No mat­ter if you’re just get­ting start­ed with your busi­ness or you’ve been going for years, every­one is feel­ing the heat from grow­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

If you’ve stepped foot on Face­book or Insta­gram recent­ly, you know how many get-rich-quick mar­ket­ing “gurus” are out there try­ing to claim they have the best-kept secret of mar­ket­ing to final­ly make moves with your busi­ness.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, there is no such thing as a sin­gle action that can grow your brand overnight. These things take time. Adver­tis­ing “hacks” are noth­ing but a buzz­word, so don’t lose sight of what’s most impor­tant with your brand.

As long as you’re true to your mes­sage and your cus­tomers, the right audi­ence will come nat­u­ral­ly.

Though there’s no one-size-fits-all mag­i­cal trick to sky­rock­et brand growth, there are some less­er-known tricks that pro­vide effec­tive solu­tions. No, these won’t trans­form your busi­ness overnight.

Mar­ket­ing is a marathon, not a spring. This list of 8 hid­den secrets for adver­tis­ing will not only boost your brand but build bet­ter rela­tion­ships with your audi­ence. A win/win all around.

1. Paid Social Promotions

A lot of brands say they tried Face­book ads, and they didn’t have any luck. So what did they do? They nev­er tried them again. This is a big mis­take. Face­book and oth­er social media pro­mo­tions are cheap.

They lit­er­al­ly cost pen­nies, in some cas­es, and the pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less. Social media algo­rithms are chang­ing by the day. It’s hard­er than ever to get your posts out organ­i­cal­ly to your own fol­low­ers, let alone new ones.

If you could get your mes­sage out there for under $50 in front of thou­sands of users, you’d do it. That’s what Face­book and Insta­gram mar­ket­ing is. The secret is in the audi­ence tool.

Face­book gives you the option of ful­ly cus­tomiz­ing your pro­mo­tion audi­ence, and this is a big help. Make sure you lock in your demo­graph­ic, their inter­ests, and geo­graph­i­cal loca­tions before you hit launch.

2. Engage Using the 80/20 Rule

Your mar­ket­ing team posts every day on Twit­ter, but how often do they inter­act with cus­tomers or oth­er brands? We’ve all seen fun­ny posts from com­pa­nies go viral after a snarky cus­tomer ser­vice mem­ber pub­lished some­thing unique.

This type of engage­ment speaks vol­umes for your audi­ence, and they want to hear from you in ways that don’t involve self-pro­mo­tion.

A good rule of thumb is the 80/20 rule. This start­ed as a rule for blog­gers pro­mot­ing them­selves on social media, but it’s applic­a­ble to any busi­ness.

Basi­cal­ly, you should only pro­mote your busi­ness and your own con­tent 20% of the time. The oth­er 80% is all for inter­act­ing with oth­er brands, cus­tomers, and con­tent.

3. Video Marketing

Video mar­ket­ing is the new con­tent mar­ket­ing. While text was king a few years ago, it’s all about video today. If you’ve checked social media recent­ly, you’ll see how many videos are going viral and get­ting atten­tion.

We aren’t talk­ing about sil­ly prank videos (unless that fits your brand), but we are talk­ing about con­tent-rich videos that deliv­er to your ide­al cus­tomer.

Why are videos so suc­cess­ful? First, they lit­er­al­ly stop users in their tracks. They’re more eye-catch­ing than pic­tures, and they’re easy to watch on the go. Next, they let users inter­act with your com­pa­ny face-to-face.

Show­ing your best sto­ries, prod­ucts, and ser­vices in an inter­est­ing way is sure to attract the right atten­tion.

Video Marketing

4. Influencer Marketing

Anoth­er up-and-com­ing if not already in full swing mar­ket­ing trick is influ­encer mar­ket­ing. An influ­encer is any­one online with an audi­ence, big or small. These are usu­al­ly blog­gers, gurus, or YouTu­bers, and they have their own val­ue to offer your mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy.

When it comes to influ­encer mar­ket­ing, you have the chance to pro­mote your prod­ucts and ser­vices through a new voice.

The key to influ­encer mar­ket­ing is sim­pler than you think: don’t fall for pret­ty num­bers. Just because an influ­encer has 100k social media fol­low­ers do not mean he or she is a good fit. Instead, look for an audi­ence that is engaged with the influ­encer, and an audi­ence that aligns with your brand.

5. Clear Calls to Actions

While many mar­keters and busi­ness own­er claim to have their calls to action (CTA) nailed down tight, they prob­a­bly don’t. If you have a land­ing page that isn’t con­vert­ing, you should look at your CTAs. Peo­ple need clear actions to make deci­sions.

What goes into an influ­en­tial CTA? Use action­able verbs and phras­es. Don’t be too wordy, and know where to place your CTAs. Nev­er use more than one on the same page.

Final­ly, con­sid­er the sales fun­nel. Maybe hav­ing a “Buy now” CTA on the home page isn’t the best plan, but a “Sign up for our newslet­ter” is more effec­tive.

6. Offer Something Free

Peo­ple love free stuff. Who doesn’t? If you have an inex­pen­sive prod­uct or down­load­able you can offer, this is a great way to build your mail­ing list and your brand. You can offer this as a bonus for those who sign up for your ser­vice or make a pur­chase, or you can use it as an opt-in for your email list.

Even if you think you have noth­ing to offer for free, you do. You can include a how-to guide, a tuto­r­i­al video, a free recipe, what­ev­er makes sense for your busi­ness.

These things don’t take a lot of time or mon­ey, but they have a big pay off.

7. Tell a Story

The num­ber one biggest mar­ket­ing mis­take is focus­ing too much on your logo or col­ors and ignor­ing the sto­ry. We think in sto­ries, and these are the con­nec­tions that cause us to buy new things.

If your brand doesn’t tell a com­pelling sto­ry, nobody will buy from you.

As much as we think we’re all log­i­cal shop­pers, sci­ence tells us oth­er­wise. We shop with our emo­tions. What emo­tions are you pulling in your audi­ence?

Are you an eco-friend­ly brand with a glob­al reach? Are you a rags-to-rich­es start­up that makes life eas­i­er? Grab your sto­ry and don’t let it go.

8. Be Consistent

The last mar­ket­ing secret isn’t a secret at all, yet so many new brands fail at it. You need to be con­sis­tent. Your brand­ing is a promise to your cus­tomers.

It’s let­ting them know that they can come to expect a cer­tain lev­el of qual­i­ty and ser­vice when they choose you over the com­pe­ti­tion. If you aren’t con­sis­tent in your mes­sag­ing, pro­mo­tions, and ser­vice, you’ll lose that cus­tomer base quick­ly.

A great way to keep your whole team con­sis­tent is by cre­at­ing a brand style guide. This will include things that you would expect like logos, col­ors, and fonts, but it won’t stop there.

Also add infor­ma­tion about your tone, online mes­sag­ing, and how you want to relate to your audi­ence. This way, you can all con­tin­ue onward as a unit­ed front.

Final Thoughts

Strong brand­ing takes time. These tips above are less­er-known ways to pro­mote your brand long-term. While you like­ly won’t go viral by using these alone, you will have a bet­ter chance of mak­ing it in this com­pet­i­tive mar­ket­place.

Mar­ket­ing isn’t rock­et sci­ence. Much of it comes down to peo­ple and how you inter­act with oth­ers.

Your brand needs to relate on a deep­er lev­el to those you’re try­ing to attract. If it falls flat, nobody will care about your prod­ucts or ser­vices in the first place.

SOURCE: Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Stream