chances of success is to create a catchy, memorable tagline or jingle for it and use it in every advertisement. Taglines and jingles act like mnemonic devices, making it easier for customers to remember a given product when they need it. Applied intelligently, this means increased sales and brand loyalty for you!
- Another modern example is McDonald's recent "I'm lovin' it" campaign. This jingle is just a few seconds long, but it's instantly recognizable to anyone who's heard it before, which, thanks to an enormous marketing effort, is almost everyone in the United States - truly massive brand recognition.
Creating an Incentive to Buy
Offer special deals.When it comes to product promotion, potential customers can be remarkably susceptible to psychological tricks. One of the most effective of these is the creation of "false urgency". By offering a deal on a product for alimited amount of time, you can spur customers to buy your product when they otherwise wouldn't have. Generally, people hate the idea of "missing out" on a good deal, so they're more likely to buy a given product immediately if, by doing so, they'll some sort of special "bonus" that's not normally available. Below are just a few ideas for deals you may want to offer:
- Cost reduction - Very straightforward. Essentially, you're saying to the customer, "If you buy this product today, you'll get it for less than you would tomorrow."
- Buyx, getyfree - Offer the customer a free reward (this can be more of your product or a different product entirely) if s/he buys a certain amount of your product. This is a good way to get rid of products that aren't selling quickly to clear up space for new products, as it encourages customers to buy more than they normally would.
- Warranties - A limited-time offer of a special (or extended) warranty for cheap or free is a great promotion. Not only is it an incentive for the customer to act quickly, it's also a way to demonstrate confidence in your product's workmanship
- Rebates - Buy putting the responsibility to claim a discounton the customerafter the purchase has been made, you can save money relative to other promotional deals because many will forget or neglect to send in their rebates.
Display the product's value on its packaging.In some situations, like in grocery stores, many customers will decide which products to buyasthey're standing in an aisle full of competing products. In these cases, smart packaging can make a big difference. Clearly and succinctly state your product's value (especially compared to its competitors) on the packaging without compromising the overall aesthetic of the packaging.
- To elaborate on the grocery store example, many food products demonstrate their value by proudly displaying on their packaging that they offer more product for the same price as a competitor.
Cross-promote your products.Why sell one product when you can sell two? While single-product ads and promotions can be highly effective, you should also be open to the possibility of featuring two or more of your company's products in the same ad or promotion. When doing so, emphasize the usefulness and/or convenience of using the multiple products in conjunction with each other. If done successfully, cross-promotion can allow you to build the concept of a "product family" for your company, increasing your number of repeat customers.
Offer "samples".Nothing shows confidence in your product like letting your customer sample it for free before buying. Additionally, a customer is more likely to buy something if s/he has just experienced its benefits. If it's not overly-expensive to do so, seriously consider letting your customers try your product before buying.
- "Sample" doesn't just refer to food products here - the same principle applies to non-edibles. For instance, if you're selling cars, test drives are the rough equivalent of a free sample.
Reward loyal customers.If you had the chance, why wouldn't you turn a one-time customer into a lifetime customer? Offering discounts, deals, and special privileges to loyal customers is a great way to encourage repeat customers for your business and tokeepthe repeat customers you've already got. Just as you'll want to demonstrate your product's value to your customer, you'll also want to demonstrate yourcustomer'svalue to your company.
- For instance, if your business is a restaurant or cafe, you may want to consider offering "reward" cards to give repeat customers special opportunities - e.g., every ten coffees, the customer gets a free one, and so on.
QuestionWhy should I convince people to purchase my product?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou need to convince customers to buy your product, so you can create revenue, which is money. Also, this will increase your customers, increasing sales, which is every entrepreneur's dream.Thanks!
QuestionWhat words should I use when advertising a new product?Devin MurphyCommunity AnswerYou can use words such "huge discount" on product, "get off on these products", or "cheap prices". All these words helps in seeking the attention of customers.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I make effective use of the media when promoting a new product?Clara SellCommunity AnswerTry referral marketing through social product submission sites like wanelo.com, theproductrank.com, thisnext.com, etc. It is all about getting other people to talk about your product in a way that will drive awareness and sales.Thanks!
Do you have any tips for doing product analysis?
How do I promote a product that isn't available?
How would you inform the customer and encourage them to make use of the product or service?
How can I compare one product with another?
To promote a product, identify who your customers are so you can create targeted promotions. Build promotional content that is clear, quick, and informative and use it to design billboards, print ads, and online advertisements. Always prioritize the most important information and remember to highlight what makes the product better than its competitors. Offering special deals can also make your product more appealing!
- Having a professional looking website will help boost sales, and will promote your products nicely.
- YouTube is a great tool for product promotion. Make sure you subscribe to peoples accounts, and they will do the same in return. Therefore putting your video on the map.
- Never over-power your website visitors with your products that you are trying to promote. Keep an easy balance between advertising your product and displaying the content of your website.
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