Last Updated on August 1, 2021 by Elevate Digital
Finding some good alternative marketing strategies in 2021 is ESSENTIAL if you truly want to stand out from the noise!
But let’s just get this out the way first…
You don’t need to put on your bright yellow tux or have one of your team dress up as Chewbacca to get noticed online.
(Although it would probably help….)
So how DO you get noticed online with so much noise out there….
Well firstly, we need to understand what alternative marketing is, and what it isn’t!
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What Is Alternative Marketing?
Alternative marketing is about doing the things that won’t necessarily scale, but can make a significant impact on results. This could involve sending hand-written notes or even forming creative brand collaborations. In a nutshell; if everybody is doing one thing, alternative marketers do the opposite.
The main distinction is that it requires doing things differently which can often be seen as risky and is why most brands won’t do it. This involves finding new methods, means and places to reach consumers where it matters. Then speaking to them in a way which moves them and inspires them to take action.
See traditional marketing & advertising are generally campaigns based on mass media across digital, radio, TV, and print. The idea being to cast the net far and wide to reach as many people as possible.
The emphasis is on scaling as fast as possible…
But as markets becomes more saturated; marketers have begun looking for alternative ways to reach consumers. Whether this be through unique and alternative business strategies or unique approaches to their marketing.
The fact is, most people are just sick of seeing generic and boring adverts everywhere they look. Especially when you consider almost 50% of the entire US population were said to have used some form of ad blocker in 2019!
That’s why cutting through the noise with highly relevant and effective marketing is more important than ever in 2020 and beyond!
The Best Alternative Marketing Methods & Strategies In 2021
*If you’d rather watch, check out our video below (and stick around until the end for a bonus strategy 😉)
1. Personalised Marketing (Using Video & Images)
Personalised Video Marketing Strategies
When looking for alternative marketing strategies and methods, video shouldn’t be underestimated!
And whilst video in itself is nothing new, tools like these allow you to connect in a more personal and meaningful way.
Instead of just posting generic videos on your social media channels. Try sending the occasional personalised video greeting to one of your existing customers.
Maybe even a new prospect you’ve been wanting to get on-board.
We’ve been doing this for a while now and the results have been INCREDIBLE.
After all, you can either spend all day writing content to the masses but having it ignored.
Or you could spend that same time creating meaningful and PERSONALISED content that people actually engage with and take action on.
Sending Personalised Images In Emails
To expand on this strategy, personalised images can be a great way to cut through the noise and stand out – especially when doing email marketing.
Nifty Images is a great free tool you can use for creating personalised images at scale.
It effectively pulls the first name of your contacts from your email autoresponder or CRM.
It will then place that on any image you want. Here’s an example below using another tool called Lemlist.
The person in the image is basically holding 2 blank coffee cups. But the tool, will take the first name from your CRM and place it on the image in handwritten font allowing you to send personalised images to a large audience!
Pretty awesome right!? 😉
2. Hand-Written Letters Or Packages
You’re probably questioning whether you’re actually on a digital marketing blog right now but stick with me here….
The problem we ALL have as marketers and business owners is that almost everybody these days is doing the SAME thing…
Tweeting, posting, and talking about how bloomin’ wonderful they are!
As a result, people have become very receptive to the typical online marketing strategies.
Which means they’ll more than likely scroll past your content without a second glance.
This is why companies like Inkpact are able to achieve incredible results for their clients.
They do this by creating beautiful hand-written mail campaigns directly to their customers or prospects….
Why does it work?
Because it’s both different & meaningful. The underpinnings of all successful alternative marketing strategies.
The best part about companies like Inkpact, you don’t even have to write a thing….
Just let them know the message you want to send.
Their team will hand-write your letter on quality paper.
They can even put a wax seal on the envelope if you’re feeling super fancy!
(talk about an alternative marketing method!) 😆
But here’s the thing…
In a world already hugely devoid of connection, it can often feel like nobody has time for each other anymore.
So even just the sentiment alone, of somebody receiving a hand-written letter can really help you to stand-out in a truly memorable way.
You’ll even find some people are so blown away by the novelty and thought behind it.
They even post about it and share it with friends without being asked!
I recently came across a post like this on LinkedIn that got over 200,000 views and was shared hundreds of times.
The crazy thing is, it was posted by the recipient, not the company!
When you can get your customers doing the marketing for you, without asking, you know you’re onto a winner!
Because after all, people won’t remember what you do for them. But they WILL remember how you made them feel!
3. Strategic Partnerships & Brand Collaborations
Too often, we can get caught up in our own little bubble and trying to fight off the “competition”.
However when you can begin to turn your competitors into your collaborators something really special happens.
New opportunities open up, new leads start coming in, you’ll gain new insights and most importantly, you’ll start to realise what makes your business truly UNIQUE instead of just being made into another commodity business forced to compete on price alone.
Start thinking about some of your competitors or even other types of businesses who are serving the same industries and customers as you. How could you create a mutual arrangement that’s going to be beneficial to the both of you?
A great question to ask yourself here is this:
“Who has my customers before they come to me?”
For example, a new pet food store could potentially partner with a local vet and offer them some discount vouchers to hand out to their clients after they come in.
There’s also great opportunities for guest-blogging, podcast-appearances, video interviews, all resulting in some brilliant and valuable content pieces too,
This can be an absolute game-changer, especially when looking for genuine alternative marketing methods or just to run a more lean operation.
And hey, if you’re interested in partnering with us for anything, we’re always open to chat, feel free to drop us a line 🙂
4. Podcasting & Online Events
If you’re looking for a good alternative marketing channel to promote your business, then listen up!
Starting a podcast is a great way to start establishing yourself as an authority in your industry and begin building an audience.
With over 30% of the entire US population regularly consuming audio or podcast content, it’s easy to see why there’s huge potential here.
On top of the potential to increase brand awareness and build an audience, podcasting has also been cited by many as one of their top revenue streams and lead sources for their business with advertising revenue growing year on year.
But starting your own podcast isn’t the only way to get heard.
There are literally THOUSANDS of podcasts in just about every niche and industry you could imagine who are desperate for guests and people to interview!
Another unique marketing strategy similar to podcasting is to speak at or host online events. With virtual events rising in popularity after the lockdown, this can be a great way to build authority in your industry and gain free exposure for your brand!
Not to mention, getting free backlinks which in turn leads to boosting your SEO and organic presence.
Matchmaker is a great website that allows you to register as a potential guest for podcasters to consider!
5. Growing Online Groups & Communities
You may think this only applies to influencers or solopreneurs, but you’d be wrong.
Creating a community is one of the most effective ways of being recognised as an expert or thought leader within the industry you serve.
In fact, one of our clients created an entrepreneurial group on LinkedIn which has over 85,000 members to date and is growing by 100 members each day.
Imagine have 100 of your potential customers wanting join your OWN private community each and every day.
It’s also important to note that when I say utilising groups and building communities here; I’m not talking about creating a group just to invite people and spam it with your sales pitch.
I’m talking about creating an eco-system where people can support eachother.
A place where you can establish yourself or your brand as thought-leaders in your industry!
This will allow you to create an environment where your potential customers can THRIVE, with or without you.
When you stop trying to sell people and instead put the focus on supporting them and delivering value, amazing things can happen.
You’ll find people will end up chasing you for business instead of it being the other way around.
After all, that’s why you’re marketing in the first place right?
Hootsuite have a great resource here on growing your own Facebook group or community.
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The Best Alternative Marketing Strategy Is Your Own
Hopefully that’s given you a few unique marketing ideas to get you started!
As you can probably tell though; the best alternative marketing strategies are the one’s that YOU create. Those unique, quirky and stand-out ideas that really separate you from the competition
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