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31 Awesome Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Business

Published February 7, 2022
/ Updated July 6, 2022

Looking for creative marketing ideas? We have prompts for businesses at every stage of growth.

10 Types Of Marketing

What are 10 types of marketing you can invest in? If your business is just starting out, get familiar with these categories.

1. Look Into Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertising is what you think of when you hear about “old-school” marketing — TV commercials, print ads, 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:

Grey Poupon targeted traditional advertising in a magazine

2. 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:

2021 state of remote work

3. 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:

BALA uses stories to share their brand's positive impact

4. 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:

Blueland's instagram homepage

Blueland on Twitter

5. 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.

As this email from Assemble shows, even small touchpoints like privacy policy updates give you the chance to maintain a consistent brand:

Assemble uses a privacy update to connect with users

6. 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.

7. 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 spreading the word about your product.

Chewy builds its strong word of mouth marketing strategy through personal touches like custom pet paintings sent to customers:

Chewy uses pet paintings to garner word of mouth promotion and media coverage

8. 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.

You’ll see a lot of influencer marketing on Instagram from top brands like Taco Bell, who uses the #tacobellpartner hashtag for promotions from celebrities and influencers alike:

Taco Bell uses influencer marketing on Instagram

9. 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.

10. 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:

SEO marketing strategies on Twitter

10 Fundamental Marketing Ideas For Any Business

Now that you understand some of the most popular categories of marketing, what are some good marketing ideas to try? Get your business established with these strategies.

11. Establish Your Logo and Branding

As part of a healthy brand marketing strategy, you should establish your logo, brand assets and branding strategy as early as possible to make a consistent impression on customers.

While Starbucks tweaked its logo over the years, it still has the iconic siren, showing how far branding consistency goes in their marketing strategy:

12. Design Some 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:

Invest in business cards that make your brand stick

13. 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:

Haus email newsletter promoting products and offers

14. 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:

Creative brochures are great for events

15. 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:

Cook Collective hosts a powerful website that drives traffic

16. Put Up Signage At Your Business

If you have a brick-and-mortar company, a business sign will help you catch attention from 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:

Post creative signage outside of your business

17. 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:

18. 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:

#shotoniphone was a successful social media campaign for Apple utilizing user generated content

19. Throw A Product Giveaway

Looking to generate interest in your product? Throw a giveaway to generate buzz around your brand and get more people using your product.

It’s popular for many brands to throw giveaways around the holidays, like this partnered giveaway from Suja Organic and Image Skincare:

Love Suja uses instagram giveaways to promote their product lines

20. 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:

Use a trade show booth to show off exciting products

11 Marketing Activities Many Marketing Teams Leverage

After you bring your fundamental marketing ideas to reality, it’s time to dig into more action-oriented tasks. What are 11 marketing activities you can do to keep your business growing?

21. 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.

22. 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:

Use content marketing by creating helpful content for your customers

23. 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:

Grammarly uses an email drip campaign to engage users

24. Work on Your Customer Experience and 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 promotor score system to evaluate customer satisfaction and find ways to make the shopping experience even better.

25. 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.

26. 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):

Signal shares incredibly targeted ads

27. 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:

Canada housing used this satirical ad to bring attention to their cause

28. 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:

29. 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, they updated their site to match:

Burger King redesigned their website

30. 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.

31. 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.