Alternative Marketing Strategies
Marketing online has become fiercely competitive. Marketers are attempting to unravel and decipher online marketing to succeed. Some argue that there should not be a distinction between traditional (off-line) marketing and online marketing. Others feel that concepts applied to mail order work well on the web, while still others argue that online marketing is a breed of its own and what works in one arena may not work in another. While some standard practices like "above" the fold, hold true in both print and online copy, it is rare that you see the printed type face on the web the same as in printed advertisements. Regardless there are traditional forms of advertising that are viable and make sense to use on the web but many marketers do not.
These undervalued marketing opportunities are not the end-all be-all but are great supplemental channels, that compliment strong online marketing campaigns.
Many print magazines offer free listings in buyers guides. Buyers guides typically have a long shelf life and are viewed as a product resource, meaning it is one of the first places consumers look when wanting to purchase an item. Often magazines will include product reviews or sponsored placement in a buyers guide. Typically the standard listing is free, but optionally vendors can increase their exposure by adding listings in additional categories for a nominal fee. Regardless the free listings are a great value and worth pursuing.
The impartial overview from a credible source can spark product interest. A third party independent review of your product or service is seen as a vote of confidence. Invite publishers or even bloggers to review your product or service.
When requesting a review, it is proper net etiquette to always provide the reviewer an evaluation product free of charge. After the review, be sure to thank the reviewer and if appropriate, link to the completed review.
Forums/Volunteering in Communities
Offering your time and expertise will establish expertise and knowledge in a specific industry. Participants who participate in forums have a genuine interest and are a great target audience. Posting helpful information rather than blatant product advertisements will enhance an image.
Writing quality informative and educational articles will also establish expertise. Articles also educate users about related product or service. Generally educated users require less technical help and are an easier sale because they understand how the people or service will help them.
Provide content in an RSS feed. While RSS is becoming very popular there are still a number of industries and sectors where very little content is available via RSS feeds. Placing quality content in an RSS feed and being "early to market" will help your company shine.
When small businesses compete with big businesses there are a number of areas in which they can compete effectively. As more businesses turn to the web as an advertising model, it is important that marketers and businesses define themselves by giving themselves every opportunity to be found. Utilizing undervalued marketing opportunities will separate online successes from failures.
About the Author: Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for FeedForDev http://www.feedfordev.com an RSS component for developers.