When your goal is to have your online marketing business stand out from the crowd, using mainstream media vehicles to get your message out may not give you the results you need. How can you step away from the clutter and stand out? Be different by turning to unique ways to market your online business. Non-traditional marketing will set you apart from the crowd, creating a memorable experience for your target audience that tells them your dare-to-be-different approach means you’re serious about your business and their needs.

Here’s how to set yourself apart.

10 Unique Ways to Market Your Online Business

1. Sing (or Juggle or Dance) about what You’re Selling: Chances are, you’ve seen videos where people are at a mall or park and suddenly, several people break out into song. Customers are entertained, often smiling, pointing and taking pictures. Known as a flash mob, this kind of guerilla marketing is designed to engage people publicly in a highly imaginative manner. It’s a memorable tactic to showcase how unique – just like the entertaining event you just displayed – what you’re selling is. Best of all, it’s free. Hear that? Free.

All it takes is some creativity, gathering some enthusiastic and talented friends willing to help you (although going it alone can work too) and going where your target audience lives or likely shops (if, for example, you’re selling music online, perhaps doing this near a popular store selling the latest electronics would be ideal). Tip: make sure the crowds know the name of your business by incorporating it 1) in the performance (work it in a rhyme, for example) and 2) on the t-shirts you are wearing. Bill “Guerrilla” Gallagher, known for his Guerrilla Selling: Unconventional Weapons & Tactics for Increasing Your Sales, says “We regularly see a 50 to 200 % increase in the gross sales of firms who adopt the Guerrilla philosophy and the unorthodox Guerrilla marketing tactics.”

Here’s one example inside a mall to promote a local production of Hairspray, playing locally (you need not be as dramatic – this can be as involved or small scale as you want).

2. Get a Grip – Use a Door Handle:

Making use of existing structures and then merging them with your message is a great way to engage your audience. For example, some beer companies use the gold, elongated handle on a restaurant door to “become” the handle of a beer stein, so all that’s needed is a removable sticker (their brand) on the other side to complete the faux mug appearance. Clearly, you’re likely not selling libations online, so think of clever ways to make this concept work for you. For example, what structures in your target audience’s area already exist that can be used to cleverly showcase your online eBook selling business?

Beer handle advertising

3. Be, or Rent, a Walking Billboard in Your Target City: Now, we’re not talking about becoming one of those people standing nonchalantly at a traffic light corner, half asleep and texting while wearing a big sign about a store’s closeout sale. This is all about energy and movement, and walking around towns while wearing a front/back billboard that describes what you’re selling and puts your brand smack in the middle of your audience, giving your online business high visibility.

walking billboards

4. Sponsor a Team or Group: If there’s local talent in your area or reading groups (check out the event listings, entertainment sections of newspapers) why not sponsor one of their next events? For example, if your town is having a walk or run to raise money for a music school where afterwards, a prominent local band will be headlining, why not become a sponsor of the event? You’re business name will be on t-shirts and/or other merchandise given to all attendees which is basically your audience, front and center. You’re selling music online, hmmmm . . . this is a music-related event, you’re supporting a good cause and everyone gets to see your name/logo on shirts and so on. It’s a win-win. Find other ways to become a sponsor based on what you’re selling online.

team sponsorship

5. Advertise on your Car: When a car drives down your street with the unmistakable pizza sign on top, there’s no doubt what the driver is selling, right? Adopt the same approach with car decals, wraps or even smaller items like magnets and bumper stickers. When you consider how much driving you do, you’ll have a captive audience.

vehicle advertising

6. Get a Personalized License Plate: Stand out from the standard set of assigned letters and numbers by putting your online business name on your license plate. For example, “EBOOK MAN,” “MUSIC WEB” or using initials relevant to your business, can further promote what you do.

personalized license plate

7. Create a T-shirt: A trip to a craft store can score you a good deal on a nice looking shirt and some professional iron-on lettering. In less than an hour you can market your business simply by stepping out and announcing to the world just what it is you sell online and how you can be contacted. Or . . .

personalized license plate

8. Hire Jason Sadler to Wear Your Shirt: Jason made a name for himself by starting IwearYourShirt.com (http://www.iwearyourshirt.com/email/), a mega business-boosting concept (for him and you) where he wears your company’s shirt, then blankets social media with its messaging including posting pictures of him wearing your shirt on his blogs, wearing your shirt and talking about your business in his YouTube videos, on Twitter and so on. In an Entrepreneur magazine article he says, “I thought ‘why not become a human billboard and create an advertising medium through free social media tools?'” In 2010, his publicist says that more than 115 days of his 2010 calendar sold out within 24 hours of opening his appointment book.


9. Advertise on an escalator or stairs: The unique structure and movement of stairs and escalators can bring life to your online brand. Selling eBooks? How about making that escalator resemble the changing screens of a scrolling Kindle? Check out some very clever ads here and consider something equally as creative to market your business.

10. Advertise on shopping cart handles: The unexpected gets you noticed. Along with clever messaging perhaps asking, “Wouldn’t you rather have your hands on an eBook? (several of which you are selling, of course) along with your contact information is a unique way to market your online business.

shopping cart handle ad

Dare to stand out today!

Sources for this article include: