Marisa Dobson, Founder of Scintillate, demonstrates her expertise in many fields. She is well versed in book publishing, social media management, events & event sponsorships, consulting & entrepreneurial flexibility.
Below she shares with you some advice for promoting your new brand:
Promotion is one of those activities, like networking, that comes easily to some and is like pulling teeth for others. In my line of work, I often come into contact with talented individuals that have a product to sell, content to share, or an event to promote. But, they don’t quite know how to go about it, or don’t have enough distance from their work to get perspective on what’s most valuable. What follows are three ideas for promotion that can be scaled depending on your budget and time (both being scarce in the start-up world!).
$$$ / Launch Event
You have a new product and you want to create the biggest splash possible in your media market. You also have a budget for promotion/marketing. Host an event. Make it open to the public if you can afford it (with a private media preview or VIP space) and invite-only if you’re trying to limit costs.
- Secure a sponsor whose customer base aligns with yours, OR who is trying to reach out to your audience.
- Find a venue that is on-brand and willing to host you for little or no cost.
- Create gift bags or a door prize for attendees.
- Prepare wrap-up materials (# of attendees & other relevant data, company press release, sample product) to distribute the following day. Do not neglect follow-ups!
$$ / PR campaign
You don’t have quite enough money or time to throw an event, but you can devote resources to publicity. Obviously I have a horse in this race, but it often makes sense to hire a professional to handle your publicity. Not only do they have relationships with media, but they have access to constantly updated contact lists (i.e. Cision) and a honed awareness of what kind of pitch works.
- Find a newsworthy hook. “New” is the key part of newsworthy. You must have a new product, new book, new menu, new leadership in order to garner real press coverage.
- Give the campaign at least 3 months. One month to prep, one to pitch, and one to follow-up and close.
- Follow ALL of the relevant editors, producers, influencers on social media. They notice, believe me.
$ / Brand Ambassadors or Online Advocates
You’ve got a really awesome product, but no dollars. That’s fine! Make it as easy and enjoyable as possible for people who are already fans to promote your product. Offer free or reduced-cost product for a social media post or an Amazon/Google review. Congregate online using a hashtag, and take part in the conversations already occurring.
- Always retweet/regram and thank them publicly whenever they post
- Write sample tweets or posts and distribute to your fans
- Make beautiful low-res product/brand photos available
You made it to the end. My goal in writing this was that it would be helpful enough that you would click PRINT or SAVE. If you did, give me a shout-out on Twitter and share a screenshot! I would be so thrilled to retweet you. If you have any questions in regards to anything above, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Thanks for reading and see you at the next Startup Soiree!