For many people the words ‘online marketing’ and ‘SEO’ are synonymous and essentially presumed to mean the same thing. Perhaps you might throw in a little social media for good measure, but by and large are view of online marketing has generally become somewhat narrow.
Of course though there are many other ways to promote a business online. The web is a huge resource that puts you in touch with millions of people around the globe, all while providing you with fantastic new media tools that allow you to be more creative and interactive. There are many more ways to use this amazing infrastructure to your advantage, so let’s take a look at some of the more creative and less common optionsâ€¦
One option that has been around for a while now is to sell or give away promotional items from your site. This could mean things like t-shirts, mouse mats or mugs â€“ anything so long as it has your name on it.
There are many sites that make it highly easy to create these products: all you need is a logo and you’re good to go. Once you start giving these away though, you’ll find that they can spread the word very effectively but also that they help your customers/visitors to feel like they are a part of something which will drastically increase loyalty among them.
Advertising through PPC campaigns is a good way to quickly gain targeted exposure, but it does mean going up against a lot of competition and this can make it expensive and sometimes less effective.
A better strategy then may be to identify an individual or site online that is gradually gaining popularity but isn’t yet that known within the industry. You’ll find YouTube channels for instance that are relevant to your niche with large numbers of subscribers and a lot of sway: sponsor them and you can communicate directly with that audience without any competition creating noise around your advertising message.
And as an added bonus, by sponsoring a relatively small site or online star that’s just starting to rise, you will be helping someone out and doing something highly worthwhile (this doesn’t hurt your reputation either!).
Create a YouTube Channel
Another option of course is to create a YouTube channel of your own. This way you can gain a regular following while at the same time communicating with them in a manner that will allow you to convey more emotion and hopefully have a bigger impact.
Fiverr is a site for selling and buying services online, but it can also be a great place to promote a business in a number of interesting ways. For instance there are many ‘gigs’ you can buy on there that are actually promotional â€“ including those that are specifically promotional in nature. This is a great place to get a shoutout on a YouTube video for instance, or too get an interesting promotional video recorded by someone using a fun voice or costume for instance. Of course by taking part and getting involved in a movement such as Fiverr, you also demonstrate that your business is a little more modern and interesting.
Speaking of movements, crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are great places to get exposure â€“ particularly if you have an exciting new project you want to spread the word about.
Crowdfunding essentially means using the web in order to raise money from large groups of people who want to see your project become a reality. This way you can get funding without going to an investor but you also gain a lot of free exposure and media coverage for free. For their part, the people who support you get to feel involved without spending too much money (the volume makes up for that), while at the same time normally receiving some form of incentive such as discounted/early products. Essentially this often amounts to taking pre-orders while generating buzz.
These are just a few of the less commonly talked about methods you can use to promote yourself online. There are many others too, it’s just a matter of getting creative and trying lots of different strategies.
Jenny Wadlow, the author of this article, is a freelance blogger, currently writing for,Â PromoPays, leaders in custom t-shirt printing. She takes keen interest in designing and layout and is an avid traveller. You can follow Nancy on Twitter @JennyWadlow.
Some of the images are under creative commons license and linked respectfully.Â