There are a lot of good marketing ideas that you can find on the internet today. Many of them are proven to work well and will help to increase your customer base over time. After a while, however, even the best marketing ideas tend to get old and stale, eventually losing their overall effectiveness. If this has happened to you, then it’s time to start using some unconventional marketing ideas to regain your local market share.
These ideas will work with a wide variety of business models, but they are outside the box in terms of creativity. See which ones you could implement for some success.
Best Unconventional Marketing Ideas that Work
1. What Would Sherlock Holmes Do?
Recent court rulings have determined that all of the characters of Sherlock Holmes are in the public domain, which means you can use them in your own creative works. You could have Holmes and Watson solve a mystery that involves your business, film the process for a unique commercial, and don’t forget to post it on YouTube when you’ve finished editing it.
2. Solicit For a Local Charity
Becoming a partner with a local charity has always been a great way to gain market exposure, but don’t just volunteer your time. Encourage others to donate money to your local charity through an instant donation program that could be installed anywhere. Think of it like a Redbox kiosk, but more in billboard form. You put your branded advertisement up, solicit for a donation, and then let people donate by credit card an amount that they select.
3. Look For Unique Co-Branding Opportunities
Many businesses find success through co-branding partnerships within their industry, but why stay within the industry? If you want new customers, then you’ve got to go where people don’t know your name to get them. Co-brand with business outside your normal realm and you could end up driving a lot more traffic your way.
4. Go Beyond Social Media
People interact a lot on social media, but they interact just as much on other social platforms as well. Social gaming is always an option, as our role-playing websites. Second Life, World of Warcraft, or stay close to home with Facebook Games and you could engage ore people in a way that can relate to others more effectively.
5. Use Your Products As Currency
What if people could get more value out of your products or services? If you convert used goods into a currency that can be used for another product or service, then you’ll have an unconventional method of extending your brand.
6. Do Something Great
There are a lot of people hurting financially today that could use a hand up instead of a hand out, so do something great and provide that hand up for someone. You could do it through a nomination process if you want, but more of an impact can be had if you take on the effort in secret and surprise everyone.
7. Elevate the Experience
Would you like to supersize that for another 79 cents? You can elevate the experience customers have in your business do by offering an affordable upgrade. Fast food places use this tactic because it works, but they are often the only ones in the community doing it. Change that today.
8. Create a Memorable Hashtag
Many social media sites are using hashtags to help sort results so take advantage of this by creating your own hashtag. Put it everywhere and put it on everything and you’ll have an easy method of seeing how effective it has been. As an added benefit, offer periodical rewards to people who use your hashtag in status updates or tweets to encourage even more use of them.
9. Tap Into Emotions
People tend to think more with their hearts instead of their minds, so tap into the emotion of what you’ve got to encourage people to transform their perspective from a “want” into a “need.” You can do it through slogans, through images, or even just through product placement throughout your community. After all, if you sell cookies, wouldn’t it be nice to put it next to the milk that the small grocery store three doors down sells?
10. Let Your Assets Do the Talking
How much free space do you have on your building that could be used for an advertisement? If you’re leasing, you might not have much flexibility with this, but if you own your real estate then you can let your assets do the talking. Bring in someone who has intense graffiti talents, let them work their magic, and you might just get results.
11. Street Ads Create Impact
If you have kids that love to draw on sidewalks with chalk, then you’ve got the basic concept here. Get permission from the city [or don't if you prefer] and put out your own sidewalk art that is temporary, but will promote your goods while it lasts. It takes 5 minutes to create and often chalk lasts all day – unless it rains, of course. For a more permanent solution, consider paint. That might require some permits or you’ll have some explaining to do.
12. Don’t Want Permanent Alterations?
If you’ve got a nice wall on your location and you can’t paint it because you’re leasing, then use that good old slide projector technology to create a light display that will catch someone’s eye. With the right permits [or not again, if you prefer], you can create a low-cost advertisement that will last all night and be a colorful visual display that promotes who you are.
13. Create Your Own Local Festival
If the local beermakers and the local farmers can have their own weekly festival, then shouldn’t your business get that opportunity too? Create your own festival, stage your own events, and make it a fun, memorable time where people will be surrounded by your brand and not even realize it. Make it an annual event and it could grow into something regional… and incredible.