Roundup post: Tips and ideas for non-standard marketing activities

Roundup post: Tips and ideas for non-standard marketing activities

Marketing is an extremely dynamic field. It evolves and changes every day, as well as customers. Strategies that work a few months ago can be expired today and not efficient enough. We have decided to ask several professionals who eat marketing for breakfast, content for lunch, and lead generation for dinner. That is why we are happy to present a set of tips provided by SaaS CEOs, marketers, and freelancers. Enjoy!

Acquire backlinks thanks to HARO

One of the non-standard activities we’ve used in our marketing team at Chanty is doing HARO queries. HARO (Help a reporter out) is a platform where journalists come to get sources for their stories. We’ve signed up to get new queries every day and we’ve been responding to about 5-10 pitches every day on HARO.

Using this approach, we were able to consistently get 5-10 new backlinks every week. We would find a really good query, answer the question in detail and wait for the response. So far, we’ve had pretty good success considering the amount of time invested in HARO. I would say this is one of our top-performing link building activities in the past few months at Chanty.

Mile Zivkovic | Copywriter at Chanty

Use link retargeting to reach Facebook group members!

As targeting ads to group members on Facebook is unavailable, you need to be creative to reach this audience. Fortunately, there’s an easy trick for that! Use RocketLink to customize a URL that leads to an excellent piece of content, and more importantly, add retargeting pixels. Next, share the link in a suitable group (or multiple groups). Finally, create a custom audience and retarget your ads to users who have clicked the link you shared. Boom! You just reached Facebook group members; therefore, people who are interested in your topic, industry, product, etc. (depending on what the link included).

Pay attention to providing useful and valuable content, so that you can gather a proper amount of clicks 😉

Wojciech Jasnos | CEO at RocketLink

Link retargeting

Use SMS to generate new sales

Despite the humble SMS being over 25 years old, it remains incredibly effective as a marketing tool.

Perhaps people overlook it because it feels so clunky and outdated compared to other messaging apps like iMessage and WhatsApp.

But SMS has a read rate of over 95% and more than 90% of people read a text message within the first three minutes. (Mobilesquared)

Compared to email where open rates often languish below 20%, SMS remains the most response channel available to marketers.

Setting up and sending an SMS campaign to your customers and prospects is also quick, easy and very low cost.

Text message credits normally cost between $.004 and $0.08 depending on your country and the volume of text credits that you want to purchase.

You can even use SMS marketing templates to give you inspiration for your first campaign.

Henry Cazalet | Director at The SMS Works

Try out podcasting 

Starting a podcast humanizes brands. It gives companies the opportunity to speak at length, not just soundbites, in an honest and open conversation about business and non-business topics. It gives companies the opportunity to cross-pollinate with other brands by brining influencers onto their show to share their insights and allows you to reach their audience.

It’s also a great way to repurpose older content into a new form that can help diversify your traffic sources. Audio is one of the marketing trends to jump on in 2019 or get left behind.

Levi Olmstead | Manager – Community and SEO at G2.com

Podcasting

Non-standard content distribution

I like the idea of educating your customers as opposed to drowning them in ads wherever they go. Creating a valuable piece of content is one thing, but effective distribution is a whole other story! 

When it comes to social media as a distribution channel, there’s so much you can do. For example, publish quotes, tutorials, create a presentation, or start a discussion by comparing two approaches. Moreover, find customers who actually need your help! Be active on Quora, Facebook or LinkedIn groups, and use internet monitoring. Search for inquiries that concern your blog posts and respond with a brief answer and a link to the article. That way you can be really helpful and drive traffic to your website.

Paula Grochalová | Content Manager at Kontentino

Make the most of integrations

I wish that marketers would make the most of… integrations. By integrating several tools with each other, marketers are given the ocean of possibilities and data they can use to improve their performance and know even more about their potential customers.

For example, you can integrate your CRM with some tools for customer support (yes, CloudTalk is one of them) and make the most of ticketing. By analyzing what your clients deal with or what their purchases are, what products are popular, you can export the e-mail database to Facebook to create a Custom Audience and target them further to reach with some adverts. Having access to data across various platforms is not a choice, it is a standard. Make data-driven decisions and use data you already have to acquire even more data. You can never have too much chocolate & data 😉

David Cacik | Head of Marketing at CloudTalk.io

Catch the moment to ask customers for a review

The best way to collect customer recommendations (or to ask for a review) is right after their first “aha” moment. This is the moment where they get the first value from your service or product. For example, if you sell invoicing software, right after the customer gets the first successful payment from your app. There are other times when it’s handy to ask for a recommendation, but we found that customers are most likely to share a positive review at this time. You can send an in-app notification or an email, but make sure to do it, because even the happiest customers won’t remember to write a review or recommendation on their own.

Carsten Schaefer | CEO at crowdy.ai

Involve others in your content marketing campaign early

One of the best ways to ensure a content marketing campaign’s success is to involve people early on and make them invested in the success of the campaign. For example, if you’re creating a visual asset of the most unique travel tours in the world, reach out to 25-50 tour operators that offer these tours to solicit their participation. Ask them to give their opinion on some of the most unique tours, but then also offer them an inclusion if they agree to be partners in the campaign and help promote once it goes live.

Of course, you’ll want to vet them to make sure they’re a good fit for the content. If they’re invested early on they’ll be likely to share and help promote once it goes live! I haven’t seen this done much at scale, but it’s definitely a non-standard and killer tactic!

Joe Robison | Founder at Green Flag Digital

Answer your audience’s questions

This is a great way to engage directly with your potential customers as well as your current clientbase. It also demonstrates that your business is one that cares about customer feedback. 

I find a mixed approach works best, using Webinars, Podcasts and Twitter chats to educate and give some insights into your products through questions and answers. After each of these, you have the opportunity to create custom content (blog posts, case studies, interviews, infographics) that you can share through your social channels. As an added bonus you can include industry influencers in order to improve your brand awareness even more.

Nikola Baldikov | Digital Marketing Manager at Brosix

Use a glossary for SEO

This is my unconventional SEO tip:
1. Create a glossary to explain popular terms in your domain: one page of +/- 300 words per term
2. Check which terms get organic traffic & make a blog post about these (1000+ words), 301-redirect the old page(s) to the new blog
3. Let the traffic flood 😉

SEO

More info here!

Stefan Debois | Founder & CEO at Survey Anyplace

Think outside the box

I’m very lazy. 
A few years ago, I started a blog called thisisnadya.com and I wanted to get the website’s DA as high as possible without putting in the work required like building links, writing amazing content, yada yada. 
Since I’m lazy I decided to skip the mole monkey work and instead started a secret underground restaurant right in my home. The catch: we gave you food and you brought us wine. I talked more about it here
The result: tons of press mentions (with links!) including mentions in thestar.comcbc.ca, a spike of ~5,000 referral sessions (in Google Analytics) all in one day, about 40 press requests from newspapers, TV spots, podcasts and even radio interview requests! 
Now the easy part: All I did was add my restaurant website as a subdomain to my main website and I boosted my DA to ~40 overnight. 
The lesson here is not to start your own underground restaurant but to showcase 2 things: a) think outside the box when it comes to marketing because your job depends on it and b) there’s no harm in being lazy, lazy people often come up with more creative solutions to the same problem.

Nadya Khoja | Chief Growth Officer at Venngage

Be creative

Think about alternative platforms for outreach

Everybody is using email as an outbound channel and it’s getting more and more saturated. Instead, you should concentrate on other platforms that allow you to do outreach too. For example, if you’re a SaaS business, try to use G2’s messaging system to get in touch with potential buyers. Or, if you’re a creative agency, use a social network for creatives like Stage 32 to reach out to your ideal target group.

Of course, you can’t just spam people on these platforms. Instead, you should focus on crafting great messaging that makes people want to talk to you. These platforms may help you reach people you couldn’t reach anywhere else. But please, don’t try to make a sale in your first message.

Will Cannon | Founder and CEO at UpLead

Use HARO for indirect lead generation

Most people know about HARO (Help a Reporter Out). Normally, people would use it to ask for article contributions or to provide information on various topics. But there’s also another way you can make use of the website. First, you have to identify your target group and buyer personas. What kind of people do you want to attract? Let’s say we want to reach marketing managers in SaaS companies. Now, we could set up a HARO query for an article that, for example, is about Marketing Tips for SaaS Businesses. You can clarify in the Requirements field that you’re only looking for submissions from marketing managers at SaaS companies. Afterwards, you’ll get a lot of submissions from your target group.

Now, you can craft an article featuring all of these marketing managers and treating them as experts. After completing the article, don’t forget to share it on your social channels and mention them. Of course, they don’t know about your product or service and probably aren’t in the right mood to buy immediately. BUT you’ve done them a favor. They might be open to a little pitch from now on. If they aren’t the right contact at their company, they’ll probably be happy to let you know about the right person you should talk to.

Max Benz | Founder and CEO at suitApp

Track user behaviour

At LiveSession we believe that marketing should go hand in hand with UX. We created a tool for recording and analyzing user sessions on your website. How is that important for marketing? Many campaigns and solutions are implemented and then left alone. It’s crucial to see how visitors interact with your creations and find fields for improvement. Valuable marketing data is at your fingertips; you just need to take action! For example, you can see if the users notice your CTAs and click on them.

Kamil Drążkiewicz | Founder at LiveSession

User tracking

Add value beyond customer expectations

These days marketing is more about creating and adding value for your prospects, not only directly with your product/service but also through valuable content which can help them overcome challenges they face otherwise in their day to day job.  
At Easyleadz we realized our potential prospects and website visitors were looking for lists of companies in specific industries and niches for their sales prospecting apart from the regular requirement of contact lists which we provide as part of our services.

In our efforts to add value, we started creating company lists/collections as landing pages where visitors can download company lists for free. These company lists not only drive relevant visitors/leads via SEO but we also use them as part of our content promotion efforts across social media channels like LinkedIn and Quora.

Tushar Jawa | Head of Growth at Easyleadz

Use Slack communities for outbound

Slack has become super popular among startups but even enterprise companies are using the tool for internal communication. Apart from internal use, Slack is also used as a tool for creating communities. There are thousands of Slack communities you can join for free. There’s at least one Slack community for almost every topic you can think of, for example, marketing, design, tech, and even wine.

The only thing you have to do is to join a community that may be used by your target group, get active there and reach out to your potential prospects. Obviously, you have to provide value first to gain their permission to be contacted. For example, you can privately share valuable articles with them or respond to their questions in public Slack channels.

Lisa Dietrich | Blogger and Traveler at Let’s be crazy

Huge thanks to all who contributed to this article and shared their insights!

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