Four promotional strategies to boost your business

Promotion refers to raising customer awareness of a product or brand, generating sales, and creating brand loyalty. A Promotional strategy refers to which method a brand takes to achieve this goal and is therefore the base for any business that wishes to be successful. What type of strategy is used depends on factors such as demographic, the type of product or brand and budget. Below are four examples of different promotional strategies that have proven to be effective.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is when a business sends a message through email to a group of people. The emails can contain advertisements for sales, new products from the brand or updates about the company. Email marketing is an effective promotional strategy because it is both cost effective and environmentally friendly as well as having the advantage of being about to reach large pools of consumers with a single action. A 2012 survey identified email marketing as being the most effective strategy for businesses.

Email marketing is an effective promotional strategy
Email marketing is an effective promotional strategy

Social Media

With more than 70% of all internet users active on social media it makes sense that utilising this tool to generate awareness is a valuable promotional strategy. Social media is a great way to gain access to a large audience and interact, which is something consumers have come to expect from brands. Companies that use social media effectively have a much higher chance of connecting with consumers. Check out my blog, 3 keys for companies to become social media pros, for more information.

Woolworths getting publicity for great social media response
Woolworths getting publicity for great social media response

Product giveaways

It’s simple, people love free stuff. Free is an enticing word—especially in today’s economic climate. This is a great strategy for companies looking to get a new product out there and to gain awareness. Not only will the consumer have a positive view of the company, but by handing out samples or trials of a product they are encouraged to try, enjoy and then purchase the product. This strategy does not require the company to spend any money on advertisements and the only loss involved is the cost of producing the product.

Free giveaways are a good way to draw in new customers
Free giveaways are a good way to draw in new customers

Causes and Charity

People like to feel like they are helping in some way. If a certain amount of sales goes towards charity consumers are more willing to buy the product because they know by doing so they are helping a worthy cause. This is done by donating a certain percent of the sales to a charity chosen by the company. The key is finding the right balance between how much is donated to charity without raising the price above what consumers or willing to pay, or without cutting into your profits too much. The company gets the customers and the socially conscious image; customers get a product they can use and the sense of helping a cause, it’s a win-win strategy.

grill'd charity
Grill’d gives back to the local community.

So there you have it

These are my top four promotional strategies to help move your business forward. There are many more strategies out there that may cater more to your company’s needs, but these four would be my top pick for success.

Think there’s a better strategy I’ve overlooked? Perhaps a story about how one of these or another strategy has taken your business to the next level? Let us know in the comments below.

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Transmedia storytelling in marketing

Gone are the days of consumers getting most of their content from television, newspaper and sometimes computers. With new technologies such as smartphones and tablets consumers are now accessing content from numerous different devices, often times simultaneously. This change requires a new approach from marketers.

Storytelling in marketing has been around for a very long time but now due to all the different devices marketers are required to provide this story consistently over all of these medias, this is transmedia storytelling.

Devices and consumer's usage
Devices and consumer’s usage

Differentiated consistency

A consistent experience through all medias does not mean having the same advertisement on every device, the key to transmedia story telling is have differentiated consistency. This means each media has its own segment of the story that can stand on its own, while still giving depth to the story as a whole. Because each device brings its own unique strengths it is important to incorporate these into each experience to give a different perspective on the story. Have fun making the most of what each device brings to the table and as a result your consumers will have fun too.

How does it work?

To help show you how an effective transmedia storytelling approach to marketing is executed I will use Australian insurance comparing website Comparethemarket.com.au as an example. Their campaign started as a television advertisement staring a meerkat who complained of everyone going to his website ‘compare the meerkat’ looking for health insurance instead of ‘compare the market’. Numerous ads were made based of this idea featuring the meerkats and their antics.

Compare the market advertisement campaign
Compare the market advertisement campaign

This advertisement was then developed into a transmedia story by creating the ‘compare the meerkat’ website where consumers can immerse themselves in the story with background history on the meerkats featured in the ad as well blog updates, videos, name generators, social media pages and mobile apps all contributing and adding depth to the story and allowing the consumer to engage with the story. I recommend checking it out here to experience if for yourself.

If you want to check out some more example of transmedia storytelling this site provides numerous examples.

Why use transmedia storytelling?

Click here to see the full infographic
Click here to see the full infographic

You might be asking, why go to all this trouble? A consumer’s time and attention is the most valuable thing in terms of marketing. To gain this attention a marketing campaign has to be engaging and interactive, as this is what the consumers value most. Having a transmedia story that the consumer can engage with in numerous different forms is the most effective way to get their attention, and most importantly, keep it. Also as seen in the case of compare the market, these campaigns can be extended much longer than a regular campaign by simply adding more information to the story. They also have a lot better chance of becoming viral through positive word of mouth and are often the most successful.

With new technology coming out every year it is important for marketers to employ transmedia storytelling and provide a unique experience utilising all these devices. Doing this will strengthen an advertisement campaign and provide a much more positive experience for consumers.

So what do you think? Is transmedia storytelling the most effective form of marketing? Do you have any examples of transmedia storytelling done successfully? Let us know in the comments below!

3 keys for companies to become social media pros!

With over 70% of all internet users now active on social media business’ are having to evolve and become a part of this new trend. Social media has allowed consumers to communicate with each other and allows a company to connect with these consumers. As a result a strong social media presence is becoming the key to any business’ success.

This new channel of communication has amplified word of mouth not only for positive feedback but for negative feedback and complaints as well. Handling these public situations well can not only resolve the complaint but work as a great promotional tool as well.

Negative feedback aside, it is also important for business’ to interact with people sharing positive feedback as well. These simple interactions can be the difference between a successful or unsuccessful social media presence.

Below are the three keys to help make any company a social media pro.

Conversationalist

Focussing on simply interacting regularly with the consumers is a great tool for business’. Sharing photos, replying to comments and answering questions are all important. Doing this makes the consumers feel like they are part of an exclusive community.

These examples from Virgin America and Jet Blue show how simply interacting through social media can create an even more positive brand image. Some other great examples can be found here.

twitter screenshot
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twitter screenshot
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Quick and Responsive

This approach is most effective for customer service related interaction on social media. Replying quickly to pleas for help over Twitter or Facebook can show how reliable a company can be to consumers who are in need of assistance and can help to make a bad situation seem a bit more bearable.

Nike and Xbox are both known for their quick and effective customer service social media teams, by usually responding within the hour consumers are left with a more positive experience.

twitter screenshot
https://twitter.com/nikesupport
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https://bakjour.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/hurtig3.png

Humour

In my opinion, humour is the most successful approach to social media. A company that can show people that it has a sense of humour will get the most positive reaction from consumers and potentially even get shared virally through social media. This can be through posting jokes, replying to posts in a humorous way or even finding the funny side of a complaint.

These two twitter replies are perfect examples of companies nailing humour. Having a light hearted approach to people on social media creates a much more appealing brand image. Smart cars bird crap tweet has become quite well known and has worked as a great promotional tool. Another great example of a company taking a funny approach to social media is Old Spice, check out their twitter account here.

twitter screenshot
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twitter screenshot
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So there you have it!

These are all great examples of how to make social media a great promotional tool rather than a tool used to attack a company’s reputation. Using any of the techniques will create positive word of mouth that will spread rapidly over these social media platforms, but combining all three of these examples together and a company will be a social media master that will have an undoubted advantage of their competition.

Think I’ve missed a great example of a business nailing social media? Any funny examples or positive interaction you’ve had with a company? Share in the comments below!