So you have yourself a product or service or business that you want to promote. How do you know what form of advertising to use? Here are a few questions to help you along:
- What type of service or product are you offering?
- What is your selling price point?
- Who is your target audience?
- Where does your audience shop you?
What type of service or product are you offering?
If you have a consumer product like a cosmetic or beauty item that is lower price point, you would be aiming for mass or volume. There are several methods that are well suited for this type of product:
Print advertising – glossy lifestyle magazines, newspapers are great ways to “show” your product and brand to a large group of people. Target the advertising to publications that are read by your target audience. It need not be one with a high print circulation, it can be a niche publication.
Promotional collateral – flyers, brochures and newsletters distributed to potential customers either in malls, on the street, at events and so on is another way to get the product and brand visually in front of people.
Product Sampling – an effective way to promote your product would be to let people try them. It is common to see product sampling in malls, department stores, supermarkets, street corners, street markets etc. Product sampling is especially suitable for the food and beverage marketplace.
Product Bundling – if you have a new product that you would like to bring to market, you can bundle a sample size product with the company’s existing product or bundled with a different product type but of a complementary brand level.
Referral – for existing brands launching new products, leveraging users of current products to endorse and refer the new items to family, friends and colleagues can be an effective method too. People tend to trust recommendations from known persons.
Social Media – Many people spend more time on their phones and laptops nowadays so reaching out to them via the platforms that they frequent is crucial.
Using bloggers or Key Opinion Leaders to promote products to their followers can be an effective method. Building a Facebook Page for the business is also important, allowing brands to share information, launches, promotions and generally interact with their customers.
Advertising on the Internet – Using Facebook advertising and Google Pay Per Click advertising to create awareness of the brand can be a more cost effective use of advertising dollars compared to print advertising.
Ultimately, you will have to decide which method is more suitable for your business. You may want to test several methods, trial different approaches before settling on the right one. Techniques may change from one product to another and from one target audience to another.
What is your selling price point?
For businesses with large budgets, a combination of print and social media is a good balance. Those with products of a lower price point and therefore a lower advertising budget will find it more effective to try social media advertising and more creative and innovative yet cost effective ways to promote themselves.
It is important to create the right balance between the brand impression, the product price and the advertising vehicle. There is an unspoken expectation that high ticket items like an expensive car should be promoted using luxury magazine advertisements, classy brochures or catalogs and showrooms in good locations. A fast food or take away deli stand on the other hand can make do with flyers, handouts, standees, posters and cut out coupons in supermarket catalogs.
Who is your target audience?
Brands targeting a younger audience may find it more effective to use social media as their main vehicle whereas those targeting the more mature age group may use print or newspaper advertising and other printed collateral. There is no right or wrong way, learn by trial and error.
Where does your audience shop you?
If you are a consumer product, you go where your customers are. Food and daily necessities do well in supermarkets, department stores, malls and shopping streets. Promoting online delivering ads to mobile apps and browsers reaches people who are on the move. If you are a service provider that does work via the internet or at your clients location, advertising via the internet and through associations or networking events would be more appropriate.