What is Creative Marketing?
Marketing means selling, and creative marketing is thinking-outside-the-box-selling. In order to keep up with the relentless stream of digital technology, businesses, and pretty much anyone who is selling anything, needs to be thinking of innovative ways to constantly improve their creative marketing strategies.
In the past, business was all about numbers. These days, while the books still need to balance, the entire landscape of the business world has changed. To thrive in this competitive environment, companies should be putting the same level of thought and energy into developing their creative marketing ideas as they do with their metrics.
Applying Creative Marketing
Conjuring up creative marketing strategies can be challenging, especially under the watchful eye of the internet. But investing time into creative marketing campaign ideas really pays off. And it’s fun! Business does not always need to be serious. Creative marketing concepts are usually borne from brainstorming which is a brilliant way to increase team communication, collaboration, and in turn morale.
Consumers these days appreciate originality and humour and these two concepts are often the best place to begin when considering what your creative marketing ideas for 2020 will be. So whether you’re focused on creative B2B marketing or want to get more followers on social media – consider this the bible of creative marketing strategies.
Types Of Creative Marketing
Most successful brands have a distinctive image, voice, and style and they use social media as a means to showcase their personality and charm customers. Your creative should reflect your brands personality. Three types of creative marketing strategies that have been proven to work time and time again are:
1. Authentic Imagery
We live in a visual world and therefore focusing on image-based creative marketing strategies is a wise move. Images are a powerful form of communication and according to Deloitte more than 3.5 million photos are shared online every single minute. Another staggering statistic is that almost 5 billion videos are watched every day on YouTube alone. Throw in TV, magazines and newspapers and it’s clear that we are constantly consuming visual communication.
So how do you use visual creative marketing concepts in order to be seen? Marketers need high-quality videos and images that their audience can relate to.
While there is a burgeoning rebellion against overly-edited, perfectly polished photographs in marketing and advertising; authentic images don’t equate to unretouched images. Authentic images are about capturing a candid moment, something that seems truthful. Successful creative marketing campaigns need to be authentic and genuine.
For all the deception and misinformation there is online, there is an equal amount of honesty. So much of social media is made up of real people sharing snippets of their real lives. This newfound candour has had a huge impact on how we view each other and the world around us. The more accustomed we get at seeing believable images, the more skilled we become at identifying the lies.
Forward-thinking marketers are jumping on board the bandwagon. The move towards celebrating the everyday – the imperfect, natural and normal – is with the hope of reaching and engaging with the masses.
Including excellent quality visuals in your creative marketing campaigns is easier than ever with graphic design tools like Design Wizard. Stock videos and images have lost that staged and stiff aesthetic and are easy to customise to suit your brand or business.
Use authentic imagery wherever and whenever you can – from your website and throughout your social media to posters, flyers and business cards. People remember visuals far more than text alone so make sure to leave an impression that your customers won’t forget.
These are five popular photographic techniques that help achieve an authentic look:
- Light Streams
2. Emotional Marketing
Truly authentic images are down to more than just credible locations and plausible models.
The most successful images in creative marketing campaigns are those that manage to express genuine emotion.
According to Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotion there are 8 primary emotions:
While you might imagine that most marketers should be aiming for the number 1 to 4, there are a lot of times when the need to harness the full spectrum of emotions is necessary.
You can fake a smile but you can’t fake feelings! Things like jealousy, fear, elation or love have a way of radiating from a person. Even without words, emotions are evident. This applies to still images too, an obvious example is when a smile doesn’t quite mirror the eyes.
Emotional branding is a forward-thinking creative marketing strategy that has been proven to increase customer retention and loyalty. When it comes to parting with their money, how a person feels about the brand in question is ultimately the deciding factor.
Brands that manage to make an emotional connection with their customers are generally deemed as trustworthy, honest and dependable. While this has always been the case, it’s more important than ever to find ways of instantly communicating these traits and values.
Think about how we consume information, how do we learn about businesses, brands, products and services? On our phones. Mobile internet usage surpassed fixed internet access years ago.
Standing out under these conditions is the ultimate test for brands and marketers. If you can make your audience laugh or cry or surprise them or whatever is appropriate, they will remember you and your message. Emotional creative marketing campaigns is a proven way to get an audience to respond, interact and ultimately buy into a brand.
Your phone is an extension of your mind and we have an emotional reaction to the information it gives us. So, as a marketer trying out creative marketing ideas, tapping into the emotions of your customer can really pay off.
We all make snap decisions about the brands we see online, these decisions are based on our emotions. Like it, love it, dislike it – or worst of all feel nothing at all.
Storytelling in creative content marketing is not about composing fiction. A brand’s story should always stem from the truth and be an honest account of who the brand is and what it stands for.
Stories are a compelling form of communication. Stories are entertaining, memorable, and have the capacity to ignite inspiration. Brands that master the art of storytelling apply their unique narrative to all areas of the business from sales to PR, marketing to funding. Storytelling can be the foundation for all creative marketing ideas, especially for small business.
Marketers have an advantage that most writers don’t – they can use images to reinforce their story, to illustrate their words. And the choice is endless, they can show their product, their services, their customers and employees.
Creative writing 101 – the show, don’t tell rule is about allowing the reader to experience the story, it’s about the actions, motivators and emotions rather than descriptions. You can tell your prospective customers that you’re the best at what you do. But it’s only when you show them that it becomes real, and relatable.
In order to be relatable to your customers and audience, think about what your story is and then how to present it. There are endless ways to communicate your creative marketing ideas from marketing blogs to live streams. Facebook and Instagram stories are brilliant ways to keep your customers up-to-date with what’s going on in your lives.
Creative marketing storytelling may require a bit of trial and error but that’s the beauty of it. When you land on something that gets the best response, you can then give them more! Here are some aspects of your business that can get your story out there and bring in sales as a result! But every great story requires editing – don’t give everything away. Also, make sure you’re engaging your audience with great content, so use a tool use a tool like Grammarly to check for typos before you hit publish.
Creative marketing storytelling should still be professional and polished. You should be presenting the best version of yourself so steer clear of two massive marketing faux pas: oversharing or posting inappropriate content. Here are 10 ideas that should help to kick off your story.
- How you began
- How your product is made
- How your service operates
- Behind the scenes of the work-day
- Your employees
- Hobbies and interests
Rather than me telling you more about the benefits of storytelling, take a look at this clever infographic that Fathom Events created which will show you.
Creative Marketing Concepts
A concept is a bit philosophical, it’s like the general idea, of an idea. Creative marketing concepts draw on different areas of marketing such as copywriting, brand image, tone of voice and overall planning and strategy.
To capture the attention of an organization’s intended audience through targeted messages, is to entrust that business to those most likely to relate and engage. With over a decade of experience delivering creative marketing campaigns, digital agency Media Street implement this ‘concept’ while determining the key selling points in a brand.
Optimize My Brand sum it up pretty well, “The creative marketing concept presents the “wow!” of what’s being marketed.”
Four creative marketing concepts that you can use as a framework for all of your creative marketing strategies are:
1. The Message
2. The Branding
3. The Funnel
1. The Message
The message behind your creative marketing campaigns needs to be well thought out but unfortunately it is an area that many marketers do not value. The message is what you are communicating to your customers in order to get sales. It should sum up the product or service and brand. It should also be original, memorable and clearly define the value proposition. Simple right?!
You can use emotional marketing and storytelling to craft your message, because connecting with people on a personal level will help them to remember you. A catchy message acts as a hook to draw people to your business and brings them back for more. Before you go any further with your creative marketing ideas, you should sit down and figure out exactly what you want to say in your marketing message.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you are brainstorming your message and the first is knowing exactly who your customer is. If you don’t know who your target market is then you are not going to be able to adapt your message so that they will understand and respond to it. (On saying that – if you don’t know who your target market is, you may have bigger issues than creative marketing idea generation!)
When you know who you are talking to, then you can research the types of messages that will relate to. For example B2B messages would need to be very different from B2C. The target market affects every aspect of the message – think about how differently male consumers would react than an all female market. Or how a message designed for students aged 18 to 22 could be lost on over 55’s. Think about your customer and just talk to them.
Quality copywriters are key players in any business. Make sure the person who is writing the message knows your business and customer inside out. The message is an opportunity to show how your business is able to solve a problem and how different (and superior) you are to your competitors.
2. The Branding
A brand logo is a small design symbol that is a visual representation of a business. Logos should be unique and relevant to the product or service. Think of big brands like Coke or McDonalds, their logos are so familiar they have practically become generic. What I mean by that is if you say “think of a fizzy soda drink” I’m going to visualise the Coke logo. Same with Maccy D’s. Think fast food, see the golden arches.
No matter what your opinions are on the actual products of both these company’s, they are exceptional brands.
Colour is a powerful means of communication. Colours play on our emotions and can actually make us feel something. Blue is calming and symbolizes trust, confidence and intelligence. It is the world’s most popular colour and is often used by businesses who wish to portray a professional and stable brand. Use colour to reinforce your brand message. Do you deliver a fun product or service, a playful shade of yellow or a bright orange could match your message. Or maybe green or white if you have any association to health, wellness or growth. You do not need to be a colour expert in order to colour brand your business either, there is so much information out there online to help you make the right choices. Check out blogs like 75 of the Coolest Colour Combinations for 2020 for some serious shade inspiration.
Just do it! Think Different. Because you’re worth it. Nike, Apple and L’Oreal have created more than just taglines. These are mantras to live by. Taglines are catchy little one-liners that support the message and overall brand concept. Hit on something that resonates and it is a quick and easy way to promote your brand
It’s important to have a solid brand development strategy when making any changes to your brand. But, branding is more than just copyrighting and visual information. Branding adds value to a business for both the customers and the employees. Clever and successful branding instils a sense of trust and confidence in a product or service. If the branding becomes familiar then it is because a lot of people have gotten behind it and the more people who support a concept, then the more people likely to support it in the future.
3. The Funnel
The sales funnel (also known as the sale process) can be an effective creative marketing concept. Put simply, it is the sale process that businesses create for the customers. It is the buyer’s journey. You can create the correct sale funnel that suits your brand and business but there are four main subsections that most people follow, they are:
This is the moment that a person becomes aware of your business. It could be through search engine results, social media or word-of-mouth. As we all know first impressions count. As soon as they are aware of your brand, they automatically start to weigh up whether they need you in their lives. Do everything you can to present your value propositions across all of your marketing so that potential customers see exactly what problems you solve.
You’ve got their attention and piqued their interest, now you need to educate and teach them about your product without being overly promotional. Put the right content in front of them, things like emails, newsletters, courses, ebooks are perfect pieces of creative marketing content that should pull them into the next step.
As people move to the decision stage, they are very likely to become customers so it is imperative that you do everything you can to encourage them to move further through the funnel. Here, creative content such as free trial reminders, case studies and testimonials are all things that could help to make their minds up.
Congratulations – you have a customer. Your lead has made the decision to sign up or buy from you and your sales funnel is successful. Now you have to make sure that they buying process and on-boarding is easy and pleasant. As soon as you have a customer it is important to nurture them and turn them into loyal customers.
Creative Marketing Strategies That Work
Brainstorming should be at the heart of all creative marketing strategies. Make sure that is structured and timed. Brainstorming does have a tendency to go off course so it is important to have a clear goal and objective for each session.
Getting the whole team involved in idea generation increases morale and motivation and can open up broad avenues of thought processes.
Creative marketing strategies need structure, make sure you have clear and straight-forward workflows in place.
Use Google suites for collaborative and interactive documents and folders and utilise as many software tools as possible to make sure your creative strategies are implemented to the highest standard possible.
Creative Marketing Ideas For Your Next Campaign
We have compiled 100 amazing creative marketing campaign ideas for every type of creative marketing. To make it even easier to consume we have divided these into creative marketing campaign ideas for small businesses, for creative content marketing, for creative B2B marketing, for creative B2C marketing, for Facebook marketing and for Instagram marketing.
Creative Marketing Campaigns For Small Businesses
If you are a small business, there are an endless amount of creative marketing ideas that you can try in order to get more customers and make more sales. Some will work better than others but trial and error is the best process of elimination! Here are 30 brilliant creative marketing campaigns for small businesses that could give you the edge that you need.
Repurpose your content: Take your highest performing blogs in terms of traffic and build on the momentum? If people are reading it, that means you have hit on a subject of interest. You could produce a short and simple video that highlights the most valuable points from the post. It could be face-to-camera or image and caption based – whatever you are comfortable with.
Hold demonstrations: How-to tutorials are one of the most popular video genres on YouTube and for good reason. People want to know how something works but they don’t necessarily want to spend time figuring it out for themselves. Help them to understand what you do in a clean and clear way. Again, videos are the ideal medium for this.
Contribute guest posts: Link building is a sure-fire way to drive traffic to your site. Contact other high authority websites and offer to write relevant posts for them. The best part about this creative marketing strategy is there is no end to websites willing to host guest contributors. Just make sure you choose platforms that have a lot of monthly visitors. Not only will you be able to build links but you will also build a relationship with other brands.
Optimize your website: Every marketer and business owner worth their weight is aware of the importance of optimizing your website and it’s content. This is a big area and can lead to some big wins.
There are many types of SEO to keep in mind from technical things like your site map to keyword density and alt tags. It’s worth it to do some optimization homework as it can really help you to climb the ranks of Google, especially with the new Core Web Vitals initiative,and get ahead of your competitors.
Team up with micro-influencers: Influencer marketing is nothing new these days, and it is still a powerful means of promotion. It makes sense. Get someone with millions of followers to talk about your brand and in return you receive traffic and sales. Easy right? Except, the price of influencer marketing can be crazy. The Kardashians charge 6 figures sums per promoted post. That’s a bit of a stretch for the average small business! A more affordable way is through the micro influencers – anyone with 1000 to 20,000 followers. Look for micro-influencers with vast reach and an engaged audience.
Never stop networking: Treat everyone you meet as a potential customer or lead – because they really could be. Make sure you tell as many people as possible your name and the name of your business. Give out business cards and share the value of what your business offers. Attend events and conferences where your target market will be and always make sure you are ready to represent. As well as potential customers, you should always be on the look-out for potential partnership opportunities. Linking up with other established businesses can present a whole new audience. Social media is the obvious choice of continual networking, and if you are active online, make sure to be social and add value to other people’s feeds.
Create a unique logo and tagline: We touched on this in an earlier section of creative marketing concepts but it also needs to be included in creative marketing for small businesses because if you do not have a logo and tagline, stop what you’re doing and get them! Your logo and tagline are uniquely yours and will help you to stand out in the crowd.
Spend on social media paid ads: Organic growth is a thing of the past, unless you were established on social media in the naughties, it is almost impossible to have exponential growth without investing in paid advertising.
Be smart about where your money goes. You need to know exactly what the best option is for you in order to keep customer acquisition costs as low as possible. One of the best options is to go for warm audiences. People who have already been on your site and know who you are.
Use your content for networking: Create your own version of social media on your blogs and other landing pages. Mentioning other (non-competing) brands, organizations and people can really improve the shares of your blogs. Virtual networking really works, you can piggyback off a website that already has a lot of traffic and drive them to you.
Make instructional videos: This could be in the form of a promotional video ad or even tutorials – anything that clearly shows what you do in a simple step by step process. One of the biggest concerns for consumers – up there with price – is convenience. If you can show how simple your product and service is and the problem you solve for people it will be likely you can convince them that your brand is for them.
Optimize your social media: Optimization doesn’t just affect your website. Keywords and hashtags can really boost visibility on social media too. Take YouTube as an example. Renaming, tagging and star-rating your videos before you upload them can help them to rank after they’ve been published.
Create relevant content: Give your customers what they want. Make sure you are always giving them content that links to your product and service. Creative content marketing really allows you to produce content that can be outside the box but always remember the end goal – which is sales. Entertain and inform through your content but keep it as relevant as possible.
Speak at seminars: This could be outside the comfort for a lot of business owners and marketers but it really can help to boost sales.
Putting yourself forward to speak at events or host workshops will establish you and your brand as experts in your field. This will reinforce your brand image and instil a sense of trust and confidence in what you do.
Build a referral and affiliate programme: Reward your customers by giving them even more than what they expect. Running a referral programme means that you can encourage word-of-mouth marketing. An affiliate programme is a brilliant accompaniment to this as your referees can also make some money for their efforts. Referral marketing can take your business to the next level.
Ask for testimonials and reviews: If you are lucky enough to have promoters of your product or service, treat these as the most valuable cohort of customers. Promoters are often excited to spread the word about brands that they love. Don’t be shy, ask them for testimonials and reviews. Once you have enough you can add these into all of your creative marketing strategies and present them wherever you can, from your homepage to your newsletters.
Translate your website to multiple languages: It’s a great big world out there, and plenty of customers for every business. Of course, translating your website into other languages won’t be feasible for every type of business but if it is, you should strongly consider it. Adding alternative languages could open the doors to new and vast markets.
Update your website regularly: Think of your website as the shop window. It needs to have a regular refresh.
Add this into your continual creative marketing strategies, to remind you every few weeks to take a look at the information you need to update. If you have images or videos, you could add new content or change them up in line with events or even seasons. This will differ from business to business but the important thing is not to let your site become stagnant.
Offer outstanding customer service: Customer support is the one area that small businesses need to constantly monitor and improve. The old adage, the customer is always right really does ring true for business owners and marketers – because without customers there is no business. Customer support should never be an after-thought but instead be weaved into the very fibre of all your creative marketing campaigns. Many business offer the bare minimum here and do not maximise this platform. You can use the interactions here to boost sales and gain promoters.
Join LinkedIn groups: LinkedIn is the World’s most popular professional networking site in the world for a reason. It really connects people! Broaden your network by joining relevant groups. The key to being a good group member is not be overly promotional and spammy. Add value by sharing what you do, ask for opinions and sharing tips. Become well-known within the group andover time you can ask them for more support.
Create trending content: Things move fast online so make sure you don’t get left behind. Make sure all aspects of your creative marketing strategies are on trend. This will establish you as a leader in your area and you will be seen as a forward thinking and innovative. Dedicate some time every week for research into what’s trending now and future forecasts. Repackage these ideas in a way that suits your brand and get them out as quickly as possible.
Creative Content Marketing
Creative content marketing is a creative marketing strategy that every single type of brand and business can do.
Build custom landing pages: The more quality landing pages you add to your website – the better. The keyword there is, of course, quality. Creating new landing pages offer more opportunities to rank on search engines.
Hold competitions: Everybody loves to win and regular online contests could be something that your customers look forward to. Contests need to run smoothly and if you want to run them on social media be aware of competition guidelines. The most important thing is the prize, give away something of value that people actually want. Encourage participants to help you spread the word in the form of comments and shares.
Try guerilla marketing: Guerilla marketing is not for the faint-hearted and possibly not for every business but it can lead to a huge amount of publicity and possibly even virality. Do not attempt something just for the sake of it or for shock value alone. Make sure that you choose something relevant to your product.
Send newsletters: Update your customers with what’s happening in your business with engaging and informative newsletters. Email marketing can be challenging and increase the click-through rate is no mean achievement but it is an easy and affordable way to communicate directly with your customers. Build a template for your newsletters so that you can quickly populate it and make sure you send it out regularly. Keep reminding your contact list that you are still there. And if you’re looking for an affordable email marketing provider with top-notch deliverability, Sender.net could be a great pick and you can try it out for free
Email marketing can be challenging and increase the click through rate is no mean achievement but it is an easy and affordable way to communicate directly with your customers. Build a template for your newsletters so that you can quickly populate it and make sure you send it out regularly. Keep reminding your contact list that you are still there.
Build a social media presence: There is no better place to find customers than online and most specifically, social media. Social media is a creative marketing must for all small businesses. If you are just starting out, decide on two or three of the most relevant platforms,ie; where you think your target markets lives. You should then develop out a creative marketing content plan and start growing a following. Kontentino can help with scheduling your posts throughout social media platforms
Be your own brand: By this stage of this post, you should know the importance of branding and the impact it can have on your business. But anyone can create a brand, the key is to do it differently, you have to put your stamp on it so that it is truly yours. Think about the things that set you apart from your competitors and then find ways to visually illustrate them. Brainstorm creative marketing ideas with your team to come up with clever touches you can add to your branding.
Use user generated content: User generated content is a valuable creative marketing strategy because it is cost-effective. Customers really respond to word-of-mouth marketing because it’s not in-your-face promotional. It’s why customer review sites are so successful. 85% of users are found to be more influenced by the UGC than the content made by the brands directly. The key is to find something that will get people talking.
Utilize hashtags: Hashtags are a brilliant way to increase visibility on social media and to join in with trending topic conversations.
But you can also use it in your creative marketing campaigns to make your small business more memorable. It’s best to use catchy hashtags that people will enjoy sharing. If you can make them funny or even “punny” all the better.
Get case studies: This point ties into the referral and affiliate programmes in the creative marketing for small businesses section but it is more detailed. Contact some of your most active promoters and ask them to participate in a case study scheme.Case studies are hugely valuable pieces of content as they really show the value of your business. It is, obviously, still promotional but because your customer will be showing how your business is making a positive impact on their lives or goals, other people will be able to relate.
Create customized videos: Consumers love customized content, because consumers love to feel special. Segment your user base into cohorts and then create customized videos as part of your overall creative content marketing. These days producing videos can be quick and cost-effective without compromising on quality. Just make sure you include a face-to-camera intro and then proceed to show the value that your product can add to the business.
Stand out on Twitter: Twitter is all about personality and it can be surprisingly fast to grow a following if you manage to get all the components right. Your message and tone of voice will greatly depend on the type of business you are promoting. For example a hair salon could sound very different to an accountancy firm. Keep it interesting, teach where and when you can and be as funny as you can without forcing the issue!
Try vlogging: There are the most unlikely people out there who have been able to become successful vloggers.
All it takes is a good camera and some preparation. While you don’t need a big budget, there are things that you can do to make sure you are as professional as possible. Know what you’re talking about and make sure that you are adding value to your brand.
Get good at graphic designs: People are far more likely to remember visuals than text alone so doesn’t bore them with text alone. Instead aim to entertain with exciting visuals that will reinforce your message. Spend a bit of time on improving your creative marketing ideas and you should see improvements in all aspects of your business.
Find new opportunities: It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut but coming up with out of the box ideas for marketing could lead to finding new corners of the market that you hadn’t thought of. There is a demand for product and service everywhere, make sure you are exhausting all avenues of customer acquisition. Integrations, partnerships, social media, events, and good old traditional marketing are just some things you should be thinking of to keep new business opportunities at the forefront of your mind.
Add a bit of culture: From pop culture to sharing information on Renaissance artists, feed customers’ desire to learn. Always choose genres and subjects that are relevant to your product and service and then make it a regular occurrence in your creative marketing strategies. Start your day by checking what is trending globally or what’s happening in the news and offer your own opinions or insights.
Give free samples or demos: This won’t be possible for every type of business but if it makes sense to raise your brand’s awareness and visibility with freebies and giveaways.
You could choose a cohort from your customer list or run a competition on social media. Either giving something in (direct) exchange for nothing will always put you in good favour with customers.
Create lead magnets: Create content that adds value to your audience and then give them away. Content like ebooks and courses are effective lead magnets and a clever ways of capturing emails for your mailing list. Keep the subjects top-of-funnel but make sure that they are relevant and tie back in to what you do. Use a couple of carefully placed CTAs to link back to your site.
Make the most of mentions: Someone mentions you on Twitter, the least you should do is respond and retweet but how can you thank them further and gain more visibility. Perhaps make a video to repurpose the content that you are mentioned in. Anything to leverage the other persons audience!
Know the best time to post: You might post something hilarious or truly valuable that gets zero traction or engagement. And it could be simply down to it not being seen. Figure out exactly where the bulk of your audience is and then post accordingly. Even the days of the week matter. People tend to post less on Sundays but there are more people browsing social media so it could worth holding off that post until the weekend.
Make everything visual: So much of creative marketing comes down to compelling visuals. Illustrate your product or service wherever possible. Not enough visuals on your website, social media or email marketing? Sit down and sort this out straight away.
Creative B2B Marketing Ideas & Strategies
Build a community: There’s so much coverage about building a following on social media but it is possible to take it a step further and build a community around your brand. To pull this off successfully needs thought and planning put into your creative marketing strategies. In order to build a community, you should start with your promoters and leverage them as much as possible. A community really needs to feel as though they belong to something where they matter. It should also be on brand. One of my favourite examples of this is AppSumo and their community of Sumolings. Super clever!
Use SMART Goals: SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Revelant, Time-Bound. You can apply the SMART creative marketing strategy to any goal you want to achieve.
You can apply the SMART creative marketing strategy to any goal you want to achieve. Setting the parameters of these 5 key points to your goals will help you to focus on what matters and ultimately achieve business success. Sticking to clear goals for any business no matter how big or small is the only way to grow. Creative B2B marketing needs to be SMART!
Growth hacking: Concentrating on the overall growth of a business broadens the horizon far more than just focusing on one area, for example revenue. Growth hack is a strategy first coined by Sean Ellis for Dropbox. Growth hacking identifies the problems or gaps in a product which are then written up as measurable experiments. The growth hack team should be represented by different departments, such as IT, marketing, product etc. Each experiment should be tracked carefully and scored according to its success. It is a proven creative marketing strategy that can deliver quick and long lasting results.
Optimisation: You could have an awesome, problem solving product, an amazing website and a team of the best people but if you’re missing SEO, it will hinder the chances of your success. SEO or search engine optimization leads to free, organic traffic through search engines like Google. It will help you to climb the ranks and hopefully end up on page one. There is both on-page, technical SEO and off page SEO. Link building is a tried and tested formula for getting more traffic and SEO visibility and it is definitely worth your time, figuring out how to maximise this area for your business.
Lead conversion: It’s all very good driving people to your website but if they don’t do anything once they’re there, it’s a pointless exercise. As a B2B brand you need to be converting the leads you attract. CTA’s are one of the most efficient ways to do this. If you want your audience to do something, the best way is simply to ask them, whether it’s signing up to a trial or downloading an ebook.
Personalized marketing: Always personalize your email marketing. You would hope the days of dear sir / madam are behind us, but you only need to look in your inbox to see that’s not the case.
You should be aiming to segment your mailing list into their interests, demographic and preferences too. Blanket emails are not going to suit everyone and this will be obvious in the CTR. Spend some time on the work-flows and it will pay off.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is on an upward trajectory and as a B2B business, if you do not already have an active LinkedIn account, you need to get on it. LinkedIn is professional networking, it is social, but business is at the heart of this platform. Neil Patel’s blog includes statistics that should encourage you to become more active on LinkedIn such as, 93% of B2B marketers feel that LinkedIn is the best place to win leads and 64% of corporate website visits originate on LinkedIn. Not to be sneezed at!
Be you: B2B needs creative marketing strategies just as much as B2C. Businesses are more savvy than ever and there is more choice than ever before so you need to be able to stand out. Use premium videos and images in all of your campaigns and marketing to reinforce your brand image and message. Social media is an ideal platform to spread your creative wings!
Stay ahead of trends: Stay forward thinking and keep on top of what is trending across all areas of life. Technology is advancing so quickly and the developments could impact your business in many big, and small ways. Keeping your finger on the pulse of what is going on reminds you what is relevant and will help you to remain relevant over time too. B2B should not just be about business, use your brand to teach and entertain your clients wherever you can. Knowledge about trends is especially helpful when writing blogs and can give you a better chance of being shared.
Think outside the box: There will always be competitors and there will always be those who take the market share.
If you are competing against similar products and services, then you need to stand out. Whether that is through your branding, graphic design, tone of voice or social media – celebrate the key areas that make you different.
Be social: Social interaction, both online and offline is necessary for all businesses. Online, customers expect businesses to be active and engaged. If you want to be established as leaders in your field then the best way to demonstrate that is socially. Adding value in terms of your knowledge and expertise is a sure-fire way to win friends.
Test everything: In this digital age you should not have to rely on guesswork to figure out what’s working or not. A/B testing, also known as split testing, is when you divide your audience into two, and then show them different versions of the same concept. So, for example, you could A/B test a CTA button. Show one half of your audience a red button and the other half a blue button and whichever performs best or delivers the highest percentage of conversions, wins.
Lead nurturing: Lead nurturing is looking after your users or customers at every stage of the buyer funnel. Follow up after a sale, check in after an event. WIsh them happy birthday and if you haven’t seen a customer in a while – ask them why. Treat your customers as people and they will appreciate it. It’s far more than just customer support, and it’s far more than just making a sale. Nail lead nurturing and this will help your brand as well as your bank balance.
Make the most of video: It was predicted more than a decade ago and it’s rung true – we are becoming more and more reliant on video as a means of communication. It’s such an easy and entertaining way to deliver a lot of information.
There are so many different types of video that you can produce, so pick the one that suits your creative marketing campaigns the best. Face to camera is not going to work for everyone but a motion graphic displaying statistics could perfect. Do your homework into the best one for your needs.
Focus on experience: There are a lot of people vying for your customers so do everything you can to hang on to them. Today’s consumer is interested in experiences, so creative experiential marketing (also called engagement marketing) bring your brand into the real world. Hubspot have created a really cool round-up of successful experiential marketing campaigns. Take inspiration to see if you can do something similar on the scale that’s right for your business.
Re-target: If a person has clicked on your website and left without signing up or buying, you can retarget them with paid advertising on Google and social media. They are considered a warm audience because they already are familiar with who you are and this makes them more likely to come back – if you show them something new. Create exciting retargeting campaigns with video or image ads that grab attention.
Use infographics: Infographics have become a popular for of creative content marketing because they serve a few different purposes. Firstly they pack a punch when it comes to visual communication, if you want to illustrate statistics and data, then a creative infographic is an easy-to-consume way to do so. They are also extremely shareable, if you have an infographic on a trending topic that people care about it will likely make a splash on social media. They are also quick to commision or create yourself. Win, win, win.
Measure and improve: You cannot improve what you don’t measure. Growth needs to be measurable in order to go in the right direction.
There are so many data analysing tools that can help you to understand key parts of your business. If you have a website, make sure of Google analytics and collate the data in your own in-house systems.
Update your CTA: You want people to sign-up? Ask them to sign up right? Not always. CTA’s should be clear and direct, but with creative marketing strategies becoming more and more – creative, there is room to push the boundaries further. Businesses are
SMS marketing: This is not the cheapest form of marketing but using SMS messaging to communicate with your customers can generate higher click through rates than email marketing. The most important thing when it comes to SMS marketing is that you have a really mobile friendly website or an app so that they can smoothly move to where you need them to go. Mobile usage is continually growing so it seems wise to communicate with people where they naturally are.
Creative B2C Marketing Strategies & Ideas For Campaigns
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Make sure your settings are up-to-date so things like availability and response time are accurate. Upload a photo for extra approachability points and make sure to customize your message.
Assess and Improve: Just like measurement and improvement in the earlier section it is vital to continuously assess your creative B2C marketing strategies and how you are building your customer relations. Holding regular (and honest) progress meetings will help you to identify the areas that need improvement.
Keep an eye on retention: Retention rate or churn tell you how many people are leaving your product. So many businesses focus most of their energy on acquisition and revenue but retention is equally important. After, it is far most economically viable to try and keep the customers you have rather then acquire new ones. A low retention rate could also mean bigger problems with the product or service which should be addressed urgently if you want sustained success.
Segment your customers: If you do not know who your customers are then you don’t know if you are giving them what they want. You could find yourself in a different corner of the market then where you thought you would be. It’s one thing having a target market but if your actual customers are something else, then you need to update your approach. Segmenting also helps you to make more informed decisions across all your marketing and product development.
Host engaging contests: Running competitions as part of your creative marketing strategies is a brilliant way to build an engaged following. Make sure they are all above board and that you are giving away something of real value. The more creative the campaign the better. It is best to promote some social media posts to advertise and boost the visibility.
Add an ambassador programs: Ambassador programs are different to referral and affiliate programs. Ideally, one person or organization should be your brand ambassador. Obviously the reach and influence the better.
Draw up a contract and agree on fees goals and deadlines. Seasoned brand ambassadors focus solely on the value of a product. Leave them to concentrate on getting the message out there so that you can worry about the day-to-day tasks.
Focus on building brand loyalty: Customer loyalty is so important to creative B2C marketing and also ties into retention rate. For one thing, loyal customers are more likely to buy more and spend more. They are also more likely to promote your brand. It is also a reflection on what you’re doing, it’s a sign you’re making the right decisions which is vital to a B2B business. Loyal customers appreciate what you supply and their loyalty is genuine. Try to continue to exceed expectations.
Use Facebook Groups: Posting on social media sites like Facebook can be frustrating because it is so difficult to grow organically. Joining relevant groups can be a valuable use of social media time. There are so many groups out there and you can use them to connect with customers and other businesses. Be friendly, engaged helpful and try to talk about your business in a non-promotional way. Focus more on the solutions you provide.
Use Content Marketing: Creative content marketing is a must for B2C businesses, having an inbound marketing plan means that you are attracting customers with the valuable content you are producing.
It’s more pull and less push. Develop your content creation team and make sure you have people who are able to create compelling visual information as well as brilliant blogs.
Show some humour: Business doesn’t always have to be serious, there are very few business types where using humour won’t work. Share behind-the-scenes to inject some personality into your brand and show the fun side of your team. People like to be entertained – but don’t force it, be natural and light-hearted and it will come across.
Create focus groups: Ask your promoters and other valued customers if they would like to join a closed focus group. If they love your product then they could want to contribute to its growth. You could ask their opinion on new features, blog post ideas, trials, deals and offers. Bouncing your creative B2C marketing strategies over your exact target market is the best way to find out if you are making the correct choices.
Build a network of micro-influencers: Take micro influencer marketing one step further and build a network. The most important thing is to find people who have a good-sized and engaged audience. If you can convince micro-influencers to support and talk about your brand you open new doors for potential customers.
Highlight social responsibility: Feel strongly about stopping plastic pollution? On a mission to save the whales? Find ways to share your passion for social responsibility with your customers. Of course there is a fine line, you do not want to be preaching as that could easily put people off, but showing you care is important.
Understand how consumers think: Even a basic knowledge of consumer psychology will serve you extremely well in your creative B2C business. There are certain behaviors, traits and emotional reactions that customers display that could encourage them further down your sales funnel. Draw up a plan for the types of characteristics relevant to your business.
Create content that converts: All of the content that you create should have a purpose – that purpose is to get people to convert. Make sure you deliver a high standard of content that naturally leads people into your website. CTA buttons are a must in all forms of content!
Use your website to sell: Your website is the shop window of your business and when people visit they should be presented with your value propositions. Showing customers value is the most important thing for creative B2C marketing. Whether this is through copy or graphic design, make sure that this is illustrated quickly and clearly.
Webinars: Hold webinars to add even more value for your customers. Webinars are an effective way to impart the knowledge and expertise you have gathered. You can use webinars to show your product and use them as an opportunity to connect and communicate with your customers. It is also good to join webinars hosted by other people as you can broaden your network.
Workshops: Host workshops that tie into your field of creative B2C business, again it is a chance to network with other non-competing businesses and to show your customers a step-by-step demonstration on how to use your product or service.
Add a free offer with every purchase: They say there is no such thing as a free lunch but prove them wrong. Give something extra to customers that make a purchase and they will quickly realise that you are a creative B2B company who values their custom. Giving away something unexpected will leave them feeling that they had a positive experience.
Creative Facebook Marketing Ideas
Run a contests: A Facebook competition isn’t as simple as posting a competition for creative marketing but it is the preparation beforehand is vital. In the preparation you would need to set a goal for example to collect email addresses or increase traffic to the website or store, you also need to determine your ideal customers as appealing to everyone is not as great as you think as it could go completely the wrong way and end up appealing to nobody. Another step in preparation you need to choose an appropriate prize and type of contest (like/share to win etc.), choose the right words and images.
Optimize your posting times:As there are many tools out there to use on Facebook to see insights and optimize your posting times it would be no harm to begin with doing some research into it as there are no doubt hundreds of creative blog posts out there on optimizing your posting times on Facebook.
For example, one source says it is best to post on Thursday or Friday from 1p.m to 3p.m. and thursday in particular at 8p.m also gets high engagement.
Testimonials: Facebook testimonials are a very reliable source of recommendation for potential customers. These simple creative marketing testimonials are quick and easy to create and are to view on your Facebook page but can also be embedded on any other website to show off the great word from real honest customers.
Comments: With the ability to comment on others content on Facebook it comes with many benefits for example you as a brand will build relationships with other brands or people (in business you always need to keep networking), you will get noticed by more and more people for actively commenting and also it is a chance to share you knowledge and awareness about your brand in a non pushy manor. A new creative way to talk through your brand.
Optimize your header: To make basic marketing creative through a Facebook cover photo you are making a wise move as it’s probably one of the first things somebody sees when they view your profile along with your profile picture.
A Facebook header should always look professional and relevant to the brand or what it does and of course tie in with your whole branding and marketing.
Customize your page URL: Ideally you should have a short, concise and easy to read page URL for your business so people can easily recognise the brand or search for the brand. There is not much room here for creativity since if your username URL is too long and a bit difficult to spell then the chances are people won’t be able to find you or will not even bother because they won’t remember the URL. Remember once you go and edit your existing URL then you may want to go back to any place you may have linked the old URL and replace it as the link will no longer work.
Create Facebook Goals: Of course when setting goals if you have any intentions of actually reaching them then they will need to be realistic with this creative marketing concept. Tracking tools on Facebook are a great help for goals for example to be more efficient recruiting or increasing the quality of sales. Facebook can be a place to get creative and stand out from the crowd so set goals and reach them!
Study your demographics: Being creative using one of the many social media marketing tools out there study your Facebook demographics to gain insight on your following once you know the demographics you can break that down into age, gender, nationality, occupation etc if the information is accessible and create a profile on the kind of people you are targeting on Facebook.
Schedule content: Creative marketing strategies includes Strategically scheduling your Facebook content to your social media calendar has many benefits attached.
A huge benefit is that your profiles content will always (as long as you put in the work beforehand scheduling) appear of high quality content to people who view your profile.
Track & Analyze: Analyzing your Facebook marketing strategy is crucial as there is no need to schedule all of this content and spending hours on it if it’s not getting the response you are hoping for.A good creative marketing strategy Facebook analytics tools shows you what’s best performing, when is the best time to post and reports on all your Facebook activity.
Create personas: Knowing the needs, concerns and behaviors of your target market is the hardest part so therefore being able to create buyer personas finding out this information will make it all much easier. Having an accurate buyer persona then ad’s can be targeted specifically at those people saving time and money and leaving space to get creative.
Use customer testimonials: A good word of a brand is of far more value as opposed to a brand giving you the benefits of their product or service themselves. When you include testimonials it may in some cases convert a potential customer. It is never a good idea to ‘fake it’ because it may tarnish your brand and people might purchase expecting unrealistic things of your company.
Embed Facebook videos in other platforms: As an out of the box idea for marketing when linking back to Facebook videos in blog posts and websites it gives a great chance for potential customers or existing customers to click into that link.
The benefits of someone clicking this link would be an increase in brand awareness, increase in Facebook following and also sales.
Add text to videos: Seeing as studies show majority people watch Facebook videos without using the sound then to really capture the viewer’s attention. Business pages on Facebook having the automatic ability to add captions makes it even easier to insert captions. To make sure the video runs smoothly with the captions be sure the caption syncs with the visuals.
Grab attention quickly: The first couple of seconds of your Facebook video as types of creative marketing should be really powerful and straight away grab the viewer’s attention even without the sound. Other tips for Facebook videos can include thumbnails or the title of the actual video teasing out what the video is about.
Pick advertising goals: Before even investing in advertising you need to decide what you want people to do when they see your ads. Do you want them to be interested in your products or services, want more information about your business or even remind past customers of your company and they might decide to purchase again.
KPIs: Knowing what each KPI means and keeping track of each individual KPI is important. Some Facebook KPI examples are impressions, reach, engagement rate, click through rate and feedback. For instance ‘reach’ is the number of unique views each post receives you can then use that knowledge to aim for a higher reach on your next Facebook post and develop further creative plans.
Selective pay-to-promote: Promoting basic and boring content is a waste of money as you are not showing your full potential.
If money is being invested to make the most of it and send out the best content you have to show potential customers what you are capable of.
Be helpful: The helpful brand experiences are the ones that we would tend to repurchase or purchase for the first time from. Be so creative in efforts to be helpful that your business strategy is all worked around helping the customer just like every business strategy should.
Stay up-to-date: What is creative marketing? Well this is another example,In your content calendar you might like to consider having posts about certain big holidays and current events. Holidays would be easy to have scheduled but current events are unpredictable and would need to be thought up quickly to come up with content and post.
Creative Instagram Marketing Ideas
Run Instagram ads: Instagram competitions have many benefits such as building community, incentivize people to follow, building awareness, increasing subscribers, increasing sales and also increasing engagement. Boosting a post as a creative marketing strategy with Instagram Ad’s then opens your brand up to a whole new audience. It further increases each of the benefits mentioned that competitions include opposed to not running Instagram Ads your post will reach saturation no longer having the ability to reach new people.
Always update your story: Stories are a great place for creative content marketing and are a reminder to your following that you exist and are active so if they ever want to get in touch they know you are there.
Some of the features stories include tags (when someone’s tagged they can repost the story and your brand name is seen by a whole new following), add #’s, add location, see ‘views’, bring your following behind the scenes (companies office or a sneak peek of a new shoot), takeovers by brands, open to questions, include a CTA and polls (insights on areas that need some market research).
Run giveaways on your story: As an out of the box ideas for marketing giveaways on your story is a great idea. You may choose to promote a profile giveaway on your story, others might post a story pointing followers to a giveaway on another social media platform or run a giveaway on their story independently to increase reach and engagement. This is by using #’s, getting people to screenshot and repost to enter and also including the giveaway in the ‘highlights’ section for everyone to see.
Do Instagram Live: The beauty is with Instagram’s algorithm it places you at the top of your followers feed when live. When deciding to go live there has to be a purpose to it such as a Q&A or exciting live announcement(don’t sit awkwardly in silence waiting for someone to join and ask a question or get involved).
Promote the live video beforehand, show the fun side with filters and promote the urgency that when the live video ends it won’t be seen again (unless you decide saving live videos will be good for you) then people will feel the need to stop what their doing and watch.This could possibly be part of your creative content strategy you came up with.
Create a branded hashtag: A branded hashtag can be many things such as you company’s name, tagline, the name of your products or campaign. No branded hashtag is incorrect once it matches your brand identity it fits! A common error is creating a long winded hashtag that nobody can spell so keep it short and simple. Make the # memorable and catchy and also something that lets people creative with your brand as there might be an image you like so much want to use as part of your content this is a very creative marketing idea.
Build a brand identity: One of the types of creative marketing would be the visual brand identity. It is anything from the brand logo design, fonts, color scheme and photos, and any other visuals that you use to communicate your brand. The aim is for people to be able to recognize your brand and evoke certain feelings and experiences with the brand. The hard part is creating a unique visual brand identity as many brands look alike.
Host live video Q&A’s: Creative marketing on Instagram could be considered Instagram live, a new feature on stories for a Q&A so you can be a bit more prepared when going live on Instagram rather than preparing answers as they roll in on the live video. Your instagram questions from your followers are all grouped together and can be accessed during the live video then you can pick which questions you would like to answer.
The live Q&A gives the opportunity for people who may have had the same questions as other the answers they are looking for.
Follow what’s trending: Seeing what is on trend can give you an insight to what people like, the new craze and maybe inspiration to do something different with your brand or get involved.
To find what’s trending you could look at the #’s on Instagram, the explore page and also an outside the box idea for marketing on Instagram is to look at what’s trending in the news and then incorporate that into your brands Instagram account.
Choose a theme for your posts: As a creative marketing idea for 2020, why not choose a theme(s) for your posts? When viewing your Instagram profile it is satisfying to see different themes as you scroll down every few posts or even an overall theme on your entire account. The posts should be aligned with your business goals when choosing what to post, select a colour palette , shoot in the same light and edit similarly.
Advertise with videos: The Ad’s through video on Instagram can be created in different forms such as in-feed video ads, instagram stories video ad, instagram canvas ad and instagram t.v. Some Instagram Ad’s can be inevitable such as in-feed video ads since they appear in between your feed and can be very effective reaching lots of people for your creative marketing on Instagram.
Build relationships: In creative marketing ideas for small businesses building relationships online and engaging with people is important as it involves sending informal replies to customer queries in direct messages or comments, sharing tags and mentions, connect with appropriate influencers, follow pages and brands your brand is relevant to or have an interest in and also follow back people who are relevant to your brand.
Create varied content: A type of creative marketing is to come up with varied content as it takes creativity to make each of your posts different when it’s the easier option to put up the usual basic posts like always.
Being different is good as it always stands out opposed to the mundane.
Include a clear call-to-action: Creative marketing strategies include Having a CTA is fine and good but it has to be clear, compel readers to take action, customized by area, use images to enhance the words, stick with your voice and vibe, ditch the jargon, do the heavy lifting for the reader, stay trustworthy, be a voice, mix it up and make it personal.
Create an Instagram content strategy: An Instagram content strategy should be based on your target audience and objectives to have structure to your social media posts and possibly schedule posts opposed to winging it and having to rush. A good way to be successful with your content strategy is to assign jobs to different people, keep sheets shared with everyone involved so everyone can contribute and have regular meetings so that everyone is on the same page and always be thinking ahead of what could come next.
Create clearly defined goals: In the Instagram content strategy outlined above it should result in clearly defined goals for Instagram. Without goals what is the purpose of it? Goals require commitment, concentration and consistent work ethic. Goals also give a starting and a destination and when that destination is reached it gives a sense of achievement.
An example of a goal a brand may have for Instagram would be to reach 10K followers by the end of the month and with enough creative marketing ideas the goals should be reached.
Partner with influencers: In efforts towards creative B2B marketing you should look at Influencers on instagram, they are generally people who are at the top of the industry, have an expertise in this area and very influential as it says in the name. The first step would be identifying those influencers, research those influencers and their online presence, reach out to them to pitch a partnership and collaborate on campaign execution. It is fine and good finding good influencers but are they relevant to the product or service you are selling.
Target the right audience:Creative content marketing with ads you can specify with the clever technology Instagram has for targeting using Facebook who your target audience is on Instagram, their location, interests, demographics and more. The technology has the ability to even target past customers and more like them. If you are not getting the increases expected in sales, following or interactions for example then you may be targeting the wrong people and should look back into target market research.
Track your performance: What better way to test that creative marketing on Instagram than with Instagram Analytics. Some of the many benefits to this tool are increase your engagement rate, optimization of your posting times, attract the right followers and improve your strategy.
Use third-party tools: Scheduling creative content marketing comes with many benefits on Instagram. The benefits are for example is consistency as the more consistent a company posts the more familiar people become with the brand the more likely they are to purchase.
Another benefit is team collaboration meaning when posts are scheduled your team can see what’s planned to be posted and give input as to what’s likely to maximize your ROI. Time saving is another one of the big benefits that come with scheduling tools.
Filters and other tools: When thinking of Instagram filters the ones you tend to use may come to mind but it is always a good idea to research the best to use for the kind of content you are posting for example the ‘Valencia’ filter is most popular for nature photos and ‘skyline’ for images of food. As there are lots and lots of creative tools out there to invest in a great one that everybody should try is Ritetag, a tool that suggests the best hashtags for your post for just $49 per year to optimize your creative marketing campaign.
This compilation of creative marketing ideas and strategies have sprung from a pool of shared knowledge, insight and expertise. And they work, when implemented well.
But the key word is creative.
Creativity is often misunderstood, and, it’s far more pragmatic than it gets credit for. Creativity is about unique ideas, original concepts and logical solutions. It is imagination in motion.
It’s often said when it comes to modern marketing that Content is King. But the reality is – creativity rules the roost.