Not all promotions have to be digital
In these modern times, when it seems as if the whole life has gone online, there is one frequent question every business owner returns to - have business cards and banners kept their value in today’s marketing campaigns? In this sea of a vast and ever-growing competition, it has become very hard to promote your business in the right way in order to stand out.
It is an indisputable fact that the internet space has become crowded pretty fast with every business going online, so maybe the material world presents a clean start and a better marketing opportunity? This idea is probably in every business owner’s subconsciousness since we still hand out our various tiny brochures every day, as some form of curious automatization. Cards of all shapes, colors, and sizes are everywhere - stacked up on our desks, deep in our drawers and stashed up in our wallets. Vinyl banners can still be found at every corner, bombarding our perception. But is it really worth it?
The rise of the high-quality cloth banners in Sydney is one of the latest and best examples that it certainly is. So if your business still hasn’t prospered from this ‛old-fashioned’ marketing technique, this only means that you failed to see its marketing opportunity and therefore haven't built their true value yet. Yes, it is something that needs to be built, and in this article, we’re gonna show you how to do it.
As we already said, almost every business still prints at least vinyl banners (although cloth is the better way to go today) but many don’t know how to employ them right in order to secure the best possible marketing value. In order to earn the best response from your banner marketing campaigns, you need to realize what’s wrong with your current practices, first.
• The Location
Almost every banner we can spot today is located either at the festival booths or inside stores. This might seem like a good idea to draw more potential customers and to direct their attention to special deals, but the truth is that the value is far from great. If we want to be completely honest with ourselves, we’ll have to admit that festival attendees are usually interested only in purchasing fast food and alcohol, while there’s not much gain from people seeing your in-store banners if they already are inside the store. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should remove the banners from the store since they can still have the significant impact, but you do need to go further than that.
The second most popular place for banners is at concerts and athletic events. This makes a lot of sense because the number of people present can largely increase brand awareness. But, at the same time, these places carry one inevitable obstacle - it is always much more interesting to look at the actual concert or game. So the biggest problem with banner marketing campaigns is the lack of strategic placement needed to get the most targeted views and ensure the return on investment.
The best strategic spots for you banners are definitely high-traffic intersections since they’ll get the most possible views. The reason lies in an ample degree of repetition secured by the fact that most of the people drive the same route on a daily basis. These spots are perfect for the promotion of your company to the entire populace but that also makes them not so well-targeted.
Although we’ve said that in-store banners are not particularly effective, busy shopping districts are a completely different story since you don’t need to have a physical location to distribute your banners. Most customers will see them and they’ll already be in an extremely buying mood. You can make your presence even more powerful with an addition of interactive features such as video demonstrations, sign-ups, and instant purchases through QR codes and similar smartphone technologies.
The key is to get to know your customers well so you can find out what types of places do they frequently visit. If you find out where they go - to which coffee shops, outdoor bistros, grills, and bars - you can market to them there. The number of views won't be as large as at traffic intersections and shopping districts, but you’ll attract the target audience and these more qualified views will ensure a better response rate.
• The Execution
The perfect period for your banner marketing campaign is 100 days, with 5 bucks a day investment. The first thing you need to do is to come up with a time-limited offer that will be attractive to your target customer base. The design needs to be attention-getting and printed on a 3-foot by 5-foot banners (each will cost around 100 bucks). Find the two busiest intersections in your city for the two of those banners, place one in the busiest shopping district, and two more in locations frequently visited by your target customer base. That’s a total of five banners you should let ride for 100 days while recording all sales and responses made from each one. Tracking response rates (for both, individual banners and the entire campaign) is easily done through campaign codes, phone numbers, and unique URLs. After the expiration of this 100-day period all you’re left to do is to compile the gathered information in order to determine the locations that have yielded the most sales and the best response. Everything that you’ve learned can then be applied for future campaigns, allowing you to launch bigger ones with predictable results.
For these little slips of paper, all you need to do is to remember why you’ve chosen to hand them out in the first place - to market yourself to a targeted audience by providing them with important contact details, listing your products and services, showing off your brand message, and driving traffic to your social channels and landing pages. But the opportunity for all this will exist only as long as your prospects keep your card. Let’s see how you can make them stick to it.
• Turn it into something more
Today your business card’s purpose can’t be purely informational - it needs to have multi-tasking qualities that will turn the quick glances into a careful consideration. In other words, it needs to be more than it is - scratch card, note card, bookmark, sticker, or an event ticket. The main goal of every business card is to start a business conversation, so supply it with some interesting topics.
• Plant the tracker
Handing out a bunch of business cards doesn’t mean anything if you’re not able to determine the rate at which they compel people to action. In order to get ahold of this information, all you need to do is to implement SKU or a QR code and provide the recipients with an incentive such as coupons or discounts for checking out your site.
• Familiarity and Credibility
In these times of numerous frauds, people want to know who they’re doing business with more than ever. You can squeeze in all the important information, but your photo on the card will enable them to put a face to your name and that has a great impact on their trust. A good-looking professional headshot doesn’t just increase the likeability factor and the familiarity of your brand, but it also paints a complete picture of you as a person.
Of course, credibility can’t be maintained only with a charming smile, so you need to implement testimonials to back it up. It is well-known that customers will always readily relate to other customers and all it takes is a brief quote or a link to it.
• Make it entertaining or make a difference
Doing business has stopped being fun long ago. Today it has become nothing more than a stressful necessity. By adding a simple fun fact on your card you can turn your business into an exception. This will surely be an element of a pleasant surprise, and it can even come in the form of a quirky question that contains a piece of trivia connected to your business. If the reader of your card is engaged and amused it will definitely make your business stand out.
Of course, you can also spark an interest in a more serious manner by supporting a certain cause - business and social impact these days go hand-in-hand. If the recipients see you’re trying to make a difference they will acquire a better understanding of what drives you as a professional and a person. Maybe you’re wondering where could all these additions squeeze in, but don’t forget that your card also has the back side.
You can implement all the tricks mentioned above perfectly, but sometimes the very physical act of a handoff can be the most important thing. That’s why it’s mandatory to make it memorable. Don’t forget to reinforce the message about your business’ value and always mention when you will follow up. Using your card as a conversation starter will not only make the recipient remember it, but it will also provide you with the information about the interests, needs, and hobbies of your target audience.
Now you’ve seen that there’s definitely still a lot of value behind banners and business cards for promoting your new business. All you need to do is to find the right location and design a permanent imprint on your recipients’ memory.