3 Non-Traditional Advertising Ideas to Attract New Customers

Tired of traditional ads? Gain new customers with these three non-traditional advertising ideas. 

Our social media and marketing tips are only going to get you so far. If you want to advance your business, you need to promote your business via word of mouth. 

With marketing, it’s not all about getting a message out. It’s more about attracting the right customers instead. You want to entice them with something they feel the need to learn more about. 

Advertising platforms like television, Google ads, and Facebook are all solid options. However, they can be a little pricey. Not to mention that today’s consumers are oversaturated by advertising messages. The average customer sees over 6,000 ads a day. You need to promote your business in a way that stands out. 

Marketing doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. You can find affordable ways to attract new customers. 

If you want to stand out from the competition, you have to think differently. If you want to save money on advertising, you have to get creative. Step outside of the box and consider these 3 non-traditional forms of advertising that really work. 

Be a guest on a podcast interview

You go for a walk, pop in your headphones, and press play on your favorite podcast. 

We all listen to podcasts. Or at least, a majority of Americans do. Depending on your industry, your future customers may be listening to the same podcasts as you. 

Finding a good podcast to get interviewed on is the first step. Here’s some questions to ask yourself: 

  • Are you listening to anything interesting now? 
  • Do you know of any podcasts that have guest appearances? 
  • What are your customers listening to? 
  • Are there podcasters in your industry? 

Once you’ve chosen a podcaster (or even three) then you’ll start to reach out to them. Asking them for an interview first thing might be a little too forward. Instead, take things slow. Think of your interactions with them as if you were courting them. 

Follow them on social media. Interact with their posts. Like, comment, and share. Over time, they’ll start to recognize your username if it pops up enough. 

Via comments, let them know that you’re an expert in your industry and that you’re a big fan of their show. Comments like “such a great show!” or “as a small business owner in this industry, thank you for sharing your experience!” and similar are sure to help. It doesn’t hurt to ask follow-up questions either.

Build up a friendship with them. When you feel that you’ve connected, then you can try to reach out and DM them. Let them know you’ve been a longtime fan and that you love the show. Ask them how they pick people to interview. If you have any similarities, let them know. Or you could approach them with an exciting interview topic idea or two.

Building these types of connections can take time. Don’t rush it. 

Some podcasters will let you on their show for free if they feel you’d be a great fit for their market. Others will charge a fee for you to be featured on their show. 

Offer a customer loyalty program with a partnered referral program

Customer loyalty programs are a big deal

Traditionally, customer loyalty programs are a way to reward repeat customers. There’s a large focus on keeping current customers and encouraging them to shop with you again and again. 

Customer loyalty programs come in different shapes. You could add a punch card system. If you have a restaurant, that might be a free appetizer for every 10 meals they purchase. Punch cards are a great way to reward loyal customers for returning to your business time and time again. Another option is giving repeat customers access to free resources, like a library or blog. Depending on the product or service you provide, you could create content to help your customers in life. Something as simple as emailing out a special promo code to your email list of past customers would also work.

Loyalty programs work because they make customers feel special. They help strengthen your store’s bond with your shoppers. 

The downside is that loyalty programs only reward long-time customers for returning. If you want to attract new customers instead, you’ll have to use your loyalty program a little differently. You might consider gift card and referral programs to attract new customers. 

Gift cards are quite popular with consumers. They can increase your acquisitions and sales.

Info from: https://www.acumenconnections.com/products/ 

Offering gift cards is a safe way for return customers to introduce their friends and family to your store. Loyal customers might buy their friends and family a gift card to your store. Or the inverse might happen. Friends and family of your loyal customers may visit your store to buy a gift card. Either way, it offers a chance for someone new to walk in and have a good first experience. 

Customer loyalty, gift card, and referral programs can work hand in hand. Consider a promotion for return customers only where you offer a free $10 gift card for every $100 they spend. It’s a great way to make your return customer feel special and encourage them to get and give a gift card to someone else. 

Other referral programs might include giving your return customers a special code that their friends and family can use for a first purchase. If their friends or family use that code on a first purchase, both parties can receive a small reward. It might be a coupon, or even a gift card. Either way, if it’s something that they can use again on a future purchase, it might encourage both of them to return to your store again. 

Invest in social media influencing

Influencer marketing really peaked in 2014, but it continues to do well to this day. Influencer marketing works for big brands, but it works for small businesses too. 

Is there someone in your industry on Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok? You’re going to want an influencer who doesn’t have a big following yet, but who’s content is entertaining for your customers. 

Ultimately the best influencer is someone that feels knowledgeable and trustworthy in the industry. Afterall, you want your product or brand push to feel natural. Plus, sometimes working with a newer influencer is more affordable than a full social media celebrity.  You’ll want to look into nano, micro, and mid-tier influencers depending on your budget.

Info from: https://influencermarketinghub.com/influencer-rates/ 

Similar to going on a podcast, you will want to spend some time warming up to them. Support them. Being a social media influencer takes a lot of time, work, and dedication. It’s a full-time job. Give them positive feedback on the content they create. 

It doesn’t hurt to engage with a few influencers at the same time just incase one turns your brand down. Plus, it helps you stay up to date on trends to see what’s happening and what their competition is doing. It can help your comments stay relevant to what they influencer is interested in.

Ultimately, you want to create a relationship with an influencer that has success in a market you want to attract. 

While interacting with their content, you should also think about what message you want your brand to say. Make sure you’re building a good message. That starts by determining what you want your ad to be about. Do you want to attract new customers, or break into a new market entirely? Now is a good time to plan those goals. 

When you feel ready, reach out to the influencer directly. Let them know you’re a big fan of theirs and ask them if they’d be open to influencer marketing. Most influencers will only work with brands they like and trust. 

If they agree, be sure to let them know what your goals are and how you think they could help. Ultimately though, let them have creative freedom. They’ll want to make sure they do right by you. They know their followers better and have a good idea of what sort of content will pique their interest. 

With influencer marketing you want to ensure that it’s their voice that comes out. Their viewers won’t trust their recommendation if the message doesn’t sound authentic. 

There are several different ways to attract new customers without breaking the bank. Ultimately, to find that sweet spot, you have to think outside of the box. Consider new and non-traditional forms of advertising. 

Sometimes alternative forms of advertising are most successful for brands, depending on their customer demographic. Businesses that have knowledgeable and researched-based customers are likely to find success in podcast interviews. Stores that have social customers are more likely to find success with the customer rewards program. Companies with more introverted customers may find success with influencer marketing. 

No matter your needs, you can find an alternative advertising strategy that’s in your budget.