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Alternative Marketing: Why These Out-of-the-box And Unorthodox Strategies Work

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  • Alternative Marketing: Why These Out-of-the-box And Unorthodox Strategies Work

If you want to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace, there are a number of key things that your business needs to excel in. It’s easy to see why you need to provide products or services that people want to buy. But, promoting those products in a way that effectively reaches your potential customers is every bit as important.

alternative marketing

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Virtually every successful business already has a marketing strategy. A great marketing strategy will help you develop products that people want, and helps grow your brand.

Why Use Alternative Marketing?

If businesses already have marketing strategies, why should we look at alternative marketing approaches?

Traditional marketing methods will work, but they might not set you aside from your competitors. The trick is to market in a way that reaches people that your competitors might miss out on.

Successful organizations are usually those that innovate. For example, we’ve seen businesses switch to outbound call centers for better customer insights and less operational costs.

Your Marketing strategy should be no different. Increasingly, businesses are looking at unorthodox strategies that will make an impact on customers and give them the edge.

In this article, we’ll have a look at some alternative marketing approaches that could give your business the boost it needs.

Think about your audience

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Marketing is all about reaching potential customers and convincing them that your product, rather than those of your competitors, is the one they need. So, before we look at alternative marketing options, let’s think about our customers and our objectives.

Knowing what you want to achieve from a marketing campaign is vital if you don’t want it to flop. And you can’t really do this if you don’t know your target audience. Knowing your potential customers could inform your channels, the tone of your marketing, and its content.

But what are the best ways to learn about your audience? Let’s consider several options.

Create a Customer Persona

A useful step is to develop a customer persona. What is this? Well, it is simply a profile of a typical customer. A strong customer persona will help you to fine-tune your marketing. You may already hold a lot of data on your customers, and this will give you a flying start (if not, the next option will help).

Once created, your persona will give you a picture of demographics, interests, lifestyle, and, importantly, buying behaviors. The persona will help you to connect your marketing to the right people. It will also enable you to create promotions that they will engage with and attract them to your brand.

Use Analytics

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As mentioned previously, to understand your customers, and build persona profiles, you need data. But there’s no point in having data if you don’t understand it. That’s why having the right analytics software is essential.

For example, Google Analytics (GA) provides insights to help you learn about your customers. If you’re running a website, you could be sitting on a goldmine of data. GA helps you to unpack this information and build stronger reports.

Below, are just a few examples of what you can learn about customers from GA:

  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Geographic locations
  • The kinds of content they enjoy.

Talk to Customer Directly

There are few better ways of getting to know your customers than by talking to them directly. This could be a focus group, a survey, or a direct phone call. Since these conversations are usually carried out remotely, you’ll need the right software (apps like Line2 should help).

When talking to customers directly, set yourself a clear set of goals. What specifically do you want to learn about your customers? Use prompts and questions to guide the discussion in this direction.

Set Objectives

Now you better understand your customers, you can set objectives. You might have a range of goals, but what are the priorities for this marketing campaign?

Do you want to deepen ties with existing customers, reach new customers, or increase awareness of your brand? Perhaps you simply want to increase market share or profit. Whatever your priorities, the more you learn about your customers, the easier you’ll find the right solution.

Consider too, how visualizations can help you understand your data and build a better strategy. For example, infographics can be a useful way of getting your head around tricky data.

We now should have a clearer picture of our customers, let’s have a look at some alternative approaches to marketing.

Using Influencers

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One of the big changes to buying habits in recent years has been the huge growth of influencers. It has long been a facet of marketing to use product recommendations as a way of developing customer trust. Influencers take this to a whole new level.

They can have huge social media followings, and their views are trusted by their audience. Often, the ‘sell’ comes from the personality of the influencer rather than the merits of the product. But it is effective.

There are many influencer marketing examples that underline their effectiveness. One example is when the ‘Sleep Community’ Casper, teamed up with 7 YouTube vloggers to promote their mattresses. Immediately after the videos were released, Casper experienced leaps in sales.

So, do some research. Which influencers are likely to suit your brand and will reach your target audience?

If you can, team up with an influencer who loves your product. If they connect with your business’s ethos, even better. Use free video conferencing platforms so that you and your team can get to know them better.

By building a strong and lasting relationship with an influencer, you could be on to a winner.

Guerilla Marketing

This is one of the most ‘out of the box’ forms of marketing, but it can be hugely effective. It involves doing something eye-catching, different, and unexpected. Get it right, and you could create a big impact.

First, though, it will need a lot of planning. It can be a good idea to bring your most creative minds together. Encourage ideas, no matter how unusual they are. Think about impact, reach, and what it will say about your brand. You’ll also need to consider cost and achievability.

It’s hard to pin down what guerilla marketing looks like. Each form is different. Typically though, it will involve something eye-catching, maybe a message, or an art installation.

In September 2022, the rock band Pink Floyd illuminated the whole of the Battersea Power Station in magenta and pink. The words ‘ANIMALS REMIX’ ran the full length of the towers.

This promotion was not only visually striking for those in the vicinity, but reached countless numbers of people through social media and news channels.

Your budget might not stretch to this level. But this example paints a picture of what guerilla marketing can achieve.

Make the most of LinkedIn Connections

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Many businesses use LinkedIn’s account-based advertising as a form social media marketing. But are you using it to its maximum capability?

LinkedIn is a great way of keeping in touch with existing contacts but perhaps it’s even more useful when you use it to expand your network of connections. Connect with individuals with similar interests, especially those that might have an interest in your brand or products.

You can publish posts that will raise your profile and boost your brand. It’s a great way to promote new initiatives or brands. Used in a proactive way and connecting with influential players in your industry and you will really get noticed.

Native Advertising

Native advertising doesn’t sound very alternative, does it? After all, it has been the core of marketing since, well, marketing began!

So what makes Native Advertising different? Imagine you’re listening to a podcast. Next thing you know, an advert pops up which completely disrupts your experience. This can be irritating and isn’t likely to attract your attention for long.

But what if the item that came up looked like it belonged? Rather than interrupting the flow, it becomes something that the listener wants to explore more. It is paid advertising, but it fits right in.

This example shows how native advertising can support podcast marketing. But, of course, it can be applied to many different forms of content, including videos, articles, and blogs.

It might be an advert that fits into a website both visually and in terms of content. Or it could be a link to a related blog or service, which is followed by ‘readers of this article may be interested in’.

Native ads are often closely linked to users’ interests, which helps to boost purchase intent and conversions. Maybe it’s time to try them out!

Community Text Marketing

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Using SMS messaging in your marketing might seem like old hat. But Community messaging is an exciting platform that uses this established technology in a new way.

The focus of Community is to develop real interactions and promote strong relationships within the community. This is underpinned by genuine communications that show people that you care about them.

Increasingly, people want to feel a connection to their favorite brands. This is a great way of achieving that.

The existing SMS technology is actually one of Community’s key strengths. Not many don’t have access to a phone these days. And if you have a phone with messaging capability, you can access the service.

This tactic can help in ways. This includes growing your list, managing your audience, engaging at scale, and measuring results.

Combined with other tactics, such as standard sms and email marketing, it can boost your strategy.

Run Seasonal Marketing Campaigns

One mistake businesses can make is not paying sufficient attention to the changing needs of customers through the cycle of seasons.

Whether this relates to something as obvious as changing weather patterns or annual holidays, there is a lot to be gained from tailored campaigns.

You might run specific campaigns in the build-up to the December holiday season. Or they might relate to national days of celebration. You might want to promote items relating to summer vacations or other events.

Essentially, it all depends on the nature of your customer base. Make the most of social media to support these campaigns. The more you understand and build relationships with your customers, the more effective your seasonal promotions will be.

Use Videos to Promote Your Business!

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Many smaller organizations shy away from using videos, but this could be a big opportunity that is being lost!

Social Media has opened up huge opportunities to use video content to great effect. It’s now easier than ever to connect to people quickly and without a huge expense.

The videos could cover anything from informative content, to growing your reputation, to product promotion.

Lack of time and not knowing where to start are cited as the biggest reasons for not using video. With more and more organizations coming on board, make sure you are not left behind.

Don’t Overlook Other Factors

As we’ve explored there are many forms of alternative marketing available. You might want to spend some time researching each option. If your business is new, you’re probably excited to start marketing your brand. But don’t get too carried away and overlook basic factors.

For example, having the best logo is essential for creating a memorable brand (if you’re strapped for cash you could consider a free logo maker).

Then, with a clear brand image, you can move on to other factors such as marketing.

Will Alternative Marketing Methods Work?

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Traditional marketing approaches can be effective. But are they enough? Your competitors are probably doing exactly the same thing. What you need is to gain the edge, that way reaching customers that your rivals don’t have.

Your business is no doubt considering some ways to stay ahead of the competition already. For example, you might have invested in a CCaaS platform to boost your contact center. This same mindset should be applied to marketing.

With alternative forms of digital marketing, you can find approaches that are perfect for you. Take time to select strategies that fit your operation.

Your chosen vehicle will need to be appropriate for your target audience. You’ll need to deliver your messages in ways that will draw your customer’s interest. You’ll also want to build a bond with your customers and bring in new ones.

Done well, unorthodox marketing methods can deliver all of this. Perhaps it’s time that you explored the many alternatives out there. It might just give your marketing strategy the edge that you need to get ahead of the competition.

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