Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Unconventional Marketing Breeds Inspirational Growth

Like most aspects of life, when setting up an online ecommerce store there are many conventions which people tend to follow. This could involve selling your product a certain way, targeting a specific customer demographic or increasing your businesses branding.

When it comes to marketing, there are methods that have proven track record of providing a business with great brand awareness, social media following and customer growth. These marketing techniques involve producing blog articles (like I'm doing right now), placing banners or ads on websites and producing email marketing campaigns to attract new customers.

The fact that these strategies have stood the test of time proves their effectiveness and should definitely be incorporated into any marketing strategy. However, relying solely on these conventional marketing methods is going to limit the real growth and awareness that your business could achieve.

The fact that these forms of marketing have a proven success rate means that every single company out there is going to be doing exactly the same thing. With so many business all following the same marketing pattern, you are going to find that you are just one head in a very large crowd, all looking to get to the same place. This will result in slow movement forward as other businesses are moving exactly at exactly the same rate with you.

Now it's time to think out of the box! We've looked at the conventional and although it works, it isn't going to give you the dramatic growth that you could potentially achieve, so now we need to look at the unconventional. There are people out there who believe that the tried and tested conventional methods are the only way to go, but in a modern era when videos and other viral content are achieving worldwide notoriety, maybe it's time for you to look at helping your business take advantage of this growth.

Probably the most well known type of unconventional marketing is viral marketing. While this can be one of the most successful forms of unconventional marketing, it is also one of the hardest to achieve.

What is Viral Marketing?

Viral marketing basically involves creating video content that is both appealing to an extremely large audience and increases your brand's awareness. The viral marketing could simply be a an advert explaining what your product or service is and how it can help people. However, the most popular viral marketing videos are those which have absolutely nothing to do with what the company offers. It is simply an entertaining and memorable video that provides some sort of brand identity. For example, Cardbury's created a popular advert a few years ago which consisted of a gorilla playing the drums to the Phil Collins song "In The Air Tonight". This advert was different and entertaining, but had no mention of chocolate at all apart from the Cardburys Dairy Milk logo at the end. The video proved to be a massive hit both on television and across the Internet, with well over 10 million YouTube views. While Cardburys is already an established brand identity, I use this video as an example of how your viral marketing concept doesn't have to tell the customer anything about your product, it simply has to make audiences aware of your brand. 

Once they are aware of your brand they will then be interested in finding out what it is exactly that your business does. This will result in them typing your name into a search engine and visiting your website or social media pages.

The beauty of viral marketing campaigns is that, with social media sites like Facebook and YouTube, people who find a video that they consider entertaining, then share it with their friends. This means that your video could be sent across the world in a matter of seconds, achieving literally millions of views within a matter of weeks.

While only the most successful of viral marketing campaigns achieve viewer counts in the millions, this extreme gives you an idea of the potential audience that unconventional marketing can achieve as opposed to the usual conventions.

I'm not saying abandon usual marketing strategies. Creating articles, banners and adverts are all incredibly important in helping increase not only your businesses exposure, but also your search engine ranking and thus should be carried out on a daily basis. What I am saying is that rather than just relying solely on these methods, look to come up with some innovative and original ideas to target a whole new audience. Some of these "out of the box" ideas might work, others might fail, but giving them a go and seeing what they can achieve is only going to help your business. The more marketing tools you have at your disposal, the quicker you are going to achieve greater brand awareness for your business, it is as simple as that.

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