If you are a mom entrepreneur with a product-based business, you’ve probably tried social media marketing to get your brand in front of your customers.
While Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are great ways to connect with your current and potential customers, there are other ways to spread the word about your products and find new customers.
Here are five creative marketing ideas for you to try.
1. Run a sale with a daily deal site
You’ve probably heard about –or even shopped at – sites like Zulily.com, TheMiniSocial.com, Jasmere.com, PlumDistrict.com, DealPulp.com and Heartsy.me, but have you thought about selling your products there? Many of these sites have tens or hundreds of thousands of customers who are looking to discover and buy new products, so why not leverage their network and get your products in front of them?
While you have to provide a discount on your products (in addition to the site’s usual fees of 30%-50% of your sales), the exposure you’ll get is HUGE! Some sites will sell your actual products while others will sell a gift certificate or voucher for any product on your site.
There’s a lot of pros and cons of working with daily deal sites, but if your pricing is right (i.e., your retail price is at least 4 times your manufacturing costs), this can be a great way to bring in new customers and get your brand name out there.
2. Sell your products to a monthly gift-box site
Monthly subscription box sites like Citrus Lane, Bluum.com, BabbaBox, Eco Emi, BirchBox, Blissmo Box and The Tasting Box are popping up all over the place. They are a great way to connect with potential customers and have them sample your products.
These sites curate products on a monthly basis and their customers pay a monthly subscription fee to receive a box of surprise goodies. Some sites will pay for your products and some will ask for free samples, so it’s best to check about their policies.
They will also allow you to include marketing materials with your products, so if you decide to participate in these monthly gift boxes, be sure to include a coupon for your products so that your new customers can come back to your site and order more.
3. Gift Your Products to Celebrities
Ok, this is not a guaranteed return on your investment, but if you hit the jackpot and are lucky enough to have your products photographed on a celebrity, it can mean a new level of fame for your business. Obviously this works best if you have a product that a celebrity can wear or use in public, such as clothing, jewelry or baby accessories.
When you send your products to celebrities, your packaging matters. Wrap up your products nicely and professionally, include a hand written note to the celebrity and include a self-addressed stamped envelope with a Thank You card to make it easy for the celebrity to respond.
Here are a few tips on working with celebrities:
- To find their contact info, sign up for Contact Any Celebrity. You’ll be sending your package to the celebrity’s publicist, not their manager, agent or lawyers.
- Call the publicist’s office to confirm that they will accept your package and call back a week after you send the package to verify that they received it.
- Send your package via FedEx (this can add up if you are sending a few), but the likelihood of your package being opened is higher if it’s sent via FedEx.
- Include your business card and offer the celebrity additional products if they are interested
- If you offer personalized items a celebrity (or his/her kids) is more likely to wear it or use it
- If you want them to return the Thank You note, mention this in your letter to them
- If you do get a Thank You note back, contact all of the celebrity magazines and let them know that the celebrity loves your products
It’s not guaranteed that you will get a Thank You note back or that your product will appear in a celebrity magazine, but if this does happen, your company’s credibility and sales will be positively affected.
4. Pitch your products to a trade magazine
You probably want to get your products in national women’s magazines like Self, Shape, Glamour and The O Magazine, but trade publications should also be a part of your PR strategy.
Trade publications, although they do have a smaller circulation, are read by your retailers and other companies in the industry who are looking for trends.
Having your products published in one of these magazines can mean new wholesale accounts for your company and you’ll be viewed as an industry expert. In addition, these magazines are often distributed at trade shows, so you’ll reach an even larger market than just their subscribers.
Here are a few publications you should check out and pitch your products to:
- Earnshaw’s – for baby and kids products
- Stationery Trends – for paper goods and stationery
- Museums and More –for products that would sell well at a museum store, such as home and garden, gifts, decorations
- Gift Shop Magazine – for apparel, accessories, baby and kids items, gifts, jewelry
- New Age Retailer – for jewelry, apparel and products that appeal to the spiritual and new age customer
There are a lot more trade magazines that you can search for on Google for your industry. Once you find the right ones, download their editorial calendars (often found in the Advertising section on their website) and see what stories they are working on. If your products would be a great fit, email the editor and pitch your products.
5. Do a product review and giveaway with bloggers
This is something you should be doing as an ongoing part of your marketing strategy. While this doesn’t necessarily translate into sales right away, it can mean more Facebook fans, Twitter followers, email list subscribers and more links back to your site (which Google loves!).
When you do a giveaway or product review with a blogger, keep in mind that you’ll have to send at least one free product for review and one or more for the giveaway. Pick a blogger who has a good amount of traffic (I recommend at least 3,000 monthly unique visitors – you can check this number with the blogger before you submit your products). Also, read through previous blog posts to make sure that you like the blogger’s voice and style and it fits in with your brand.
Once you get a positive review, you can share it with your customers, with your retailers, post it on your site and on your blog and Twitter and Facebook pages.
I hope this gives you some fresh marketing ideas to get your brand name out there.
Have you tried any of these marketing strategies? What were your results?
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