Indirect Marketing

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Indirect Marketing

  • authorBy Paul Swarnapandian

Indirect marketing is not about trying to explicitly sell your product or service. Instead, it focuses on creating a connection with customers. No hard-selling, no one-time offers, and no promotional codes. So, how does it work? Let’s find out.

What is Indirect Marketing?

Today, customers are less accepting of ads; they don’t want brands to bombard them with sales and promotional materials. Indirect marketing is a great alternative to this.

Indirect marketing focuses on creating brand awareness, building relationships with potential customers, and convincing them to buy from you. In this form of marketing, brands don’t directly promote their products or services using traditional ads and direct marketing channels like print, TV, or digital platforms etc. Instead, they are promoted in a subtle, indirect way through channels like content marketing, instructional videos, and other media.

Indirect marketing usually results in long-term loyal customers rather than one-time buyers.

Direct Marketing vs. Indirect Marketing

Direct marketing involves engaging customers directly and asking them to buy from you. For example, sending an email that contains a discount offer.

On the other hand, indirect marketing puts your brand in a position to be found by prospective customers. For example, writing a blog post on your website, which leads can be found through search engines or external links.

Examples of Indirect Marketing

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Offers audiences with the content relevant to their search queries.
  • Blog posts: Informing and educating prospective customers and helping build trust for your brand.
  • Review from previous customers: Inform both your brand and prospective customers about major benefits or any shortcomings of your offerings.
  • Public relations (PR): Media promotes your brand because something is newsworthy about it that the public should know.

Now, let us give you examples of companies who made it using indirect marketing:

#1 Wendy’s – Twitter

Wendy’s is a fast-food restaurant chain. But when you look at its tweet, you might not be able to guess the business type. Instead of posting boring tweets, the brand does a 180° by sharing memes, roasting its competitors using a sassy tone. The tweets rarely feature call-to-actions to visit Wendy’s restaurants.

#2 Slidebean – YouTube

Slidebean is a pitch deck creator focused on startups and small businesses. The brand has more than 400,000 subscribers on YouTube. But surprisingly, many of the videos on the channel aren’t about pitch decks; instead, they’re about business, marketing, and startups.

One of the company’s ideas is to focus on startups and failed businesses. Using its unique ideas and the power of YouTube, Slidebean hit $4.3M in revenue and 2.5K customers in 2023.

#3 Ahrefs – Blog

Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO toolset that creates high-quality and search-focused content about topics around business, search traffic, and ranking potential. No latest hot trends or fancy tactics! This strategy drives eight-figure annual recurring revenue (ARR) for the company.

Types of Indirect Marketing

Indirect marketing involves multiple strategies and tactics to engage leads without direct promotion. The most commonly used indirect marketing types for every business, regardless of the size, budget, and industry:

SEO: SEO helps businesses rank their websites higher in search engine result pages (SERPs). SEO involves on-page and off-page activities. For SEO, marketers find out and use relevant keywords, provide relevant content, and create authoritative backlinks to find the content and websites discoverable on prominent search engines.

Content marketing: It involves creating valuable, relevant, persuasive, and actionable content that educates the target audience and eventually converts them into customers. It helps establish your business as an expert in your domain. Some content marketing activities are blogging, social media marketing, podcasts, infographics, videos, free tools, online games, quizzes, live events, and more.

Influencer marketing: Collaborate with influential people, such as leaders in your industry, celebrities, and sportspersons, to create brand awareness. Activities typically include sponsored content, advertising, and ambassadorship.

Social media marketing: It allows businesses to reach a broader audience using channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram. It’s about creating brand awareness by providing valuable content instead of over advertising.

Referral programs: Want to build instant trust with your audience? Encourage referrals through reward programs to turn visitors into shoppers. As a result, the customer who makes a referral to a friend or family wins a reward, and you get a new customer. So, it’s a win-win.

PR and social proof: PR is one of the most effective ways to establish social proof to your prospects how excellent you are. Imagine the benefits and exposure you get by being featured in a reputable news publication like the New York Times.

Benefits of Indirect Marketing for Businesses

Indirect marketing focuses on brand recognition and credibility. So, it often results in loyal long-term customers. This makes your brand a partner right from the early stage of the buying journey and increases the chances of conversion.

Other benefits of indirect marketing are:

Large potential audience: Indirect marketing strategies like referral programs and social media marketing appeals to a broader audience. This means a higher chance of gaining brand exposure and reaching new audiences.

Extended brand messaging: Rather than promoting your products or services, indirect marketing addresses the big picture and yields long-term results. It establishes your brand as a trustworthy authority in your domain. It shows audiences that you have invested efforts and resources in what you are doing. This results in extended brand messaging.

Highly cost-effective: Indirect marketing materials can reach anyone compared to targeted ads, emails, and messages. These materials can be found at any time, bringing your return to the same activity for the long term. For example, the blog you write and post today can be read even after a year. So, indirect marketing is highly cost-effective.

Provide a better customer experience: Indirect marketing activities such as customer reviews and social media posts are more subtle compared to targeted ads and messages. This helps brands deliver a more enjoyable and less disruptive customer experience.

The bottom line

Both direct and indirect marketing are crucial for marketing your business. So, we recommend using a combination of both aspects, which should be a balancing act. This can be achieved through proven experience, expertise, and knowledge.

Author: Paul Swarnapandian

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