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4 Unconventional Marketing Tactics to Grow Your Business

ByDmitry Dragilev,
business.com writer
|
Oct 06, 2019
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> Marketing
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It's not often that you find unique and unconventional marketing tactics that actually work for businesses today. Here are four worth trying.

Marketing tactics don't work forever. In fact, in the modern world, they fade into obscurity more quickly than ever. What worked to acquire customers and develop a brand five years ago is likely not nearly as effective today. As a result, being creative and staying on the cutting edge of what's possible is more important than ever.

Unfortunately, coming up with new marketing strategies isn't easy, so steal these ones! Here are four unconventional marketing tactics and ideas you can put in place today.

1. Start a pop-up website campaign.

Are you familiar with pop-up shops? If not, let me give you some background. Retailers and startups often open pop-up shops to gain traction. Essentially, a brand takes over a location it doesn't own and hosts a surprise event to sell its merchandise for a limited time.

For instance, Spanish shoemaker Kelme started a pop-up shop in Madrid's city center that ran for three days. Aligning it with a push to engage with fashion bloggers, the shop sold more than 250 sneakers over the weekend.

Pop-up shops often result in viral exposure and massive boosts in sales. Why not take that idea and use it online? With a website builder, you can fire up a new website in just a few minutes using templates.

For example, let's say you wanted to run a charity campaign for your brand to develop awareness. Instead of creating another page on your existing website, you can develop a new, single-page website to promote it. 

This tactic gives you the benefits of a very clean URL, a unified site design where people aren't clicking away to the homepage and a laser-focused campaign that is easy to promote. 

2. Host high-profile guests on your podcast.

Podcasts have become extremely popular in recent years. Millions of people are consuming podcast content on a daily basis. While this is great news for brands looking to capitalize on podcasting, it also makes it more competitive. Standing out on iTunes or Spotify is hard. There are tons of podcasts in almost every category. How do you make your podcast stand out?

Start by booking high-level guests on your podcast. You don't need to be famous to host someone else who has a high profile. In fact, many people don't reach out to high-profile guests for this exact reason: They believe they will never get a response.

But the podcast community is very friendly and welcoming. Go against the grain and campaign for big guests to boost your podcast. [Read related article: How to Boost Your Podcast's Traffic]

It's all about persistence. Reach out, sell your story and your podcast, and keep trying. Once you get a single high-profile guest, use their appearance on your podcast as leverage to get more.

Here are a few tips:

  • Target people who have something to promote, like a new book, product or feature.
  • Combine forces with your existing network to double your reach, then connect independently. 
  • Attend conferences to meet people in real life, then set up a virtual meeting or podcast down the line.
  • Ask your guests for referrals after the successful interview.

3. Go old-school with direct mail. 

Direct mail is dead. Radio is dead. Digital is the future. 

I’m sure you've heard all of those statements, maybe even by the same person in the same sentence. But they couldn't be further from the truth. According to a 2017 study by the Go Inspire Group, direct mail is alive and well. In that study, direct mail produced more return on investment and profit than email. When combined with email, it produced even more revenue. 

The study created a campaign for one of the agency's clients, which had a broad-appeal product, targeting 240,000 customers. One group received a piece of direct mail, another was sent an email, and a third group got both.

While the reply rates were very similar, the financial results weren't. This is how much incremental revenue each campaign generated per customer:

  • Email group: Under $2
  • Direct mail group: Around $7
  • Group that received both: Over $7 

Direct mail may have crashed and burned a few years back, but people still open their mail on a daily basis. Also, now that your competitors have pulled out of direct mail, it's less crowded and less saturated. Direct mail is back, and it's time to capitalize before your competition catches on. [Looking for a direct mail marketing service? Check out our best picks and reviews.]

Start a direct mail campaign and tie it back to your website. Try to funnel your direct mail targets to a custom landing page that speaks to their needs and market. Tailor your landing page with copy that talks about the direct mail piece, ensuring proper message match. 

The key with direct mail, in both ROI and analytics tracking, is bringing those offline engagements back online. Whether through a landing page URL or a contact email address (clearly displayed on the piece of mail), include a call to action that pulls recipients to your site. This will both bring in traffic and allow you to track the success of the campaign. 

4. Offer 'hot takes' that go against the grain.

Creating content marketing for your business is great. The only problem is that everyone is doing it, and you need to stand out.

One way to do this is by using content analysis tools to show you how to make your content better than your competition (i.e., content that shows up on the first page of Google results). These tools will recommend certain content changes you should make to stand out from all the other search results and content articles. 

A simple Google search for SEO tips or advice on how to grow your business results in millions of blogs saying the same things. It's normal, it's commonplace, and it's downright stale for most readers. It's why they only click on the top-ranking posts, because they at least know they can expect high-quality content.

Standing out and driving clicks on SERPs with standard content is nearly impossible. That's why you need to be producing "hot takes" for your content.

For example, take a look at the headline on this post from Codeless: "Can We Please Stop the Bullshit Marketing Content? We're Better than This." Now imagine you just searched for articles about content marketing. Would you click on "5 Content Marketing Tips" or that? Probably the latter. 

Why? It's striking. It's different. It goes against the grain, forcing you to question what you thought was right. This is the type of unconventional marketing that can help you develop a brand even when thousands of others just like you exist. 

Marketing strategies have to change constantly over time if you want to continue to produce results. Put these four unconventional tactics to use today to switch up your marketing and bring in more customers. 

Dmitry Dragilev
Dmitry Dragilev
See Dmitry Dragilev's Profile
Dmitry single-handedly grew a startup from zero to 40 million page views through SEO and got acquired by Google. He has translated his know-how into JustReachOut.io, a SaaS launched in early 2014, which is now used by 4K+ entrepreneurs, small businesses and startups (as well as big brands such as Airbnb, HubSpot, Leadpages and Nickelodeon) to pitch relevant journalists and get press coverage on autopilot without the help of PR firms. Dmitry is a regular contributor for Forbes, Entrepreneur, TNW and a number of other publications: https://www.criminallyprolific.com/press/
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