Marketers have multiple options to promote their products and services. You have almost certainly heard of email marketing and social media marketing. Marketers use these methods because they work. And when the marketing is effective, the money comes in.
But what about the other avenues you might be ignoring? In this article, let’s look at five less-explored marketing channels that can still bring a lot of value to your business.
5 Less-Explored Marketing Channels to Drive Value
These five marketing channels tend to be overlooked for several reasons. Some entail a big marketing budget. Others require a lot of effort to set up. However, all of them are worth exploring because of a single reason: they work.
1. Your Website
Many marketers don’t view their website as a marketing channel, but it might be the most important one of all. The website is where most of your potential customers will go when they want to know more about your brand. If the website works well and gives them the information they need, they are more likely to stick around and make a purchase. If not, they’ll leave and not come back. In other words, your website can determine whether or not you’ll get a conversion.
To ensure you make a good impression with your website, here are some things you should do:
Make sure it loads quickly.
Ensure it has information valuable to visitors. A blog with useful content can help attract leads.
Make sure it has a strong and user-friendly interface.
You must make your website discoverable, too. It pays to work with a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist if that’s not your area of expertise.
2. Referral and Affiliate Marketing
However fantastic your website is, it’s not enough. If you rely only on people going directly to your website for conversions, you’ll be disappointed. One of the best ways to drive new business your way is to let others do some of the work for you. This is where referral and affiliate marketing can help you as great marketing channels.
Referral traffic refers to the people who visit your site without searching for you on Google. So, when someone gets to you through another website, Google considers that as referral traffic. Some of the best ways to get referral traffic include writing guest posts for other sites, engaging in industry forums, and posting on discussion sites such as Reddit and Quora.
Pro tip: when people come to you through referral traffic, you might need to pitch your services to them. Having a proposal template, like this example of an SEO proposal template, ready to go can help you save time and land more customers.
In affiliate marketing, you pay affiliates (also known as publishers) to promote you by giving them a commission when someone buys through their unique link. You can create an in-house affiliate program or join an affiliate network. The great thing about affiliate marketing is you pay the commission only when the affiliate delivers.
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3. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing allows you to promote your products or services to new, relevant audiences. Using this method means that you pay an influencer for access to their audience and platform.
Influencers can successfully promote your brand because they have two things: followers and authority. So when they say positive things about your brand or products, their followers will believe it. Done right, influencer marketing can help you get much closer to your marketing goals surprisingly quickly.
Here’s an example of a recent influencer campaign from Ralph Lauren.
You need to choose the right influencer for your brand. They should have a significant number of followers who are interested in your niche, but the engagement levels of those followers is far more important. The influencer must also share your brand values.
Once you think you have found the right influencer for you, get in touch and make your partnership pitch. Use proposal management software to keep track of things if you’re reaching out to several influencers at once.
Track your influencer marketing campaign’s metrics as you go so you can make adjustments as necessary.
4. Word of Mouth Marketing
Word of mouth marketing is precisely that: marketing that relies on people telling others how much they love your brand. According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any type of advertising. BigCommerce also reported that a whopping 74% identify word of mouth as a key influencing factor in their purchase decisions.
Getting word of mouth marketing traction takes some time, but it’s not as difficult to do as you might think. Put your customers first, provide amazing service, and make sure your product is as good as it can possibly be. After that, the recommendations will start rolling in.
Don’t just rely on organic word of mouth recommendations, though. Once you get people talking about how great your brand is, implement strategies to amplify word of mouth. For example, you can encourage your loyal customers to leave reviews on your website. You can also use customer feedback to your advantage to improve your business even more.
5. Podcast Marketing
Podcasts are incredibly popular nowadays. According to KickoffLabs, podcast listenership has grown by 75% since 2013. Oberlo reported that the average weekly podcast listener subscribes to six shows and listens to seven episodes per week. In other words, you’ll be missing out on potential traffic if you didn’t use podcasts to market your products.
But don’t make the mistake of launching a podcast just to pitch your products or services. You need to provide value. For example, you can discuss current trends and other relevant topics in your niche, interview experts, and provide tips and advice. Then weave in your calls to action organically.
With effective marketing, a business can attract new customers and increase revenue. However, you might need to look beyond the standard marketing strategies and try out some less explored marketing channels.
The five I’ve discussed here are just some of the effective strategies and marketing channels you can try. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try things out. You’ll soon find that perfect marketing mix you’ve been looking for.