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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

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: Kaywa QR Stuff Go 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.


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