Library Marketing for Public Libraries from the Ohio Library Foundation
Marketing training on the web for public library staff

Module Promotion PROMOTION

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Public Relations

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Press Releases

Advertising & Direct Marketing

Publications, Displays, Signage

Friends, Advocacy

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Promoting the Library

Introduction to Marketing the Library Module 4

In this module: promotion, the visible part of a marketing plan.

Research and planning are critical first steps in marketing. (See Overview and Planning). After a product or service for marketing is chosen based on market research, the marketing plan is created and the goals, objectives, and promotion strategies are established. Promotion lets the community know about library services or programs. Promotion is part of the marketing mix (the 4Ps): product, place, price, & promotion.

Successful libraries develop a variety of creative and innovative promotion strategies such as positive public relations, eye-catching displays, well-designed publications (e.g. flyers and newsletters), interactive web sites, aggressive advocacy, advertising, direct marketing, book sales, friends’ groups, contests, good media relations, public presentations, blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other new technologies. Knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff members are also great promotion tools!

What can you do to convince a user to "buy" your product?

Select the target audience and match methods to user preferences. Your market plan should consider which means of promotion is best suited to the service, product, or concept being promoted or is most suitable for the audience that you are targeting. Market research gives you insights into what drives your users, what they consider important. Promotion should tie into the needs, preferences, and decision-making practices of your users. What did you find out (or already know) about your users? That is, who needs a particular service and how can you communicate the value of the service to those users who will benefit and for whom the service was developed? How will you reach those who will benefit? For example, who reads news stories and newsletters? Who doesn't? Who comes into the library and sees displays? Who only works online from home? Who can never be sold, who has already been sold, and who still needs selling?

Promoting with new technologies

Include new strategies as well as maintaining traditional methods. Investigate concepts, definitions and best practices for blog presentations, RSS, wikis, folksonomy, tagging, library catalog 2.0, multimedia, Flickr, Podcasting, You-Tube, social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook), virtual worlds (Second Life), Web 2.0, and Library 2.0.

["New Technologies in Libraries." Megan Fox, Simmons, February 2008.]

To attract Generation Y teens, it's necessary to understand how teens use social media, like blogs, social networking sites, virtual worlds, and podcasts.

["What Would Madison Avenue Do? Marketing to Teens." Anastasia Goodstein, School Library Journal, 5/1/2008.]

Promotion is anything libraries do to let the community know who they are and what they do! Concentrate your promotion efforts where they will achieve the best results!

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