Have you ever heard of ad blockers? At this point, almost everyone online uses some type of ad blocker, and for good reasons.
That's because there's nothing as frustrating as interruptive pop-up ads. Instead of selling to people, they end up irritating your customers.
So if you're looking for an alternative to ads, what is the way forward? One approach to get high quality traffic is indirect marketing.
What is Indirect Marketing?
Indirect marketing is the subtle art of drawing the attention of prospects to your brand and products just as digital marketing. It leans toward providing helpful information instead of being intrusive.
You get to establish and nurture authentic relationships with your target audience using this type of marketing.
Indirect marketing is an entirely different way of engaging your prospects and buyers. It focuses on the long-term and not on the use of other channels to make direct sales.
Using this marketing method prepares businesses to get leads and boost brand awareness without blatant "buy now" campaigns.
As an indirect marketer, you'll have to refrain from going for the close. Instead, offer your consumers value. The idea is to broadcast your seeds to the right audience, water them via valuable content and let the audience do the rest.
Some of the famous examples of indirect marketing strategies include:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Public relations (PR)
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
Using these strategies, you can design a content strategy where you and your team will use for your target market. Examples of popular indirect campaigns are tutorials, podcasts, and webinars.
Why Indirect Marketing matters?
It's no secret that consumers are confronted by thousands of ads daily. The marketing channels used by online businesses to advertise their products continue to improve and expand their avenues to reach customers.
Meanwhile, the average consumer has also gotten better at ignoring such types of marketing. But this doesn't mean people aren't willing to spend money or purchase the right products.
Despite the ad fatigue, the table below illustrates healthy consumer spending since 2015.
Given this fact, indirect marketing presents the ideal option for demand generation. Thus, you gain consumers' trust while giving them a break from the "buy me!" ads.
6 Ways to use Indirect Marketing to grow your business
Today's consumers are looking for value, not the next best ad. If you want them to associate value to your brand from the first encounter, here are six indirect marketing approaches to use. Complement these with a great product, and you're good to go.
Content marketing is a popular type of indirect marketing due to its effectiveness in promoting B2B relations. It involves businesses publishing blogs, videos, podcasts, and other consumer-centric materials to garner audience interest and attention.
Although the main objective of content marketing is to boost revenue performance, you start by producing content that informs or entertains your target audience.
An excellent example of B2B content marketing is Oracle's BI Publisher University. The company successfully distinguished itself through its educational content offered through the university. Catch a glimpse of the university in the screenshot below.
The company has an effective blogging strategy and uses its gated educational content to collect data from leads through its online form.
The data helps it target leads which are then nurtured through effective email marketing. Ensure that you verify email addresses in your list to ensure that you reach the right people.
According to the Public Relations Society of America, public relations is the "strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics." Media relations is just one component of PR.
Great PR has always served as a springboard for business growth and expansion. If you have the right PR, it's possible to exponentially increase your company's credibility.
Some benefits of PR include:
- More sales revenues
- Increased backlinks to support SEO performance
- More investors
But it's one thing getting your reputation and another thing keeping it. You can take inspiration from IBM's award-winning PR campaign called every second counts.
The company used real-life stories to educate businesses on the importance of a speedy cyber recovery plan. It included content like GIFs, video trailers, social tiles, infographics, and several thought-leadership articles.
Overall, IBM used the right channels to reach a specific audience through creativity and data. It also avoided navigation mistakes on the campaign landing page, thus making the campaign a major success.
Free trials and offers
Perhaps, there's no better way to persuade your prospect to do business with you than to give them a feel of your product.
Seeing is believing, and your prospective clients stand a real chance of becoming paying customers, and they interact with your product or enjoy parts of your service.
Using a free trial is an excellent way of showing people you have the solution for their pain points. If services or products are as good as you claim, prospects will return for more.
Hence, they'll end up paying you. It's a win-win for both parties. Some customers may be hesitant to pay outright. Presenting a free trial with no strings attached eliminates their fears.
With no navigation menu, minimal copy, and functional image, Salesforce has one of the best free trial landing pages.
Despite the advent of digital marketing, word-of-mouth is still a significant game-changer in many industries. Why exactly? Because most consumers trust the recommendations of their family, friends, and colleagues over most businesses.
Thus, you want to invest your time in building a business network. Try establishing a brand identity and building relationships with the right people in your niche or industry.
Nowadays, you can expand your network even further through online networking platforms.
These platforms enable you to start the right conversations, gently push your brand's agenda and get valuable referrals.
Referral incentives like the ones implemented by Google enable B2B businesses to generate demand and gather high-quality leads. Also, you can use interactive forms to promote organic referrals.
Social media marketing
Whether you like it or not, social media is a massive marketing avenue in the modern world. However, most social media users are fed up with the constant ads from businesses.
Therefore, you'll have to take a different approach to make platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram work for your indirect marketing goals.
To begin, you have to focus on providing excellent content.
There are multiple channels like TikTok videos, Facebook groups, Instagram Stories, and Youtube that can help distribute your content. Once your audience notices your content, you can interact with them directly and build a following for your brand.
Cisco's SuperSmart social media post can show you a B2B brand's unique approach to audience engagement through indirect marketing.
The company used creativity and indirect marketing tactics to get users to react and share their social media content while bringing more leads.
Leveraging the influence of individuals with a dedicated social media following and industry experts can also bring tremendous growth.
Instead of taking a direct approach to social media marketing, you'll use the trust, expertise, and credibility of select personalities to attain social proof for your brand and products.
With a well-placed mention or recommendation from the right influencer, your brand can get the attention of thousands of prospects.
Nowadays, you can choose between a wider pool of influencers such as vloggers, social media personalities, bloggers, and, of course, celebrities. In the B2B world, your chosen influencers should have deep industry knowledge for the campaign to be effective.
Check out this sample B2B influencer marketing campaign. Microsoft tapped National Geographic for an Instagram campaign on International Women's Day. The campaign was called "Make What's Next."
It was a huge success, with 3.5 million likes in 24 hours. It allowed Microsoft to engage and build deeper connections with audiences that fostered long-term brand awareness.
Building brand awareness and trust in today's attention-deficit world can be challenging. But indirect marketing presents an efficient and effective way to achieve these goals.
Whether you use an entertaining or educational approach, employing indirect strategies will enable your marketing message to bypass ad blockers and ad fatigue.
In this way, consumers can appreciate the value your products or service can provide them. Even better, you can choose between public relations, social causes, blogging, social media, referral programs, and others to indirectly push your brand's agenda.
Remember to concentrate on the customer, their needs, and why your brand is best suited to provide the solutions. The approach is proven to work. Now the ball's in your court!