New Season: New PR & Advertising Possibilities!

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Fall is here!

That means another season to plan your next moves (if you haven’t already) when it comes down to your advertising and PR opportunities. It means another handful of set dates that you can try and coordinate with your business and target audience.

What do I mean?

Well. We know from now until January 1st, the following holidays- and some- are guaranteed:

  • Thanksgiving (US & Canadian)
  • Halloween
  • Remembrance Day
  • Hanukkah
  • Christmas/The Holiday Season
  • The New Year (full of fresh starts for all)

I am not saying that you should leech onto all of the holidays for the sole purpose of promoting your goods/services… we all know that pushy-selling is ‘out’ anyway…   I am saying that you need to be conscious of them and IF POSSIBLE use them to your advantage.

For example: Remembrance Day. Not exactly a day that you want to use as a sales tool (unless you sell poppy’s or are a registered charity) but it is a day that you should recognize. A simple shout-out on social media, a digital poster with your sincere regards that just happens to have your logo in the corner, could make for a nice viral sharing piece.

For PR. Think about what the next couple months are going to bring- what the fall/winter seasons/holidays are guaranteed to have in store. Then see if you can work a press release around it.

What is your company’s forte? How can you utilize content marketing?

For example: You sell tires. Winter is coming and people should have proper tires. Write a press release and send it off to your local stations, papers and news outlets. Tell them why they need tires, tips and tricks to staying safe on the road and how you can help. You won’t always be picked up- it may take up to five attempts before anyone recognizes you BUT start now, what does it hurt?

Brainstorm with your team in advance so that you can create a posting schedule and organize your blasts. Get that whiteboard out and go to town!

 

 

How to Create an Effective Print Advertisement

Ad Tips

 

A successful print advertisement will grab and hold someone’s attention long enough for them to understand what your ad is about. You want to create instant appeal so that your audience will want to read on.  Design is important- but an ad is much more than graphics. There are strategies, tips and tricks that can help boost your ads effectiveness.

Aside from ensuring your ad contains important elements like your logo, call-to-action, and contact information- your ad should also:

  1. Be easy to read. Don’t use too many fonts or extra small text. Don’t fill up your page with too much information! Drive people to your website or social media platforms to learn more.
  1. Know what you want your ad to say. What are your objectives? Why are you running the ad?
  1. Use negative space wisely and ensure that the most important information is highlighted with a larger text, different font or different colour. Make sure your core message stands out.
  1. Be correct. Ensure your ad is free of spelling errors, grammar mistakes and that your contact information is correct.
  1. Have a unique selling position- why should someone purchase your product or use your service over your competitor?
  1. If you are offering a promotion make sure you set an expiry date. Create a sense of urgency!
  1. Stay on brand. Be recognizable.

Have you heard of the “Advertising Rule of Seven”? According to marketing expert Dr. Jeffrey Lant– “To penetrate the buyer’s consciousness and make significant penetration in a given market, you have to contact the prospect a minimum of seven times within an 18-month period.”

Above all- be sure that you understand your target market. Make sure that your ad is speaking their language, that the esthetics speaks to them and that the avenue you choose to deliver your ad in makes sense. Put your ad where they will see it- doing your research before placing your ad is important.

Whatever you do, don’t forget a call-to-action because you want to be able to measure your ad efforts. ROI! ROI! Always do your best to measure your efforts ESPECIALLY as a start up. You need to make sure your investments make sense. Use your insights and analytics to track visitors during your campaign.

Have fun and we will say it again…. stay on brand!

The Importance of Merchandising Your Storefront Window

Merchandising Your Storefront

I often find myself judging storefronts and (sometimes) secretly wanting to run inside and start switching it around. I would do it if I didn’t know I would be crossing lines of sorts… To be honest, I have sent emails to stores in the past- offering some assistance and even free tips to how they can improve street traffic and be more visually appealing. The importance of your window dressing seems to be thrown to the wind for some small business owners. Their philosophy seems to fall under “the more I show the more customers will come”. Little do they know, their window display says “Who cares about unity/theme” or “I haven’t switched my window in a year- so what?”

I am here to tell you that you are missing the mark if you are taking your storefront space for granted. Consider it a street billboard! Your storefront needs to have what it takes to catch/grab attention then reel ‘em in. Now what you showcase varies obviously on what your store is selling- I can’t pick and choose pieces for you to feature. I can however tell you that less is more, themes are appealing to the eye, colour blocking and colour harmony work wonders and that you shouldn’t be afraid of signage. Not TOO much signage (again less is more) but you can create a visual story in your window and sometimes text can help drive it home. If you are having a great sale? Let people know about it!

Keep the product you are showcasing seasonally appropriate and on trend. Make sure that you play on annual holidays (you know they are coming and you can plan around them- Valentine’s Day, Mothers Day, Christmas), I recommend switching your store front up every three months. When seasons change- so do you. Why? Because humans have something called a memory- and if you always look the same? They will remember that and no longer pay attention to your window.

Don’t be afraid to use props! Use your imagination! It doesn’t have to cost thousands- bring in branches, tissue balls, vases- whatever! As long as what you use isn’t branded or showcased as the “star” of your window (you don’t want people coming in to buy it if you don’t sell it) then go for it! Use pinterest for inspiration if you need to.

Now I want to drive home the whole “Less is more” I touched on earlier.  A lot of people seem to think if they put ‘one of everything’ in the window then customers will see what they have and come in… Looking outside-in will save customers time because they will KNOW you carry it… Right? Wrong. You actually scare them away. There is too much to take in and you lose their interest quickly. They don’t have the attention span to scan every nook and cranny of your display. You come across as unorganized and not a lot of people care to shimmy through clutter. It is your job to merchandise in such a way that you entice people to enter through your door to see what your store is all about. Create curiosity.

By merchandising your storefront window- you show that you care how you are perceived. That you are proud of what you carry and that you are constantly looking to improve and updating your inventory accordingly. You will notice an increase of off-street customers, compliments and I believe a heightened sense of pride.

Anyone else have any merchandising tips they’d like to share? Please do!

Share in the comment section below.