The internet and mobile devices have made doing promotion easier, faster, more cost efficient and more measurable than ever. But has it made promotions more effective at achieving their goals? No question, you can create a sizzle online, but how do you ensure that online promotions give you best results too? New technologies help, but timeless promotion principles still apply. Used together, they work because they reach the right people with the right message at the right time. How? Here are 10 online promotion tips to give you the steak as well as the sizzle.
- FIRST, FOCUS ON THE CUSTOMER: Focus less on new ways to deliver promotions and focus more on an offer that has real value to customers (or customer segments) you are trying to attract; ask why the customer is going to want this offer and how it creates awareness, interest, buzz and a halo for the brand.
- ESTABLISH AN EFFECTIVE PROMOTION PERIOD: It takes time to build an online audience. Online promotions should run for 6 to 8 weeks. Expect to see peaks at the beginning when your audience first learns of the promotion and the end when they know it’s about to end.
- THINK ABOUT KEYWORDS IN PROMOTION TITLES: Online promotions should improve search rank. For example, a promotion targeted at office managers with the title, the Office Makeover Sweepstakes, presents a great opportunity to create visibility with a very specific target in search as well as in promotion.
- CLARIFY, CLARIFY, CLARIFY: Although online promotions are generally less expensive than offline promotions, the outlets of review sites and social networks also give your audience more ways to express themselves – good or bad. Clarify promotion specifications, entry procedures and make sure links to rules and regulations are visible and easy to access.
- INTEGRATE ONLINE AND OFFLINE: Online channels and offline channels shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. They should be used together. They can also be compared through measurements like entries, response rates and cost-per-response to optimize your media mix for your next promotions.
- ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE: How often you engage with your audience on your brand’s social networks makes a big difference. Answer questions. Help with entering. Thank people who express appreciation or answer questions from those with any complaints. You’ll see the difference in entries, response rates and trust between your audience and your brand.
- ENCOURAGE SHARING: The use of social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn provide the means for others to “Like” and share your promotion with their friends. Shop.org estimates that up to 30% of online promotion response can come from social sharing.
- LOOK FOR ADVOCATES: Coupon and sweepstakes bloggers are very sophisticated marketers these days and on the lookout for online promotions that their audiences find valuable. Many have huge following are can be big advocates for your brand.
- SET GOALS: One of the most important requirements for any promotion is to establish goals. Do you want to build a list? Acquire leads? Direct people to a web destination to take a specific action? Direct people to a store? As Dr. Laurence Peter once said: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up someplace else.”
- MAXIMIZE RETURNS BY LOOKING AT ANALYTICS REGULARLY: One of the greatest benefits to online promotion is the ability to look at results in virtually real time. This is a major advantage. It gives marketers the opportunity to emphasize what’s working, pull back on what’s not and control the success of the promotion in ways they never could before.
Virtual Incentives specializes in online promotion using prepaid solutions to help businesses connect with their most valuable employees, customers and partners in ways never before possible. If this newsletter is of value, consider signing up for your newsletter. Did this teach you something new about online promotions? Would you do something different for your next online promotion as a result?