5 Non-Traditional Ways to Market Your Business Online

Today we look at some non-traditional ways to market your business online.  Check out these great strategies for generating traffic to your business and offers.

QR Codes – they’re those little cubes made of white and black boxes that are popping up in every store front and every flier you see these days. They’re changing the way people are sending customers to their website.

So, what are they?
A QR code is a bar code that can be read using a smart phone app. These bar codes can hold information including URL’s, phone numbers, and even text. Users simply scan the bar code with their phone, and the code tells the phone to visit a website, display some text, or make a phone call.

How can I make one?
There are a variety of QR code generators out there online:KaywaQR StuffGo QR

You simply fill out the form on the generator’s website, and download the QR image it provides you. You can then us that QR code anywhere to share the information you stored within it. You can also have a promotion company make them for you and consult you on how to use them.

Check out how Diesel is using QR codes:


Viral Videos

From the Antoine Dodson video to “Don’t Tase Me Bro’!” funny and/or compelling online videos have proven to have the power to reach millions in a matter of days. The days when viral videos were the created on accident is gone. Businesses are now tapping into this lucrative market to spread the word about their products.The most popular example of this kind of marketing is the Old Spice commercial. The video hit 5.9 million views and 22,000 comments within just a few days of being posted to YouTube. The month of the release, Old Spice more than doubled their sales.

Don’t have this big of a budget? You don’t have to. Dollar Shave Club made a low budget viral video for their product. Believe it or not, this low budget production got Dollar Shave Club 3 million views. That’s a lot of visibility for your brand!



Ask any SEO in the business, and they will tell you: Infographics encourage shares, shares build links, and links are GOOD. The way Google works is by a complex algorithm that ranks your site against other sites for particular search terms. One way that Google ranks your site is by examining all the links that point to that site.The general rule is the more links, the better; however, natural links are the most valuable. Natural links are the links that get built without much involvement from you. One way to encourage those natural links is to build link-bait.Link-bait is basically any content that people want to show other people. In the past few years, marketers have seen that infographics are great for this task. An infographic is basically a visualization of statistics and data.

These graphics aren’t easy to make. If you don’t have an in house designer, I’d suggest finding a designer to build the graphic for you. Make sure to have a little piece of branding at the bottom. It’s a great way to build some brand recognition while you build those links.


Guest Posting

Guest posting, like infographics, are a great way to build links, but they also have hidden value. Guest posts are also about relationships. When a blogger lets you post an article on their site, they’re telling everyone who reads their blog that you are an expert in your field.Being seen as an expert can be extremely valuable because experts have influence, and influence sells. If you can get a few guest posts on blogs with relatively high readership in your industry, you will definitely start pulling in more leads.So, how do you get bloggers to post one of your articles on their website? It’s easy – just ask. Most bloggers are open to having another writer post on their blog, but there are a few rules you need to follow.Make sure that the content you send them is of quality and of value. No one wants to post a poorly written article on their site, nor do they want to post something that is just shameless self-promotion of your brand. Your guest post has to benefit the host of the site as much as, if not more than, it benefits you.


Become a Resource

Another way to be seen as an expert in your field is to become a resource. Do you have some insightful knowledge about how to do a particular task in your field? Put a post on your company blog about it. Do you know of a great industry-relevant book? Review it.People are looking for these resources all over the web, and if they find it on your website, you’re the expert. For example, I write a blog related to the graphic design industry. In order to gain readership of other designers, I post tutorials, design resources, and inspiration on a regular basis. Not only does this help me be seen as an expert, but it’s also another way to encourage links and gain some more brand recognition.


Get started!

Mark Zuckerburg is known to have said, “Done is better than perfect,” and he’s right. You don’t have to perfect your writing or video skills to get started on these techniques. Practice makes perfect, and trying can never hurt. So get started right now.


About the Author

Courtney Cox is a graphic designer, web developer, SEO, and blogger. She is currently taking an internship at WrightIMC, while maintaining her freelance design company. She is working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Emerging Media and Communication at the University of Texas at Dallas.

All-In-One Marketing: How To Reach Your Audience Anywhere

There are so many different ways to stay connected with our target market that finding the best way to communicate with prospects effectively can be a challenge. Due to the complexity of multiple communication preferences (social media, direct mail, advertising, etc.), identifying and engaging prospects and customers individually, is your best opportunity for cutting through the clutter.

To be an effective communicator, you really need to start with the premise that it’s nearly impossible to reach 100% of your target audience using a single tool. There are so many different ways to communicate (ex: like email or text) that understanding and identifying each person’s preferred method of communication is paramount. If you’re currently using only using one method of communication with customers or prospects, chances are your response rates are really low.

Improving your communication begins by asking how to communicate with your entire audience, without being overwhelmed with multiple services, different forms of media, learning several different complex programs, or having all customer data stored throughout multiple systems? Marketing technology has evolved to address this issue and make multi-model communication manageable.

Just as the SCOOP Marketing Forum is a centralized hub for online marketers, centralized hubs for outbound marketing are multi-channel marketing platforms. There are quite a few of them out there that are pretty good. With platforms like this, business owners can send "quick blasts" to all the people on their distribution lists using different media.

It seems that mobile marketing and social media marketing are quickly becoming the channel of choice for marketing in this generation. In fact, I saw a poll the other day on Linked In that stated e-mail is the most popular medium for people between the ages of 30-40, while social media is the preferred channel for young adults between 20-30. SMS comes close behind between the same age group of 20-30. Some people are also saying that e-mail is slowly declining in favor of social media and mobile messaging, however I believe that e-mail is a different beast on its own.

Multi Channel Marketing tools from companies like UZmarketing combine the power of mobile text, email, IM, voice, and social media in to one interface. Most of these platforms are able to seamlessly orchestrate an entire marketing campaign through all popular modes of communication. These platforms allow business owners and decision makers who have little time, staff, or knowledge to compose marketing campaigns that are as sophisticated as some of the campaigns major corporations use.

The best part of using a tool to integrate many different modes of communication is effective customer management. By having clear insight into what has been communicated and to whom, you stand a much better chance of enriching your dialog with customers and even prospects. Using platforms that integrate the latest means of reaching your audience with the latest technology are vital given each user’s preference for sending and receiving messages.

This is an area that is of great interest to me. If you have a platform you use to manage your communications across different platforms, please let Marketing Blog readers know about it. With better tools we can improve your relationship with our target market and elevate the “user experience” associated with our brands.

How to Install a WordPress Blog

This past week I tried to install WordPress on a new domain via a "quick install" feature on Godaddy.com. Guess what?  It didn't work.  The good news is that with some back and forth with Godaddy support, I finally got the real instructions.  If you're struggling to install WordPress on a new domain, follow these instructions.

Installing WordPress using Go Daddy Hosting Connection is the easiest way to get WordPress up and running on your domain if it works (it didn't for me).

However, you can install it manually into your shared hosting account using the following instructions.

To accomplish this, you will need the following items:
-A compatible hosting account which supports PHP and MySQL
-Your FTP account login information. This includes the FTP User Name and Password for your hosting account.
-A MySQL Database for WordPress and the Database information.
-The latest version of WordPress which you can download from Wordpress.org
    NOTE:This article assumes you already have a compatible hosting account and your FTP login information. If this is not the case, obtain these items and then return to the article.

    The next step is to create a MySQL Database for WordPress.  No one ever told be this about installing WordPress but trust me - this is what gets your installation actually working.  Follow these specific instructions and you'll be up and running in not time.
    -Log in to your Account Manager 
    -Click Web Hosting.
    -Next to the hosting account you want to use, click Launch.
    -In the Databases section of the Hosting Control Center, click the MySQL icon.
    -Click Create New Database.
    -Enter a description, WordPress for instance.
    -Enter a user name and password.
    -Specify your MySQL version.
    -Specify whether you want to allow Direct Database Access.
      NOTE: Direct Database Access is a less secure way to manage your hosted databases which most users do not require. If you do not need to access your database remotely, then you should not enable Direct Database Access. For more information, see Why Connect Remotely to Shared Hosting Databases.

      Verify your MySQL database settings. If everything looks OK, click OK. It may take a few minutes to create your database. Click your browser's Refresh button to check if your database is ready.

      Once you have set up a database for your account, you can find your host name information by clicking the Pencil icon next to the name of your database. Note the following items, as they will be needed later in the install process:
        1. Host Name
        2. Database Name
        3. Database User Name
          Now, you need to download the latest version of WordPress from their servers. This can be found at WordPress.org.

          -Install WordPress
            Unzip the file from WordPress, and then upload the contents of the WordPress folder to your hosting account using an FTP client. This directory can be stored anywhere in your account, in this example it will be in the root (http://www.coolexample.com).  NOTE: Do not upload the wordpress folder itself, only its contents.

            Begin the WordPress installation by going to http://www.coolexample.com/wp-admin/install.php.
            -Click Create a Configuration File.
              Click Let's go!

              Complete the following fields, and then click Submit:
                1. Database Name — Enter your database's name.
                2. User Name — Enter your database's name.
                3. Password — Enter your database's password.
                4. Database Host — Enter your database's Host Name.
                5. Table Prefix — Do not modify this field, unless you want to run multiple WordPress installations.
                  Click Run the install.

                  Complete the on-screen fields for your blog's details, and then click Install WordPress.

                  That's it! Your WordPress blog is now installed. For assistance in the set up and maintenance of your blog, see the Getting Started with WordPress page at WordPress.org.  Also, be sure to search online for help from people who are experiencing the same issues you might be having with WordPress as a full site or blog.  Happy blogging!