25 Creative Marketing Ideas That Deliver
Being creative is a lot of work. It’s not just the crushing fear that just maybe you’re not creative enough, it’s that stark realisation that sometimes it’s really rather hard to be creative on demand. What do you think I am, some sort of tiny, well-trained creativity puppy?
The joyful world of creativity puppies aside, there’s no doubt that as a creative agency in Malaysia, even we sometimes feel the strain of creativity block. So in the spirit of fine sportsmanship (creativity-manship? creativity-personship? who really knows!), we’ve decided to offer a helping hand, with our not-at-all exhaustive guide to 25 amazing creative marketing ideas.
Find a hashtag that fits
Ideas are great, sometimes they’re so great they get a tiny little # beside them and a place on the world’s top trending discussions for a day. Maybe there’s one out there for you?
Nobody likes a desperate brand, so finding the right hashtag is about selective impact. Local hashtags can be a particularly powerful tool. Is someone offering #KLtoptips? Why not throw in your amazing list of top places to find your hospitality brand offerings? It’s all about organic growth that works with what’s available.
Work with your surroundings
The world is a canvas, all you need is a muse. Working with your surroundings can be a particularly powerful opportunity for bricks and mortar businesses. Have a blank outside wall? Why not commission a trendy bit of street art that fits your hip brand ethos. Happen to own the tallest building for miles around? You’ve got the tallest marketing space that the competition can’t reach. Take a look beyond the everyday and deliver something creative with your surroundings.
Get imaginative with sponsorships
Great sponsorships really stand out. Sure, it’s nice that your favourite restaurant sponsors the nearby amateur football team, but does it really get their brand noticed in the right way?
Take the case of UK opticians Specsavers, they’ve carved out a noticeable and widely commented on niche as sponsors of referees in sports from Rugby to Football in the UK. Now their commonly used phrase ‘should have gone to Specsavers’ resounds around sporting grounds all over the country. It’s better than swearing at the ref.
Start a competition
People love a little bit of competition, and platforms like social media offer a powerful tool to launch them. They not only create a bit of direct marketing, but the potential for wider sharing as part of a sense of good-spirited rivalry. Have a think about potential photo competitions, video competitions, or why not even jumping backflip competitions? Maybe not that last one, but you get the point.
Controversy gets people talking. Honestly, just take a look at that image above. When we’re over the silent shock, we’ll definitely be talking about it. It certainly got this unofficial tourism campaign a lot of coverage. The trick with controversial is to be just controversial enough, without crippling your brand image. Quite the tightrope, and definitely not for the timid.
Bring in the experts
Expert linkups can be a great way to offer thought leadership. You can guarantee whatever the topic you’re working on, there’s bound to be an industry expert or academic who, with the right amount of sweet talking, will be delighted to offer their views. Why not reach out and explore collaborations that not only bring the benefit of insight and expertise, but can potentially amplify content through third-party social followers.
Host a webinar
Know some smart stuff? Show how smart you are with a webinar! Web conferencing provides an intriguing creative marketing idea if you’ve got the talent to deliver it. When done correctly, this is a great way to position your thought leadership while engaging your brand audience.
Develop a white paper
Want to establish thought leadership but without all that pesky talking to camera? A White Paper is a powerful way to deliver high-value content that garners a lot of attention. This content format is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance recently, with impressive lead engagement figures widely celebrated.
Gather guest posts
Tired of being creative and want someone to be creative for you? Why not invite a guest post to present their own ideas on your platform. Guest posts traditionally emerge in the realm of blog posts, but realistically they can also be shared video insights or other content types from targeted collaborators. Much like expert insight, guest posts provide an opportunity for fresh new content that can also leverage a partner’s social media audiences.
Everyone loves a game! So why not add some gamification to your marketing strategy? This is all about adding an interactive and (dare I say it) addictive element to your marketing efforts. Think brand points for completing online tasks, real-life competitions to collect unique tokens, and all sorts of other game-based creative fun.
Craft a comic (it’s a graphic novel!)
It doesn’t matter what sector you’re in, comics and graphic novels can be an effective opportunity to inform, educate and engage your audience. Just look at global multinational General Electric, diving into the comic joy of science and nostalgia as part of an exciting marketing effort in partnership with writing platform Wattpad. Get creative and see what comic joy you might uncover.
Amplify your reviews
This is one part common sense, two parts SEO strategy, with a sprinkle of marketing creativity on top. Take the reviews of your business hosted on third-party platforms, and use them to push a positive marketing message through your own native sites and social media. It’s a quick win with a great brand message.
Slideshare your success
Got a great article – turn it into a Slideshare! Slideshare is a leading global website, and particularly celebrated in the B2B space for its informative content presented in an easily digested format. This is a simple and powerful way to repurpose (or create fresh) content that can be hosted on a high-visibility platform.
Curate your way to victory
It doesn’t have to just be about you. Running out of creative ideas for fresh new content? How about you curate your way to success instead. Create a list article or curated industry insight piece that rounds up all the latest and greatest news on a particular industry topic. It might the step to positioning yourself as a wider go-to resource for industry news.
Go behind the scenes
People love to see behind the curtain. Why not create some behind the scenes content to get people excited and show them the people behind the business? Film a day-in-the-life style diary of a key worker, undertake an interview with a member of management, or just show a quick insight video of elements of your brand operations that your audience might not normally see.
Develop a podcast
Maybe you like to talk? People like to listen. Much like webinars, this is about taking a multimedia format and using it to engage your audience. This isn’t just educating your audience about your own industry success, it could be an interview series, a hosted discussion with other thought leaders, or a simple leadership piece on the latest industry news.
Run a poll
Polls are an increasingly powerful tool for online engagement. Why not run a poll for your new ice cream flavour, the name of your new brand mascot, or just to ask people whether Malaysian laksa is really better than Singapore laksa. Spoiler alert – it isn’t. See: controversial marketing. Don’t hate us.
Educate with a guide
Write a guide or how-to document that helps people tackle common problems that your brand can address. Are you a clothing brand? Run a how-to on checking size guides online. Running a local hospitality and tourism brand? Write an insider’s guide to your city. Work at a creative agency? Write a list of 25 creative marketing ideas. See what we did there?
Being mysterious is an intriguing way to garner attention. Leave hints and interesting sneak previews of your upcoming offer around, let people do the work. Think sneaky QR codes that link to a mysterious website, strange pop-up exhibitions that delight audiences without revealing the creator. The organic interest grows… until your big reveal!
Offer insider secrets
Much like behind the scenes, this one is behind the industry knowledge. Offer up some insider secrets as part of an interesting content angle that will get people talking. Maybe it’s the recipe to your most popular dish, a handy trick behind your marketing efforts, or just a crazy hack to make ice never melt. If you’ve got that last one, why haven’t you shared it already? We’re counting on you.
Run an Ask the XXXX
Who is XXXX you ask? It’s whoever you want it to be. Let’s face it though, people are going to be more interested in asking questions of your Head of Skydiving than your Customer Care Assistant. People probably just phone your Customer Care Assistant to ask questions anyway.
Repurpose old content
Sometimes old stuff didn’t get the lift it deserved, or did well but then fell into the haze of history. Repurpose your old content to deliver new value. This is about making the most of the great stuff you have at hand. It’s like recycling, so it’s good for the environment too.
Get CSR in the house
Corporate social responsibility is a great way to be a good corporate citizen. But that doesn’t mean it’s not also a great way to generate positive news. Why not promote some positive employee engagement with some positive media engagement too, partner up with a charity to help some people in need, work with a local community group to build some much-needed facilities. It makes you feel good, and it’s a great way to deliver some creative marketing with impact.
Is there a hot topic burning up the industry? A top news story that just won’t go away? Ask yourself what you can offer, how you can be part of the narrative, and how you can create some content that fits into the emerging story. This is about organic content using trending topics to engage a wider brand audience.
We’re so busy looking to the future that we sometimes forget about the past. Most brands have a rich and exciting history, from a founder who had the largest moustache in Malaysia to a Head Office that it turns out was the place where chocolate was discovered. Dive into your brand history to inspire some modern marketing creativity. You’ll be amazed what you might find.