Maybe you’re at a point where you’ve tried all the most well-known marketing strategies and still fall short of goals. On the other hand, perhaps you’re happy with your current marketing plan overall but want to ensure it includes some techniques that your competitors may overlook.
Here are several marketing strategies that marketing teams typically don’t choose as often as others. However, as you’ll soon see, there are valid, compelling reasons to implement them while running your business.
1. Local Collaborations
Collaborative marketing, or co-marketing, happens when brands join forces to achieve mutual benefits. You might have heard about major brands trying that approach, such as when Doritos and Taco Bell came together. In that instance, the fast-food chain featured a taco shell made with Doritos tortilla chips.
However, you may not see local collaborations as frequently. The good news is that they’re relatively easy to do and could drive customer traffic and awareness. Consider an example where people who go to a movie can get 20% off at the restaurant next to the cinema by displaying their ticket stubs. Similarly, if a person shows their meal receipt at the movie theater, they might get a free small drink. Both businesses could promote the dinner-and-a-movie angle to increase traffic and interest.
When considering possible ways to join other businesses, think of ways to appeal to customers’ needs. For example, a garden center might collaborate with a local bookstore to offer an assortment of books for beginners eager to develop their green thumbs. Then, the bookstore staff could give a coupon for the local garden business to any customer who buys a gardening book.
Local collaborations work best when both parties perceive a fruitful relationship. Customers should also view the pairing as convenient and helpful. That way, their first impression will be that the companies are putting their needs first rather than merely trying to boost profits. You can also see from the examples here that collaborating with local businesses does not necessarily mean investing in costly new materials. Start working with the resources each company presently has.
2. In-Depth Comparison Guides
You’ve probably been in a situation of trying to pick between two products in the same category. After doing all the research required to help you narrow the options that much, you might have typed in a search engine query such as, “[Product name] vs. [Product name]. When people get deep into their buying journeys, they often do such searches to find side-by-side comparisons of the products that most interest them.
However, comparison guides benefit businesses, too. Maybe you run a software company specializing in tools for e-commerce brands. If so, writing a comparison guide about how your product stacks up against your top competitor could make it easier for potential customers to get the information they need. It can also help a company rank when internet users type in versus-type search queries.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to stick with comparing your company with another. Instead, you might compare two definitions or concepts that people often mistakenly use interchangeably or don’t know how they differ. Doing that helps you show expertise to potential customers, helping them trust your company.
Maybe your company offers indoor air quality testing. You could produce a guide informing people of air purification versus air filtration. At the end, mention how someone can book an air quality test and remind them that representatives from your company can help them choose which solutions to use if they get undesirable results.
3. Text Messaging
Text messaging is an accessible and widely used communication channel. Numerous studies show that people like receiving texts from businesses and open them quickly. Even better, retailers communicate with consumers via text messaging report that most of them bought things later. However, text message marketing from businesses is still not a mainstream practice.
You may already have customers’ phone numbers and not yet used them for texting. However, it’s likely okay to do that without getting further permission from them. For example, if a person provided their phone number to enter a contest, the fine print on the form might have said that your company reserves the right to contact them for reasons outside of the competition using that number. If so, that means you could call or text them via the number they provided.
When choosing this strategy, consider specifics like frequency and the type of content that your customers would want. Also, think about how you might use texting to cut down on paper-based communications. Maybe you run a veterinary office and typically give people postcards to remind them of their pets’ next vaccination dates. An alternative might be to text them reminders instead and encourage recipients to text back “yes” to confirm a suggested appointment date.
Also, explore how text message marketing could complement your other efforts. For example, if you send an email about an upcoming sale, distribute a text message code that people can use to get an even deeper discount on what they buy. You’ll also want to avoid bombarding people with texts. Otherwise, they might get fed up and start ignoring the communications. One option is to set expectations when people provide their phone numbers. You might say that they’ll receive texts from you, but not more than twice per week.
4. Gift Cards
Most people know at least a few friends or family members that pose particular challenges when it’s time to buy presents for them. Maybe those people seem to have everything they need. Alternatively, perhaps it’s hard to determine whether they’d like something enough to consider it a thoughtful gift. These uncertainties are some of the main reasons why gift cards have become so popular. Offering them can also present your business as providing an easy solution.
A recipient can use them to buy anything a merchant sells. Then, purchasers don’t worry about people not liking their presents. Individuals who get gift cards also often spend more than the amount received. That behavior helps businesses by increasing their profits and enabling people to get more acquainted with their product lines, menu items or services.
Additionally, if your business opts for a branded gift card design, the company could come to mind whenever a person notices the card in their wallet. Gift cards support people’s activities in the online realm, too. For example, if your store has an online portal or app, give gift card users the option of typing in their details and getting credit to use via the internet or in person.
Another simple but effective strategy is to place gift card displays at key locations around your business. For example, if you own a restaurant, offer gift cards at the cash register. If your store has an aisle with wrapping paper and decorations, place gift cards there to catch the attention of people who are likely celebrating something special.
You may think that launching a successful business podcast requires a fancy studio and a huge budget. However, numerous tools exist that make podcasting more affordable and accessible than people expect. Plus, as the COVID-19 pandemic required many people to stay in their homes as much as possible, some podcast hosts that formerly used studios found they could still release high-quality episodes from their bedrooms, even without an assortment of pricey equipment.
Before diving into the podcast-creation process, decide what you want to achieve with the endeavor and how you’ll go about it. Is your main goal to sell things, or are you trying to educate people with first-hand tips? Alternatively, maybe you want to raise brand awareness.
Think about the show’s format after that. One popular option is to interview a guest who is an expert on a topic you want to cover. Another possibility is to invite several people to participate in a panel discussion. A significant advantage of inviting experts on the podcast is that you can rely on them to provide the knowledge that listeners want without possessing it yourself.
Another specific to iron out is how frequently to release new content. If your industry is a fast-paced one associate with plenty of newsworthy events, you might offer short episodes each weekday. However, if your podcast features tips and tricks, it may be better to publish weekly or less often to give people time to implement what you suggest.
Podcasts make sense for businesses because they give those entities more control over the stories that people consume and the views they hold — particularly those related to the company. A podcast also lets broadcasters deliver content that helps people recognize the human side of the business. For example, you could feature team member spotlights.
Reddit gets billions of views per month from a global user base. There are also tens of thousands of active communities called subreddits. You might initially overlook Reddit in your marketing strategy. However, the site presents various opportunities to help your business grow. It also keeps consumers informed by making them more aware of your business.
Firstly, when creating Reddit posts, you don’t want to come across as trying to make a hard sell. People who use Reddit embrace an upvote/downvote system to give feedback about posts they deem valuable or useless to the conversation. That means you’ll likely get a much warmer reception by contributing pertinent stuff and fully disclosing your company affiliation.
Besides posting in forums relevant to your expertise and business, consider hosting a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) event. As you might guess from the name, it allows fellow Reddit questions to pose questions about anything that’s on their minds. However, many hosts try to steer the conversation. They might say something like, “I worked on Google’s machine learning team for five years and am particularly interested in how technology can help people with disabilities. Ask me anything!”
Another option is to run paid ads on Reddit. Those appear in subreddits and look like normal posts. However, they’ll say “PROMOTED” at the top in small print. If you take that approach, one essential consideration is to decide whether to leave commenting unlocked. Letting people comment could open meaningful conversations, but it may also attract trolls. Fortunately, it’s possible to enable or disable comments as desired. You might turn them on to see how it goes, then change your mind later.
Try These Strategies To Diversify Your Marketing Plan
It’s easy to lapse into a pattern of relying on the same tried-and-true marketing strategies year after year. However, doing that may lead to subpar results. When you’re ready to shake things up a bit by using a lesser-chosen marketing method, these options are well worth pursuing.
They can help you grow your audience, increase sales and enhance customer experiences. Moreover, becoming familiar with new methods makes your company more flexible and able to adapt to change.