The internet is filled with vague top-level advice masquerading as useful marketing ideas.
Marketing ‘tips’ like…
Create content that goes viral
Generate a big social media following
Become a trusted advisor in your industry
… are about as useful as a chocolate teapot when you’re just starting out. Achieving big stuff like that can seem as out-of-reach as a mission to Mars.
Now don’t get me wrong – that high-level stuff is important.
But here’s the problem:
Everyone is trying to achieve those same things! You’re competing with millions of other businesses who are banging out the same stuff on the same channels.
So how about trekking off the beaten path a bit?
The internet is filled with creative ways to get your message in front of people. And the best news is that your competition has no clue about most of them… yet.
Here are our top 5 fresh marketing ideas that are revolutionising online space right now.
1. Make fun and creative Vines.
Vines are quick six-second video clips that anyone can make to share on social media. The Vine app was created by Twitter (who are obviously fans of the short-and-sweet approach).
We all know online audiences have notoriously short attention spans. So these micro-videos hit the right spot – they’re quickly consumable, highly shareable, and lots of fun. They are only limited by your creativity, offering exciting new possibilities for building a strong brand following online.
In just three weeks of its release, Vine users captured over 100,000 videos in a single weekend. Since then, savvy businesses such as Urban Outfitters, MTV Style, Rolling Stone and Adidas have started using it as a fresh new way to get the attention of their target market.
Check out this brilliant initiative from UK fashion retailer ASOS that encourages customers to create a Vine when opening a purchase, upload it to social media, and tag it with #ASOSUnbox.
So get creative and educate, engage and entertain your audience. Vine is currently under-utilised for marketing, so with just a little work and a healthy dose of fun, your business could be a big fish in a small pond.
2. Get into Pinterest (seriously).
Pinterest is a lot more than just a bunch of pretty pictures of cakes and crafts. With over 70 million active users (and growing), Pinterest is the 4th largest source of traffic after Google, direct traffic, and Facebook.
And Pinterest users are not messing around– a whopping 87% of Pinners have bought a product because of Pinterest. People are there to look for things to buy.
Want more reach for your message? Twitter has nothing on Pinterest when it comes to going viral. Over 80% of pins are re-pins (compared to only 1.4% of tweets re-tweeted). Thanks to Pinterest’s board structure (as opposed to Twitter’s reliance on trending topics), when you pin something to your board on Pinterest, it’s likely that you’re the 10th person to do so. So pins live longer (an average pin can last months, not minutes), providing plenty of opportunity for it to keep spreading as more users find it and re-pin it.
So post your strongest visual assets (think templates, blog graphics, infographics etc) and link them to your webpages to drive traffic. If you’re a business that sells physical items, pin pictures of them along with keyword-rich descriptions. Just don’t be salesy – focus on adding value through beautiful and helpful imagery.
Sign up to Pinterest here and get started. It’s a good idea to set a countdown timer when you enter the site – the best intentions of spending five minutes browsing can easily blow up into 2 hours!
3. Develop Infographics for your market to share.
We humans are highly visual creatures. Almost 50% of our brains are involved in visual processing, and 90% of information that’s transmitted to the brain is visual. We engage better with visual content because it’s easier to understand (we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text). So we’re naturally drawn to colours and pictures that tell a story (posts with visuals result in 180% greater engagement).
Infographics bring visuals and data together in a stimulating combination that we just can’t resist. Search volumes for infographics are on a huge incline as our hungry eyes demand more of this type of content.
So whenever you’ve got something to communicate, invest some time into developing an infographic that people will want to share with their audiences. Infographics are easy to digest, highly linkable, and extremely engaging because of their visual appeal.
And with the overwhelming amount of information people receive every day, cutting through the clutter is more important than ever to get your business noticed.
4. Use Podcasts to get your message heard.
Your marketing is probably limited to blogging, email, and PPC… but people like to consume media in different ways. Some people (like me) like to read. Some like to watch videos, and audio is their number one choice for others. Many clever marketers are podcasting regularly to connect with their audience through this less crowded channel.
Edison Research has reported that one-third (33%) of all Americans 12 years of age or older now say they have listened to at least one podcast, and Apple iTunes now boasts over one billion podcast subscriptions (and counting).
Super-successful entrepreneur Pat Flynn gets more downloads per day for his podcasts than unique visitors to his blog (and his blog is pretty damn big).
We see five major benefits of podcasting:
1. Podcasts are fast (most are 20-60 minutes in length) and easy to create.
2. They help build relationships with fellow influencers via guest interviews.
3. Podcasts keep visitors on your website longer, which wins Google’s favour.
4. Transcribed podcasts double up as blog posts (so you catch the attention of readers as well).
5. Hearing your voice helps create personal connections with your listeners (which increases loyalty).
Whether you start your own podcast or focus on reaching out to industry influencers to guest on their shows, podcasting is a great way to stand out from the crowd and build brand authority in your space.
Start now – download audio editing software such as Audacity and capitalise on this fast-growing marketing channel.
5. Show your true colours on Periscope.
Periscope is a new app that allows you to live stream to your audience. Although live streaming has been around for a while, it’s starting to really take off thanks to social media. Big brands like Red Bull, Spotify, and Mountain Dew are all early adopters of this fresh new marketing platform.
The key to Periscope’s appeal can be summed up in one word: authenticity. After years of being manipulated and bombarded by old-school in-your-face marketing, we just don’t trust companies any more. People want to deal with people, not faceless brands. The statistics are practically shouting from the rooftops – 74% of consumers buying decisions are influenced by recommendations from real people on social media.
So giving your audience an authentic, unedited view of your business is an extremely powerful way to build connections with your target audience. As the Periscope team put it:
‘A picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around.’
Although brands like Red Bull might have a bigger budget to create amazing pieces such as footage of Felix Baumgartner’s Stratos Jump, there are so many ways to use Periscope to tell your brand’s story in a new way.
Show Q&A sessions, interviews, behind-the-scenes office shenanigans, demo your products, show your wacky side!
Jump on to Periscope here and start getting personal.
Get on board before everyone else does.
For any business new or old, a diversified approach to marketing is the best way to ensure reliable success. By using the new ideas I’ve written about here, you can expand your brand’s reach in new channels that aren’t saturated… yet.
So check out at least a few of the ideas and become a pioneer of some of these revolutionary new ways to market yourself online.
I hope you got huge value from this article! Please share with your friends online and spread the word.