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November 17, 2015

Out of the Box Digital Marketing Tips from National Companies

You’ve covered all the basics for your digital marketing strategy from understanding your audience and creating great content to target them effectively. You’re active on social and are diligently tracking your KPIs. However, you are still looking for the piece of the puzzle that will set your business apart from the competition. Nowadays, businesses need more than just a website and a blog; they have to think outside of the box to attract new customers. We’ve taken tips from some of the top companies in the nation in an effort to help you think outside of the box with your digital marketing strategy:


2015 has been the year of content. Businesses are looking to increase their content productivity and share valuable content across a variety of marketing channels. Aside from distributing your content via social media, look to discovery and delivery platforms to gain a broader reach.

Platforms such as Outbrain and Taboola are great tools to increase traffic to your site. These content marketing platforms display links to your content on the Web’s largest content publishers, including, Time, and ESPN. The platform runs similarly to Google AdWords where users can set a pay-per-click budget.

Discovery outlets like the ones mentioned above use behavioral targeting to increase engagement. Therefore, readers are recommended interesting articles, videos, photos, or blog posts, which is more effective than a basic “related item” widget on the side of a landing page.

Visa worked with Outbrain to distribute videos to increase engagement. Coupled with great storytelling, catchy headlines, and unique content, Visa’s videos received more than 75,000 engaged users daily, with over 95 percent new visitors each day. Distributing content through the discovery marketing platform has been shown to increase engagement, awareness, and brands have even seen a lift in conversions.

Run a Referral Program

All types of companies across a variety of different industries are implementing referral programs for lead generation. When executed and promoted properly, these referral campaigns can be quite successful.

For example, the Dollar Shave Club, has relied heavily on its referral program to generate new leads. In fact, you may have seem some of your friends acting as an affiliate for the disposable razor club on Facebook.

After becoming a Dollar Shave Club customer, individuals are asked to share the site with friends using social media or e-mail. For everyone that follows those shared links, the referrer will receive $5 toward their next purchase. The existing customer gets rewarded for bringing new business, while the Dollar Shave Club simultaneously increases its social engagement and lead generation. The program has been so successful that Michael Dublin, CEO of Dollar Shave Club, noted that 50,000 customers are referred each month.

Other companies are looking to integrate a referral campaign into an e-mail drip campaign. Leaf Filter, a national gutter protection company, uses a sophisticated e-mail campaign to offer existing customers a reward for every successful referral. Existing customers are navigated to a landing page where they can submit e-mail addresses from their family and friends, and when one of them makes a purchase, they are rewarded $50. Leaf Filter has not only been able to grow its e-mail campaign, but they have been successful at generating new business since implementing their referral program.

Develop a Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are not just for brick-and-mortar stores. In fact, a new software program has launched to make it easier for B2B companies to execute a loyalty program. Influitive’s AdvocateHub allows businesses to build loyalty programs on its platform in an effort boost sales efforts. The program encourages advocates to complete challenges, earn points, and collect badges.

Noah Slater from Engine Yard notes: “The product is fantastic, well thought out, and a very powerful tool in the right hands,” making it worth looking into the intelligent software.

By incentivizing customers and partners to be brand advocates, B2B companies are able to create new opportunities for brand engagement. Fortunately, these programs often tie in with CRM’s like Sales Force, which provides additional engagement and visibility with your sales team in an effort to develop new business.

If you are looking for a loyalty program for your B2C company, or brick-and-mortar store, check out platforms like Belly and Perkville to retain and reward loyal customers. YogaWorks, a national Yoga chain with 31 locations, received a 951 percent return on investment when they rewarded customers for attending yoga classes and making referrals.

Final Thoughts:

By ramping up your digital efforts and adding customer loyalty programs, referral programs and utilizing discovery marketing outlets, you can get engage different audiences to bring in new business.

What other digital marketing tips have you noticed national companies using? Let us know in the comments below.


Michelle Smith is a writer with a focus on digital marketing, social media, new media, and internet trends. She welcomes your feedback via e-mail.