According to a study by Nielsen, only 10% of the ads people see stick in their minds. That means that if you want your brand to be remembered, you must create exceptional marketing campaigns to stand out from the crowd.
Traditional marketing methods are becoming increasingly ineffective as millions of businesses use the same old tactics. You need to think outside the box and use unconventional strategies to cut through the noise and get noticed.
In this article, we’ll explore unique approaches to help you make your business stand out and capture your target audience’s attention.
- Viral challenges
- User-generated content
- Pop culture
- Augmented reality
- Virtual reality
Viral challenges involve users completing a specific task, usually with a branded hashtag, and then challenging their friends and followers to do the same. When you create a viral challenge, you’re making your customer your marketers.
Although not all challenges go viral, if you make it fun, engaging and relevant to your audience, you may be setting yourself up for success.
User-Generated Content (UGC)
If viral challenges are a wildfire, UGC is the fuel that ignites and spreads the fire. UGC is any form of media created by members of an online community that is publicly available to others.
With the current state of marketing, UGC is influential because it fans the dying embers of trust due to its authenticity and relatability.
Why Use Viral Challenges and UGC?
Viral challenges and user-generated content (UGC) are powerful tools that can help you boost your brand’s visibility, engagement, and credibility. When done well, they can generate an astronomical surge in brand awareness, create a gravitational pull that draws users into the experience, and amplify advocacy for your brand.
How to Create a Successful Viral Challenge
Keep it simple, but add a twist: Your challenge should be unique and memorable and easy to understand and participate in.
Make it relatable: Your challenge should resonate with your target audience and align with your brand’s identity.
Tug at heartstrings or tickle funny bones: Elicit an emotional response from your audience to make them more likely to share your challenge.
Partner with influencers: Collaborating with micro-influencers or brand advocates can boost your challenge’s visibility.
Use a branded hashtag: A hashtag will help people find your challenge and participate.
Offer incentives: Offering prizes or other incentives can motivate people to participate and share your challenge.
Be safe and responsible: Ensure your challenge is safe and responsible and that participants know of potential risks.
Be patient: It takes time for a viral challenge to take off. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately.
Be consistent: Keep promoting your challenge on social media and other channels to keep the momentum going.
Be creative: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different challenges and see what works best for your audience.
Memes are comical giants in almost every community on the internet. But what makes these bite-sized content so appealing? Simple. They are shareable and relatable and provoke emotions that resonate with almost everyone.
Think about it: a well-crafted meme can elicit a hearty laugh, a knowing nod, or even a sympathetic sigh, all within a fraction of a second. By tapping into the collective consciousness of online communities, memes create an immediate sense of camaraderie and belonging among users. And the best part? They’re incredibly shareable, ensuring your brand message spreads rapidly through social media.
From blockbuster movies and hit TV shows to iconic music and significant events, pop culture becomes a universal language that connects people across the globe.
Incorporating pop culture references in your digital marketing strategy can be a powerful way to connect with your audience personally. Your brand can become part of the ongoing conversation by tapping into what’s trending and relevant.
When users see your brand aligning with their favourite shows, movies, or events, they’ll feel an instant connection, and your message will become as memorable as the “hasta la vista, baby” line by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2.
Striking the Balance: When to Use Memes and Pop Culture References
As with any mix, finding the right balance is essential. While memes and pop culture references can be a fantastic way to inject humour and relevance into your marketing efforts, using them thoughtfully and with authenticity is crucial.
Know Your Audience: Understand your target audience’s interests and preferences to ensure your memes and references resonate with them. What’s popular in one corner of the universe might not be in another.
Stay Relevant: Keep a close eye on trending memes and pop culture events, but ensure they align with your brand’s values and identity.
Humour with Caution: Humor is a powerful tool, but it’s also subjective. Avoid sensitive or controversial topics to steer clear of collisions.
Originality: Put your creative spacesuit on and craft original content that incorporates memes and references in a way that’s unique to your brand.
Timing Matters: Online trends move at the speed of light. Jump on the wave when it’s still riding high, but avoid being late to the party.
Imagine turning your brand’s digital presence into an amusement park where visitors can go on exhilarating rides and interactive experiences. That’s precisely what gamification does.
Gamification integrates game mechanics and design into non-game contexts like websites, apps, or social media campaigns. It transforms ordinary interactions on these platforms into interesting, engaging journeys by tapping into the human desire for achievement, recognition, and fun.
Benefits of Gamification
Increased Engagement: Gamification hooks users by triggering their intrinsic motivation to play and explore. As they dive deeper into the adventure you’ve crafted, they get more engaged, leading to longer interaction times and increased brand loyalty.
Learning and Skill Building: Games are excellent teachers, and gamification leverages this power to educate and train users. Whether learning new product features or mastering complex concepts, gamified experiences make the process captivating and rewarding.
Uniting Communities: Gamification brings people together like a magnet. Introducing leaderboards, challenges, and team-based competitions fosters a sense of community and healthy competition among your audience.
Exploration: Human curiosity knows no bounds, and gamification satisfies that yearning for exploration. By offering hidden treasures, easter eggs, and mystery rewards, users are enticed to delve deeper into your brand’s universe.
Rewards: Whether it’s badges, points, or exclusive offers, rewards fuel users’ desire to achieve and ascend to higher levels of engagement.
Strategies for Gamification Success
Alignment: Ensure gamified elements align with your brand’s mission and values. Seamlessly integrate them into your overall marketing strategy to create an authentic experience.
Clarity: Keep the rules of the game simple and easy to understand. Avoid complexity that might confuse or discourage players.
Progression: Design a clear progression path with varying difficulty levels and rewards. This journey from novice to champion keeps users engaged and motivated.
Feedback: Provide real-time feedback on users’ actions, celebrating their achievements and guiding them on their quests.
Surprise: Introduce surprise elements to keep the experience fresh and exciting. Unpredictable rewards or limited-time challenges add a sense of anticipation.
Augmented Reality (AR): Bridging the Gap Between Digital and Reality
AR bridges our physical reality with the virtual world. AR enhances our perception and interaction with our surroundings by overlaying digital elements in the real world through smartphones, tablets, or smart glasses. From Snapchat filters that transform our faces into creatures to interactive guides that bring museum exhibits to life, AR has transformed the mundane into extraordinary adventures.
The Potential of AR in Digital Marketing
Experiential Marketing: Brands can create immersive AR campaigns that allow users to “try before they buy,” virtually test products, or visualize how furniture fits in their homes.
Storytelling: AR opens portals to new dimensions of storytelling. Brands can use AR to create narratives that blend digital and physical elements, captivating audiences and leaving lasting impressions.
Navigation: AR wayfinding and navigation tools guide customers through journeys in physical spaces, enhancing their shopping experiences and improving brand engagement.
Virtual Reality: The Gateway to Alternate Realities
Through VR headsets, users can escape reality and explore breathtaking landscapes, engage in thrilling adventures, or participate in simulations. Whether exploring distant planets or embarking on adrenaline-pumping roller coaster rides, VR turns imagination into reality.
The Potential of VR in Digital Marketing
Virtual Product Showcases: VR allows brands to present their products in fully immersive environments, enabling potential customers to interact with them in ways that go beyond traditional displays.
Brand Events: VR transcends physical boundaries, making it the perfect stage for hosting virtual events, conferences, or product launches, bringing together attendees from around the globe.
Training and Simulation: VR offers opportunities for training employees or customers in safe, controlled environments, replicating real-life scenarios without the consequences.
Empathy: VR can stimulate empathy by immersing users in experiences that allow them to see the world differently, fostering compassion and understanding.
Collaboration: Blending AR and VR in Digital Marketing
When AR and VR converge, they create a synergy that opens up endless possibilities for brands. Mixed Reality (MR) combines elements of both technologies, allowing users to interact with virtual objects in their physical environments. Brands can now create captivating experiences that seamlessly blend the real and virtual worlds, immersing users in a new era of engagement.
If you’re looking for ways to take your marketing to the next level, these are definitely tools you should consider. Other unconventional strategies you can explore as a digital marketer include collaborating with niche communities, deploying interactive content, personalization and hyper-targeting.
The most successful marketers know the foundation and principles of marketing and are also not afraid to explore out-of-the-box ideas that help them stand out. Most importantly, know what you stand for as a brand and find elements that help you connect with your audience and turn them into raving fans.