It's easy to fall into a rut with online marketing. You post on Twitter, you send out MailChimp newsletters. Rinse and repeat. You'd like to do more on social media but you can't justify spending hours on it every day. If that sounds like your marketing strategy, read on.
Below you'll find a few innovative shortcuts for promoting a new company. They've worked for other start-ups. Will they work for yours? There's only one way to find out. (If you try them, let me know if they worked.)
1. Post on Quora, get major media attention.
Quora is a well-known Web portal for offering your expertise. But Zachery Cochran, a PR rep at CPX Interactive, told me about an interesting tactic. He's heard of companies who post longer, well-written replies on Quora in hopes of getting major media attention. One example: Someone posted some tips on spying and the "article" was re-printed by Forbes. Another way to go about it: You can also post advice on Klout, then watch as your content (and company links) show up in Bing search results.
2. Go ballistic with content aggregators.
Content is king, but most of us are not royalty. Jeff Shjarback, an Internet Marketing Consultant, says every company should spend more time using content aggregators but most don't put in the effort. He says the best approach is to write a blog post or other content, then re-publish it on multiple services--the more you post, the more the content will propagate. Here are a few to get you started: Bizsugar.com, inbound.org, scoop.it, technorati, topsy.com, triberr.com, and justretweet.com.
3. Follow the cascade of influence.
Everyone knows this social marketing trick: Follow the influencers. When you tweet what they say and form a relationship, they often will return the favor. Laura K. Kinoshita, the President and Client Services Director at SEO company Kinoshita Communications recommends going much further: Connect with five to 10 influencers of the influencers. She uses Nimble and Spokeo to find info about the upper echelon. She suggests finding out through social nets when they will be at a conference and make sure you are there, ready to start pitching in person. Be careful with this one: If not done well, the creepiness factor is high.
4. Offer your help, then sell your product.
Here's an interesting tactic that will require some legwork. Zane Schwarzlose with Fahrenheit Marketing says he advises people to connect with those who run curated sites in your market segment. For example, if you sell a dog collar, you might look for sites that provide content about pets. But the trick is a little more subtle. You start by looking for broken links using a tool like Xenu Link Sleuth. You then offer to help fix the broken links and mention that you also sell a related product. The "helping hands" approach can form the initial relationship, but again, subtlety is key here.
5. Load up on content, get pageviews.
I love this trick because it is so aggressive. Alex Genadinik started a company called Comehike.com a few years ago. He was struggling to increase pageviews, so he decided to load up 250,000 articles related to hiking from public databases. He auto-generated the content with SEO-friendly links like "how to hike in San Francisco" and waited. The site grew quickly from that point on, due to how Google analyzes content on a site.