Throughout the years my career has taken some interesting an colourful turns. From starting out as a freelancer writer, to directing voice overs for national TV campaigns (and even a few Super Bowl ads!), to a PhD in Neuroscience and a move into tech. I’ve seen, and done, quite a bit. I’ve spent a good amount of time in advertising and marketing, and keep a keen eye on what companies are doing well (and not) to draw attention to their products and services. There are some often overlooked growth tactics that any business can draw inspiration from. Some are a bit more suited for certain niches, and others are widely applicable. Enjoy this list of ideas, and perhaps your next big campaign will be sparked from it!
1. Creating Entertaining Content
One tactic often overlooked by businesses is to simply create entertaining content. I say “simply”, but there is really nothing too simple about it. Creating good content is time consuming, and creating entertaining content that resonates with your niche customer base can be a real challenge. The ultimate goal of this type of content is that people will want to share it. This doesn’t mean it has to be humorous or without depth. Entertaining means that it is able to hold the attention of the readers who encounter it, and have some sharable value. The goal is to create content that will go viral. That means figuring out what sort of factors are in common with viral content and then making sure that any that you create has as many of those factors as possible.
2. Using an Advertising Agency
One of the first things that we’ll discuss is using an advertising agency to market your business. These days, everyone is using the internet, which seems like a DIY thing. But the truth is, advertising agencies are still extremely useful, even for digital marketing. If you have had trouble marketing online or offline, an agency can help; these are experts who have had a great deal of experience with marketing and advertising, and can figure out what sorts of marketing techniques to use for your business.
3. Engaging With Your Audience
Another tactic that you can use that many businesses do not is actually engaging with your audience. Your customers are not just sales and recipients of your marketing; they are actual people with interests and lives of their own. If you can engage with them as people, you will be able to make your mark much more effectively and get them to come back to your company again and again. This requires knowing where your customers are and finding ways you can engage with them on a more personal level. This does take more effort than other types of marketing, but the rewards are worth it.
4. Using Props & Giveaways
Another great way to do marketing that almost no one uses is to use props. This is marketing that is done outside of the digital realm, using various physical props in order to get customers to know who you are, and consider using you if they have a need for your products or services. Some of the common ways that this is done include making mugs or pens with your company name on them, but you can also do things like creating unusual origami-like business cards that will make people want to pick them up or using other physical props that get people’s attention. This is an area where lots of people also go wrong and waste their valuable marketing budget. I’ve spent a huge amount of time researching and designing these types of products, and have the majority of give-aways you can buy are actually not going to do the trick. Consider your market, and think about what a person would actually use. Conferences are flooded with giveaways and if you are the 10th free pen someone is picking up, will they really use it and remember you? In contrast, as well designed mug with a fun(ny) pun or slogan that resonates with your audience (think back to creating entertaining content!), there is a bigger chance that mug makes it way home to the recipient’s office. I’d personally stay away from branded USB keys as much as I would from pens, they tend to be small in capacity (= useless = quickly thrown in a drawer or the garbage), and costly.
5. Vehicle Wraps
Vehicle wraps are another way that you can get the word out there about your business. Vehicle wraps can be extremely effective because people spend a great deal of time commuting. When they are at the wheel, and there is nothing else to look at, they will definitely check out a vividly designed vehicle wrap or other signage. Provided your business and message resonates with commuters, in the area where you are advertising, this can be a successful and more cost effective option compared to billboards, or other types of visual advertising.