The internet and social media have created a veritable gold mine of low-cost advertising for entrepreneurs and small businesses. There is still no substitute, however, for getting out there and “pressing the flesh” so to speak. We’ve all heard the phrase “the face of the company” and that’s because people relate to people, not logos, advertising or promotional materials. While you certainly want to associate yourself with your brand, getting out and meeting people live and in person will go a long way towards building a social media following and making the most of your internet advertising. Running a great promotion doesn’t have to break the bank, either. Here are three great promotions you can run on a very small budget.
1. Offer free water at a parade, public concert or outdoor summer event
Water is possibly one of the least expensive and most appreciated things you can give away under the right circumstances. There are also a great number of ways you can use this to promote your company or business. You can have labels printed for standard bottles of water you buy in the store, order cases of water with labels pre-printed with your logo or even just take a giant cooler and fill up water bottles printed with your logo.
If you are really on a budget you can just hand out cups of water from a table or stand with your company name on it or you can have cups printed with your company name. The important thing is, you are giving something to people for free at a time they value it most. That will go a long way to creating positive regard in people’s minds for your business or brand. Remember that cups and water bottles create a great deal of waste, however, so be sure and set out containers to collect cups or bottles and use biodegradable cups whenever possible!
2. Offer hot drinks in winter
Similar to people’s appreciation of cold drinks in hot weather, offering people a nice hot drink when it is cold builds a similar feeling of positive regards. Best of all, studies have shown that feeling warm creates warm feelings. When you give someone a cold drink of water in the summer, they are already warm and being warm leads to feeling warmth. In the winter, when you offer them a warm drink, you create feelings of warmth towards your company. You can even have Styrofoam cups custom made to associate your brand or logo with this feeling of warmth people experience when you hand them a hot drink!
3. Offer a service where/ when it is needed the most
The importance of in-person promotions is that you want to create feelings of warm positive regard for your brand. That is most likely to happen when you offer people a service they need most at the time they need it most. This might be free gift wrapping at Christmas (topped off by an ornate sticker, tastefully embossed with your brand or logo, or a luxury gift tag) or free boot shines when people are leaving a stock show or rodeo.
Fires, floods and other disasters offer a perfect opportunity to show up and create warm feelings of positive regard for your brand, while committing a hugely humanitarian act at the same time. Remember that today’s marketing is not as much about selling a product as it is creating a warm, positive regard for your brand. When you show up to provide a valuable service to people in need, you can feel free to post about it on social media, but it’s even better when someone else posts about it. Do feel free to wear t-shirts advertising your brand and who knows – maybe your brand could end up on national news!