Broaden Your Horizons (and Audience) with Outside-the-Box Marketing Ideas
Is your marketing stuck in a rut? Do you constantly draw from the same bag of tricks, with predictable results?
If you’re keen to expand your audience, and possibly find some new customers, it’s high time to try some outside-the-box techniques. Variety is the spice of life, after all.
Let’s mix it up!
Go Old School
We here at Randall-Reilly are the first to sing the praises of cutting-edge digital advertising. That’s not to say we’re opposed to traditional marketing tactics, however.
Just because something’s been around for ages doesn’t mean it’s obsolete. Musty doesn’t mean meaningless!
When’s the last time you sprinkled some old-school elements into a campaign? You might be surprised by the response you get.
Print ads, especially in niche publications with engaged, targeted audiences, are still remarkably effective. Print is far from dead.
Aside from print, billboards, posters, t-shirts, banners, and even mud flaps can still be effective ways to promote your brand, attract attention, and increase exposure. Just make sure to incorporate unique URLs and phone numbers as much as possible so you can track ROI.
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget about events. As cynical, insular and independent as we’ve become, we still crave fellowship, togetherness, and enjoying shared experiences. Events can bring people together and establish genuine connections. They should factor into your marketing mix.
Have you ever considered collaborating with another company? It could be a joint study, a co-hosted event, a blog post exchange, or maybe a community charitable endeavor.
Whatever you come up with, the idea is to participate in some sort of symbiotic activity that will introduce you to a new audience.
Or you can always just start a social media beef with a rival. That’s 100% effective for garnering attention.
Ride the Wave, Baby
Newsjacking, or piggybacking off of trending news, can be a risky gambit. But responding in real-time to real-world events can help you show a human side to your company.
Weaving your content in with current events shows a level of outward concern, awareness and engagement, and provides an opportunity to drive traffic by leveraging hot topics.
Tread carefully though, and mind what news you’re ‘jacking.’ A single tone-deaf tweet can create a PR nightmare.
If it’s inspiration and ideas you seek, look abroad. Take some time to peruse international ad campaigns, websites, global marketing initiatives, fads, and worldwide industry trends. Study how your counterparts around the world do their jobs. See what other industries are doing to generate buzz and pique interest.
If something seems to be working elsewhere around the globe, chances are it will resonate here in the U.S., too.
Reaching out to different communities and niche markets here in the U.S. may also infuse your marketing with fresh perspectives, and help build a new audience.
Generate Your Own Coverage
Blogging is great. Newsletters are fantastic. Keep on updating that website and churning out interesting, useful content, but in the meantime, consider ginning up coverage in other ways.
How, you ask? How about helping a reporter out, or tapping someone on your staff to write a column, or contributing a one-off article for an external publication?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
Speaking of putting yourself out there, have you considered side-project marketing? You might not be able to offer a world-changing technology or service, but perhaps you have some in-house insights to share? A handy spreadsheet, template, or calculator?
Freebies and samples are always good for business. They create easy entry points and make for great conversation starters.
Your side project might already exist in another department somewhere.
Try to come up with something that complements your business and that your customers might find useful. That’s a tremendous first step toward building rapport, which can open the door for more substantive, salesy discussions down the road.