One of the main disadvantages of regular marketing strategies in the digital world is that, sometimes, they are simply too blunt. Since in this day and age marketing is everywhere around us, consumers got a little bit fed up with commercial offers popping out on every website they browse. That’s why indirect marketing strategies can do wonders for a company’s business and can easily win over customers on a market overcrowded with commercials. In this article, we inspected the 5 most common indirect marketing tools.
Content marketing is one of the most commonly used, indirect marketing tools in the digital world. Company websites share useful content from their niche to attract more visitors to their websites, which then increases their customer base. This way, they also show their expertise to the website audience and increase the relevancy of direct marketing offers that are also on the website’s display. This is like organizing lectures, concerts, and other interesting events in brick and mortar stores, with all products and commercial offers still being on the display and guests being able to purchase them during the show.
There are many company websites with great content marketing strategies. American Express shares many useful business articles and runs one of the most popular business forums, while Uber runs many city-specific blogs and uses its data for publishing researches about inner-city transport and traveling in general.
Although some people would think that eBook publishing is also a form of content marketing, we decided to single it out as a separate indirect marketing tool. In 2013, 64% of B2B marketers used eBooks to boost their sales, and this figure is growing each year. Self-publishing enabled individuals and companies to present their own work to customers and skip the complicated process of negotiation with the publishers. eBooks need to satisfy several different criteria in order to become a useful marketing tool. They should be:
- Interesting and useful to the targeted audience;
- Easy to read;
- Colorful, their text should be broken with photos, diagrams, pie charts, graphs, different graphics, etc.
Publishing eBooks comes with many marketing benefits. Like any kind of good, niche-based, text content, it shows off the company’s expertise and provides its audience with relevant and informative content, which is great for establishing a good company-customer relationship that represents the entry point to the company’s sales funnel.
These events are usually funded by trade associations and a company’s presence at tradeshows can be used as a good indirect marketing tool. It enables companies to show off their products and concepts to their customers and intrigue them by using the “WOW factor“. Great examples for this are Auto Shows, where car manufacturers put the latest concept vehicles on the display next to the production versions they are promoting. The purpose for displaying concept versions that are not being sold, and are at least a few years far from production version development, is solely to impress their customers and business partners, as well as to show off their engineering abilities.
Good PR is especially important for growing startup businesses. Some of the major benefits of good PR are:
- Increased credibility of the company;
- Increased sales;
- More interested investors;
- More top industry experts willing to work for the company;
- SEO boost.
PR doesn’t only include contacts with journalists and media outlets, but also with: employees, the local community, government officials, and industry rivals. It also includes PR crisis management that deals with problems that can threaten a company’s public image.
When it comes to media contact, the company’s PR department should do media and journalist targeting in the similar way they do audience targeting when promoting their products. Each interaction with journalists should have a creative approach – generic press releases and interview answers should be avoided at all costs. Twitter is a very useful tool when it comes to media contacts and news launches, since most of today’s journalists follow Twitter feeds for finding interesting stories. Well-written Tweets, shared at the right time, can establish great relations with respected journalism figures and get them to promote the company’s brand unobtrusively.