If you’re like many business owners, you already employ a variety of marketing tactics. Some of the more common digital marketing strategies include SEO (search engine optimization), social media, paid advertising, and email marketing. These are all effective for getting more leads and customers, as well as for engaging with existing customers. However, there are also some newer and more innovative techniques that are also worth exploring. Some of these are variations on familiar methods while others are completely new. The following are five creative marketing strategies to promote your business.
Webinars are no longer new, but they are still only used by a small percentage of businesses. They are often used to promote online marketing and self-development programs. However, this is a good way to engage with customers and prospects in any niche. There are now many platforms that allow you to create your own webinars at affordable prices. Even the free version of Google Hangouts is suitable for simple webinars. However, if you want more features it pays to upgrade to Google Hangouts for Business.
The key to a successful webinar is to offer something of real value to participants. While you can charge people to participate in a webinar, it’s usually best to offer them for free to attract a larger audience. Most viewers don’t want to sit through a long sales pitch. Interviewing an expert in your field is a good way to attract viewers. Another benefit of webinars is that you can record them and upload the video to YouTube and other sites.
- Podcasts and Internet Radio
Podcasts, like webinars, is a technology everyone is familiar with but most are not using in their businesses. Many podcasters are talking about sports, politics, and popular culture. However, there’s no reason people in other fields can’t take advantage of this powerful method of communication. Listeners download podcasts to their iPods, smartphones, and tablets and listen to them anywhere. Like audiobooks, podcasts are popular with commuters. People also listen to them at the gym and while doing errands around the house. Internet radio, patterned after traditional talk radio, has similar benefits.
There are definite benefits to building a following as a podcaster or internet radio host. On both of these platforms, you can share tips, interview experts, review products, and engage with listeners. While you can’t take calls on podcasts, it is possible to invite listeners to send you questions that you answer during the podcast. There are multiple platforms for both podcasting and internet radio. Blog Talk Radio offers a platform for both. You can create podcasts on your own and upload them to platforms such as iTunes. As with webinars, the key to successful podcasts is delivering value and not simply selling.
- Live Streaming Video
Streaming video is a trend that’s currently exploding. Facebook is now heavily promoting Facebook Live. YouTube recently introduced its own live streaming platform. There are others as well, such as Periscope and Ustream. While many people are using video streaming for social and entertainment purposes, there are also many ways for businesses to benefit from this.
Video is steadily overtaking text as a way to engage with audiences. Live streaming takes this a step further, letting viewers watch and interact with live broadcasts. Businesses with physical locations can stream from their stores or showrooms. Web-based businesses can use live streams to talk about their latest products or to conduct Q & A sessions with customers. Facebook Live is especially convenient if you use Facebook for marketing. One way to get the most out of this tactic is to conduct regular live broadcasts and invite people to tune in. Make sure you reply to people who make comments or ask questions.
- Connect With Influencers
Influencer marketing is a buzzword usually associated with large companies using celebrities to promote their products. There are also ways, however, for smaller companies to get in on this strategy. You don’t need to recruit A-list celebrities for this to work for you. You only need to find influencers who are well-known in your niche. Do plenty of research to find the right people. It’s not simply a matter of choosing influencers who are popular. You want to find people with loyal followings in an area relevant to your niche. The first step is always to reach out to influencers by offering value. Retweet them, link to their blog posts, review their books, and talk about them in whatever content you’re creating.
Find out which platform the influencer uses most and focus on this with your efforts, whether this is Twitter, YouTube, a personal blog, Facebook or another platform. Think of ways to partner with the influencer. For example, if you interview him or her on your blog, webinar, or podcast, there’s mutual benefit. If your product is something that you think the influencer will like, offer to send it to him or her for review. Keep in mind that such people receive such offers all the time, so you won’t always get a response. Influencer marketing is not something that usually works instantly. It’s a matter of building connections over time. That’s why it’s a good idea to always be on the lookout for up-and-coming influencers who would be helpful to your brand.
- Publish a Book
With Kindle and other self-publishing platforms, it’s easy to publish your own books. These are useful for businesses that want to establish their expertise and build a following. One of the benefits of Kindle is that you can insert hyperlinks right in the text. This makes it a useful device for building a mailing list and sending traffic to your website and social media pages.
Amazon runs several connected platforms, so once you publish on Kindle it’s simple to also create a paperback edition. From there, you might also turn your book into an audiobook on ACX, another platform owned by Amazon. You don’t need a long book. Many successful Kindle books are 50 pages or less. Kindle has marketing tactics such as giveaways, where people download your books for free. Publishing books for your business may net you some profits for book sales. However, this tactic is even more useful for generating leads and building your brand. If you think of it this way, you can sell your book for cheap, perhaps 99 cents, and run frequent giveaways to maximize exposure.
In the digital age, marketing evolves very quickly. If you want to stay competitive, you have to keep up with the latest technology, trends and strategies. The marketing tactics covered above can help you engage more effectively with your customers and prospects.