There are a lot of ways to market your brand. There are old-school methods, such as newspaper and broadcast ads and personal sales calls. The digital age has now moved email, pay-per-click, and content marketing into the mainstream.
Sometimes, you may just want to bump up your strategy to grab attention. When you do, consider taking some less conventional but highly effective measures. Here are four marketing tactics that need more attention because, executed well, they get more of it for your brand.
1. Retention Marketing
The philosophy behind retention marketing is tried and true. It’s less expensive to retain a customer than it is to groom a new one. Nurturing relationships to create loyal customers is a wise strategy.
There are some traditional ways of doing this, like rewarding customers with discounts and deals. You can keep your brand top of mind via regular email or direct mail contact. You can hang on to their won-over hearts by delivering consistently stellar service.
But customers who make a purchase aren’t the only ones you need to retain. How about those on the verge of buying who abandoned you somewhere in the process? You lose significant revenue when customers shop your website, click on specific products, and then leave them in shopping carts.
Add retention marketing strategies to your mix that reclaim these lost lambs. These include innovative digital ways to identify who those people are. Once you do, you can push out personalized messaging to bring them back to the fold to complete their purchase.
When developing your customer retention plan, don’t forget those on the edge. Pull them back up and reward them for sealing the deal. You may be surprised at how many just need a slight tug.
2. Public Relations
Public relations in a marketing strategy is an old tactic as well. You get a lot of value out of molding positive perceptions using earned media. But there are less conventional ways you can use PR to get the job done.
User-generated content like haul videos and customer reviews may be overlooked as a PR tactic. However, since it’s essentially free advertising, it fits the general definition. In the digital age, particularly among younger, more skeptical audiences, UGC is the best advertising money can’t buy.
The statistics regarding the effectiveness of UGC are persuasive. Whatever your brand is saying about itself isn’t nearly as effective as what a happy customer says about you. Their social media content, blogs, videos, and reviews expressing delight are the best (and cheapest) influencers of all.
PR is also at the crossroads of your content strategy. Industry thought-leadership content will catch the attention of journalists who are increasingly thirsty for grist to fill the digital mill. Content that catches the eyes of your customers — particularly images, infographics, and video — will be shared by them.
The endorsement nature of PR doesn’t mean you don’t need to invest energy and resources to produce it. A viral hashtag campaign, for example, requires significant thought and strategy. But the ROI of PR done well can make the effort well worth it.
3. Grassroots Marketing
The world has become smaller as the internet has grown. In the process, grassroots marketing has gotten a little lost in the shuffle. However, as customers seek greater connection, it’s time to dust off this tactic and get it back out there.
If you compare your marketing plan to your closest competitor’s, you’ll probably see a lot of similarities. Grassroots marketing targets specific niches. That’s what can set you apart and raise awareness of your brand above that of your rivals for customer affection.
Identify your niche audiences and their pain points, then take steps to acknowledge and address them. Create content that resonates with the niche and place it where they’ll find it. Remember, it’s OK to talk to only part of your customer base some of the time.
Develop a corporate social responsibility plan that addresses niche concerns. The fact is, nearly every audience segment is clamoring to do business with companies that embrace social good, not just profits. Align your values with your customers’ and make sure they know about them.
Grassroots marketing strategies should rely heavily on using social media for messaging and engagement. Talking about something other than your brand provides an opportunity to appeal to audience emotions. Tending their roots is a great way to cultivate a long and loyal relationship.
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4. Ambient Marketing
Ambient marketing is a classic guerilla marketing tactic. This unconventional method puts your brand front and center in unconventional locations. It’s precisely that dynamic that makes your brand memorable.
Get off the billboard and wrap your product around taxicabs, buses, or rail cars. It’s like applying Newton’s third law of motion to your marketing strategy. When your wrapped vehicle collides with the viewer — visually speaking — one gains momentum as the other slows down enough to see it.
Your budget may prohibit putting a giant brand-related object on the side of a building or in a public space. But you may be able to foot the bill for bus stop, window, or light pole stickers. Or you may be able to afford to hire a few talented artists and arm them with sidewalk chalk.
Pop-ups offer a great way to have your brand show up in unexpected places. Think about a tropical-themed pop-up on a snowy winter city street. A pop-up interview space on a college campus could net you a crop of summer interns — and potential customers newly aware of your brand.
Ambient marketing is all about the element of surprise. That’s what makes it memorable, reaches beyond your normal audience, and has the potential to go viral. Plus, it’s all done without intruding on the audience, and that’s a pleasant surprise.
Grab Some Good Attention
Conventional marketing tactics should be the foundation of your strategy. But don’t overlook the opportunity to get creative and shake things up a bit. If you pay attention to some unconventional tactics, customers and prospects will pay attention to you.