Businesses are more and more looking to alternative marketing for getting their message out. Although traditional marketing campaigns, such as print, B2B, and Internet strategies, are still going strong, creative entrepreneurs are discovering newer and cheaper ways to get their products and services in front of consumers eyes.
Electronic media is prolific and expanding exponentially. Email blasts, and spamming, continues to take the Web by storm, literally, as evidenced by the dozens or hundreds of unsolicited messages found in your spam folder each day. Yet, they are surprisingly effective due to their repetitive nature, like subconscious brainwashing!
Social networking is booming, with many large-scale or innovative enterprises setting up Facebook or similar accounts, and administrators signing up at professional websites like LinkedIn where they can casually discuss their business while making social contacts and networking across their industries. Tweeting, blogging, and even texting promotions are growing quickly; but alternative marketing extends beyond the web.
In many industries, actors are used to represent a brand or even an employee, member, or satisfied customer. The Statue of Liberty for Liberty Taxes is becoming renowned in cities where the franchises place a costumed figure on street corners to catch the attention of drivers at busy intersections. Companies such as Oculu, an online video platform, will provide the actors, and even will write the script for your site.
Print Media is a traditional form of marketing; and provide a mind numbing number of options to advertise in. In fact when owning a business such as a restaurant or bar, you are constantly being pitched on why their publication can benefit you most. Other forms of print advertising that are more “alternative” include pens, matches, grocery bags, erasers, chopsticks, fliers, calendars, stickers and posters which are usually associated with guerrilla marketing. The trick is to have the product be a useful item which will more likely to be viewed over and over. Giving yourself opportunities to Distributing promo items to the masses at trade shows, networking events, and large networking events, will boost the effect quickly and efficiently.
Companies that specialize in certain services, like tutoring, may hand out free kids’ books or colored chalk to advertise their services. Hair salons or spas may have brushes, combs, or manicure kits imprinted with their shop’s logo and contact information.
Alternative marketing can go beyond simple gifts or promotional distributions. Some entrepreneurs, like a masseuse, for example, offer free samples of their wares. Volunteer services and demonstrations, or even brief training sessions help to make the public aware of a new or growing business while generating good will. Giving a talk to local schools or civic groups, donating a free product to charity, or presenting a demonstration about some aspect of your company business are all tried and proven ways to get the public to take notice.
Contests and competitions are more ways to attract public awareness, especially with prizes or free giveaways to the winners.
Self-publishing an ebook or POD (print on demand) books present a professional “calling card” when going on the speaking circuit. Not only are books an additional revenue stream, but they also promote your business and represent you as an established expert.
As you contemplate growing your business through alternative marketing strategies, look for ways to push the envelope without alienating potential customers. People are always interested in new ways of doing things, so with a little ingenuity and creativity, your business will become the latest buzz that everyone is talking about.