Marketing has been a “thing” for a long time. The big question is how do you keep everything fresh? How do you keep coming up with those million-dollar ideas? (Or at least hundred- or thousand-dollar ideas that will get you to where you want to go. And it’s not just coming up with marketing ideas, it’s coming up with unique marketing ideas to showcase your brand in the best possible way.
If I am being honest, you can make ANY marketing idea unique by adding in a little bit of flare and brand personality to it. But if you are really stuck, here are 6 ways you can come up with some unique marketing ideas. Use these methods as the foundation and build from there!
Create a challenge
EVERYONE wants to go viral. Period. However, there is no magic formula to make that happen. What you can do is try to create content that will entertain and encourage your audience to interact with your brand. A great way to encourage interaction is to create a social media challenge. It seems like there is a new challenge popping up on various social media platforms every day. Why not create one for your brand?
It’s rarely obvious where challenges originate, but you can make it a bit more brand specific and include your product or service at the core of the challenge. Doing this will mean that your branding will be the focal point of any consumer videos or images to come. One of the most memorable challenges like this is the #VogueChallenge where creators posted their own mock-up magazine covers. Also consider the #InMyDenim challenge that Guess did for inspiration.
Not everyone has a ton of money to throw into ads to boost visibility, but remember that even if you have 20 people participate and half of them buy from you because of it, then it can still be successful!
Build exclusivity with a limited access offer
Exclusivity will often foster a feeling of FOMO (Fear of missing out) in people. If you are nearing the launch of your business, consider doing a limited launch where only a certain number of people have access to your product or service. (Hello, Clubhouse, we’re looking at you…)
Another way to create exclusivity even if you are past the launch phase is to create VIP access for your most loyal customers or those that have signed up. VIP access could include things like early access to a new product launch or access to premium level services free of charge for a certain period of time.
Share your expertise
I am a big fan of doing thought leadership in a strategic way. I don’t think that every business owner is cut out for a place in the media spotlight, nor is every business a great fit for something like that. However, there are so many things you can do to build a thought leadership strategy to establish your footing as a go-to, trusted expert in your industry. What really matters is when customers trust you enough to buy from YOU and not your competitors. Your thought leadership strategy could include things like blogging, social media, speaking engagements, media relations, and guest posts. The goal is to share so much information that you are bordering on uncomfortable. Chances are if someone wants to go the DIY route, you likely won’t change their mind right away. And someone who wants to hire you will know that you know your stuff if you share what you know.
Riff off other campaigns
Taking an idea that you already know works and making it bigger, better, or just adding a little more personality is a great way to recycle old ideas. There are a few different ways you can do this:
- Your own ideas: Refresh your old ideas with new content or even a different approach.
- Competitor ideas: Make them your own by adding your brand personality into the mix and speaking directly to your customers. It’s not about copying an idea it’s about taking the framework and making it uniquely you.
- Other industry ideas: Adapt an idea from a completely different industry to your product or service.
Have a little bit of fun
OK, this one isn’t really a tactic, but more of a nudge to showcase your personality a bit and have fun with your marketing. When you think about it, viral marketing content most often goes viral when it is entertaining and a little bit out of the box. Where your marketing will truly shine is when you can step into your own brand character and connect with your audience when you are being uniquely you. So be silly, show those funny behind the scenes team conversations, and share your celebrations.
Find a mentor
Again, not really a strategy, but finding a mentor is definitely helpful when you are looking to build up a strong marketing strategy. I have been lucky to be both a mentee and a mentor at various points in my career so far. Having someone you can bounce ideas off of is priceless. Find someone who just “gets you” and your business. They will ask you the questions you need to be asked and help you fill in the blanks where you need to. In improv theatre, there is a game called “Yes, And!” where actors are not allowed to shoot an idea down. No idea is a bad idea. Every statement is always met with “Yes, and…” followed by adding something more to the idea. It is always full of excitement because it builds and builds. A great mentor relationship is like a rousing game of “Yes, and!”
Coming up with new and unique marketing ideas can be challenging, but if you approach it in the right way, you can make the process work for you. When it doubt, don’t get discouraged. You don’t need to come up with something people have never seen before, but you do need to create a marketing strategy that has your unique brand stamp on it.
Candace Huntly is Founding Partner at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.
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A version of this article was originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications blog.