August 14, 2018

​Take Advantage of Unconventional Advertising

Submitted by Kelly Glass

For Cinco de Mayo in 2016, Taco Bell struck marketing genius. The company leveraged popular social network Snapchat to allow users to turn their faces into giant taco shells. It was a hit and the campaign broke Snapchat records, achieving 224 million views in a single day. But it came at significant cost to the restaurant chain. Although no specific reporting indicated exactly how much Taco Bell paid for the taco-head filtered Lens, creating one and putting it to use can cost up to $750,000.

That’s all well and good if you’re a massive company with a huge advertising budget. Unfortunately, if you are a small- to mid-size company in the promotional products industry, that’s just not possible. Sometimes, even more traditional advertising, for example television or print ads, is impossible. Those increasing costs quickly eat away at companies’ bottom lines. Instead, it is likely that you turn to word-of-mouth and referrals.

But there are other ways to promote your business that don’t require big bucks or thousands of followers. Even a small to nonexistent budget can stretch far with some unconventional marketing tactics.

Host a Social Media Contest
Assuming your business is on social media (and in 2018, it really should be), try hosting a fun contest. Get a couple sample products and give them away as swag to the winners, but be sure to hit on something that will resonate with many people. BrandVia, for example, once did a travel-inspired contest where they invited people to post travel photos on the company’s Facebook page and the best photo got a prize. Not only does a content like this increase engagement and get your company’s name out there, it also shows customers that you have a sense of fun. The idea is to get them thinking they should probably buy from you; a business that is clearly entertaining.

Engage the Community
Don’t let that invitation to the neighborhood cookout languish on your table. Get out there and represent your business! Maybe that means offering giveaways to attendees at a booth or even simply wearing a polo shirt with your logo. But the more you’re out in the community, the more people will see your branding and potentially ask about your business. It’s good, old-fashioned networking. And it is targeted to locals — not just other company owners that you find at those organized business networking meetings.

Embrace Public Art
First step here: make sure you can alter the local landscape in a completely legal way. Maybe you hire a sidewalk chalk artist or invite community members to participate in an art initiative such as yarn-bombing the downtown. If you can get people involved in a creative pursuit (or at least entrance them with a something like a spectacular drawing on the sidewalk), you’ll get them talking about the reasoning behind it, which will be that it’s a fun event sponsored by your company. Definitely include your logo somewhere in the public artscape you’re creating, even if it’s small.

Open Up Your Showroom
It’s time for an open house! Even if you don’t have a showroom, invite the community to your office so they can have a look around. You can play host for the day and set up games for kids, offer snacks and drinks and essentially just be a fun factory for anyone who wants to stop by. This works best when paired with another happening. Say there’s a parade coming up and you’re inviting locals to help decorate your float, you’re running a sale or you’ve moved to a new location. People love to look behind the scenes, so make it happen for them.

Whatever options you choose, Idea Custom Solutions stands ready to provide the graphic design you need — whether that is vector artwork and embroidery digitizing for product decoration or art for signage, invitations, flyers and more. We can even create a new custom logo if you are looking to enhance your overall image.


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