Looking for creative marketing ideas? We have prompts for businesses at every stage of growth. Connect with your audience in meaningful and unique ways to improve visibility and expand your business.
Let’s explore your new marketing ideas!
Let’s start with fundamental marketing ideas. Get your business established with these strategies.
1. Establish Your Logo & Branding
As part of a healthy brand marketing strategy, establish your logo, brand assets, and branding approach as early as possible to make a consistent impression on customers.
For example, while Starbucks has tweaked its logo over the years, it still has the iconic siren, showing how far branding consistency goes in its marketing strategy:
2. Design Your Business Cards
Make business cards to hand to clients and pass on at networking events when people don’t have time to write down your contact info. If you want folks to hold onto your business cards, use a design, shape, or paper that makes them stand out.
Or, you could give your business cards a practical use, like this cheese grater card for Bon Vivant cheese stores:
3. Start An Email Newsletter
Stay in touch with your customers by starting an email newsletter. It’ll keep your brand at the top of customers’ minds and build their trust if you give them good content or deals.
An email newsletter doesn’t have to include only promotions or updates to succeed — check out how apéritif company Haus shares weekend inspiration in its newsletter:
4. Print A Brochure
Like business cards, brochures give customers an easy reference to understand your business. Design a brochure about your brand to pass on when someone asks what you’re all about.
Brochures also work well for physical events, like the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibitions:
5. Create Your Website
Make sure to build a website as part of your early marketing efforts. Think of it as a digital business card and a new channel for your marketing.
If a full website seems overwhelming for your new business, you can still make an impact with a one-page site like this one by Cook Collective:
6. Put Up Signage At Your Business
If you have a brick-and-mortar company, a business sign will help you catch the attention of passers-by.
A board sign makes a great choice for beginners because it doesn’t need installation and can come as a custom sign or a chalkboard:
7. Make A Marketing Video
Use video software, a camera, or your phone to create a video highlighting your product or covering a topic related to your industry. Informative videos raise awareness about your brand and build trust with customers, while product videos show your product in action.
GoPro used their favorite medium, video, to show how their equipment works in stressful situations like a firefighter saving a kitten:
8. Run A Social Media Campaign
Once you have your social media accounts set up, it’s time to run a social media campaign. Create a series of posts focused on a topic like a product, holiday, or hashtag.
One of Apple’s most famous campaigns revolves around the #shotoniphone hashtag:
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9. Throw A Product Giveaway
Looking to generate interest in your product? Throw a giveaway to generate buzz around your brand and get more people to use your product.
It’s popular for many brands to throw giveaways around the holidays, like this partnered giveaway from Suja Organic and Image Skincare:
10. Reserve A Trade Show Booth
Look into trade shows in your industry and reserve a booth. These events let you connect with fellow businesses and customers alike.
Trade shows also give you the chance to hype up new products through exclusive reveals, like Loungefly’s exclusive Minnie Mouse backpack for the Toy Fair trade show:
After you bring your fundamental marketing ideas to reality, it’s time to dig into more action-oriented tasks. Here are 14 marketing activities you can do to keep your business growing.
11. Conduct Market Research & Reach Different Target Audiences
To make marketing that better resonates with their customers, seasoned marketers conduct market research and identify their target audiences. From there, you can segment your main audience into different groups and tailor your marketing materials to each of them.
Procter & Gamble, one of the most well-known companies in the United States, targets audiences based on 350 different characteristics for hyper-specific marketing.
12. Create Marketing Content
Once you understand the role that content strategy plays in your overall marketing plans, you can start creating content consistently to execute that strategy. A steady stream of content brings inbound leads looking to learn more about your niche or product.
Not all content strategies include only blog posts, like how Adda Veggie offers recipes and cooking instructions for their meat alternative product:
13. Write Engaging Headlines
Headlines have unraveled a web of best practices to entice an audience to your page. Catchy headlines boost coverage of your business since consumers are more likely to click on a page with a heading that interests them.
CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer helps optimize the clickability of your headlines to improve results.
14. Run An Email Drip Campaign
An email drip campaign is an automated series of emails sent to a customer after they take an action like signing up for an account or downloading a resource. These campaigns help marketers bring customers closer to a sale by informing them about their product or a relevant topic.
Many companies send drip campaigns for onboarding to get a customer familiar with their product or service, like this Grammarly email:
15. Provide Noteworthy Customer Experience & Customer Service
Even if you keep your marketing on-point, your audience will need to have positive experiences with you to become loyal customers. Survey your customers about their experience with your brand and look for areas of improvement.
Ecommerce jeweler Taylor & Hart uses a net promoter score system to evaluate customer satisfaction and find ways to make the shopping experience even better.
16. Build Your Email List
Your job isn’t done after you create your email list. Look for ways to keep people signing up for it so you can improve your list’s reach.
An email list-building strategy can include a bunch of little touches, like how CodeinWP gained 4,000 addresses by including opt-in forms throughout their website.
17. Launch A Targeted Social Media Ad Campaign
Social media ad campaigns target customers based on their profiles and interests. You can use them to promote your brand to people likely to be interested in your product.
This Instagram ad from secure messaging app Signal shows how precise the platform’s targeting can get (and how you can use that fact to appeal to security-conscious customers):
18. Advertise Your Products To Spread Awareness
Put your product at the top of your customers’ minds by making advertising a habit. Research your audience to figure out what channels they use, such as social media or print, and advertise in those places.
CanadaHousingCrisis.com raised awareness about the crisis it’s named for with this satirical billboard ad in Toronto:
19. Sponsor An Event
Sponsoring a virtual or in-person event can bring your brand name in front of interested audiences who haven’t heard of you yet if you choose a partner relevant to your niche.
Popular energy drink brand Red Bull constantly sponsors sporting events to appeal to people interested in high-energy situations.
20. Redesign Your Website
Don’t forget to redesign your website if its design becomes outdated or you go through a rebrand. A modern website consistent with your brand will improve the impression you make on your customers.
When Burger King rebranded in 2021 with bold colors and minimalist shapes, it updated its site to match:
21. Start A Podcast
Looking for a new format to add to your content marketing strategy? Start a podcast to explore new topics in your niche or collaborate with important people in your industry.
Podcasts have been a staple of CoSchedule’s content strategy and give us the chance to team up with innovative minds in marketing, like The Juice’s Brett McGrath.
22. Enter Industry Competitions
Industry awards and competitions give you the chance to network with similar businesses in your industry. If you win an award, you’ll also build authority with your industry and customers.
You’d be surprised how many industries have contests you wouldn’t think of, like the coffee industry’s barista competitions.
23. Create A Referral Program
Referral programs encourage current customers to refer someone else with an incentive for them. Create a program that builds loyal customers with a high volume of leads for your business. Casper exemplifies referral programs to attract potential customers while benefiting current customers.
24. Present At A Conference
Conferences produce a way to get your foot in the door as a company. At these seminars, you are able to present to your target audience, industry peers, and executives to gain business exposure.
As an idea for marketing, Bernhard Kowatsch presented at TED using a problem-solution approach to showcase his company, Share the Meal.
As you are planning your marketing campaigns and ideas, don’t forget to look into these 10 types of marketing. If your business is just starting out, get familiar with these categories.
25. Look Into Traditional Advertising
Traditional advertising is what you think of when you hear about “old-school” marketing — TV commercials, print ads, flyers, direct mail, and radio ads.
It works well for businesses with audiences who use traditional media, like Grey Poupon advertising their product to cooks who read Bon Appetit’s print magazine:
26. Invest in Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is the practice of marketing your brand using digital tools and online platforms. It helps you reach your audience through your website, social media, and search engines.
Many cases of successful digital marketing involve out-of-the-box thinking and original research, like Buffer’s 2021 State of Remote Work report, which hundreds of top websites linked back to:
27. Work On Your Content Marketing
Content marketing involves creating original content, like blog posts, guides, online tools, and videos to raise awareness about your brand. It can also build authority or a connection with customers.
Look how nursing sneaker brand BALA achieves both by sharing useful guides and interviews with nurses in their content strategy:
28. Understand Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the act of spreading the word about your business using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Nearly four million people use social media across the world, giving social media marketing a broad audience.
Savvy brands like Blueland include multiple social media platforms in their strategies to reach a broad audience:
29. Get Familiar With Email Marketing
Email marketing is the use of email to raise awareness about your brand and connect with customers. Statista projects that 4.6 billion people will use email in 2025 worldwide, keeping it a very viable channel.
30. Try Out Affiliate Marketing
As we learned in an episode of the Actionable Marketing podcast, affiliate marketing uses affiliates — non-customers outside your brand — to promote your business. This marketing method draws in customers who use that affiliate.
Affiliate marketing happens with big names like The New York Times’ Wirecutter publication, who offers affiliate partnerships to brands with Wirecutter-recommended products.
31. Check Out Word Of Mouth Marketing
Word-of-mouth marketing encourages customers to talk about your product through positive experiences. People trust the buying opinions of people they care about, making it critical to get your customers to spread the word about your product.
Chewy builds its strong word-of-mouth marketing strategy through personal touches like custom pet paintings sent to customers:
32. Learn More About Influencer Marketing
In influencer marketing, marketers team up with influencers — people popular in their niche — to share info about their products. Influencers have hundreds to thousands of people who look up to them, making them a trusted referral source for many customers.
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You’ll see a lot of influencer marketing on Instagram from top brands like Taco Bell, which uses the #tacobellpartner hashtag for promotions from celebrities and influencers alike:
33. Embrace Brand Marketing
Brand marketing focuses on calling attention to your brand as a whole and improving people’s brand awareness. It helps your brand become more trustworthy and recognizable.
Nike maintains a solid brand through customer-centric marketing, as we explored in our case study of its marketing strategy.
34. Get Into Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing, also known as search engine optimization (SEO) aims to make your website more visible on search results. Well-done SEO shows your content to people searching topics related to your brand so you can attract an audience with relevant interests.
Content strategist Steph Naylor shared the kinds of numbers you can get from an SEO-informed content campaign in a Tweet:
????1,220 page views to the campaign page.
⏲️We made users stay on the page for an average of 1:96 minutes.
????79% of visitors were brand new, they hadn’t visited the site before.
????We grew their referring domains by 14% in just 3 months.
????We saw a 105% increase in YoY traffic.
— Steph Naylor (@steph__naynay) March 2, 2021
Are you ready to go outside the traditional marketing ideas? Try these creative and unique marketing ideas to really make your brand stand out.
35. Celebrate Holidays With Special Deals & Discounts
Get started on giving back this holiday season with markdowns for customers. Well-timed sales get shoppers in the door with increased demand for products and urgency.
Get creative with Halloween, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Easter marketing ideas to grow your audience.
36. Decorate Your Storefront
Give your store curb appeal by adding a welcome mat or spicing up the exterior with some color for a creative marketing idea. Decorating your store creates a welcoming environment where shoppers want to enter.
37. Host A Webinar
Be the expert of your practice by training or informing curious leads on a topic. Webinars gain access to a larger audience which increases engagement and provides value for the consumers.
For example, Harvard Professionals hosts webinars to drive traffic to Harvard Business Review articles.
Find out more about various webinar platforms to host your next webinar.
38. Send Product Samples To Potential Customers
Produce mini versions of your products to hand out before consumers buy the product. Samples introduce or expand shoppers’ knowledge of the products to help customers make confident decisions.
The psychology of sampling shows that conversion rates increase by 25% to 30% when consumers are offered free samples. For example, Warby Parker allows customers to sample their glasses at home or virtually on the app.
39. Open A Merch Store On Your Website
Create a merchandise store to allow customers to purchase your company’s swag. With a wide array of possible product marketing ideas, you can start making merch to promote your brand and increase recognition.
Disney, an entertainment studio, manufactures products from clothing to toys in order to enhance brand loyalty.
40. Repurpose Your Existing Content
Recycle your old content into other things like e-books, courses, or even a paid product. Presenting content in a new way helps expand reach and boost SEO.