Here on our blog, I have a philosophy I like to espouse: never miss out on an opportunity for some marketing. Basically, this is meant to remind marketing professionals or business owners to always think about possible marketing promotions. For instance, we often discuss connecting sales promotions to special events, such as the Super Bowl or a national holiday. It’s not that these are natural marketing opportunities – basically, they just give us an excuse to reach out to customers, followers and site visitors. And it’s helpful to have an excuse, because the modern consumer doesn’t want to be bothered without reason. That’s a fast way to ensure your email unsubscribe rate rises.
But even more important than marketing and promotion is lead generation. Without leads, we can’t complete sales; and in case you haven’t noticed, that’s how we make money! So if you’re stumped about how to generate leads online, here are three unique ideas to consider:
Become a guest blogger for another site
This can be difficult to arrange, because it requires you to establish a relationship with another blogger or website. Writing a guest blog post for someone else is a great way to take advantage of their site traffic; and if the site is significantly different from yours, you could reach a whole new audience. But again, you need to make a connection with someone. We recommend reaching out to some sites that have content similar to yours, since they’ll be most likely to be interested. And if you want to incentivize the deal, offer to let one of the other site’s bloggers post an article on your company website.
Create a competition
It doesn’t have to be some Hunger Games level extravaganza. Just a simple contest that’s meant to encourage participation online. For instance, you could post a fun meme related to your industry on Facebook (here’s one for us), and then invite followers to submit their own memes and “tag” your company’s page/account when they do. Similarly, the grand prize doesn’t have to be tremendous – some free company swag or complimentary product will suffice. And once the contest is over, make sure to publicly announce the winner to give them bragging rights; and do it in a post that has a link to your company website, of course.
Try to manufacture a viral sensation
This is an enormous challenge that many have failed, but we did say unique ideas, right? If you can figure out a way to engineer a viral sensation of any sort, it would be a huge boon to your marketing efforts. And although I can’t give you a foolproof plan (I’d be a lot richer if I could!), I can tell you the kinds of things that go into viral sensations.
Humor is almost always a large component, and getting folks to adopt a certain pose is always popular (think trends like planking). You can also parody a different viral sensation, such as the Drake “Hotline Bling” video, which inspired countless photoshops, memes and jokes (this is my personal favorite). Finally, consider connecting your meme to a popular movement or idea, similarly to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Lost among all those wasted buckets of water is the fact the whole movement was supposed to be about Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
If you can successfully popularize your own meme or viral sensation, you’ll have my admiration as well as a powerful marketing tool. Don’t let it go to waste! Promote the heck out of the sensation via social media and your website, to ensure it stays connected with your company – and allows you to use it for lead generation.