Facebook and Instagram are wonderful tools because they are are familiar, free (or low cost) and fun – not to mention incredibly accessible.
But in order to really grow your business you will need to diversify and think beyond these basics – broaden your horizons so to say. I mean let’s be real – does the world truly need another 5 years of loop giveaways?
Here are 3 ways to advertise your product based business beyond Facebook and Instagram
Lots of people will overlook a good old fashioned advertising opportunity like this one. Certainly no one has shiny object syndrome over it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a FABULOUS opportunity. One thing is for sure: it’s never out of date to get some boots on the ground and introduce yourself in person – no matter how far technology advances. Example: you sell toddler body suits, you have a YMCA in your town, you take your toddler to the YMCA to play with other toddlers at the baby gym, you dress your toddler in your product, you make conversation with other moms… the rest falls into place because in natural causal conversation, someone will ask you “what do you do” or compliment something your child is wearing because children are always dressed adorably. THIS IS YOUR MOMENT. Why this works: you make connections with people on a human level, people like to support small business owners, specifically ones they know. A few local loyals can spread the word for you to their networks locally and beyond. A few brand evangelists never hurt anyone.
Another idea is to do some bulletin board type promotions. Let’s be real, we have ALL found something of interest on a community board at some point. It’s low budget and easy to implement.
Podcast Advertising + Sponsorship
While podcasting has been around for quite some time, it’s fairly new to the consciousness of many people. Similar to a blog, if you find a podcast that reaches your ideal audience – and that audience is connected to the show host(s) – this could be a match made in audio heaven. Podcasts are growing in popularity and it might be a great time to get on board with this “new” advertising opportunity. As far as I can tell, this is an untapped market for handmade sellers – remember, when you are an early adopter, you sort out the kinks and get the lay of the land before others even think to consider it.
Some more great stuff about podcast advertising: unlike traditional media, podcast advertising can be very affordable. Imagine how much it would cost to put an ad on TV? Or in a popular magazine? AND, people will come in on a podcast mid season, and go back to catch up – your ad will still be there. Unlike a newspaper or magazine where the subject matter is largely current event based, many podcasts can be relevant for much longer. Similarly, unlike a radio ad where if you miss it, you missed it – podcasts can be paused, replayed, etc etc etc indefinitely. Your ad is there – forever! The amount of people who will hear your ad on a podcast in the lifetime of the podcast is tremendous – the gift that keeps on giving! Oh and one more thing – with a podcast you get the added benefit of the good juju that comes from the backlinks in blog posts – whereas on a sponsored blog post you’d ONLY get that – and some social mentions maybe that will certainly be old news a week from now. This is such a well rounded and powerful opportunity! The challenge of course is finding a podcast that is connected to the audience you want to reach – but at least this research will be fun!
Mutual Benefit / Cross Promo/ Swag Trade
Team up and conquer. Find someone who sells a product different than yours to the same audience and swap samples to include in orders. This is a super easy, low cost, fun way to add value and cross promote. Example: I team up with a stationery designer who sends me custom notecards so I can include thank you notes with each order, her branding is clear on the card, now my customer is introduced to her work with a physical sample. Even better, work it so that the sample is something they can use on their end – not just see and feel like the thank you card. Either one would be great though!
So there you have it: 3 opportunities for advertising beyond Facebook and Instagram. Which ones will you try?