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Innovative Ways to Promote Your Products in a Tight Economy

By: Donna C. Barson
Posted: June 5, 2009, from the June 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Embrace social media. If Martha Stewart can use 140-character tweets—status messages via Twitter.com—about knitting to engage the masses, why can’t beauty brand owners do the same regarding their products? Many companies are jumping on the social media bandwagon because that’s where an increasing number of consumers can be reached. By setting up profiles on Facebook and Twitter, you can reach a broad audience with last-minute deals and other promotions.

Leverage the Web. While you’re providing products online, take advantage of each visitor to your Web site by encouraging customers and prospects to sign up for an e-mail newsletter, with the promise of special, time-sensitive deals and useful content on a regular basis. This is the sort of personal touch that will go a long way toward building your business and keeping it thriving in any economic climate. Take it a step further and start a blog that you can keep updated with information on new products and uses.

Go green. While organic and other earth-friendly products may not be less costly than regular lines, consumers cannot seem to get enough of all things green. And even though these items may not promise to save them green, many people derive a sense of accomplishment when doing their part to preserve the earth. Providing recyclable bottles and products with sustainably harvested ingredients can spur sales, as eco-friendly product continue to be a growing trend.

Forge partnerships. Instead of offering merchandise exclusively via your own Web site or counters, team up with industry related Web sites and blogs to promote your goods. This helps expose your products to an audience you may not have yet reached, and also capitalizes on the growing preponderance of Internet shopping.

Stay alert. What is one of the most effective ways to stay competitive in any economic climate? Keep track of your competitors. Some are trying to penetrate drug store chains while others are using nontraditional means of promotion. Stay on top of industry trends that could affect sales and tailor your promotions toward consumer and competitor patterns.