In the pre-digital age, marketing was usually a simple matter of dollars and cents: spend more, get more. There were only so many ways to reach people, and those avenues were rigidly controlled: expensive TV spots, giant billboards on the highway, glossy magazine spreads…that sort of thing. Big money was the only way to get a ticket to that game. But fortunately, the rules have changed. Today, you can reach people more easily than ever before. And if you can pull off something ingenious, people will respond. So before you start loosening the purse strings, think about just how far you can get with a great idea.
Think about it: if you can engage with the interests of your audience, you can draw them into your world and get them thinking about what you can do for them. Launch a fun contest through your social media channels that encourages people to participate in a creative way. Ask them to do something fun like a picture contest, or engage them with a trivia game they can share with their friends. Offer the winner a free version of your product or service to get the word out to everyone who plays. Check out the fun contest we did for San Diego Startup Week!
If you go out into the community and bring your skills to their table, it’s a win-win situation. You get to help others while letting them know about you and what your company does. It’s more subtle than marketing, but it can have an even more dramatic effect. Proving that you’re useful to others by meeting them where they live will encourage them to seek you out down the line when they find that they need what you’re selling. And in the meantime, you can really do some good.
Socially conscious networking
Your social networking platforms – Twitter, Facebook, and so forth – don’t have to be about direct appeal to the consumer. You can use them to engage with the issues that concern you and your company. You may be talking about something wholly unrelated to what you do, but when people start to take notice of who’s speaking, they’re likely to follow you further than you’d think. Remember: you get more flies with a honey pot than you do with a spider web.