If there’s one thing that every business owner knows, it’s that marketing is one of the most important parts of any business. After all, customers are at the heart of your business, and without marketing, there’s no way you would ever be able to reach them. A strong marketing campaign can not only increase the visibility of your brand but can foster customer loyalty, a strong emotional connection, and even create a link in the customer’s mind that extends far beyond the company itself. For an incredible example of just how effective marketing can truly be, you just have to look at marriage proposals. If you or anyone you know has ever gotten engaged then there was likely one very important item involved: a diamond ring. But, despite what you might think, a diamond ring as a symbol of engagement is actually a very recent development. It was all down to a mid-twentieth century marketing campaign by the De Beers Corporation. And now you wouldn’t ever imagine proposing without that all important diamond ring. Now if that’s not a perfect example of the sheer power of an effective marketing campaign, then I don’t know what is! The major problem that a lot of businesses, especially startups, face is that they don’t know how to make the most of their marketing really. A smaller business simply won’t have the budget or resources to create a huge campaign, so they need to think differently. The mistake that so many startups make is that they try to follow the lead of bigger companies but on a smaller scale. This means that they’re punching well above their weight class. Instead, you should be willing to take risks and try something different. With that in mind here are some ways that you can make your marketing strategies more creative. In doing so, you’re far more likely to, not only get the attention of your customers but to keep it as well.
Now this doesn’t just mean the products that your business is built around. Instead, think about small products that you can give away at trade shows or to customers and clients. On the simplest level, something like a branded pen or pencil can be really effective, after all, every time someone needs to write something down, they’ll be reminded of your company. But there are other ways of going about this as well. Let’s say that you have a mascot for your company. A mascot is a fantastic branding technique in its own right. It creates an immediate connection in the customer’s mind and helps them develop a strong emotional attachment to your company. This is especially true if your mascot is particularly cute or entertaining. So why not bring your mascot to life? There are companies out there that will create custom plush toys based on your mascot. That way you have something cute, cuddly and (most importantly) recognizable that your customers are sure to love! If you feel like this technique will apply well to your business, then you can learn the process here.
Now, no one can predict whether or not something is going to go viral. But with viral marketing, you can use that grass-roots, home-movie quality that makes so much viral content so successful to your advantage. Why not set up something like a flash mob or a large-scale pop-up event. It doesn’t even need to make that explicit a mention of your company, in fact, customers are often very cynical of overt marketing campaigns. That means that when using viral marketing, the more subtle you can be the better. The important thing is to create something engaging that gets the customer’s attention, not to distract them by trying to guide them towards your products forcefully.
Social media is just about the most remarkable modern marketing tool there is. What it has essentially done is revolutionize the concept of word of mouth. These days, rather than trying to reach an audience of millions, you create something that one person will share so that ten of their friends will see. Then each of those ten friends will share it. And it goes on like that until your social media posts have found a huge audience without you having to lift a finger. The crucial point here is that you need to make sure that your content is interesting, engaging and entertaining. Once again, people don’t want to be explicitly advertised to. Look at some of the most successful corporate twitter accounts, many of them rarely directly advertise, and if they do it’s in an irreverent, humorous way. Social media can potentially be the most powerful tool in your marketing arsenal, you’ve just got to be sure that you’re using it correctly.
Previously, memes have been dismissed by a lot of businesses as being unimportant and overly simple. And it’s true, memes are extremely simple, but that’s actually one of their biggest strengths. Instead of trying to build a detailed marketing campaign, a meme cuts straight through all of that to deliver something funny and light to your customers. Again, try not to weigh it down with your advertising. If you decide to use memes as a marketing tool remember that they should be entertainment first and advertisements second.
Nothing gets an audience engaged with your business like involving them directly in something. Whether it’s a caption contest or a funny social media poll, creating a sense of interactivity breaks down many of the classic barriers that have existed between customers and businesses. That way your customers feel far more closely connected to you on an emotional level. It might seem subtle, but that kind of connection can make a huge amount of difference when it comes time for a customer to make a decision over where to take their business.