Crafting a successful marketing strategy requires a multi-pronged approach. You’re dealing with people in marketing, and people often change their minds and have a hard time keeping focus for too long. Companies spend a lot of time and money drawing potential customers in. Going from no contact to the point where someone is on your site buying your products is extremely challenging. We never take that for granted.
We also know, though, the retaining customers are the fastest way to repeat business. Keeping an acquired client is always easier than finding a completely new one. However, you’re not going to send direct mail or some overt solicitation to an existing customer the way you would to someone you’re talking to for the first time. Managing subsequent interactions after a customer is already familiar with your brand and products or services requires a more nuanced approach. That’s where indirect marketing comes in.
With indirect marketing, you’re maintaining a regular stream of content or generating publicity to keep your customers informed on what your business is doing and any new updates they’d be interested in. Rather than participate in direct mailing or targeting campaigns, instead, you’re creating a marketing ecosystem that upholds the relationship you’ve already created. Here we’ll talk about everything you need to know about indirect marketing and how to implement it into your business.
The Marketing Channels Indirect Marketing Covers
Indirect marketing is versatile, so you’ll be able to use it across several marketing channels. Some of the channels you can use include:
- Social media platforms
- Search engine results
- Company PR in the form of newsletters
- Web page announcements
- Press releases
How you approach each of these media outlets and how much you spend will depend on your goals, your timeline, and how much marketing budget you have to spend. As always, focus on your strengths and build from there. You don’t want to try something completely new your first time with indirect marketing. Staying in the game is key here.
Cost of Indirect Marketing
Direct marketing efforts try to find a lead and get to close as quickly as possible. The transaction can be fairly straightforward. You know what you want, and after a while, you understand what your conversion costs will be. Indirect marketing, on the other hand, is a longer-term play. It’s going to take some time for you to see the fruits of your labor.
Expect to pay as much or more for indirect marketing like direct marketing. Direct marketing costs can be lower because you’re capitalizing on someone looking for a product or service at the moment. They want to buy and you’re presenting your products as the solution to fill their need. Indirect marketing requires higher-skilled workers who can make creative content that keeps existing and new customers engaged. It’s got to be something they’ll want to watch or read, otherwise it’s going straight to the junk mailbox. Finding indirect marketing talent can be harder, so expect to pay fair prices for the right content.
How You Measure Indirect Marketing
Measuring indirect marketing performance can be a bit more tricky than direct marketing because there’s always some grey area in terms of how your content influences purchasing decisions. Direct marketing campaigns are all about customer acquisition, sales, etc.
Indirect marketing can be about several things like:
- Promoting new products
- Building your brand image
- Growing public trust
- Creating a community
You’re not so much converting sales, but rather building a long-term business with a dedicated following.
Make It Fun
Get creative with your indirect marketing to make it more fun for your customers. Remember, these are people who have already paid for your products or expressed some interest. It’s not all about closing sales with these folks. You’re working on your reputation here. Try out some games, quizzes, offering free tools, and hosting live events to get them more involved in your brand and what it stands for. Try to make it more of an identity that people are proud to be associated with.
Making Indirect Marketing Visible
Publishing good content requires more than clicking a button. Content can be made in a vacuum where no one reads or sees it. That’s a big shame because a lot of companies spend a lot of time building and curating their content library. Ross Kernez of Marble says “You want maximum exposure for your indirect marketing, so you need to make sure the system around getting it out there is as efficient as possible.” A big part of that is search engine optimization or SEO. Do what you can to improve search results by including links, popular and relevant keywords, and things like pictures or reviews. That will help your rankings. You also want to make sure that your website or any content that you promote on social media is easy to access and consumer. Don’t make it hard for people to view what you’re putting out there.