Business Excellence Awards
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Marketing a new small-business product or service in a highly fragmented media world has become trickier than ever. Relying only on slow-moving, old-school methods such as direct mail and print ads is a thing of the past. Today, success belongs to those who compile the most effective media mixture.
Here are some of the most effective marketing methods, including digital and traditional:
• Online ads. You can run pay per click (PPC) ads with search engines or contextual ads displayed next to related articles.
• News release. Done well, this is incredibly powerful for directing Google searchers to your website. Send out news releases full of content that will appeal to readers (and editors) of online magazines, journals and blogs. Include both a link to your website and the keywords your prospects will likely use in their Google searches.
• Email marketing. This is especially useful when you have hundreds or thousands of prospects in your target market. There’s stiff competition for attention, so consider getting help from a specialist here. It’s definitely a science.
• Social media. This is still emerging as an effective medium, but it’s already proving helpful when local businesses take the time to build long-term, meaningful conversations with prospects.
• Search-engine optimization. This is everything you do to rank high in Google searches, and it should also be the glue that holds your online product-launch campaign together.
• Print ads. This method is becoming less popular relative to online media but is still helpful for keeping your business or brand familiar and for popularizing product-launch keywords for online searches.
• Press kit. This collection of pre-packaged materials – sent to members of the media – builds credibility with editors and journal writers. It helps them tell interesting stories about you and your product.
• Trade speech. A well-delivered presentation conveys lots of complex information to a captive audience. Consider professional help to avoid “death by PowerPoint,” rehearse hard, and try using tag-team delivery.
• Trade show. These remain highly influential, but they are also time consuming and costly. Make sure your staff is trained and your lead follow-up is strong, or you’ll waste time and money faster here than anywhere else.
• Sales visit. If you sell B2B, this is still the most effective – and expensive – product-launch approach. Use a disciplined lead-nurturing program to make each sales call count. And spend the time and money on great sales tools and sales training to make your sales force look good. •