There’s nothing old in the world of inbound marketing. The internet itself is only around 2 decades old, and the concept of using professional blog posts, social media and other newfangled marketing ideas to gain traction online is newer still. When you factor in how quickly digital trends can change and the recent meteoric rise of mobile technology, it’s clear that smart marketers are in a perpetual state of research and development. You should almost never dismiss a marketing idea unless you’ve tested it on your own. Here are some too-weird-to-be true tactics that can drive real results:
1. Be Wacky
Not every brand needs to be infuse their professional blog posts with corporate jargon. There’s a number of notable companies with really creative copywriting which stands out against their competition - Betabrand and AppSumo are two famous examples of companies which use humor and slang with great results. Social media expert Eddie Huang recommends not being afraid to be a little off-the-wall with your marketing ideas and content.
2. Tell Your Customers Who They Are
There’s actually some serious science behind the idea of “social categorization” - actively defining your audience. Are your customers young and hip, or closet rebels? Defining their personalities in your professional blog posts can help you develop a tribe of devoted followers.
Humans are an innately competitive species, which is why the wisest brands are increasingly using gamification as a marketing concept. By introducing elements of competition, mystery, or interactivity on your website and social media, you can ignite your lost leads and indifferent prospects into hardcore brand promoters.
4. Buy Blogposts
To many of us, the marketing idea of outsourcing is associated with lower quality and lead generation. Research has found that the opposite is true. When tech brand ShoreTel Sky invested in a quality content marketplace to increase their volume, their plan to buy blogposts increased their inbound links 181% and site traffic by over 50%.
5. Achieve Total Content Buy-In
You may think that you’ve got colleagues and managers who’ll never believe inbound marketing works, or assist in writing a professional blog post. By mandating a workshop on content marketing, US Waterproofing dramatically increased their staff’s confidence in content marketing, and as a result - their website traffic and lead generation.
6. QR Codes
Think no one but your tech-obsessed fellow marketers are savvy enough to take advantage of QR codes? The opposite is true - scanning of QR codes on mobile devices has increased 1400% in recent years. You can incorporate an element of mystery and exclusivity into your professional blog posts and print resources with the help of mobile-friendly quick response codes.
7. Be Snobbish
It’s a tricky tactic to implement correctly, but developing an air of snobbishness can aid your brand in generating buzz and attention. Most notably, mustard manufacturers Grey Poupon started a closed Facebook group called the “Society of Good Taste,” which carefully screened applicants. Not all brands can afford to be quite so exclusive, but closed or even secret Facebook groups can be a surprising way to improve your social media engagement.
8. Blend Offline and Online Tactics
There’s no rule anywhere that says once you go inbound, you can never incorporate traditional marketing tactics. In fact, as Italian Agency Guerriglia marketing found with their too-strange-to-be true “Have You Seen this Man?” campaign, cross-promoting professional blog posts and marketing ideas in print and other mediums can capture a much broader audience.
9. Tweet Often
Think that 3 or 4 carefully penned Tweets per day is perfect? Actually, being a social media spammer is probably quite a bit harder than you think. Data scientist Dan Zarella found that 22 Tweets per day is actually optimal for brand engagement online. While you might begin to shed followers if you significantly exceed this number, creating more posts is certainly worth testing out.
10. Send Plain-Text Emails
Email newsletters are a fantastic way to share your professional blog posts and other content marketing efforts with your company’s contacts. If you’ve been relying on an HTML template to date, try sending an edition in plain-text, or using a much simpler design. According to email marketing platform G-Lock Easy Mail, some prospects are simply so used to seeing visually-rich marketing communications, simpler designs really stand out.
What are the strangest or most counterintuitive inbound marketing tactics you’ve tried? Share your successes and failures in the comments!