There are several ways to market your business – you could market it on digital media, print media or electronic media. Whatever you choose would depend on you. However, all of them have to be approached in a very strategic manner.
The first thing to do when planning your strategy is understanding your business and your customers. You also have to differentiate yourself from the rest of your competitors. All your goals should reflect in your marketing strategies as well as the means you use to market. If, for example, you’re a small business, newspaper ads and digital marketing can help you more than electronic media would.
Marketing, however, isn’t just limited to those. There are other cost-effective ways of marketing that can also have a high impact for your business. These days, it is important to make your brand stand out and set you apart from your competitors so that you can attract more consumers and have high business returns. The more creative you are with your ideas and the more you execute them well, the better.
Here are several unconventional or non-traditional ways to market your brand, products or services.
Surprise Consumers with Guerrilla Marketing
Guerrilla marketing has been around for years. However, it can still be considered as one of the most underutilized strategies in the marketing world. It is essentially marketing that does not feel like its marketing at since it is meshed so well to the environment and creates shock, interest and evokes emotions from those who see it.
Guerrilla marketing could be street art that you walk by and one day catches your eye, that’s on point and on trend or it could be a social awareness campaign that finds a way to embed itself into the regular everyday social consciousness using an avant-garde or unconventional approach. It can even be optical illusions that incorporate your product or brand to the existing environment where your ad is at.
A lot of big brands have ventured into guerrilla marketing by producing eye-catching public advertisements from the McDonald’s French Fries pedestrian crosswalk street art to KitKat’s bench installments. The list goes on and on.
What’s important about guerrilla marketing is that it is highly-targeted in terms of location, when it happens and execution. It doesn’t really replace the more traditional advertising plans but it does generate quite a buzz for your brand. It should also be cost-efficient, or at least does not require you to pay as much when compared to more traditional forms of marketing.
With guerrilla marketing, the possibilities are quite endless. All you need to have is a lot of creativity, authenticity and a knack for surprising your market.
Create Innovative Product Packaging
Innovative packaging has the potential to influence those all-important point of sale purchasing decisions which makes it a huge opportunity for businesses to own an important moment in the customer journey. In fact, the crowded, hyper-competitive grocery store can be used as a metaphor for a business’ marketplace because on those grocery store shelves it is a rare moment when products are literally stacked up against each other making it even more important for you and your brand to stand out in the crowd. A creative and eye-catching packaging can help with edging out the competition and drive more customers, more revenue and more growth to your business.
For example, a Moscow-based company, Nikita, makes the different types of pasta the star in a beautiful parade of innovative hairdos. They presented fettuccine as straight hair and macaroni as curly hair through a creative use of carton and see-through packaging.
Note earbud headphones were packaged in such a way that it looked like actual notes. And it did not only look like notes but it showed competitors and their consumers that less is more when it comes to packaging electronics.
Utilize Forums and Discussion Groups
Forums and discussion groups can be considered as a precursor to the internet. People have been using forums to exchange ideas and opinions about a wide range of topics. On the internet alone, there are thousands of forum sites that cover a multitude of topics ranging from technology, media, arts, hobbies and food. That being said, these discussion groups are great tools that can be used by brands and businesses to market their business.
In Reddit alone, there are hundreds of threads and subthreads where a variety of topics are discussed. In these threads you will sometimes see sponsored ads or even users who cautiously inject their websites either through their user signature or through link sharing. When using forums like this, however, you have to keep in mind that they are moderated, meaning you have to be careful on what you post and how you post it. If you are accused of spamming or it seems like your profile is just there for advertising purposes then you may be blocked or banned from the group.
There are also discussion groups called newsgroups which can be found through Usenet, that are more lenient when it comes to posting. Usenet newsgroups are mostly unmoderated and can also be used to market your business. What’s great about this is that there are thousands of newsgroups covering very niche topics. For example, if you are a food business focused on baked goods, you will be able to find a newsgroup that has an active community of members sharing their ideas and opinions on how to bake certain recipes, which products to use or where to buy ingredients. With that, you can easily and subtly inject your brand into conversations by commenting on discussions or even creating your own post.
Be More Socially Responsible
These days, companies have been focused on social responsibility whether it is protecting the environment, reaching out to charities or championing other different causes. By doing this, socially responsible companies are able to present their business as an attractive brand to both consumers and shareholders .
Being socially responsible in marketing will strengthen the reputation of a company and develop its identity. It also empowers employees to harness organizational resources available to them to do good which also improves the morale of workers and contributes to workforce productivity which definitely helps in business growth. More importantly, being more socially responsible makes companies more marketable.
When the marketplace is already competitive, standing out from the competition can be challenging. Companies who show an obligation to different philanthropic causes, however, are usually defined as more marketable than companies whose practices of social responsibility appear to be non-existent. Businesses, however, should remember that social responsibility efforts do not directly help in increased sales growth but it does help in gaining a good reputation that could eventually convert to customer loyalty.
Stand Out from the Crowd
While traditional marketing is still the preferred tool to promote a business, unconventional or non-traditional marketing is a great way to differentiate your brand from your competitors. Unconventional tools are sometimes underutilized, making it an ideal and cost-efficient way to reach out to untapped markets, enhance your brand image and ultimately bring in more sales and revenue to improve the growth of your business.