Promotions, Coupons, Incentives: Are You an Effective Online Promoter?

By: Jake

Since the first time a man thought to offer two chickens for the price of one goat (limited time only!), there have been business promotions. And, while once upon a time a promotion was something truly special — sometimes you had to wait a whole year for that special sale — as more and more businesses compete with each other in the US marketplace, promotions are becoming the standard rather than the exception. There are people out there for whom couponing is practically a religion.

 

But, while your promotions might in themselves be spectacularly good deals, they might not be coming across correctly in the online environment. Follow these three tips to get more mileage out of your next online promotion:

 

Cross-channel promotion

 

This is an obvious one (use every online channel you’ve got!) but one thing is key: spinning the promotion to best fit into whatever channel you’re using. Remember, you’re not only getting the word out, you’re socializing. Add a social component to the Facebook post for the promotion and encourage people to share. On Twitter, make the message interesting enough to get a click through, and get creative with hashtag usage.

 

Ramp Up, Ramp Down

 

Leaving aside the fact that every business is permanently running short on social media content, lengthening the online promotion cycle is generally a good idea. Start to mention the upcoming promotion up to a month before it starts to get some buzz going and “plant the seed” as they say.  A week before, you can ramp up coverage to get the word out.

 

Just because the promotion is over doesn’t mean your coverage of it should end abruptly. Thank everyone who participated, talk about what a success it was — in short, make the most of the event. Those who participated will feel special, those who didn’t will wish they had done so.

 

Create a Story

 

Last but not least comes the story. Let’s face it, most promotions are all based on the same principle: get more stuff for less money. What can set yours apart, especially online, is the story. Why are you doing this promotion?

 

Did you somehow get stuck with 200 extra TV’s? Are you helping a charity? Are you trying to create traction for a new, greener product that was priced just a little too high at first? Believe it or not, people want to know this stuff — it’s what helps them remember your promotion from the 30 others they’ll be exposed to today.

 

These three basics should help you make your online promotions more successful. In the next month, we will delve into some more specific strategies and tactics for making online incentives irresistible, so check back in next week for another Fist Pump Friday!