By Forbes Council Members
With so many new businesses and ideas flooding the internet, it can be difficult to create a marketing campaign that stands out from the noise. Potential customers open hundreds of emails per day from companies like yours offering discounts or exclusive content to help move them down the funnel. What makes yours stand above the rest?
Sometimes, drawing on information or resources that are seemingly unrelated to your product or service is a good way to capture consumers’ attention. To provide inspiration and help you do this effectively, members of Forbes Communication Council share some outside-the-box ways to find marketing success below.
- Creating virtual communities
The power of creating strong virtual communities can lead to impactful business growth, even if it’s not immediately obvious. One financial services company built a multimillion-dollar subsect of their business, which originated out of a click-through from a community suggestion. That’s powerful! – Katherine Calvert, Khoros
- Sharing corporate values
Corporate values may seem unrelated to marketing, but today’s customers and prospects want to know that the companies they do business with are aligned with their values. Cisco’s values around creating change and inclusivity are frequently shared across our social channels and campaigns. We believe this is a big factor in our consistent ranking on the “World’s 25 Best Workplaces” list. – Monica Koedel, Cisco
- Connecting products or services to social issues
Drawing a connection between your company’s products or services and a social trend/focus is a good way to organically introduce topics that might ordinarily be unrelated to your business. Whether it’s a national holiday or simply the discussion of the day, audiences want to know where companies stand on social issues. Engagement rises when you provide a glimpse of your company’s culture. – Nysha King, Healthmonix
- Relying on alumni networks
No matter the topic, making personal connections goes a long way. As a graduate of Ohio State University, I find fellow alumni in every corner of our industry—including on my company’s podcast—and connect with them over Big Ten pride. While not directly related to our business, the shared connection humanizes the interaction and establishes a strong foundation for future conversations. – James Freeze, Interactions LLC
Community engagement is a key marketing tool, though it is not the first tactic considered when marketing is focused on customer recruitment. Building a reputation as a supporter of your current and prospective customers’ community is vital to your brand. If a consumer begins to connect to your brand through community engagement, they develop a deeper understanding of your company. – Kimberly Osborne, UNC Greensboro
- Cooperating with other brands to expand
Consider cooperating with other brands to expand your product category. There are success stories about PR efforts that invoke user engagement, such as starting an international day. Intel did it with World Password Day, which grew to become a global hit. At NordVPN, we started a VPN Day along with other brands, and it received attention and praise from the international media. – Toma Sabaliauskiene, Nord Security
- Providing quality customer service
Featured members share ″unrelated″ ways to complement marketing efforts.
Forbes Communications Council members share “unrelated” ways to complement marketing efforts.
One way to apply something “unrelated” to your marketing efforts is to provide quality customer service. This will help you maintain a loyal customer base and increase word-of-mouth advertising. We created a new system to compile customer feedback and categorize it so that we can better address the specific needs of our clients. This has helped us maintain a great reputation and grow our business. – Gala Grigoreva, Adsterra
- Capitalizing on popular meme trends
Capitalize on what’s popular. Meme culture has made it easier than ever before to communicate with “outside” audiences since these communication formats are accessible and familiar to so many. Creating humorous memes that represent your brand or product can make your business’ value proposition clearer even to those well outside your target demographic, which can bring in new interest. – Amine Rahal, Regal Assets
- Explaining concepts in a relatable, funny way
Use a humorous analogy. When explaining technical or “boring” concepts, most marketing tends to try and simplify those concepts without thinking of entertainment value. One how-to guide I produced used the concept of breakfast cereals and kids making a mess as a funny way to teach an audience about the different types of internet. An admittedly boring industry made this concept fun with an unconventional tactic. – Patrick Ward, Rootstrap
- Including a cute pet in the mix
When in doubt, add an adorable puppy to the mix. We recently worked with a client who wanted a way to do something different with a real estate video, so we suggested filming the message in a locale she loved with her four-legged best friend by her side. The result? Huge engagement. Sure, it’s unrelated to real estate, but cute pups always win. – Melissa Kandel, little word studio
- Displaying emotional intelligence
No matter what you’re communicating, it should come from a human place. Understanding your audience and inserting human-centric language and experiences helps your audience connect with the brand and your message. Marketers with high EQ know how to cut through the noise to resonate with audiences at the human level, which is what makes marketing memorable and impactful. – Becca Chambers, Corel
- Injecting your brand into a larger conversation
It should be done with care, but injecting your brand into a global or national conversation can do wonders for visibility. There doesn’t need to be an obvious tie to your company mission, values or products. Sometimes, it’s more effective if there isn’t one. Brands have done this well with climate change pledges and disaster recovery relief—doing something good for the sake of doing good. – Michelle Stark, Red Sage Communications, Inc.