11 Unusual Digital Marketing Ideas That May Just Work
June 29, 2018
Brighthaus welcomes Patrick Foster as guest contributor
You think you’ve tried all the traditional ways of marketing your business? Think again — and get out of the box. Switch up your tactics with our 11 counter-intuitive methods, and you just might find your profits soaring.
1. Counteract an ingrained image
Make people instantly pay attention to your company by contradicting an image that’s become ingrained in their minds. The shock factor of seeing something unexpected and uncanny can help raise engagement levels and improve brand uplift. Whether it’s fear, confusion, or surprise, going against the grain can be powerful. Think of it as your own form of guerrilla marketing — but, as with anything ‘guerrilla’, the stakes can be high. You need to ensure that you toe the line and keep things in good taste.
2. Have an opinion
Some companies decide to stay neutral when it comes to international events and topical news, but this could be your chance to shine. If a particular news story relates to your brand in a tangible way, it’s good to jump on the back of that and take on a more journalistic role. You should also see increased traffic to to your site while that particular topic is hot. If you decide to embark on creating viral, newsy content, make sure you balance data with thorough analysis and a healthy dose of humor.
3. Opt for budget productions
Ditch the flash videographers and professional photographers and use your smartphone to snap pictures and film video when you’re out and about. This raw, unedited material will help you come across as more genuine to your customers and save you a huge amount of money (you can thank us later).
4. Leave out the big guys
Influencers have been big news in the world of ecommerce marketing for a while now, but it’s time to scale down. Well, scale down the big dogs at least. Spending vast amounts of your budget on semi-celebrities to promote your products isn’t as effective as it was. Users have learned to pick out the tricks.
The key to brand success is to target rising social media stars before they hit the height of fame, because these micro-influencers receive more engagement — plus the engagement is from a more engaged niche audience less prone to cynicism.
5. Forget reaching out to new customers
In business, everyone is obsessed with expanding their reach and obtaining new customers, but what about your existing ones? People who have used your company before may be easier to persuade to do so again, so think about rewarding your loyal clients with regular discount codes and deals to keep them coming back for more.
6. Repeat yourself on social
Promotion on social media doesn’t cost a lot of money, but it does require a heck of alot of time and attention. Save yourself the stress and recycle your social content. You get over 30x more click-throughs on a post that’s shared more than once. Just be sure to be savvy about when you are posting — for example, if you are going to repeat a post, do so on different days of the week and at different times to reach new audiences.
7. Negatively subvert everything
Sorry to be a downer, but negativity sells. Posts with a negative spin receive dramatically more user engagement. It can be something as simple as turning a blog post from ‘5 Must-have Christmas Gifts’ to ‘The 5 Christmas Gifts You’ll Hate Yourself for Wanting’. Play on people’s fears and anxieties a little more, but keep it light (à la Buzzfeed).
8. Play games with your customers
Okay, we don’t mean actually mess them around. We’re talking about fun new ways to interact with your brand followers.
Use people’s love of quizzes by thinking up a unique quiz that advertises your company. At the end, you can offer the user a discount code to encourage them to buy from you.
Or you can be one step ahead of the game and go virtual with your brand — providing your clients with augmented reality demonstrations of what it’s like to interact with your products could be the key to the next level of business success.
9. Promote another brand
Seeing a constant stream of self-promotion on a brand’s social media is very off-putting. Break up the bragging by talking about a different company instead.
We don’t mean giving a direct rival a glowing review (now that would be weird), but perhaps select a brand that complements yours in some way. For example, a graphic design company could post a profile about a good copywriter or marketer they like to work with. It always looks good when companies are seen to collaborate and share work.
10. Make long videos
The average online user’s attention span is decreasing. So why the hell would you post long videos, specifically? Well, quick snapshot videos only scratch the surface, and the advantage of producing longer videos is that you can tackle more in-depth topics. If you have a thorough, real-time how-to video on one of your more complex products, watching the entire video may convince a customer to make a purchase.
If you don’t already use videos on your product pages, you should look into adding them. You can film a review, demonstration or tutorial, put it up on YouTube or Vimeo, then embed it in your page. If you have a custom-built site, run the prospect by the developers, and if you built your store in a quick eshop maker like Shopify, you’ll be able to find an add-on, extension or plugin to make it fairly easy (I’ve used Easy Video to good effect before).
While using YouTube’s hosting to lighten the load on your website, you can also monetize the videos to make you a little extra on ad views in the process — what’s not to love?
In the end, forget about following the herd when it comes to ‘optimum’ blog post or video length — make up your own mind on what feels right.
11. Stop digital marketing
Of course we don’t mean jack it in altogether, but putting marketing on the back burner may not be such a bad thing. Take a few months and turn your focus to your UX (user experience) instead.
Think about developing your products to keep them current, and analyzing your entire user journey. Focusing your energy on these areas will ensure that when you do come back to marketing you’ll have great products and a slick, optimized site to promote.
Equipped with ground-breaking ideas to burst out of that marketing box? Now you’re all set to produce a digital marketing strategy that will deliver big results.
Patrick Foster is a writer and ecommerce expert from Ecommerce Tips — an industry-leading ecommerce blog that offers practical marketing advice so your online store receives the exposure it deserves. Check out the latest posts on Twitter @myecommercetips.