Sales promotions are important tools on social media, blogs, and direct mailings to create incentives for both prospective and current customers to engage with your brand. You can use sales promotions to boost bookings, move excess product, develop loyalty, increase recognition and exposure, not to mention boosting your sales. Sales promotions aren’t just about coupons and discounts, although those two things do play a substantial role. Promotions can look different depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. Let’s look at a few common methods below:

  • Contests
    Contests are one of the easiest ways to boost interactions and activity on your social media platforms. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook make it easy for people to share your contact and contest information, while increasing your followers and exposure. Most contests don’t usually require a purchase and are fairly easy to promote because people love to get free things. Sharing your information with their followers is something people are more than willing to do in exchange for promoting your business, not to mention capturing their information to be used for future marketing efforts. Contests draw attention to your company without the hard sell, something everyone can appreciate.
  • Product or Service Giveaways
    These promotions can run in conjunction with contests and are done at relatively low cost to you, with a high chance of reward in return. Give away products or services you want to highlight, or use it as an opportunity to move excess products. Service giveaways are often most successful when people would naturally be looking for that service, i.e. for a furnace tune-up in the early Fall.
  • Customer Referral Incentives
    Offer a discount to current customers for referring new customers your way, essentially using them as your sales force. It’s a no brainer, easy way to get your customers to promote your business with excellent potential for return.
  • Customer Appreciation Events
    If you have a brick and mortar store, these events are an easy way to attract a crowd of people to your business. Free food and other appealing items are an easy and relatively cost effective way of getting people in the door where you can have attractive displays and other promotions in play. If you operate as a service provider, customer appreciation events can be run in conjunction with special promotions and short term sales goals. Offer to teach your customers something that relates to your business, like how to keep their appliances in top shape, or how to change a filter.
  • Branded Promotional Gifts
    Think pens, magnets, flashlights, t-shirts, etc. Believe it or not, these items can be more effective than a flyer or a business card because people use them on a regular basis and will be more likely to have your business in mind when the need arises.

Technology and social media are expanding and evolving at a rapid rate, opening up new opportunities to connect with your customer base to promote your business. Have a goal in mind when it comes to your sales promotions approach. Maybe you want to increase facebook followers, collect email addresses to add to your email marketing campaign, highlight your useful blog, drive sales during a promotion. Whatever your goal, use a targeted approach and tailor your promotion to fit what you’re trying to reach. We’ve covered just a small selection of ways to do just that, find what works best for you!

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletterhere. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert onLinkedIn and Twitter