Marketing your products or services is essential if you hope to sell them and have a wide user base. If people don’t know you exist, you effectively don’t. Today there are more marketing choices than ever--online, offline and in-person. Your overall objectives, your budget and your target audience will determine the best ones to use.
Print marketing still matters, but it has lost its dominant position as the most effective marketing tool in a world of so many choices. Today it should be one of the choices you make to publicize what you are selling. Combined with some carefully selected online outreach, print can deliver a cross-generational audience to whom you can make your case. Some time-tested print marketing options are newspaper and magazine ads, posters, banners, postcards, direct mail, brochures, billboards, flyers, classifieds, placed articles, news releases, free media, business cards and catalogs.
Television commercials are expensive but still accomplish branding to large numbers of people; audiences for programs are pre-selected niche targets. Radio commercials may be cheaper than TV but lack the visual impact. Guest appearances on TV and radio talk and news shows are a cost-effective way to get out your message and get known by potential buyers.
Ignore the web at your marketing peril. You need, at the very least, a business website with the most basic information: how to reach you, where to find you, what you offer and more. New customers can find you just by doing a search for something they already want—if you have optimized your website so the search engines pull it from the infinite number of choices on the Internet. Social media is increasingly driving selections and purchases, as people receive information about products and services from sites and sources they trust. Publishing useful articles for sharing on the web, creating a trailer or other video that goes viral—or that is at least up on YouTube--publishing an e-newsletter and growing a readership that is predisposed to buy from you are strategies that can increase your market share. Web marketing includes ezines, free classifieds, banner ads, border ads like Google Adsense, social media, webinars, e-newsletters, websites and affiliate marketing.
Face-to-face connections do count in a virtual world. Public speaking can be both a source of income and a way to get your product or service known to an interested audience. Join an organization that synchronizes with your interest or business, and network to find opportunities and customers.