It’s an incredible feeling for a business owner to buy a new piece of equipment or offer a new service. It means you’re growing your assets, your expertise, and your client base. But are you properly making your customers aware of that growth? Use these milestones as solid advertisement, but make sure you’re appealing effectively to your customers.
How can you appeal effectively to your customers when talking about your business’s developments?
- Know your audience. Speak on their level.
- Play up the benefits for your specific clients. Be honest about the obvious downsides of any business developments that your clients may face, but make them overshadowed by the benefits.
- Have a timely announcement.
- Make the info (press releases, blog posts, news clips) accessible to your clients.
- Create an attractive intro-offer deal or pricing for new services.
Let’s go over some hypothetical scenarios to illustrate these points.
Scenario 1: A brewery switches to glass bottling from aluminum cans.
Let’s say that Hop Hop Hooray Independent Brewing Company brews delicious craft beers. They have decided a couple years into their business to switch from aluminum can packaging to glass bottles. First of all, they should make the exciting announcement on social media and other important platforms BEFORE the switch, so their consumers are aware they should look for the new packaging. Second, they should be clear in any press releases that there may be a tiny rise in price per bottle, but that it’s for a good reason. Some customer demographics can perceive total silence on price increases as being too shifty or sneaky. When it comes to the expected audience for a craft brewery, you may imagine that they appreciate eco-friendly, sustainable practices. Hop Hop Hooray’s people should play up the fact that glass is much greener than aluminum, as it’s 100% recyclable, for example. Or they can also argue that bottling in glass over aluminum can positively affect taste.
Scenario 2: A wood craftswoman invests in a compressed air system.
When it comes to technical additions to your business, much of your clientele won’t care to know the tech specifics, right? Customers of woodworker Maya Maple don’t care that her new compressed air system has so many feet of pipe or is suspended just so over her main workstation. Maya’s customers will be more likely to appreciate how the compressed air system benefits them. Maya should stay away from potential credibility-hurting improvements the system made, such as the improved air quality (she doesn’t want people to think she was working unsafely) and the fact that around 70% of all manufacturers have compressed air systems (she doesn’t want to seem too under-funded or unprofessional). Instead, she can highlight the complicated new projects and painting/varnishing techniques the system allows her to do for her customers.
Scenario 3: A hair salon is now offering event makeup services.
Uptown Hair Professionals in a local salon that just decided to offer makeup services and hired a makeup artist. To attract new customers, they invested in some window signage and a small blurb in the local periodicals. To alert their existing customers, they made sure to announce their intentions to offer cosmetic services way back when they were in the process of hiring a makeup artist. That way, they spread awareness about the job opening and created a buzz about the new offering. When an artist was hired, they put a full announcement and little profile on the artist on their social media. To give existing customers an idea of the new service, they offered a free mini-makeover upon booking of hair styling services.
Scenario 4: A realtor adds QR codes to their yard signage and physical ads.
Jameson Oluyole is a realtor, and he likes the idea of having QR codes on yard signs of homes he’s selling. The QR codes would lead to more info on the home and Jameson’s business website. This is fairly common nowadays. Younger people who have smartphones and know how to use QR codes are increasingly becoming the number one demographic buying homes. Because QR, a kind of 2D barcode, can hold a lot more complex info than a 1D barcode, they’re becoming commonplace for directing people to websites and ‘secret’ info. Still, not everyone realizes their usefulness. For Jameson to get the best bang for his buck, he should make sure the QR codes are prominently placed on the sign, and clear for most people to use, even minimally-tech-savvy people. Having relevant posts, tutorials, and news about his use of QR codes will be important on his website and social media.
Essentially, you can think of advertising a new service or equipment to existing and new customers like a tinier version of your general advertisement plan. Between budgeting, pitching, and getting recognition, you go through many of the steps a brand-new business may experience. What kind of advertisement has worked best for your business in the past? Consider if you can adapt that strategy for your new offerings, and continue from there.