There are innumerable guides out there for new startups who are just finding their feet and taking their first steps into the crazy world of digital marketing. One thing’s for sure – it’s a competitive scene out there. Whoever you are and whatever you do, you need a marketing strategy that showcases your assets in the best possible way. The companies discussed here were not afraid to think outside the box – and you shouldn’t be either. Even with a small budget, there are ways to capture the public’s imagination. Let’s take a look at these stand-out examples.
#1 VEEV Spirits
VEEV Spirits was founded by two brothers who together created a unique grain liquor infused with Acai berries – the latest and trendiest superfood. A great-tasting product, they realized it would make a perfect alternative to vodka in cocktails and mixers. And so the #cheatonvodka campaign was born, beginning at the Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans.
How did it work? At the event, people could collect a sample of VEEV from a vending machine by tweeting #cheatonvodka. VEEV was also used in cocktails at the event, and representatives handed out branded t-shirts and underwear. These tasting events were a great success, and VEEV went on to host over 2,000 more.
Now one of the best-selling independent spirit brands in America, VEEV’s website is full of photos of its customers cheating on vodka, as well as a map of all the best places to do so.
Canva – provider of online graphic design software – doesn’t have a blog as such. Instead, it has a ‘design school’, offering unique content that is useful, fun and inspirational. For a company that only started trading in 2013, they have gone on to enjoy huge success, with more than 6 million users. Their strong content marketing strategy almost certainly has a lot to do with this.
Content marketing provides an ideal way for Canva to showcase its design capabilities. Canva offers ‘daily design articles, interactive tutorials and awesome tips’ with titles such as 10 Simple Ways to Instantly Jazz Up Your Brand’s Instagram Feed and The Secret Power of Nostalgia: How You Can Use It to Fuel Your Creativity and Enrich Your Design. So how can you take this lesson and apply it to your own business? You don’t need to start up a design school: just take the time to find topics that resonate with your audience, and write about them.
#3 Optimal Run
As an ecommerce business, giving your customers a clear impression of exactly what your product is like is one of the best things you can do to build trust and overcome the obstacle of not experiencing that product firsthand. Since creating the videos, Optimal Run has seen a 150 percent increase in website traffic.
Debbie Sterling, the creator of GoldieBlox, was an engineer at Stanford and one of just two women in her classes. She came to realize that there were no toys out there aimed at getting young girls interested in engineering – and so she went to Kickstarter and raised $285,881 to develop some herself. The resulting GoldieBlox construction toy is designed to develop spatial skills and problem-solving abilities – both important attributes for a career in engineering.
In her Kickstarter video, Debbie explains the whole thing and spreads her mission before the product has even become available. In doing so, she helps customers to make a genuine emotional connection with the brand, since she tells a compelling story and appeals to the greater good. Now an official online store hosted by Shopify, GoldieBlox offers a range of different toy sets and rewards its advocates with 20 percent ‘refer a friend’ discounts.
#5 Dollar Shave Club
When Dollar Shave Club started out, it had no employees and a very low budget. They knew they had to get the word out if they had any chance of success. And so, they invested $4,500 in a hilarious company video that quickly went viral, gaining them 9.5 million views (and 12,000 new customers) in just two days. That’s powerful content marketing.
Dollar Shave Club has gone on to produce a number of great marketing campaigns, such as the old razor blade series of ads that remind you to replace your filthy old razors. It just goes to show what can be achieved with a little creativity and humor.
Hopefully this article has provided you with some inspiration for marketing your own products effectively. Read more on how to advertise your startup without blowing your budget. Got anything to add? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.