Here are some out-of-the-box marketing ideas to get your creative juices flowing and help you stand out in your field.
1. Brand Yourself Completely Differently Than Your Competition
One way to get noticed and stay in the mind of potential consumers is to take an unpopular or new approach. This out of the box marketing idea is known as going against the grain.
This is a way new businesses may compete against more prominent brands in the market. Define your unique selling proposition.
Example: Lush Beauty
While most makeup companies focus on mass-producing their products and using whatever ingredients are necessary to achieve the desired results, Lush forges its own path. All of its products are handmade, completely vegetarian, mostly vegan (80%), never tested on animals, and made with ethically-sourced ingredients.
Here are some questions that you should ask yourself before implementing this strategy:
- What’s your unique product or service?
- What’s your brand promise?
- How will you make people different from other products and services in your industry?
- Which competitors are most often compared to them?
- Who are your target customers, and how do they differ from competitors?
You can focus on creating an innovative product, new services, or redefining a market segment.
This method is unique because it starts with the customer and gets into their heads. And slowly, they start associating with your newfound values.
2. Publish The Best Information In Your Niche
By publishing fresh content that is specific to your industry, you can build your own niche.
If you are a business that wants to get people to look at your information for any reason, then you may publish consistent, well-researched, up-to-date, and eye-catching information in your niche.
Ahrefs is great at explaining how they spent so much time on building the perfect tool to figure out how to create a content strategy. They understand that it’s crucial for you to do keyword research.
Ahrefs uses this opportunity to mention their Keywords Explorer feature seamlessly:
3. Interview Influencers To Publish Multiple Pieces
As a marketer, you want to reach as many people as you can with your content.
You may stand out by finding someone who does interviews regularly, likes talking about brands, is interested in your topic, and has an audience you want to reach. The more reach they have, the more visibility your brand gets.
You can find them by conducting research on social media platforms, tracking the conversations they have with each other, or asking their friends by using the power of referrals.
This strategy is perfect for marketing your brand—use it to take your voice to a broader audience.
4. Survey Your Audience To Publish Proprietary Research Reports
You can implement this strategy by starting with a simple survey. Once you have collected enough data, you can use it to create a proprietary research report that will help you build a better understanding of the audience and gain a unique insight into what they are looking for.
You can also use them to gauge the marketability of new products before launching them into the market.
5. Provide Extra Value In Your Content With Visuals & Motion
For marketers, this is an effective, out of the box way to deliver on the emotional side of their brand’s story while engaging with their target audience and winning the hearts of consumers.
With the advent of easy-to-use visual tools, it’s now easier than ever before to incorporate this out of the box marketing tactic into your marketing strategy without too much hassle.
On-demand therapy app, Headspace, leverages cheerful colors to help its audience think more positively and reduce stress. With motivational quotes and adorable characters, they ensure a seamless experience.
6. Explore Paid Content Distribution
Paid content distribution leverages the power of online advertising to reach a targeted audience with your blog posts, articles, or infographics.
7. Send Personalized Sales Videos To Target Accounts
Personalized sales videos are a step up from your classic mass marketing campaigns. A customized, out of the box video creates a personal connection with your audience and makes them feel like they’re talking to an acquaintance—not an ad.
Online advertising platforms help you create custom videos with specific keywords to assist with marketing campaigns. In addition, there are algorithm-driven platforms that help businesses generate personalized videos by targeting their customers’ interests using machine learning algorithms.
Here is an example video from Synthesia:
8. Create Entertaining Videos Such As Parodies
Parody videos use humor and satire to engage and entertain your audience and present your content in a new light.
Such videos don’t have to be an expensive production. Even if you are not a tech-savvy person, you can use your smartphone camera and edit video with video editing software like iMovie or Movie Maker.
This strategy could also be utilized by businesses to promote their business by using social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.
In this example, the Los Angeles Rams parody Coinbase’s 2022 Super Bowl commercial:
BRB GONNA GO ENJOY THIS DUB pic.twitter.com/cNbPja8sQg
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) February 14, 2022
9. Publish Off-Site Content Like Guest Blog Posts
Off-site content is content that you create to publish on a third-party’s website. It can include guest blog posts, infographics, case studies, and more.
Publishing content like guest blog posts demonstrates your brand is interested in the community and the community is interested in you.
Research shows that consumers are more likely to be interested in a brand if they know the people behind it.
It can also be used to build new relationships with potential partners in your industry, promote your expertise, and build your reputation as an expert.
10. Create GIFs & Memes To Entertain Your Audience
Sometimes short and witty humor can be more entertaining than long-winded speeches. GIFs and memes can be a great way to engage your audience with your brand.
Example from pizza maker, DiGiorno:
Hungry? Here’s my GIF to you. pic.twitter.com/Jebpub14R1
— DiGiorno (@DiGiorno) May 6, 2015
11. Launch A Photo Caption Contest On Social Media
Rather than just hoping for people to follow your brand through out of the box marketing ideas, why not put them in the driving seat?
This can be done by reaching out to your audience and asking them to upload a photo of them using your product with a catchy caption.
For example, if you are a local bakery, you can post on social media that people who take a photo and mention you in the caption will get a free cupcake from you.
This strategy aims to engage your audience, interact with your product or service, and help you reach their friends and followers.
Example from fitness facility, Detour Athletics:
12. Quiz Your Audience
Quiz your audience about their understanding of your brand, products, services, industry, or profession.
Using quizzes as part of your marketing strategy allows you to create a community where people share their opinions. Plus, quizzes are also an easy way to engage customers and share ideas with them. It works incredibly well when you have done your research and have credible information about your audience.
13. Run A Contest
A fun and creative way to market your brand or the product is to run a contest. You can invite people to submit their ideas or designs for the contest. Offering a prize will also encourage people to take part in the competition.
For example, Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer’s annual art can contest:
14. Capitalize On Location, Location, Location
Considering location while marketing involves using data to understand better where people are and how they interact with certain products and services.
15. Make A Good First Impression
Your first impression can make or break your brand’s reputation. If you want to stand out in the crowd and build a brand that stands for quality, you always need to deliver good customer service and innovative products.
16. Build Personal Connections & Relationships
Connecting with your target audience is the best way to build a long-term relationship with them. This will help solidify your brand image in the minds of consumers, making it more likely for them to choose you over other brands.
17. Invite Local Target Audience Members To Lunch
When you’re trying to build your brand, it’s always a good idea to have a conversation with the audience members in your area. People are more likely to trust someone they’ve had a conversation with over someone they’ve only heard about.
Invite local residents to lunch and make the event an opportunity for engagement and conversation.
18. Launch A Loyalty Program Like A Punch Card
A loyalty program is used to incentivize or reward the customer.
Punch cards have been used by many brands, including McDonald’s and Toys ‘R’ Us. This type of loyalty program appeals to a customer segment looking to earn rewards.
Many brands are leaning on the power of punch cards to engage their customers by offering them something new and exciting every time they visit their stores. This strategy effectively fosters brand trust and loyalty among the customer base who will keep coming back and recommending your business.
19. Try A Door-To-Door Campaign
By going door to door, you can reach new people who may not have heard of your company yet or might be on the fence about buying from you. Have your website displayed prominently on the front of your car and take promotional materials with you, so people can get more information about what you do.
Think of it as a way to build long-lasting bonds with people in your community or neighborhood.
Some companies use this type of marketing strategy to build their brand before having their product ready. Others choose this approach because they are unsure whether their product will sell or not and would like to have a steady customer.
Door knocking makes it possible for you to do that – quickly!
20. Donate Your Time Or Resources To Organizations In Need
A brand must be seen as beneficial to society to gain trust and influence.
A good way to do this is by donating your time and resources to help organizations in need. Doing so builds a brand that stands out from the crowd and helps you build local relationships.
For example, Asai, the London-based brand, donates a portion of its profits to charities, including Black Lives Matter, The Voice of Domestic Workers, and Solace Women’s Aid.
21. Sponsor An Event
Sponsoring an event allows companies to introduce their brand to audience members who may have been previously unaware. Event sponsorships may include brand placements or sponsored listings for webinars, conferences and conference tracks, or even sporting events.
22. Offer Free Samples
If your business is new or you are just starting to build your brand, offering free samples on a trial basis is a great way to attract customers. This can also help you establish trust and the potential for repeat business.
Free samples offer potential clients a way to try out what you’re offering without having to spend any money, so they get more invested in the company’s vision of the future. They also allow potential clients to be engaged with what they’re learning while still leaving them wondering how they can get involved and make an impact.
23. Direct Mail A Resource To Targeted Leads
Promoting your brand through direct mail can be an effective way to stand out. By creating a targeted campaign, you will reach the right people at the right time. Direct mail also provides easy access for those you target, which builds trust and relationships with them.
Direct mail can be used in several ways, from sending personalized offers to sharing company news with targeted audience members who have shown interest in your products or services or specific topics.
Direct mail is also effective for generating leads on an ongoing basis that can be used for sales calls or other types of outreach that are not part of the primary sales funnel.
24. Deliver Entertaining Custom Calendars To Targeted Leads
Delivering customized entertaining calendars can be a great way to stay top of mind for your audience all year round.
You can create a casual calendar filled with amusing pictures and quotes, or you can produce an informative type of calendar with seasonal tips for your industry.
25. Write Handwritten Notes
Your handwritten notes will help you create a personalized, unique, and one-of-a-kind experience. Handwritten messages will give your fans and followers the feeling of being close to you.
Use your handwriting to express yourself authentically and make sure it looks impressive, too!
Audience Activation Ideas
26. Create A Growth Loop To Turn Customers Into Advocates
A growth loop creates an organic word of mouth framework that turns your customers into advocates.
27. Leverage User-Generated Content To Turn Customers Into Marketers
User-genenerated content happens naturally when your customers publish information about your brand, products, or services. You can also capitalize on this by resharing this content on your brand’s social channels or even republishing this information for your audience on your owned domain.
Here is an example of user-generated content for Marketing Calendar by CoSchedule.
Building a YouTube Playlist to curate videos could be a way to share user-generated content with your audience as well.
28. Implement A Referral Program
A referral program offers an incentive for a customer to influence someone in their network to use your product or service. This could include giving early access, discounts, or greater product access in exchange for referring a new customer.
Digital asset management tool, Dropbox, grew astronomically through its out of the box referral program:
29. Launch A “Customer Of The Year” Award Program To Recognize Your Best Clients
To build a successful business, brands are thinking about customer acquisition, retention, and loyalty.
The “Customer of the Year” award program is a customer recognition award that your company can create to reward its most loyal customers. By announcing this program, you demonstrate the value of your relationship and provide your clients with an opportunity to stand out from the competition.
Recognizing customer loyalty and making your best customers feel appreciated can set you apart from your competitor brands.
30. Increase Conversions With Exit Intent Popups
Exit intent popups appear when a website visitor is about to leave the site with the goal of influencing one last desired action. Exit intent popups often give away free content in exchange for an email address or remind the visitor that they have not yet purchased an item in their cart.
31. Increase Leads With Gated Videos
A gated video is playable for a short period of time before a call to action appears that prevents further viewing. Once your viewer completes the call to action, they may continue watching the video.
Like exit intent popups, out of the box gated videos work well for influencing email subscribers.
32. Test Social Paid Ads
Think about some of your competitors and what they’re doing on social media. Are they selling their products? Advertising special deals? Promoting their services?
You can ensure that you’re not falling behind in the competition by going through this process.
An effective social paid ad strategy will help you exceed your competitors by gaining high visibility and making a lasting impression on your audience.
Boost your social ads by testing different visuals that allow people to engage with the ad quickly and easily. Try using a call-to-action button or some text on top of the visual that makes it easier for people to understand what you are selling or how to contact you.
The most important thing to remember is that this strategy will be successful only if you build brand awareness first through content marketing that stands out from your competitors.
33. Set Up Retargeting Campaigns
Retargeting often involves delivering ads to those who have previously visited your website or even a specific page. These ads may be delivered through a wide variety of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, and more.
Retargeting campaigns allow brands to re-engage with potential customers by targeting them with relevant ads.
34. Run A Flash Sale
A flash sale is when you sell a product or service for a very low price for a limited time. From a marketing standpoint, the benefits of a flash sale are manifold. A well-executed campaign can get you even more traction than regular discounts as well as generate some positive word-of-mouth.
Flash sales are an excellent approach to generate a large number of sales in a short period. Some businesses use them to clear out inventory, but the key advantage is that you can instantly boost your bottom line.
So, should you run one?
If you have a large pile of goods on your shelves, you should definitely hold a flash sale.