How to promote your brand online
So you have a great product and want to tell the world about it. Naturally, you turn your focus online since it will allow you to reach the biggest slice of your target demographic at a low cost versus other channels. Here are some tips on getting started or enhancing your promotional strategy online.
First of all, you need to understand the people most likely to buy your products. This includes defining the population, researching their tendencies, and scoping out the product landscape. Here are a few great questions you can use to start to build your target demographic(s):
- What types of customers are the most likely to buy your product?
- What are their typical interests?
- What other products are they likely to buy to complement yours? As a substitute for yours?
- Where do they spend the most time online?
- Where do they shop (online & B&M)?
After researching, use your knowledge and creativity in your promotional efforts to keep content exciting and relevant. Knowing your customers’ demographic and interests will go a long way. Test new ideas and mediums and see what resonates best with your audience.
For brands, my advice is to keep the selling subtle or non-existent in most pieces of content. If you’re going to sell, make sure the offers are periodical and enticing (no, really) otherwise your audience will mentally condition themselves to tune you out.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective way of communicating with your customers or potential customers online if you have them in your database. A best practice is to divide your database into segments, for example: not likely to make a purchase, likely to purchase, recently purchased, purchased in the past. Tailor your messaging appropriately to your database and use all the data tracked by modern cloud email clients like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to get creative because in the time of automated nurturing, only the most relevant and attention-grabbing (in good taste) stand out.
There’s a forum for that. Chances are there are people talking about products like yours on many of the review deal sites or forums online today. The best way to find relevant reviews is to do a quick search for “[your product category] forum” or “[your brand] review”. Also be sure to check out generic discussion pavillions like LinkedIn, Amazon, and Quora.
Responding to a forum post (especially a negative one) in a professional and helpful manner will make your brand look responsible and might even help drive traffic to your site. No brand will please all of its customers, but the ones that stand out go the extra mile to unruffle the feathers of unsatisfied customers and leave a great impression.
Social media and Blogs
Finding the right mix of content has long been a challenging art to master and recently, it has been trending science. Coined by Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute, the 4-1-1 rule is a good rule of thumb to use in social media: Every 6 pieces of content should be made up of 4 pieces of new content, 1 recycled piece, and 1 self-promotional piece.
A great way to begin to ramp up your social media presence is by simply sharing and socializing more often and in more places. Join and be active in relevant groups. Your followers will come as you become more integrated in communities.
Banner ads and remarketing
You’ve probably seen the banner ads of many sites you’ve visited recently on sites that carry top and/or sidebar ad spaces. Banner ads are an effective way to stay top of mind of your customers and drive remarketing traffic to your page. Again, the theme here is relevancy. An awesome way to stand out is to use the cookie information of specific pages your customers have visited and display the corresponding product they were browsing right there in the banner ad. When used knowledgeably, banner ads can yield tremendous ROI.