Tag Archives: direct sales advertising

Advertising On Forums: Tips and Tricks

Learning how to advertise your direct sales business online can mean a definite increase in sales for your business. The thing that you need to keep in mind, however, with direct sales is that there is often a different set of rules for online advertising. Here are some tips and tricks for advertising your direct sales business online through forums.

ary74 / Pixabay

First of all you want to decide on your target market (or markets). Are you hoping to target stay at home moms? Maybe you are hoping to contact real estate companies in hopes of getting them to buy gift baskets that you have put together. Once you have determined who exactly you are trying to get to purchase your items for sale you will have a better idea of where online you are going to want to be advertising.

Forums can be a great place to advertise your business. You can participate in the forums –offering genuine support and advice when needed, which not only builds trust among the online community you are participating in, it is just simply fun to do. Then when someone is looking for a product that you may offer, you can casually mention that you are a rep for a company that carries what they need and the person will be encouraged to make a purchase from you since you have spent the time and have built that level of trust. Make sure to follow the rules and regulations of the forums that you would like to potentially advertise in. You do not want to be reprimanded for spamming.

If you are not allowed to post advertisements on online forums, then look into the possibilities of signature advertising. All you need to do is create a catchy tag line to encourage people to click on your link and hopefully make a purchase. You could also implement signature advertising in emails that you send too, that way each time you correspond with someone you are advertising your business.

These are just a couple of ideas that you can implement while advertising online. Just be aware of the rules whenever you are advertising so you do not end up spamming. This way you’ll be off to great sales in no time.

Pull vs. Push Marketing

All marketing strategies come down to two: Pull marketing and Push marketing. Pull marketing means that you use advertising and promotional methods designed to entice, or pull, a prospect into buying your product or service. You make them WANT to buy it. Some ideas are “buy one get one free,” or “half off.” You increase the urgency by making it a time limited offer. Pull marketing is more pro-active than push marketing.

geralt / Pixabay

Many people see the advantage of pull marketing. Rather than “snowing” your customer into buying your product, you’re presenting the facts about it and inviting them to come in and try it out. It seems much nicer to do it that way.

Push marketing uses a strategy that’s geared toward making your marketing and distribution avenues want to promote your product for you. Consumers rarely see this marketing. It can include such things as bonuses, kickbacks, or wholesale discounts. It’s all about getting the retailer to promote your product over a competitor’s product. Another form of push marketing is getting the customers to “push” your product by offering incentives for them to tell others about it.

While some business owners prefer one over the other, it should be noted that nearly all really good advertising campaigns use a portion of both. Almost all products can be effectively marketed with either pull or push methods, or a combination of them. Whichever you choose, the important thing to keep in mind is to stay in control of everything and act on your decision immediately.

5 Methods of Marketing your Direct Sales Business

Advertising plane over Miami Beach

Advertising plane over Miami Beach (Photo credit: lonnypaul)

One of the biggest obstacles for anyone in business, no matter the type, is marketing and letting people know you exist.  If they do not know your business, they cannot support you.  If you are lost for ideas of where to look, hopefully this list will help you.

Network with Others

Find other direct sellers and let them know you are out there.  Offer to swap parties – you hold one for them, they hold one for you.  This can be a great way to get your name out there.  This can be tricky if you are not interested in their products but you want them to book with you.

Small Business Groups

Look around where you live and see if there are business groups you can get into.  I know in my city there are several different organizations for home based businesses to get together and discuss a variety of topics.  Sometimes they have an evening where you can show case your business whether by giving a small presentation or having a trade show.  You may want to look to see if there is a chamber of commerce where you live and what type of activities they are involved in.

Print Advertising

There are many consultants who use print media such as the newspaper or local bulletins to put their ads in.  I have not done this but have heard from others who have been successful with this.  Make sure you do some research before investing as this can be quite a commitment in terms of money and time.  Contact those who are currently advertising and see if they would be willing to tell you what type of results they are getting.

Social Media

These days, sites like Facebook and Twitter are huge.  If you are not using these types of media to help you with your advertising efforts, you could be missing out big time.  How to use these is another article, but get out there and start using them!

Internet

No article about marketing is complete without some information on using the Internet to promote your business.  There are many different places that you can look, some of which are paid and some of them are free. If you are considering paying, make sure you find out the statistics such as how many unique visits they get a month, how long people are staying on the site and anything other information they will provide.  Email other vendors to see how much success they have had through the site.

Marketing your business can be very time consuming but it is worth it to try a variety of avenues to see what does and does not work out.  If you do not have a large budget, then it is a good idea to stick to free sites as paying for an ad does not guarantee it to work out better than a free advertisement.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Using the Internet to Promote your Business

When it comes to the Internet, you could spend days upon days promoting yourself and still not be done.  Most methods have a free option as well as a paid option – which you use, will depend on your finances, budget and where you feel you will get the most bang for your buck.

Internet!

Internet! (Photo credit: LarsZi)

Classified Ads – Many people these days use sites such as Craigslist or Kijiji (popular in Canada).  The advantages to these sites are that they are free but due to this, they can be full of spam.  The people I know who use Craigslist have a hard time keeping their ads up as they tend to get pulled as others can report the ads which can happen on Kijiji as well.  Kjijii allows you to pay to have your ad highlighted in a variety of methods to get more people to notice and hopefully increase the return on investment.

Social Media – There are a wide variety of different sites that you can use to promote your direct sales business.  One of the most popular sites is Facebook simply due to the way that you can communicate with others and get to know them and engage them in conversations.  Other popular methods are sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Google is now getting into the game.

Websites/Blogs – Another great option to promote your business is to have a website or a blog.  This is separate from the consultant site your company provides as you are 100% responsible for the content.  You can use this to highlight different aspects of your business from customer specials, sign up specials, new product or anything else you want.  You can find places to host your blog for free and there are other places that cost money.

Paid per Click – Some people prefer to pay for advertising clicks.  For instance, you can buy ad space through Google where you pay every time people see your advertisement.  I have heard that there is a large learning curve with this type of advertising though so make sure you do your research well before investing in this.  It is a good idea to check your company’s internet advertising policies as some companies do not allow this.

No matter what method you try, it is important you give them time to give you results before you move on.  This means trying something for at least a month to see what types of results you are getting from it.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Directory Advertising

New Dmoz ?

New Dmoz ? (Photo credit: Cmic Blog)

Everyone is looking for ways to get their name out there and expand their business.  One such way is to get listed in Internet directories.  Just like everything else out there, there are advantages and disadvantages to this type of advertising which we will look at below.  If the advertising is free, it is not such a risk as if you are paying for the listing.

Advantages

One stop shop – easy to find you or a consultant in their local area

Organization – tend to be categorized by area or company so easier to locate a consultant

The more people that get listed on the site, the better resource the site is and therefore, more people will use it.

Most sites tend to have more information than just consultant listings so people stay on the site longer and are more likely to find your listing.

Better advertising – as many sites are paid, they want to get traffic in order to get advertisers and be able to charge more for advertising spots.

Depending on the site, you have the opportunity to say something about your business and list various contact information including your website.

Disadvantage

One stop shop – easy to contact several people at once – same company or competitor and people will likely book with the first one to reply.

There is a cost – monthly/yearly to be listed (usually)

For the money you invest, you may not get any results

The site may only allow a limited amount of vendors for an area (can be an advantage too)

There are a lot of directories out there and it can be expensive if you start getting listed at multiple ones

Only you can decide if directory advertising is the right method for you to advertise your business.  Depending on the investment involved, it is a good idea to do some research on the site itself.  See how easily you can find it in the search engines and ask friends what terms they would use to search and see where the site ranks.

You should be able to email the administrator of the site and ask for the various statistics before you commit to the advertisement.  If they are not willing to share the information, then you likely don’t want to advertise there.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ad Avenues: Six Mediums for Marketing your Business

You’ve probably heard the adage, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” A metaphor describing the power of innovation, the phrase is misleading. Without good marketing efforts, innovation doesn’t lead to more sales. This is especially true in today’s society, where we are bombarded with advertising. Fortunately, there are tried and true, highly effective marketing mediums. These are our top six favorites.   Ad Avenues

Classic Internet Advertising

Who have you Googled today? Internet advertising gives you access to a huge audience of more than two billion global users. You have the luxury of being able to focus this audience by specific demographic characteristics. It’s super easy to track your metrics and can also be much cheaper than other forms of advertising. Here are the most popular forms:

  • Banners and Buttons
  • Search Engine and Directory Listings

Relationship Selling

Relationship selling is focused on developing long term relationship with customers, based on their preferences and individual needs. Remember, it costs you five times as much to develop new customers as it does to keep your old ones. People like to buy from who they know and trust. In order to sustain this relationship, you must have a quality, consistent product. Customers often won’t search the market if they know exactly what they will get from their current provider. Furthermore, to avoid losing any current customers, quickly resolve any complaints without hassle. Even if you lose a little money now by giving a refund or allowing a skipped payment, you make more in the long term by retaining that customer. Don’t let your pride chase away that person, even if they are in the wrong.

Social Networking Sites

Promoting and engaging your social networks is a critical part of marketing for many companies these days. Adding a staff member or two to develop and manage your social media accounts, with collaboration from your marketing team, is an extremely cheap way to advertise, with huge potential gains thanks to the vast memberships of these sites. If you go this route, however, you must make sure that whoever is in charge interacts with followers regularly, and only ever speaks positively and respectfully, no matter the circumstance. Such a direct connection with customers can be a two-edged sword, as daily updates can become daily PR headaches if you have the wrong person at the helm.

Direct Response Mail

Direct response continues to be a great way to build new customers. Companies, such as Star Direct Mail, specialize in attention-grabbing brochures, flyers, and other promotions. Some of these companies also create individual marketing campaigns for you, as well as research your customer base demographics. Furthermore, direct mail marketing is a fairly cost-effective ways to promote your business, and usually companies will offer rush jobs if needed.

Content Marketing

Content marketing trades something of value, usually knowledge, for the possibility of gaining a new customer. Articles, blogs, videos, and podcasts are examples. The goal is to get people to spend 15 or 20 minutes with your promotional material, as opposed to five seconds reading an ad. Also there may be more types of content marketing than you realize. Content marketing is not simply writing up a review of your product. Oftentimes it actually involves offering high-quality information more broadly about a topic related to your business, and only casually discussing your brand or actual product. The selling point here is actually the ability of quality information to drive traffic to your website.

Guerrilla Advertising

Does ambushing customers when they least expect it work? Yes, if it is done well. IBM used guerrilla advertising in 2001 by painting “People love Linux” logos all over the sidewalks in Chicago and San Francisco. You also see this sometimes in commercials that don’t appear to have any relevance to the product being advertised. As a way to extend this marketing past the event itself, be sure to professionally record it and promote it on the internet.

Public Relations Marketing

Public relations marketing uses the power of third party credibility to spread a promotional message. It is seen most often in the form of press releases, news articles and online buzz. The success of Harry Potter and PSY’s Gangham Style can be largely attributed to this medium. The catch is that your content must be so good that it becomes contagious, spreading from one friend to another. The goal is to influence peoples feelings or opinion about what you are selling.

From our cell phones to our email, companies are constantly searching for the best ways to get exposure for their product. We look for innovative ways to do it better, faster and cheaper. Popular marketing mediums are popular for a reason–they work. Don’t be afraid to give them a whirl.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica is a full-time freelance writer. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. For wonderful direct mail advertising, be sure to check out Star Direct Mail, who also researches your target audience and designs marketing campaigns.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Eye on The Prize – 5 Ways to Make Sure You are Reaching Your Target Market

Marketing campaigns take time and money to complete successfully. Setting specific demographics and targeting your audience requires you to carefully assess your business needs and the type of clients you want to attract. Many elements contribute to reaching your target market, and perhaps you merely need help in bringing all of those elements together. The following tips will help you increase the visibility of your company, allowing you to reach the target you’re aiming for.   Eye on The Prize - 5 Ways to Make Sure you are Reaching Your Target Market

Determine Your Audience

What every business needs is a plan of action consisting of three components. Select three demographics that you want to track. Your chosen demographics could include age, occupation and income. Once you decide on your demographics, write the criteria down. Ask visitors to your website to complete a short survey to determine if your website attracts your key demographics.

Create a Plan

A plan provides direction and gives you what every business needs to succeed in marketing. Consider what your customer demographic wants and use that information to create a plan, put that plan into action, review the outcome and modify your website based on the information gathered. A failed plan can help still help you grow your presence as long as you learn from your mistakes.

Broadcast Appropriate Information

Determine what you want to accomplish. A plan to simply drive more traffic to your website doesn’t provide enough specific information. You need to determine what product, service or value you can provide to your visitors. Feature content designed to attract new visitors prominently on the home page. Provide additional content on inside pages and make sure every page on your website links in some way to your navigation scheme.

Provide Free Stuff

Everyone wants free stuff, but it has to provide some sort of value. Visitors to your website need a reason to come back in the future. If your company provides a babysitting service, offer the first hour free when the parents pay for three hours. This not only encourages new clients to try your services, but it guarantees that you get paid for three hours of service.

Incorporate Reader Participation

Any text on your website can theoretically draw in Internet traffic. Start a blog and let others comment on the blog. The more activity you get on your website, the better you appear to search engines. New visitors can check out what others say about you and get the assurance they need to buy your product or service. If you’re not sure what every website needs, make sure if anything, you have a site map and a “contact us” page, so that you can interact with your target market and they know how to reach you.

 

With all of the advertisements we hear and see everyday, it can be discouraging to try to stand out to your audience and make sure your message is being heard. That is why you need all the help you can get when it comes to making your voice the loudest, not only among other businesses in general, but among your competitors, especially.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Six Ways to Advertise your Product on a Budget

Advertising on a budget can take time, effort, and some know-how, but it is possible to undertake a marketing campaign without an investment of undo amounts of money. The way to participate in a marketing campaign without much money is to be inventive, resourceful, integrated, and to take an approach that is active, even creating an event around which to create a natural buzz. Here are a few ideas to jump-start marketing on a budget.   Six Ways to Advertise your Product on a Budget

Create an email list serv.

Create a list serv around your product by offering free samples outside stores or libraries, public places, etc. and then ask people to fill out a survey, give some feedback, or give a testimonial. Create an email list serv around the people who respond.

Throw an event at which the product is sponsored or featured.

Try to get the local newspapers or blogs to cover it. A plug here for your product will be a great way to get a word in edge wise in terms of media attention. If a product give-away works, try to make it fun and memorable, even newsworthy. When starting their ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s in Vermont, Ben and Jerry, the company’s owners, used to plan ice cream give aways, which became part of local charm.

Develop your own creative ads.

Develop your own print ad by working with a graphics artist who needs experience. You can partner with them and make a trade. Have them develop your ad practically for free, with the idea that he or she will benefit from doing the ad in terms of being able to list it on his or her vitae as a piece of work for their portfolio.

Sample your products.

Develop free give-aways to stores and businesses in the hope they will buy the product. Free samples can be a great way to get your foot in the door in terms of selling products. If someone tries your product and really likes it, they are likely to buy more to take home and share with their friends and family. If you don’t have a product or service that you are able to give away, you can still try to show off samples of your work.
Be creative.

Finally, try to be creative. Think outside the box about how to reach new audiences. Participate in craft fairs or farmers’ markets if the product is specialty or food-related. Have fun with the marketing, relax, and get creative. If you aren’t sure where to start or you aren’t familiar with the different marketing choices available to you, check out your local marketing exchange to gain connections and get ideas on where to post your ads.

Use Social Media.

It’s free to sign up for social media. Facebook and twitter are great ways to share news about your product. You can post reviews, giveaways, or coupons to encourage people to like you page or try your product. You can use your social media as a basis for all your other efforts. You can get the word out about any giveaways or post promotional ads you have created onto your page.

Starting a company can be a daunting task. You may know you have a quality product, but don’t know how to spread the word. You don’t have to have a big budget to start marketing your product. Believe in yourself, the product, and create a to-do list to check off the strides you make. Remember to be honest in your assessment and do your best to create a buzz around your product.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Can’t do paid internet advertising for your direct sales business?

My company doesn’t allowed paid Internet advertising – is it still possible to get advertising on the Internet without paying?

Yes, absolutely!  My company does not allow this either but I have still found many different methods.  In fact, you can read my post here about Free Internet Advertising.  But I also have some other ideas for you.

Guest Posts – One popular method is to write guest posts on different blogs.  This will benefit you as it helps to establish you as an expert as well as reaching out to people that you may not encounter otherwise.  It helps the blog owner as they get free content.   In return for your post, you will get a few sentences of a biography as well as a link or two to whatever site you choose.  Check your favorite blog sites to see if they accept guest articles or contact them if they have no information on the site about it.

Article Directories – Another method to get free advertising is to write for article directories.  While this is similar to a blog you do not need to contact them to get your content published.  Create an account and then publish your article.  But, article directories still have guidelines for content and formatting, so do not think you can just put up whatever you want.  You will need to check into what is acceptable on their sites.  A benefit to this is that article directories tend to rank well so articles on them may come up higher on the search results than your own blog or website.

Keywords – If you feel like doing some investigative work, you can learn about keywords and how to optimize your sites to help people find you easier.  This does not tend to work so well on a replicated website that you have through your company but there are ways to do this if you have a separate site such as a blog, a Facebook page or other places that you post about your business.

Social Media Sites – Depending on the sites you use, there may be places where other direct sales congregate.  Join these and post about your business (but be careful not to spam).  You never know when another consultant is looking for someone with your business for themselves or a customer.  These can also be a great source of finding trade shows or other events.

Do you have a favourite method of advertising which is not mentioned here?  Please share in the comments!

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Simple Ways to Promote Your Businesses Upcoming Big Sale

There are many great ways to promote your business, but most of them are hardly ever used by business owners. These methods can also greatly help you promote an upcoming sale.

Of course, you can choose to utilize complicated methods that are expensive to promote your business. An example of that may be a television advertisement campaign. Sure, you will reach hundreds of people daily, but the cost may tear into most, if not all, of your marketing budget.  

Promote on the Internet

The Internet has many great ways you can use free marketing. First, you need to have a website for your business. Your website is your business’ home on the Web. This will be the center of all you do. Every footprint you leave on the Internet should in some way link back to your website.

Still, there are other important things than just a website. You need to have social media accounts set up for your company, and you should also begin promoting your business and upcoming event with various articles.

Press releases

Write a few quality articles that you can pitch to magazine and newspaper editors. These guys can help you gain some hard copy exposure for your sale.

Google listing

Google is the largest search engine, and it allows business owners to set up business listings. Think of it like an online yellow or white pages. When you create your listing, you are giving Google information to help them index your company in its search algorithms. Therefore, the next time someone searches for your type of product in your area, your company and its information should be displayed on the top and your website should be displayed in the URL listings. This is a great way to help get the word out about your sale.

You can optimize this even further by writing a small text about the sale in your site’s main headers. Doing this should set it to where that is what a person will read before they click into your site from the Google page.

Decals

You can promote your business and sale around town by displaying decals on your car or company van. You can make static clings with Smartpress.com and start promoting your business by simply driving around town.

Business cards

Carry business cards with your everywhere. See if you can hand them out to people that may be interested in your products. Tell them that you are having a big sale soon.

Hopefully, these tips will help you promote your business’ upcoming sale. Use your imagination; there are many great and simple ways to promote. It just takes getting out there and doing it.

About the Author:

Madyson Grant is a small business owner who enjoys blogging helpful tips on her experiences.