Today we are talking about the topic, that is described in hundreds of books, practiced at thousands of workshops and spent hundreds thousands of dollars on daily. We are talking about promotion. Let’s go to Wikipedia and see what it tells us about promotion.
Promotion is the actual activity on spreading, selling, increasing the sales rates and creative success. Any kind of promotion refers to raising customers’ awareness of a product or brand, generating sales, and creating brand loyalty. It is one of the four basic elements of the marketing mix that includes the four P’s: price, product, promotion and place.
The kinds of promotion differ depending on the actual subject of promotion and the spheres of informational attack. It might be a physical sphere — concerts, festivals, trading shows and promo actions in the supermarkets and malls. Such kind of promotion targets on momentary sales right here and right now. Then there is traditional media promotion that uses the standard media resources such as newspapers, magazines, TV and radio channels and printed promo products such as billboards, posters, flyers and banners. The last one, and probably the most affordable and frequently used, kind of promotion is the digital one and it obviously means using the Internet, social networks and social media sites.
© James Steidl
This particular kind of promotion was chosen by SFG a couple of years ago. Thanked to the social media we have gotten a pretty decent number of clients, gained the high level of trust from our customers and SFG product users within two years.
It is pretty common for numbers of businessmen, who are only starting to develop their business, to use the more or less standard algorithm: the create a presentable website, a couple of pages in the social networks, tell their friends about it, and these friends send invitations to their friends and so on and so on, spreading the rumors but not the effectiveness. The thing is that following this path your business virtually gets hundreds, or if lucky thousands, of subscribers on facebooks and instagrams, but in the real world in has the minimum return and a very slow customer inflow. Why is it so and why some pretty pictures in Instagram are not enough to develop your business anymore?
Granted the constant technical progress and the high availability of all sorts of gadgets and software to create beautiful pictures and to edit them, it is really hard to impress someone with them, and it is even more difficult to attract and make people believe in your company using only a good social network profile or a website. So what can we do if we are note The Coca-Cola Company who is ready to spend a few billion dollars on advertising companies? If neither human nor financial resource is enough to create a multi-million dollar promo.
We say: start from yourself. Find something unique inside of yourself, your product, your company and tell the world (not a few friends in social networks) about it in some outstanding and attractive manner. In the far 2012 we decided to promote ourselves by making a cool video about our own city in a format that was only starting to get popular in Ukraine that time. When the whole world was continuously uploading time lapse
videos and YouTube and Vimeo could hardly cope with the traffic showing such reels about the NYC, Paris, Hong-Kong and others, there were almost no such videos about any Ukrainian city. And yea, SFG has decided to boast and brag. And it was a BANG! We have gotten more than 3 million views and we still get clients who come to know about us from that video and ask if we were the ones who made it. And by the way it was even more pleasant to realize that we were first to make such a video about Dnipro
(the city, surely). After such success we have had a few more promotional projects. We were making them to simply become the point of discussion and for people to be curious who created these and who we are. That was the time when we knew nothing about the smart words such as lead generating or sales funnel. And to tell the truth, we still can’t say exactly what those are :) We just develop ourselves and develop our company.
© Sergey Fomkin / sergeyfomkin.com
This path is neither the easiest nor the fastest one, but on the other hand it help the company be seen from the other point of view. It shows the society that your team is willing to work not only for its own good or profit but also for the good and development of the people, city, country if you dare. A very good example of making such non-commercial projects is shown by Art. Lebedev Studio when they created the Moscow Metro scheme
.The studio was working on the project for around 4 years and at the same time they were fighting for their scheme to be officially approved by the government. Despite being famous in a lot of countries around the world, Lebedev Studio was restless and worked really hard on creating such a non-commercial project. Later Artemiy created the whole website about the Moscow metro system
that is unique and has no analogues in the world and it is very interesting to watch and to read.
© Art. Lebedev Studio / artlebedev.com
So, when a few non-commercial projects (that’s what we call any project, created for our self-development and karma-improvement) did a great job for us and became a good source of new clients and Company website visitors, it was a great time for us to move on. Since people usually get used to anything good, and it works the same way with nice pictures and beautiful videos. We realized that ve need to impress people even more, showing other sides of our company and our team.
It is always good to create a wheel, but was great only once. That is why we shamelessly followed the example of a company, which takes its promotion as something ultra-important and makes it very unusual. We are talking about Apple, of course. Yes, you might keep rolling your eyes and sarcastically grin. But it is impossible to argue that Apple is always at least ten steps ahead creating various videos, presentations etc., which simply tell about the company, the way it works, the people who work for it and how their products help other people achieve their goals, implement their ideas and just make their everyday life better. Such kind of promotion aims to get into people’s minds, to show that their products are for everyone, not for a selected few. From usual people to usual people. That’s it.
At the end of 2015 we launched our first advertising campaign We create it for everyone. It included the commercial itself and, what appeared to be even more important, additional promo pages that were telling people what SFG is, how we work and who we work with. The Company has set the accents on the page texts that revealed the way we work with hundreds of ideas (Ideas and how to work with them
), who our clients are (SFG works with world-famous brands
) and what they have gained thanked to our projects (Every project is a new achievement
). So what conclusion does it drive us to? After launching such a simple, almost trivial campaign that actually took minimum of time and money, in only half a year the amount of clients and their loyalty increased at somewhat 5 times. We could say that again: 5 times in half a year. Such a rapid growth was even better than we could ever predict.
A year has passed and we started to ask ourselves a very usual questing: what’s next? The Company has really grown and stays on the same high level. But who likes to stay on the same level? We, better than anyone, know that even the most interesting things become boring and dull if you have/see them every day. So now we have come really close to the world titans of promotion industry’s level. We are becoming closer to people who already know a lot about us. We reveal SFG’s inner world and atmosphere. Barely changing the main concept of the campaign We create. Everyone uses
, SFG tells and shows how we work and what else we do in our office, in the cafes or even at home.
We still have the above mentioned promo pages, but we have added a few audio and video sketches. Why is it so necessary and important, you might ask. Because honestly, the client, customer, a random buyer wants to know what there is inside of the company or a product. Accept it, everyone has at least once thought of slipping into McDonald’s kitchen and seeing how and what your burgers are made of? Or, to be more metaphoric, it would be absolutely cool to get to the shooting process of Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins and Game of Thrones stories, wouldn’t it? For when we see the process from the inside, we come to better understanding how everything we like is made, we start to realize and believe that everything is created by people for people.
Long story short, having the tasks and goals set, we dwell on their fulfillment. It took us a couple of weeks to write the scripts, to find the recording studio and a couple hundred dollars to pay for its rent, and to invite our own employees. That is basically all we needed to launch an interesting, lively and intriguing promo. We have recorded an audio “from the office”, that tells about a usual morning in the Company: here you might hear classical brainstorming, sharp jokes and coffee-machine of course. And three videos with our workers and clients. Thanked to all the above mentioned files every person now can see, how “their burgers are made” and who actually the cook is.
And probably it is too early to speak about the campaign’s success or failure. But we are sure that all the joy and good mood that we had while creating it sends the positive waves of joy to our clients, partners and users. So the moral is: keep experimenting and move forward. Chase and beat your competitors, be closer to people for, one way or another, they determine and influence your success. Develop and progress. Do not be afraid to spend extra time on making an interesting promo page or a few dollars on some professionals who will help you make a good campaign. Do not be afraid to look funny or weird, since we know that you have got your own unique traits and great people who will become a cocktail cherry that will make your image and reputation look cooler and more complete.