No matter how effective your current marketing strategies are, every business, from solo operations to corporations, can benefit from setting your company’s tried and true advertising campaigns aside for a while in favor of new, innovative, and creative marketing strategies. Novel approaches to marketing can engage both new and existing customers through new ways to connect with your brand, generating a fresh take on the relationship between your business and its customers.
With an endless supply of marketing advice and techniques available to marketers, weeding through the various solutions can be laborious. Marketing strategies are not a one-size-fits-all affair, and what works best for your unique brand will depend on your target buyer, marketing budget, local influence, and mission statement. Luckily, just about any marketing strategy can be tailored to your company’s identity and marketing goals.
For easily applied, creative approaches to marketing your business, look no further. Let’s take a look at four uncommon, refreshing marketing methods to employ with your next campaign.
Hit the Streets
Though the majority of users may interact with your brand through a screen, don’t diminish the value of marketing in the wild — from local partnerships to innovative door-to-door sales app technology for your sales team.
It may seem outdated and even invasive in today’s digital e-commerce landscape, but door-to-door sales still result in conversions at impressive rates. Canvassing the local neighborhoods may not be entirely right for your goods or services or may even be off-brand for your company, but when possible, face-to-face sales provides a level of interpersonal connection not found in typical digital sales strategies.
If attracting more local patrons is your goal, consider meeting them where they are. Advertisements in the form of flyers, posters, or banners in prominent local cafes or hangouts are made more effective when you include a call to action with your social media handles or even scan-and-go technology like QR codes.
In urban environments especially, marketers and street artists together have the city as their canvas. If your company doesn’t have the budget, or permission, to commission a large wall mural, local chalk artists or painters can get creative with temporary art featuring your logo on stairs, sidewalks, walls, and even fences.
Sponsorships are nothing new, but creative sponsorships are another story. The rise of ride-sharing and alternative public transportation methods has introduced a whole host of new sponsorship opportunities for businesses. Consider alternative ways to partner with local businesses, such as offering branded event swag or relevant classes or workshops with an adjacent niche.
Experiential marketing is gaining steam as one of the most effective and crowd-pleasing forms of advertising. Using hands-on, tactile, or participatory experiences to invite consumers to interact with your brand, your company can promote your products and objectives in an unparalleled way.
Booths and Displays
Popular at festivals and concerts, a physical booth or demo station allows customers to see and experience your products with their own hands, rather than simply zooming in on a tiny screen. In-person, pop-up experiences are most effective when you provide an additional value for customers when visiting your booths, such as an attractive photo wall, collaborative art installation, or informational exhibit.
There are few things more enticing to consumers than free merchandise, so consider inserting an offer or two in your next marketing campaign. Loyalty programs, memberships, early access codes, referral programs, and gamification, otherwise known as retail experiences that include points or competition aspects, are all excellent ways to incentivize customers patronizing your business.
Similar to incentives, contests offer customers something extra for doing business with you by way of an entry coupled with a purchase or visit. Customers may enjoy the opportunity to name your next product, caption a photo, share a funny anecdote or show off a photo featuring your logo. Contest rewards can be small, such as the opportunity to win a free premium drink on their next visit, or large, such as a fully funded vacation. Offer multiple ways to enter to ensure your business sees as many customers as possible.
Polls and Questionnaires
Your customers’ opinion is valuable, and the more you are able to demonstrate its value to your business, the more likely they are to interact with your brand. Polls and questionnaires can be as simple and easy as a fun call to action on a social media post. When a customer feels like a part of your company’s discourse, they’re more likely to connect further with your brand.
Start a Conversation
While conversing with your customer base is incredibly valuable as a marketing strategy, extend your social circle outward to include industry peers, competitors, and inspiring figures that may appeal to a wider variety of potential patrons.
To make choosing products easier for your customers, roll out campaigns designed around comparisons between different products, and include the features, settings, and other relevant details that could influence a customer’s decision to buy. If your campaign includes your competitors’ products, be sure to demonstrate a fair and competitive comparison so as not to alienate or deter customers that overlap in interest.
With this marketing strategy, tread lightly. It’s probably not a good idea to stir the pot and drum up controversial content on your own. Rather, ask your customers or users how they feel about a relevant issue or controversy within your industry or a nearby market. If it aligns with your brand message, consider offering your own perspective on a hot-button issue, and invite your customers to weigh in as well.
Chances are, your market has a few key players waiting to be interviewed for your newsletter, social media page, or website. After sitting down with a prominent industry figure, asking relevant, intriguing questions, and publishing it through your own channels, they’re likely to do so as well, driving more traffic and business to your site.
Your company excels at what they do, and as many potential customers deserve to know what you have to offer as possible. By utilizing a variety of marketing channels, your company is sure to get more business via word of mouth.
Consumers can’t scroll their phones during their morning commute, but they can crank up the radio and queue up a podcast. Companies can use both sponsored podcasts and star in an episode as a featured or interviewed industry expert on a podcast as well. If your company has the means or reach, consider starting up your own.
From blogs to e-zines, there is likely a content publisher that is waiting for a company like yours to reach out for a feature. Many companies have had luck with their own online publications as well, featuring helpful DIY tips, industry trends, or attractive graphic designs promoting your products alongside narratives or interviews.
Video marketing is the way of the future, and it’s easier than ever to make professional, appealing videos that highlight new arrivals, company updates, local happenings, or brand-specific content. Video content marketing also offers a peek into the personality of your company, so don’t be afraid to dive into some of the behind-the-scenes details that keep your company running.
Every morning, your local news station likely has a brief slot reserved for local business owners of all kinds to show off their products or talk about industry news to interested audiences, many of whom will be introduced to your company for the first time. Local online vloggers or small, local influencers with video content may be interested in featuring your company, too.
You’ve got your products down pat, but getting a few extra minds involved could bring in more interested customers or clients. With plenty of local business owners, charities, and popular influencers to choose from, partnerships broaden your reach as you combine your client base with that of your collaborator to release a tailor-made product or service that appeals to both audiences.
Making Use of Creative Marketing Strategies
Alternative advertising doesn’t just force your marketing department to stretch their creative muscles, but it also facilitates a more meaningful, eye-catching point of connection between your company and your customers. Through creative marketing, your business gathers helpful information that can better direct your marketing efforts in the future, catering to both your business’ needs and customers’ ever-evolving behavior.
When utilizing any of the marketing strategies listed above, always ensure you’re staying true to your brand identity. Not all marketing strategies will be right for your brand, while other strategies may even be combined to create something wholly unique to your brand.
When in doubt, connect back to your mission statements and objectives. Never underestimate your brand voice and identity, as it’s what carried your company forward to what it is today. Creative marketing strategies aren’t only a way to get your products and services out. On the whole, they’re ways to generate experiences for your customers that they are sure to remember — ones that will keep them coming back for more.