Proponents of marketing are quick to direct business owners to one of three things:
A. Search engine ads
B. TV commercials
I get it. These have been the staple with marketing a business. It’s easy to convince a new business owner to explore these options because they’ve seen them countless times as a consumer.
This isn’t to knock these methods (because they do account for the audience majority) but there are so many others that are well-worth the effort. Methods that are a fraction of the cost yet deliver incredible return on investment (once optimized, of course).
What are these methods I’m hinting at? Let me tell you five:
POP DisplaysPOP displays are so good at what they do that you never notice them. These are often the cardboard stands at the checkout that entices you to pick up those little goodies right before handing over your card. They’re extremely effective because of impulse purchases.
Additionally, the proximity of the item to the checkout creates a sense of importance. The displayed item conveys it has value, since it’s in a prime spot. This value spills over to sales and brand awareness.
Niche YouTube ChannelsForget the big channels that command high dollar and tries to reach broad audiences. Focus on the niche channels of a couple thousand followers. These followers are the early adopters – the die-hards – that are hooked on the channel.
Meaning… they’re the ones likely to have a sense of connection to the YouTuber. This YouTuber has yet to become popular so they’re willing to take the time to engage the audience personally. Sponsoring these individuals shouldn’t cost more than a typical ad campaign, either.
Pinterest DisplaysPinterest doesn’t receive nearly as many advertisers as Facebook, partially due to the limited targeting options. However, it can be a very effective platform to reach customers, especially for B2C companies that target female buyers. You don’t have to be an online brand to use Pinterest either. Companies like Indy Displays get many leads from Pinterest every month.
Brand AgentsPut out a call on Craigslist or one of the many micro job apps for a “brand agent”. This person will take your product and bring it into a public space where they’ll engage with interested parties. For services, they can subtly name drop the brand and service to those they’re chatting with.
Brand agents are an ingenious way of marketing the business in high traffic areas that would have cost thousands for display and print campaigns.
RetargetingEver notice how you’d visit a site and later find an ad for the very same site elsewhere? This is done through retargeting services. These services place a browser cookie on the user’s device to deliver ads on the network.
What’s amazing about this opportunity is the reach. Adroll, Perfect Reach, and ReTargeter have thousands of high-profile sites within their network. Your ads displayed on these top sites creates a higher perceived value to the brand. Retargeting individuals can carry higher costs but can have a significant ROI if they’re converted on the second go.
Referral/Affiliate ProgramsThese methods are by no means unknown but they do go underused in the small business environment, usually due to the complexity of implementing the program. The difficulty is far from the truth with new, intuitive platforms like Friendbuy or Referral Rock.
Customers and interested parties have access to referral codes, copy, and media once setup. This allows you to transform customers into sales personnel. They now have an incentive to refer the business outside of their love for it – the more they push the brand the more they’re paid – which can become explosive in potential in the right hands of an experienced marketer or influencer.
Give It a Try!The wonderful thing about these marketing methods is their low costs and learning curve. They may not reach the same amount of people as search ads, TV spots, and Facebook but where the audience lacks… it’s the laser targeting that counts.
These five methods add a unique blend of branding potential to your business efforts.
I’d recommend holding back just 10% of your marketing budget to explore these methods. If they fail to deliver the ROI you expected then it’s not a huge write-off. Yet, if they do then, well, you’ve found yourself quite an interesting vehicle for promotion and sales!