Break out of your digital egg basket:

Marketing channels to grow your business outside of social media (Part 2/2)

Social got you scrambled? Here’re two more tools to help you reach more of your dream people

If you read part 1 and want more of the goods, this is for you.

We know things are changing online. Algorithms, image sizes, video. It’s morphing constantly, and if your marketing is focused solely on social media, it’s tiring, to say the least.

We need other places to share our wisdom because there are other places that people look for businesses to invest in.

Let’s hop to it.

1. Content marketing: in it for the long-form

Are you familiar with long-form content? It’s content marketing that sits outside of social media, such as a blog, podcast, YouTube videos or printed material.

And if you’re thinking, yeah but what’s content marketing? Here’s digital marketing genius Neil Patel’s definition:

“… content marketing is a long-term strategy that focuses on building a strong relationship with your target audience by giving them high-quality content that is very relevant to them on a consistent basis.”

Basically, it’s content designed to attract your dream audience.

It’s typically much meatier than social content, as it gives you the space to dive into a topic in more detail. And often, can show up in unexpected places.

One of the most famous content marketing success stories comes from Michelin. The tyre company. Heard of Michelin stars? The Michelin Restaurant Guide (originally an actual book, i.e. long-form content) was created by Michelin Tyres to give people a reason to drive.

Clever eh?

It’s important to stress here that long-form content marketing is not a quick fix, but a long game. One blog post may not bring you thousands of customers overnight, but one blog post every week for 5 years will bring you consistent traffic, accumulating into huge return on investment.

Top tips for long-form content marketing:

1. Pick one topic, and go deep

Long form content is, as you’ve guessed, longer than a caption.

That means that you have more wiggle room to share your knowledge, but you have to work a little harder to get people to stay and consume the whole thing.

Think about what you want the reader (viewer or listener) to gain from this piece of content. Do you want to teach? Explain? Document?

Pick a format and decide what one topic would help them. Think about the different questions they might have around that topic and aim to answer them by the end.

2. Break it up

Make your content skimmable.

Use headings, subheadings and bullet points to break up the text, and add images to help the reader navigate their way through the content.

Like I’ve done in this blog. *wink*

3. Think outside the box

Like Michelin, what piece of content could you produce that’s out of your immediate realm, but yet, super helpful for your specific customer?

Think about the goal of your business (to sell tyres), and then think about reasons people may have to do it (drive for fancy food).

Is there a connection under your nose that you could make? Create content about that.

Say you’re a small business that sells yoga mats, the long-form content you produce could touch on all aspects of yoga as a lifestyle: holistic living, meditation, outfits to move easily in…

2. Guerilla: when did we forget about IRL?

(Image Source: AdWeek)

Speaking of thinking outside the box, guerilla marketing is making a comeback. And that’s a good thing in my book.

We often look to digital channels to market our small businesses, but there is a whole world out there willing and waiting to hear about what we do and buy from us.

Not sure on the definition of guerrilla marketing?

Here’s what Investopedia say:

“Guerrilla marketing is a marketing tactic in which a company uses surprise and/or unconventional interactions in order to promote a product or service. [It’s] different than traditional marketing in that it often relies on personal interaction, has a smaller budget, and focuses on smaller groups of promoters that are responsible for getting the word out in a particular location rather than through widespread media campaigns.”

Small budget? Win.

Personal interaction? Win.

What makes this idea brilliant, is that when done right, it causes a stir. So much so that people on the street will share your weird and wacky outdoor marketing online (how meta) and become marketers for you.

Let’s look at Thursday. The new dating kid on the block.

They’ve quickly become the poster child for guerilla marketing, regularly taking to the streets of London with riské cardboard signs and clever eye-catching stunts. (Camel aside, slap on the wrist for that one.)

What they do doesn’t often cost much, but it’s unexpected and fun. So people take note.

It’s been so successful that even wannabe employees are turning to guerilla tactics to get hired. Madness.

Top tips for guerilla marketing:

1. You don’t need huge budgets

Where does your ideal customer hang out IRL?

Go there and do something fun. Can you hand out free samples? Create a game (people love games)? Organise a flash mob?

Get creative and think about the resources you have on hand.

Just please, please, don’t do anything illegal or unsafe. Please.

2. Be prepared for some people to hate it

As with anything, not everyone is going to love your idea.

Online can feel safer because the majority of people following you, or seeing your content, are primed to like your industry thanks to algorithms and the fact they’ve chosen to follow you or consume your content.

When you take it outside, you have less control over who sees it, (which can be a good thing to generate buzz and reach new people) so expect there will be some backlash.

Embrace it.

Remember, as long as you’re not doing anything unsafe, illegal or disrespectful, you’re golden.

3. Check the rules, start small

Depending on what you’re doing and where, especially if you’re going all out for a huge shebang in the street, you may need a permit from the local council.

Check check and double-check before you get yourself in trouble.

Worried? Start small!

Can you partner up with a local coffee shop if you sell cakes, and host a coffee morning?

Or sit in a lotus pose on a yoga mat in the middle of the high street to attract yoga clients that want to escape the hustle and bustle?

You want to:

Attract attention

Create an emotion

Make it easy to remember (and share)

And that’s a wrap on 4 tools you can try outside of social (click here for the first 2 if you missed them). Are you already doing any of these?

Leave a comment below to let us know where you’re at.