Business owners have to keep up with an infinite tide of new marketing strategies. A shifting digital landscape and changing consumer behavior contribute to the turnover. It can be pretty difficult to keep up. The below methods are not only lesser known, but they can be incredibly effective.

1. Authority Marketing™

It’s the age-old question: how will you be seen in a hopelessly crowded marketplace? How do you get to your ideal consumer before your competitor, and what will you do to win them over? Too many business leaders throw endless marketing dollars at ad spending, hoping to succeed solely on the strength of ubiquity. They fail to realize this is only half the battle. The trick is to not only be the loudest voice, but the expert voice.

Consider the distinction you hear when you’re trying to choose between an eyeglass company and the eyeglass company. One of your options is clearly the expert. The end-all be-all authority, and their competitor is just another player in the eyeglass game. No matter what your

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industry is, you have to systematically position your business as the go-to expert when anyone needs that good or service. In doing so, you command outsized influence over all your competitors. But the secret is: authority is something you can manufacture. All you have to do is present yourself as the authority, and then reap the benefit from this marketing strategy.

2. Jab Jab Jab, Right Hook

This method was defined in Gary Vaynerchuk’s book of the same name. In a marketing strategy context, the name definitely seems odd. But Google and other heavyweights employ this tactic, which is best explained by example. It’s pretty simple in practice – but requires incredible patience and careful execution in order to see a return.

Here’s an example. As a child, you didn’t pay a fee to watch your favorite cartoons. They were free for consumption. The animation, production and distribution, however, were decidedly not free for the cartoon’s producers. Were they making it out of pure desire to entertain children? Probably not. Yet they were still invested in the quality of the cartoon they provided you with. Why?

If they could secure your viewership and call you a fan, they could eventually profit from you. If they released a movie starring the main character, when they sold its action figures and merchandise, who would be in line? People like you. In giving you a quality cartoon for free – they were “jabbing” you, grooming you to one day become a paying customer. That is the so-called ‘right hook,’ and it happens when they’ve enticed you to shell out cash for products you would have never bought otherwise. You may never see it this way – but you’ve been hoodwinked. Give your target audience something awesome, free of charge. This grooms them to become paying customers, because they place value in your brand. It’s the slow burn/high return method for building a relationship with your customer. (Think open houses for a dental/financial practice, or systematically providing free content with valuable information).

3. Unusual sponsorships

When we say unusual or offbeat, think CitiBike. Sponsorship is nothing new in the business sphere. It’s a glorified way for businesses to plaster their name on just about anything, with the goal of furthering name recognition. In the case of CitiBike, the bike sharing system has next to no operational involvement with its namesake, CitiGroup. CitiBike has changed hands between other corporate entities and subsidiaries over the years. You wouldn’t know it, as Citi’s logo has been firmly affixed to the bike’s design since its inception – and they paid $41 million over 6 years for that right. Talk about one solid marketing strategy! 

Extremely popular in New York City and Jersey City, it was a shrewd decision for Citi to make the play on words and sponsor the system (which has daily ridership of almost 40,000 people). Whatever your business, look for playful ways you could provide sponsorship that transcends a booth at a convention, or your logo on a PowerPoint. Consider services of genuine value to which you could cheekily attach your business name. Don’t even shy away from puns and wordplays if you come across them. Bonus points if the service has relevance and applicability, however topical, to your business name or the nature of your services. I’m lookin’ at you, “City” “Bike.” 


4. Quiz Marketing

Tiger Beat magazine was really onto something in the late 1980’s. Today, industry giants like BuzzFeed have optimized the quizzing process for web. Quizzes are nothing if not a wholesome exchange between you and your customer – they provide you with their personal details (name, birthdate, email – for potential campaigns etc) in exchange for personalized feedback. Interactive content is a powerful tool to drive engagement from an otherwise unengaged web browser. With the simple construction of a quiz in your arena of expertise, you can provide your would-be consumer with something of value, and gain a lead in the process.

Shrewd business leaders, innovators, and groundbreakers have already adopted a number of the above strategies. In employing these proven marketing methods, you are poised to outflank your competition and jumpstart your business growth. For more information on the marketing tactics that will position you for success, click here

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