In an overcrowded consumer marketplace that continues to add new products and inventions each year in every imaginable category, it's important to determine how your products can stand out in this saturated space.
For entrepreneurs and small businesses, it's always a juggling act where and how you want to spend your time, energy, money and resources while working with limited budgets and minimal resources. So your objective is to implement strategies that generate visibility and the best publicity for your brands with the least amount of time and resources.
Here are seven creative ways to generate visibility for your brand.
1. Add guerrilla marketing strategies to your campaign. There was a term invented by Jay Conrad Levinson called guerrilla marketing that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than big marketing budgets. It's an advertising strategy that focuses on low cost and creative strategies for marketing a product or an idea. Tactics used are unconventional and often localized or involves a large network of individual cells or groups whose goal is to create buzz in order to promote a product or an idea. Levinson states that guerrilla marketing efforts works best for small businesses and entrepreneurs because they have closer relationships with their customer. But big businesses have also joined the bandwagon and have included this strategy to execute their marketing campaigns. Some examples include, those multiple posters that you see on walls and fences (record labels still use this frequently), street promotions where freebies are handed out, and those annoying flyers that you find on your car windshields:). Car graffiti or car signage is another type of guerrilla marketing. And, the most current craze right now is flashmobs! Wondering what a flashmob is? If you've seen the AT&T commercial where the guy starts dancing and then he gets a message on his phone and realizes he had the wrong time...well he was supposed to participate in a flashmob...a group of people who assemble in a public place to perform something at the same time.
2. A publicity strategy which is especially popular for fashion and lifestyle-type products is the use of celebrity endorsements. There are public relations (PR) agencies that are well connected and have a great rolodex where they can get products in celebrities' hands. The objective is for the celebrity to be seen with the product in public or on a reality show or to talk about it, thus create a frenzy of consumers who want to buy the product or service. Sadly nowadays, it's a known fact that big celebrity names are actually PAID to tweet to promote products. Product placement is also another type of PR where your product or brand is used for a television show or a movie. Both strategies can be quite pricey than most people would think.
3. Use both offline and online marketing. The advent of internet marketing has been another great solution for entrepreneurs and small businesses challenged with generating visibility with very tight marketing budgets. Offline advertising include print, radio and television ads; all of which are mediums that are cost prohibitive. So, online marketing has become the way to generate visibility for smaller businesses. However, online marketing isn't necessarily free. Search engine optimization (SEO) and Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising - meaning optimizing your website or blog so you get on the top of search engines like Google or Yahoo, and online ads on highly visited sites and blogs cost money too, although more affordable than more traditional advertising.
4. Social media has become one of the best ways to build brand awareness. Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other social media platforms have become one of the best ways to generate visibility. Going viral or viral marketing is another marketing term used that utilizes more innovative-type strategies to promote and market a product such as videos, blogs, texting and mobile digital applications. The goal is to create a buzz using non-traditional, guerrilla or grassroot-type marketing strategies, creating hype so that it goes viral and therefore creates greater impact in a short period of time...similar to a virus. This is another way to generate visibility without having to spend money. All you need is a computer and a list or connections.
5. A website and/or a blog are essential tools when generating visibility for your products. A well-designed, beautiful and expensive but static website is no longer the way to go. Adding interactive features to your site such as videos, slideshow presentations, interactive games and social media icons/links, feeds, and the ability to comment and join a conversation, not only allows your prospective customer to stay on your blog or website longer, but it also encourages brand awareness and allows the customer to build a relationship with your brand and affords the opportunity to invite them to spread the word to their network.
6. Use your expertise to boost your brand's credibility and generate visibility. Creating an eZine (online magazine or newsletter), writing articles for your blog and other niche blogs and websites, submitting articles to article submission sites and directories, and joining groups where you comment on Q&As are all great ways to establish online presence, generate visibility and present your expertise to your prospective customers. The more people know, like and trust you, the more chances you have of selling your product or service.
7. Finally, one of the oldest and probably still the most effective types of marketing is word of mouth. The power of trends and brand names is so prevalent in our society that we're either influenced by advertisements or driven by the desire to have what other people have. Then, there's the power and pressure of persuasion especially amongst kids and teens. If a "cool" kid in school has a "cool" product or it's the next best thing that everyone is talking about, then almost everyone wants to have one. Successful products and brands are usually built on word of mouth, success stories and testimonials. This is probably the cheapest and fastest way to generate visibility (and sales) for your brands.