Low-Cost Marketing Campaign Ideas
If you’re trying to come up with ideas for an inexpensive marketing campaign, think about ways to get others to talk about your brand.
Think about publicity. Publicity that tells a captivating story about your company.
I’m not talking about hiring a PR firm for $6,000 per month to pitch your story ideas. I’m talking about shifting your thinking from creating transaction-driven ads to creating interesting stories that compel others to write about, share and most of all, feel a connection to and experience your brand.
People today want to know who they’re buying from. Engage your market by sharing stories, the stories that you want to tell. These can be extremely valuable in building credibility and awareness for your company, product or service.
And in creating an authentic brand experience.
When done right, publicity can be one of the lowest-cost but highest ROI vehicles. And when you’re thinking about the word “publicity,” think about all of the different channels you can use to share your story: social media, your own website, email marketing, search engines, partners, bloggers and, of course, journalists.
The first step is to brainstorm potential stories. Think about story ideas and themes:
- An unattainable quest
- You against the system
- Good vs. evil
- Sharing your purpose
- A stranger in a strange land
- A merger or romance
- A race against time
15 Low-Cost Marketing Campaign Story Ideas
- Announce the creation of your business or a new product or service. Explain the need – what is the problem and how can you help? Give it as much personality as possible.
- Announce your new or unique location. Is it typical for your industry?
- Announce a change to your management team. How does this addition/change represent an obstacle overcome?
- Does the management team come from different industries or backgrounds? How did they come together to create this new company?
- When launching a new product, invent a new category into which it falls and describe why that category is important. Address how it solves a customer problem in a new way. Discuss conflict vs. the status quo.
- How has the product impacted a user or company and the results they achieved? Include details about the struggle.
- Write about an innovative use of your product. How will this new innovation change the current marketplace? Does it affect other industries?
- Write about entering a new market – struggles faced, the key factor(s) in your achievement, and interesting personal tidbits.
- Keep an eye on trends in your community, your industry, and the world. Think of ways to tie your business into that trend. For example, if your company offers an innovative flex-time program for working mothers, a reporter could do a story about how local companies are addressing the challenges that new mothers face.
- Expand on current events – if there’s something happening locally or nationally and your business can provide guidance, comment, or support, try to generate some interviews that tie into the situation.
- Holidays (major and obscure) are a great PR tool. Can you come up with a hook that ties your products, services or company operations into a holiday? For example, if your company holds a unique Halloween party for employees, that offers potential to generate some press.
- Write about hiring a new key employee. Make it interesting – rather than focusing on a laundry list of achievements, you could generate some press by developing an interview about current issues or trends.
- Write about promoting an employee. Again, make it interesting – what obstacles did s/he face before achieving something worth a promotion?
- Write a story about an employee’s contribution to the business – someone going above and beyond. Include specific results.
- Tell a story about how your company or employees are involved in the community – via charitable donations, volunteerism, and philanthropic projects. Add some research about how these initiatives improve company morale and any interesting examples you’ve seen in your company.
After compiling your list of potential stories, create a story outline using bullet points. Stories are like a movie script, with a beginning, middle and end. Then, review each and consider the following:
- How unique is this idea?
- Who is the best audience for this story?
- How will this story affect our brand?
- How useful is this information for the audience?
- Would this lend itself to a self-authored story for another publication?
To get your story heard, you’ll need to share it. Here are some step-by-step plans to help: