There are so many ways to getting your brand’s name out there, with some of the ways being very affordable or even free. Due to market advertising saturation, it’s always good to try new approaches if you want your brand to stand out and stay top of mind with your target audience.

For tips on effective marketing methods that may be a bit obscure—but are still highly effective—we asked members of YEC Next this question:

Q: What is your favorite oddball marketing approach, and why?
1. Win a contest and then share the good news

We had a launch that garnered a couple thousand downloads within a few weeks with zero marketing spend. We had recently won Product Hunt Makers Festival 2018 with YAC, one of our products. The contest was free to enter, was marketed completely by Product Hunt, and pushed out to all their users via multiple newsletters. Post launch, I emailed a favorite newsletter writer of mine about another matter, and added, “Hey: Just as an aside—check out this thing I made,” and then linked to the YAC download page. Well, next newsletter he put out, we were the subject line and featured in the best apps section. This got us a ton of traffic and didn’t cost us anything. —Justin A. MitchellSoFriendly

2. Attend speaking engagements

Get involved in speaking engagements within your area of expertise. It is an incredible way to generate exposure. However, it is vital that you do not make the engagement about sales. Focus on offering true value to the audience. Using the opportunity as a sales platform would be tragically counterproductive. By sharing value, you will be seen as “an expert” and opportunities will come naturally. —Ryan MeghdiesTastic Marketing

3. Join local Facebook groups

I own a local moving company. I would have to say that my oddball approach would be belonging to several local Facebook groups, which has allowed me to market our services for free on themed days showcasing small businesses. If your posts are genuine, and you’re somewhat active in the groups, it’s an easy (free) way to get exposure and become a familiar and a favorite household service provider within these groups, which range from hundreds to thousands of members. —Turath D’hontSan Diego Moving Company

4. Host a pop-up

For business-to-consumer companies, one men’s brand named Sharply hosted a pop-up in a New York City hotel. They actually put a sample of their super soft T-shirts in every hotel room with a note to come to feel it for yourself. It was a great way to get everyone in the hotel to stop by the pop-up to feel the soft shirts. —Jim HuffmanGrowthHit

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5. Create viral content

In an age where everybody has a smartphone, it is so easy to reach a large audience with minimal effort. With Facebook and Twitter as popular channels, creating engaging content almost guarantees that thousands of people will be watching. Uploading videos on YouTube are completely free, and a fun video can be effective, and even bring in income if it goes viral. It’s a win-win situation! —Ajmal SaleemSuprex Learning

6. Hold giveaways

Giveaways help engage customers. When someone has the opportunity to experience a product or service, they will more likely want to purchase more. People are comfortable purchasing something when they have been given a try first. Giveaways are a great opportunity to market for free. We have given away natal/birth charts and reports, memberships, and monthly gift-subscription boxes. —Jessica BakerAligned Signs

7. Use viral giveaways

We’ve seen incredible growth from viral giveaways for small businesses that have no or low budgets. The key is to have a prize your customers already know they want, then giving them more entries for every person they refer. This creates exponential results of your initial promotion to people just like your customers. Make sure you have a solid follow-up to the contest to drive sales afterward. —Todd GiannattasioTresnic Media

8. Answer HARO mentions

I first used HARO (Help a Report Out) as a reporter in 2010 and realized the power of expert mentions. I now respond weekly to relevant questions from reporters. Along with helping the reporters and their respective audiences, it helps market my agency. Sure, there is some “sweat equity,” but when you’re passionate about a business and want to help guide others, answering reporters’ questions is easy. —Ron LiebackContentMender

RELATED: Driving Engagement With Contests: Be the Next Boaty McBoatface


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