Let’s talk about marketing for a minute. It sounds like a fairly simple topic, but it’s broader than you think. In fact, we’ve come up with 36 distinct marketing strategies and tactics that you can use to grow your business.
Finding and using different types of marketing strategies can make your brand stronger and your customers more likely to convert. If you try something new and unexpected, you’ll attract engaged followers and consumers who want to learn more.
Does this mean that you should use 36 different types of marketing strategies? Probably not. You don’t have the time or resources to tackle all 36, and you’d risk diluting your brand if you tried.
However, once you’re familiar with all of your options, you can start narrowing down the types of marketing strategies that might work best for your business. Let’s dig in.
Check out our video covering the results of 2021 Knowledge Creator Marketing Study. We report on some helpful marketing benchmarks and popular strategies:
Marketing Strategy Definition
We first need to define the concept of marketing strategy. What is a strategy and how should you use it?
A marketing strategy is a series of steps you take to engage your leads and customers — ultimately guiding them to a purchase decision. Different types of marketing strategies are designed to achieve different goals, which is why you might need more than one to keep your business growth on the right trajectory.
You can use your marketing strategy to target consumers at different stages in the sales funnel. Additionally, you can use the metrics you generate from these strategies to pin down your customers’ buying journeys, which will help you target them with more effective messaging.
With that out of the way, we’ll take a look at 36 marketing strategies that you might want to try.
1. Employee Marketing
Many businesses overlook employees as potential customers and brand ambassadors. Consider the fact that many companies use employee discounts as part of their benefits packages. Employees often buy from their employers — as long as they’re convinced that they’ll get the best deal.
Furthermore, you want to build a stable of engaged employees who don’t just show up for their paychecks, but who come to work ready to promote the business and help it achieve the goals you’ve outlined for it.
Employees can spread the word about your business to friends, family members, and neighbors. They might boast about it on social media, blog about it, and refer potential employees to your HR department.
Don’t overlook employees when you’re building a marketing strategy. You need your workforce to help promote your brand.
2. Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
B2C marketing refers to a marketing strategy that’s designed for a company that markets its products or services directly to consumers. They can operate online, in brick-and-mortar stores, or both.
A B2C marketing strategy is driven by consumer data. You need to know your customers inside and out, from where they live and how much money the earn to their preferred social media channels and their willingness to convert through email marketing (which we’ll discuss later).
3. Business-to-Business (B2B)
In contrast to B2C marketing, B2B marketing occurs when one business markets its products or services to another business or organization. For instance, if you create online courses for entrepreneurs, you’re operating in the B2B space.
B2B marketing requires a different approach because there are several more steps involved. You have to identify the decision-makers, figure out how to gain buy-in from C-level leadership, and nurture those relationships through regular contact and superlative service.
4. Cause Marketing
People love to give back. They like knowing that their purchases help further their favorite causes, so partnering with a nonprofit or not-for-profit organization serves as a viable marketing strategy. You’re using your business to help customers give back to their communities.
A cause marketing strategy requires a partnership that benefits both parties. For instance, maybe you create online courses on spiritual topics. You could partner with a church or other religious organization and donate a portion of your profits to that cause. Alternatively, you could invite customers to add a donation amount to their purchases.
If you want to excel at cause marketing, you need a clear link between your business and the cause. Don’t just pick one at random. Maybe you sell online courses and other digital products related to fitness. You could partner with a nonprofit organization that works to provide healthy drinking water to underserved communities or that fights childhood obesity.
5. Direct Selling
There’s something to be said for meeting with a potential customer face-to-face and discussing the role your products or services might play in his or her life. In-home demonstrations, for instance, serve as one example of direct selling. You meet a group of people in one person’s home and demonstrate your product.
Companies like Amway, Avon, and Mary Kay has built their entire businesses around direct selling. It’s a profitable strategy, but only for certain niche markets. You’re meeting with customers outside your business location, and you need a viable strategy for convincing those customers to buy.
You need excellent sales skills as well as a gregarious, extroverted personality. Otherwise, you might not generate sufficient excitement and energy during these events.
6. Co-Branding and Affinity Marketing
You already know that you share an audience with your competitors, but you also share audiences with businesses that complement your own. An entrepreneur who sells fitness-related online courses would likely share audience members with an entrepreneur who creates digital products about nutrition.
Co-branding or affinity marketing refers to a partnership between two organizations that have common interests and audiences. They aren’t direct competitors, so they don’t stand to lose leads to their partners, but they gain access to each others’ followers.
Affinity marketing can also involve co-developed products. You could partner with another Kajabi entrepreneur and create a course together. You might experience increased sales because you’re pooling your audiences.
7. Earned Media/PR
Let’s separate a few terms here for those of you who aren’t familiar with them.
Branded media is media that your company produces for the purposes of informing, entertaining, and engaging your audiences.
Paid media refers to any form of advertising that requires an exchange of funds.
Earned media, on the other hand, is free exposure, typically via public relations. It might include a mention in a newspaper, magazine, or blog. It could also include brand ambassadors who spread the word about your courses without any incentive to do so.
As you can probably infer, earned media has become one of the most valuable types of marketing strategies. You don’t have to pay for or create the media, which means that you don’t have to deplete any of your own resources.
Plus, people trust earned media more than any other form of marketing. It’s highly transparent and honest because there’s no exchange of funds, products, or services.
8. Point-of-Purchase Marketing (POP)
A point of purchase (or point of sale) marketing strategy involves upselling to the customer near the place where he or she makes a purchase. In a retail store, for example, you might have noticed that small items are arranged on or near the counters. They’re designed for impulse purchases.
Additionally, you might have experienced a cashier who has tried to upsell you on another product. He or she might notice that you’ve bought an MP3 player, for instance, and suggest that you buy earbuds or headphones to go with it. This is another example of POP marketing.
When it comes to e-commerce, you can also pursue a POP marketing strategy. When your customer checks out by purchasing a course, for instance, you could include a message about a related course and a link to add that course to the customer’s shopping cart.
It’s a simple way to drive larger transactions for each purchase. Just optimize every stage of the checkout process for upselling.
9. Internet Marketing
This is an umbrella term that covers multiple types of marketing, from social and email to blogging and landing pages. Any marketing that you conduct over the Internet can be considered an Internet marketing strategy.
However, you need a specific strategy if you want to grow your business. If you’re on social media, for instance, what types of posts do you make and at what frequency? If you blog, what topics do you cover and how do you respond to readers in the comments section?
An Internet marketing strategy should also cover metrics that you might collect from your efforts. Connecting Google Analytics to your Kajabi website, for instance, allows you to view metrics like bounce rates, traffic data, and more. You can also use Kajabi’s metrics to track your progress and make adjustments as necessary.
10. Paid Media Advertising
If you want to grow your business fast, paid media advertising might offer the most efficient solution. Obviously, you’ll need the liquid capital necessary to make the investment, but you can easily earn significant ROI on every dollar you spend.
Paid media advertising can take many forms:
- Paid social
- Paid search
- Display advertising
- Television and radio commercials
- Print ads
Before you jump into paid media advertising, set specific, measurable goals for each ad’s performance, then track your progress. If one advertising strategy doesn’t work, don’t keep sinking your money into it. Instead, try something new.
11. Word-of-Mouth Advertising
It’s easier than ever to generate word-of-mouth advertising because it no longer depends on people speaking to one another face to face. You might get word-of-mouth advertising when a customer mentions your online course on social media or writes a blog post about it.
Review websites (as well as your own course site with internal reviews) also become a form of word-of-mouth advertising. These reviews double as social proof, which can help you attract and convert more customers.
12. Social Networks And Viral Marketing
You can’t predict what type of content will go viral (meaning that it spreads quickly through social shares, emails, search engine traffic, and other referrals). There’s also no definitive metric to determine whether a social media post, blog article, YouTube video, or other piece of content “goes viral.”
However, it’s definitely the golden ticket in this age of Internet marketing. Getting your brand in front of as many people as possible is the ultimate goal, and viral marketing via social networks can make it happen.
There are a few ways in which you can improve your chances of creating a piece of viral content:
- Use lots of visual imagery, such as photos and video.
- Piggyback on a trending or popular subject.
- Build your audience first, then release the content.
- Ask your followers to share the content.
- Offer something that’s more educational, inspiring, or entertaining than anything your
- competitors have produced.
- Provide an incentive for sharing the content.
You can’t discount the power of storytelling. A story has a beginning, middle, and end. There are characters and points of conflict. A resolution ties up everything in a neat, satisfying bow.
No, you don’t have to write a novel or produce a feature film. Stories can be as short or as long as you want. You might have heard of the six-word story phenomenon. It challenges writers to tell a complete story in exactly six words.
In business and marketing, storytelling is a technique that allows you to reach your audience on an emotional level. You can tell your brand story, a personal story, or the story of one of your customers (with his or her permission). Storytelling gives your content a backbone and helps customers and leads relate to you.
14. Growth Hacking
Although it’s not a new term, growth hacking is experiencing a resurgence these days, especially in terms of Internet marketing. Growth hacking involves generating massive growth in a short period of time by “hacking” a marketing strategy to make it more effective.
One way to growth-hack your way to success is to test multiple types of marketing strategies simultaneously. You’ll get tremendous amounts of data in a short period of time, and you can draw conclusions from that data that will inform your future efforts.
15. Referral Programs
This type of marketing strategy relies on your existing customers to bring aboard new ones. You offer your customers a discount or some other incentive for referring paying customers to your business. It’s highly effective in the retail space, but it can work just as well for online courses.
You can set up a referral program manually, but there are also several referral program software options. Either way, you go, make sure you have a way to verify purchases before you provide your customers with rewards for referrals.
16. Contest Marketing
Everyone loves a good contest. This type of marketing works particularly well on social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, but you can also run contests on your Kajabi blog or other online properties.
Contests help drive traffic to your website and aid in conversion rate optimization. You can give away a free course, for instance, or some other digital product. The contest can be anything of your devising, but make sure it relates to your core audience and your digital products.
17. Networking Events
Not all marketing takes place online. Sometimes, you get the best results when you step out from behind your computer screen and meet people in the real world. Networking events offer the ideal environment for reaching people who might enjoy your online courses.
Specifically, you’re looking for networking events that relate to your industry. If you teach courses on personal development, for instance, a technology networking event might not offer the best fit. Research local events as well as those across the country. Consider getting a booth so you can talk to people about your online courses and give demonstrations of your expertise.
When you attend networking events, always bring plenty of literature to hand out. Include your Kajabi website address on each piece of literature as well as descriptions of your digital products. Keep your elevator pitch short and simple, and look for ways to help other people before you ask them to buy something for you.
18. Search Engine Marketing
When you create content, you want it to appear in the search engines. Through search engine optimization (SEO), you can generate massive ROI through search engine marketing (SEM).
Think of SEM as a challenge to drive your content into the top few listings in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Creating unique, value- and data-driven content can help you generate backlinks to your work and make your content more appealing to the search engines.
Additionally, take the time to optimize your meta tags, images, and other on-page elements so people can find your content through long-tail keywords. It’s easier to rank for long-tail keywords than for single words. For instance, writing a piece of content that’s optimized for “post-baby weight loss” is much easier than writing one that’s optimized for “weight loss.” There’s less competition.
Search engine marketing also involves PPC advertising and other efforts to get your brand in front of people who use search engines. You could use Google Shopping, for instance, to help drive sales of your online course.
Think of retargeting as a paid advertising shortcut. Instead of paying to advertise your brand in front of unqualified leads and total strangers, you retarget people who have interacted with your business before.
For instance, Facebook Ad retargeting allows you to put a Pixel on your website. When users visit your website and then go to Facebook, they’ll see an ad for your brand. Since they’re already brand-aware, they’ll recognize the messaging and prove more likely to convert.
You can use retargeting on many social platforms, so don’t feel restricted to Facebook.
20. Social Media Marketing
Some experts call social media the new blog. People are posting value-rich content on social media, driving traffic to their sales and landing pages while building brand awareness and creating relationships with their audience members.
A social media marketing strategy should include a posting schedule as well as an editorial calendar of the types of content you might want to publish. Figure out how to incorporate links, hashtags, images, and videos into your content to drive engagement.
21. Search Engine Optimization
We talked about SEM above, and SEO is part of that type of marketing strategy. It covers things like meta tags, keyword selection and optimization, and more.
When it comes to keywords, you have plenty of options. Latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords can help your content become more contextually relevant to both users and search engines. LSI keywords are phrases that relate to your primary keyword.
For instance, let’s say that you’re writing a blog post with the primary keyword “how to cure insomnia.” You can add LSI keywords to the copy like “get rid of insomnia,” “sleep better,” “get more rest,” and “reasons for insomnia.”
Search engines like Google want to serve up content that will give readers value. Using primary and LSI keywords can help you rank higher in the SERPs for that reason.
22. Content Marketing
A content marketing strategy involves any type of content that you publish online, from your landing pages and blog posts to your social media accounts. It’s an extremely effective strategy because it drives organic traffic from the search engines and converts visitors into loyal followers.
Again, though, you need a strategy for your strategy. Develop a content marketing editorial calendar, figure out how often you want to create content, and develop ideas months in advance.
23. Inbound Marketing
Think of inbound marketing as the perfect type of marketing strategy when you want to develop positive relationships with prospective customers without spending too much money or annoying leads. Inbound marketing refers to any marketing activity that attracts leads to your business like a magnet.
Instead of running a television commercial or developing a blind PPC campaign, you start an email list, publish content for free, build a presence on social media, and ask for people’s permission before you contact them.
As consumers become more blinded to traditional advertising and more leery of cold calling and other hard-sale tactics, inbound has become an ideal alternative.
24. Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing is the oldest form of marketing. It’s existed for centuries in one form or another. Of course, it’s gotten a bit more sophisticated over the years.
While inbound marketing offers many advantages, companies still use outbound marketing to great success. Direct mail, for instance, might get read as often as email, but you must develop a list of qualified prospects so you don’t waste postage.
To close the deal, you might also cold-call prospects, especially if you operate in the B2B space, as described above. You can outsource this to top outbound call center companies so you can spend your time creating your knowledge content.
Commercials and advertising also work when you have metrics to back up your tactics. Or, SMS marketing can help you connect with people directly on their mobile devices and cut through email and paper mail.
People come to your online business for different reasons.
Let’s say that you sell online courses for fitness enthusiasts. Some of your customers might want to lose a few pounds, others might want to participate in bodybuilding competitions, and still others would want to increase their endurance or speed.
You must market to these different segments in unique ways so you hit their specific pain points and highlight the aspects of your digital products that will appeal to them directly.
26. Email Campaigns
Email campaigns keep you directly tied to your audience. Use them to segment your audience, as described above, and use opt-in forms on your Kajabi website to allow users to sign up. You can send emails that contain educational content, information about sales, discounts, coupon codes, and more.
Think of your customer’s journey as a series of touchpoints. Each will be unique depending on how your customer found out about you and the steps necessary to convert him or her. Touchpoint marketing involves analyzing the touchpoints that your customers hit most frequently so you can optimize them.
It’s also a way to shorten the buying cycle so that customers purchase your digital products faster. You must also make sure that each potential touchpoint creates a positive impression. For instance, if prospective customers call or email you, high-level customer service will leave them feeling positive about your business. You could even use a customer service outsourcing team or virtual receptionist to provide this support.
You have a brand whether you’ve consciously created one or not, so you might as well take control of it. Your brand encompasses physical manifestations of your business (such as your logo and tagline) as well as your company culture, voice, tone, and structure.
To establish a culture and sound relationship with your clients, you can start using custom thank you cards for business. It shows customers that you genuinely appreciate the business you are doing with them. It can inspire customer loyalty, meaningful connections, and word-of-mouth interactions.
The best way to embrace branding is to figure out why you’re in this business in the first place. What drives you to create online courses and other digital products? Why are you passionate about it? Use your answer to define every aspect of your brand.
29. Agile Marketing
Agile marketing is a set of core values and belief systems that drive a company’s marketing strategy. Agile ceremonies favor lots of small experiments, consistent feedback from customers, rapid iteration, and data and analytics.
30. Affiliate Marketing
If you want to gain more customers quickly, consider setting up an affiliate marketing company. Your affiliates earn commissions on every sale that they generate for your business. In most cases, each affiliate gets a unique link to your product page.
When you register a sale from that link, the affiliate earns the agreed-upon commission. It’s a great way to reach new audiences and drive sales.
31. Article Marketing
Similar to content marketing, as described above, article marketing refers specifically to writing articles based around your business’s core purpose and industry. You can publish these articles on your own website, guest-post them on relevant industry blogs, or use them as lead magnets to attract email signups.
32. Augmented Reality Marketing
An augmented reality marketing strategy brings the third dimension into your marketing efforts. It’s likely a more expensive option than other types of marketing strategies on this list, but it’s also a forward-thinking option.
From virtual tours to augmented ads, marketers are finding ways to reach customers in 3D and to capture their attention in more immersive environments.
33. Behavioral Marketing
Entrepreneurs can generate more data than ever before. Behavioral marketing takes advantage of that data to tailor marketing messages to specific consumers. Using cookies, IP addresses, web histories, and more information, behavioral marketing allows you to ensure that each customer sees the right message at the right time.
34. Transactional Marketing
Unlike relationship marketing, which focuses on customer retention, transactional marketing attempts to make the most of each individual transaction. In other words, it attempts to convince the user to spend more during each transaction by offering other products, placing ads in conspicuous places, and providing incentives for upsells.
35. Guest Posting
When you write a guest post for someone else’s blog, he or she will usually allow you to include a call to action (CTA) at the end of the post. You can include a link back to the sales page that would most appeal to that blog’s audience. It’s a great way to briefly hijack someone else’s platform to gain more eyes for your own content and digital products.
36. Influencer Marketing
While guest posting allows you to create content for someone else’s audience, influencer marketing results in original content by a blogger or social media personality who recommends your digital products to his or her audience. In most cases, you must pay the influencer for this service, but you can also give away free products and create other arrangements, depending on the influencer’s terms.
Build Your Marketing Plan
There you have it! You now have access to 36 different types of marketing strategies, all of which can help you grow your business and gain more customers.
Now it’s time to choose which marketing strategies will work best for your brand, then implement them in a strategic way. Fortunately, you can use Kajabi to do just that. From email marketing to content marketing, take advantage of Kajabi’s advanced features to make your products more appealing to your target demographic.
Maybe your business would benefit from cause marketing. Perhaps you’ll gain more benefits from direct selling, point-of-purchase marketing, or earned media.
You can try all of these different marketing strategies to figure out which resonates best with your audience. Plus, you can combine different marketing strategies to grow your business faster and with less effort.
Start by analyzing your current marketing efforts. Are they successful? If not, you might have to start over from scratch.
Next, test the marketing strategies that you think will prove most effective. You might be wrong. Test some more. The more data you collect, the more targeted your marketing messages become.
It’s easy to create digital products with Kajabi. However, sometimes you need some marketing savvy to grow your business steadily.
Start Marketing with Kajabi
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You’ll get an online course builder, coaching platform, podcast tool, and membership management software. Plus, we pair it with sales and marketing tools like a website and email marketing platform and insightful analytics. All for one low cost.
Fully explore what Kajabi has to offer and start building your business during a free trial. Start your free 14-day trial of Kajabi today!
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