Today, marketing is all about innovation and creativity. Whether you call it “guerrilla marketing,” developing an incredibly loyal fan base, or unique online advertising, everyone is looking for an edge. What is hard to do is come up with that big hit that will spread the word about your company. Here are five innovative ideas to help promote your company:
Pump up your employees
It may almost sound counter-productive to start your marketing tactics with your internal employees, but it can make a lot of sense. By offering employees a great working environment, they will become true advocates of your company everywhere they go. Think about it; how often do you really hear someone say, “I love my job” or “the company I work for is great?” Probably not much. But companies like The Motley Fool offer amazing benefits that includes flexible work hours and unlimited time off. One Brooklyn realtor went really creative and offered a 15 percent raise to any employee who inked themselves with the company logo! Programs like these not only create a positive work environment, they make your employees brand advocates! Plus, many of these companies are often interviewed by different media to learn how their approach works, offering a great (and free) way to get the word out about your company.
Whether you call them “freebees” or “swag,” people love free stuff and if they are a fan of your brand, they love it even more. Think about what your potential customers use on an everyday basis and provide that item with your brand. Do you market to contractors? Think about offering branded flashlights or small screwdrivers. Does your company serve a broader market? Everyone who uses an iPhone needs a case. Think about giving out branded iPhone cases like the ones you can create on Shutterfly. It will put your company name in front of more eyes than you could ever reach using a traditional marketing program.
The public loves when a business gets behind an altruistic idea. Whether it is supporting a local animal shelter or partnering with a national non-profit, people like when they see companies give back. It shows that they care about their communities, and ultimately, their customers. Many companies now even offer one or two days off a year to do volunteer work. Talk about a multi-level win! The employee appreciates the time off to help with an organization or issue they care about; the organization appreciates the volunteer time; and there are plenty of marketing opportunities to be had! Check out Charity Navigator to see ratings and more information on charities to get involved with.
If there is anything that can be learned from the film industry, there is nothing that cannot be branded. What does a movie release have to do with a fast food restaurant? On the surface? Possibly nothing. Until it is a kid’s movie and there is a toy related to the movie in the kid’s meal. Look at brands your customers already use and see if there is a way to build a partnership. Each company is introduced to a potentially new group of customers. What is your company known for? High quality? Fast delivery? Good value? Look for a company to partner with that holds the same values.
Don’t be afraid
What might be most important is don’t be afraid to try something. Get out of your comfort zone. If you haven’t mixed up your media buy in a while, look at it with a fresh eye. Is there something you haven’t tried before? The idea of “it is so crazy it just might work” isn’t that far-fetched. Try building brand advocacy around an attempt at breaking a Guinness Book of World Record. Talk about getting a lot of press!