Unconventional Marketing Tactics for 2024 - 1Digital® Agency
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Have you been having problems with your marketing recently? Maybe the ads you previously put up on Google or social media seem to be slowing down. Or maybe the organic content you’ve been posting has been getting fewer and fewer likes and shares.

Marketing tactics and strategies are a dime a dozen whenever you do a quick search online. The question is, how many of them actually work?

Maybe it’s because advertising has gone crazy in the past couple of years—with everyone’s father, sister, and uncle jumping onto the train—that your marketing has hit some sort of unseen wall. Maybe it’s because there’s just too much stuff fighting for people’s attention.

But you’re here now because maybe you’ve run out of ideas, or because you’re unsure of where to turn to. You’re on the lookout for something different, something unique, something unconventional.

And you’d be right to go looking for it.

Digital marketing is constantly changing, after all, and sometimes it’s those unconventional marketing tactics that will help you climb out of the rut you find yourself stuck in.

 

Battling Over-Saturation Online

The rising problem with today’s marketing strategies is that there’s just too much competition. More and more businesses are now advertising online both on search engines and social media. One huge dilemma this brings to business owners is that advertising costs tend to soar when more advertisers are vying and competing for users’ attention.

Another concern that this can bring businesses is the fact that users can only deal with being bombarded by so many ads. At one point or another, users are bound to get ad fatigue wherein even if they’re forced to watch an ad, they may be likely to simply tune it out or skip parts of it.

We estimate we can sell up to 80% of a user's vision without inducing  seizures." - iFunny

Let’s take YouTube Premium as an example.

YouTube Premium has several appealing features such as being able to watch videos offline, play those videos in the background (or while your phone screen is turned off), and advanced controls (such as being able to watch at 1.5x or 2x speed).

One of the main draws of YouTube Premium, however, is the ability to watch YouTube videos without ads. In fact, this is most likely the biggest draw for YouTube Premium users.

Just taking a look at the numbers, for example, YouTube Premium had 30 million subscribers back in 2020. To date, that number is at 100 million out of 2.7 billion active users. The exponential growth of YouTube Premium shows that people want an ad-free YouTube.

The question is, how can marketers and advertisers respond?

 

The War for Attention

Another dilemma that many marketers face today is the battle for attention. There’s just so much content out there (whether it be a podcast, a new show to binge watch, a movie to catch, or a video game to play) and too little time to go through it all.

De-Squirrel Mode: Removing the Unnecessary Distractions from Your Life

This means that your average user will end up choosing the thing that excites them most at a particular or given moment. And more often than not, the thing that excites them won’t be an ad from a business that’s trying to sell them something.

This means, then, that marketers have to make their content extra interesting for people to actually pay attention. Their content has to be—as Seth Godin would say—remarkable, or something worth making a remark about.

 

The Desire for Connection

Now, the concern with everything becoming increasingly digital these days is that kids are spending less and less time outside, with family or with friends. Socialization these days can easily be kept to discord servers rather than your local playground, park, or pub.

And yet, despite the seeming global connectedness we have with one another, there are those claiming that there’s a loneliness epidemic that’s taking place. Despite being constantly connected through the net, there’s a deep desire to establish actual, real-life connections.

Reach Out With Your Feelings The Force GIF - Reach Out With Your Feelings The Force Luke Skywalker GIFs

What this means for marketers is that it’s no longer enough to just slap together an ad explaining the features of your oh-so-awesome product.

Rather, it’s becoming increasingly important for marketers to focus on building that deeper connection with their audience and customers.

 

It All Boils Down to the Customer Experience

That said, so what unconventional marketing tactics and strategies should marketers be trying and testing out from this point forward? What other things can businesses do to capture and hold people’s attention?

Well, in this case, it all boils down to the basics: the customer journey and experience.

If you’re not creating content that’s tailor-made for your specific audience’s wants, needs, and desires, then you’re already fighting a losing battle.

It’s high time that you start focusing on what it is you want your customers to experience whenever they interact with your brand or business. What’s the overall feeling you want them to have whenever they step into your store, interact with your staff, purchase and use your products?

Focus on that, and you’ll be leagues ahead of the competition.

As for specific tactics, here are some things we would suggest you might want to start focusing on:

 

1. Hyper-Personalization

Personalization has always been a highly-recommended aspect that marketers encourage business owners and product designers to consider. Remember, it’s all about connections. The stronger the connection you can establish between your brand and your customer’s personality, the stronger their sense of loyalty will be towards your business.

This type of personalization isn’t about your customers being able to put their name on your products, however. Rather, it’s about applying it throughout the customer journey: personalized webpages, pricing, and even after-purchase services.

In fact, 90% of consumers have come out and said that they actually find personalized advertising appealing.

One way you can see personalization in action is through Amazon’s recommendations. It’s about being able to somewhat predict what it is your customer wants or needs at an individual level (their geographic data, preferences, past visits, etc.).

 

2. User-Generated Content

Related to personalization is user-generated content. Now, you’ve probably heard a myriad of marketers constantly recommend using user-generated content as a part of your marketing efforts. And for good reason!

From #OOTDs to unboxing videos, makeup reviews, and photo tags, these are the type of content you’ll constantly run across in social media. In fact, 80% of consumers have said that they prefer seeing photos of actual, real customers versus stock photos.

So while it may be nice to spend for a professional photoshoot of your products with some kind of celebrity endorsement, nothing beats an authentic take from your everyday person.

Pov of happy young man celebrating his victory on online shooter game using wireless controller.

3. Gamification

One unconventional marketing tactic many have probably heard of is gamification. This technique borrows certain design elements from video games (which, by itself, is a huge market with 3.3 billion gamers worldwide). You’ll see certain elements of gamification in several industries.

Frequent-flyer programs and credit card points are one example of gamification wherein you gain discounts and free stuff whenever you accumulate points.

Other aspects of gamification include the use of badges, levels, leaderboards, countdowns, and progress bars.

The thing that places gamification in the unconventional category is that it can be difficult to pull off. Dozens of cafes and milk tea shops have tried to leverage the use of point cards. However, not all of them were successful.

Gamification requires that you, as a business, truly and fully understand your customers’ motivational psychology and behavior. It involves not just game design, but sometimes also graphics, software, and web design. But if you’re able to pull it off, the rewards can be tenfold.

 

4. Be Authentic

One of the things that turns off most consumers from businesses is the lack of authenticity. Because people are increasingly drawn to seeking out building connections and relations, if a customer doesn’t feel or understand what your brand or business, it’s all too easy for them to just ignore and dismiss you. After all, there’s an infinite amount of content out there for them to consume.

Add to that the fact that chatbots are slowly replacing actual people in terms of customer service, being able to talk to another actual human becomes increasingly valuable.

Authenticity boils down to being able to convey the essence, mood, and values that you hold as a company. It’s about injecting your personality into your company in such a way that your customers can connect and relate.

Chubbies shorts does a good job of embodying this sense of authenticity. A visit to their homepage and you can already pick up on their personality with headlines like “Good Thighbrations” and references to looking forward to the weekend.

It’s branding done right.

 

Now, some of these may not be the kind of unconventional marketing tactics you’re looking for. However, the thing is that, despite these tips being constantly recommended, you still won’t see that many businesses actually apply them in terms of their marketing efforts.

That’s what makes them unconventional.

So, if you’re looking for something to try and test out, these unconventional marketing tactics might just be the ones to help you strike gold. The only way to find out for sure, is to go out and test them.

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Francis Concepcion

Francis Concepcion is an SEO Content Producer at 1Digital Agency and enjoys writing content for businesses that are part of the arts, graphic design, interior design, retail and fashion industries. When he's not working, he's either voraciously consuming all sorts of literature, film, video games and animation, or he's deconstructing their various plots and storytelling techniques in order to improve his craft and further weave and develop his own fictions.

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