Look, I am as guilty as anyone for jumping on the e-bandwagon and extoling the virtues of the myriad of new ways a small business can market itself these days – everything from mobile mania to social media and more.
Pundits like me do this for one very good reason: It works. E-marketing works, social media works, text campaigns work – it all works.
But that said, what is sometimes lost in all of this e-hoopla is that old school ideas work too, and in some ways, can work even better as there is less competition for those eyeballs these days.
Here are a few old school marketing ideas that are worth a second look:
Overnight Radio: One inexpensive way to build your business is to use overnight radio advertising. In major media markets, advertising during drive-time (7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.) can run anywhere from $250 a minute to a whopping $1,000 a minute. But overnight ads, while certainly reaching a far smaller audience, cost much, much less, and still can be very effective.
Magazines: Magazine advertising allows you to reach a very specific target audience. And because magazines have a long self-life, these ads can actually turn out to be very cost effective.
Networking: Networking is not just something done online you know. Networking the old-fashioned way can be very effective because you actually meet face-to-face with local people who need what you sell.
Whether it is at a chamber of commerce social, joining a group like LeTip, or some other social situation, networking also works. Here are three tips for making your networking easier:
- Use your elevator pitch. Having a quick, interesting, powerful pitch is the simplest of marketing tools, yet one of the most powerful; it may lead to opportunities that you did not even know existed. As they say, you only have one chance to make a good first impression. What you want is a pitch that will spark someone’s interest and have him or her saying, “Tell me more.”
- Pretend you are the host. Rather than sitting back, waiting for something to happen at the event, flip the situation around and pretend you are the host. How would you act? That’s right – gregarious, self-assured and positive.
- Play with your nametag: Put it on upside down. Write “Make more money now, ask me how!” under your name. Any silly thing you do to your nametag can spark a conversation.
Direct Mail: The important thing when sending out a direct mail piece is getting people to open the letter. The best way to do that is
- If possible, hand address the envelopes (they get opened), or
- Insert something chunky into the envelope (like a pen or keychain). Chunky envelopes get opened too.
Contests: If you can come up with a unique contest that you can sponsor which would be of interest to people in your community, then getting publicity for the contest, and the results, and your business, should not be difficult.
Testimonials: You know what they say: Word of mouth advertising is the best type of advertising. Testimonials are just that.
Making old school new again – that’s the ticket.