When you think of marketing, the first things that come to mind will probably be direct marketing tactics like email offers, search ads and paid social media campaigns – all of these can work well for some audiences but with the digital landscape becoming more crowded every day, users are becoming increasingly immune to these types of marketing tactics.
That’s why some of the most beneficial marketing results are achieved through indirect marketing.
What is indirect marketing?
Indirect marketing helps businesses to increase awareness and affinity for their brand by creating intrigue around their story and makes the audiences want to find out more. Indirect marketing techniques such as LinkedIn connection requests or customer reviews are more subtle than direct marketing techniques like targeted messages and ads.
Examples of indirect marketing
While direct marketing communication tends to focus on asking your audience to take a particular action, indirect marketing focuses much more on providing useful information that builds trust and loyalty for your brand. Some examples of these include:
- Search Engine Optimization that provides your audience with content and solutions relevant to their search query
- Organic social media posting that allow your audience to engage with your brand without any monetary transaction
- Reviews from previous customers that enable them to express their opinions and inform both your brand and potential new customers about any shortcomings or major benefits
- Collaboration with other brands that are relevant to your audience can raise awareness with new users and increase your standing as a high quality brand.
- Creating useful articles and blog posts that are designed to help your audience with relevant problems they might be facing – allowing them to access your expertise without paying and thus building trust and loyalty for you brand.
Advantages of indirect marketing
- Build brand reputation and awareness – usually resulting in a more loyal customer base rather than one-time converters
- Often cheaper than direct marketing methods as there is no ad budget to consider
- Since no specific targeting is applied to indirect marketing tactics, new audiences can be identified through these activities to benefit targeted direct marketing activities
- Better customer experience as your brand appears in a less disruptive way than ads
When to use indirect marketing
Indirect marketing is heavily geared towards increasing brand awareness and affinity by building trust with your audience over time. While direct marketing can also be used for this purpose, it is often much harder and much more expensive to convert a user who has no awareness of your brand, services or products. By utilising indirect marketing tactics early on in the customer journey, you can achieve greater success and lower costs by re-targeting users who have engaged in these areas with direct marketing in the later stages of the journey.