Dixie Somers
Dixie Somers has written 28 articles for SB Informer.
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5 Outside-the-Box Ways to Market Your Business on the Web

Dixie Somers

November 10, 2017

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Marketing concepts have continued to change over the past several years, but it seems that both small businesses and large enterprises are only following the latest digital trends instead of coming up with original ideas that will make their brands stand out. Outside-the-box thinking always has the risk of disconnecting from your audience, but here are several ideas that can work for you.

Do Something Special

Marketing today is all about “going viral”, or online word-of-mouth promotion. Even if you already have a strong audience and a good marketing concept, just advertising and interacting over the usual platforms isn’t going to get your company special attention. Everyone else is doing the same thing. Do something that’s truly newsworthy, but in a positive way. For instance, a man once shared his Starbucks card to buy coffee for random strangers, and Starbucks cleverly integrated this into their marketing. Your actions will impact audiences more than your advertising.

Affiliate or Referral Programs

Launching an affiliate program is a good way to spread the world. For a percentage of the sales they generate, people anywhere can join you organization and sell your product or service to their own networks, whether they do it directly or advertise on their own web sites. The risk is that these affiliates may come from interests you don’t want to be associated with, such as adult sites or offensive blogs. Be sure to set and enforce guidelines on what types of affiliate marketers you’ll accept.

Referrals are even easier. Just provide incentives for anyone who refers leads to your company, especially leads that convert to buyers. This could be anything from gift certificates to cash payments or merchandise. Happy customers will have further motivation to become your brand advocates. There are online services who can help you set this up.

Establish Personal Value

While some level of personal engagement is the norm, such as personalized emails or shopping experiences, making the customer a part of the business works even better. Consider Coca-Cola’s idea to have each can personalized with a customer’s name. You can do the same with your products and online content. Some customers will love the idea that you publish their testimonials showing their names and photos. Consider printing customer names and their favorite inspirational quote or slogan on your product labels. Hold regular contests for the best customer ideas or videos. Get them personally involved in your brand.

Show Appreciation

Don’t let yourself forget to say “thank you!” to your customers. But appreciation is even more meaningful if it’s unexpected. Try including the occasional free gift with orders from regular customers without advertising it. It will be a present surprise that helps to stimulate and strengthen the company-customer relationship. Email your personal thanks to high-spenders. You can reward them with extras that encourage them to buy more, such as limited-time free or rush shipping. You could also give your best customers the chance to opt-in to a more generous rewards program.

Professional Networking

One way to promote the integrity and quality of your brand is not with customers, but with industry peers. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, start one. Many businesses, such as Nu Skin, use LinkedIn as both a business profile and a marketing resource. Search for groups and influential individuals who can help you to learn, grow, and meet your own challenges. But be active instead of just sitting on the sidelines. Ideally, you want to be the one asking insightful questions or offering insightful solutions. The more you can grow your network and earn the respect of your industry, the more leads that you’ll find coming your way.

No idea is too “out there” if it generates a positive buzz with your audience. Unless your brand is all about sophistication and professionalism, having a little fun in your digital marketing is perfectly OK. Instead of sticking to the advice of the marketing gurus, focus on getting attention in your own way.


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