What Are Unconventional Digital Marketing Channels that Have Proven Effective?

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    What Are Unconventional Digital Marketing Channels that Have Proven Effective?

    In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, four innovative professionals share their unique experiences with unconventional channels. From a Digital Marketing Manager's engagement with niche online communities to a CEO & Founder's sponsorship of industry-relevant podcasts, these insights offer a fresh perspective on effective digital strategies.

    • Engage Niche Online Communities
    • Leverage Quora for Brand Authority
    • Create Educational Audio Drama Series
    • Sponsor Industry-Relevant Podcasts

    Engage Niche Online Communities

    Something that we now usually do, but was something different in the beginning, was utilizing the power of niche online communities.

    We identified and engaged with specialized forums, subreddits, and online groups relevant to web development, startups, e-commerce businesses, and agencies, covering our four basic personas on a personal level.

    This approach not only helped us connect with our target audience but also positioned Cloudways as a trusted authority in the hosting industry. It led to increased brand visibility, website traffic, and ultimately, conversions.

    Abdullah Arif
    Abdullah ArifDigital Marketing Manager, Cloudways

    Leverage Quora for Brand Authority

    An unconventional channel I've experimented with (which was surprisingly effective) is Quora. By engaging with this question-and-answer platform, we were able to subtly introduce our products and services within the context of providing valuable, informative answers to relevant queries. What makes Quora stand out is its community of engaged users actively seeking insights and solutions, offering a unique opportunity to build authority and trust around our brand in a non-intrusive way.

    Blake Smith
    Blake SmithMarketing Manager, ClockOn Rostering, Attendance & Payroll

    Create Educational Audio Drama Series

    It's challenging to gain the attention of busy business professionals, even when you have an intelligent enterprise technology that could revolutionize their business. That's why we launched a nine-part audio drama podcast series as an entertaining approach to educate executive listeners and entice them to learn more about SAP's new extensible, intelligent cloud computing environment.

    "Searching for Salaì" is a fictional tale about a time traveler who comes to the 21st century to learn about the digital renaissance. Claiming to be an apprentice of Leonardo da Vinci, the mysterious Salaì explores new ideas driving digital innovation, seeking the spiritual link between the science of Leonardo's era and the technology of today. Taking its format from old-fashioned radio mysteries, "Searching for Salaì" was pure entertainment that invited the listener to ponder possibilities and seek their own path to embrace the Digital Renaissance and learn more about SAP's solutions in the process.

    Although produced by SAP, "Searching for Salaì" never mentioned the company except in the credits. It did, however, invite listeners to learn more about what they heard in the story at a dedicated website that included reports in written and audio format developed by an analyst firm that profiled SAP use cases and customer successes in 15 separate industries. The website also included two blog entries, one written in the same storytelling format and the other in a more traditional format, as well as other content to complement the podcast.

    The show and campaign launched in November of 2018 and in two short months:

    • "Searching for Salaì" garnered approximately 3.5K unique downloads and a five-star customer rating on iTunes and Stitcher in just two months in a very crowded marketplace.
    • The story format blog garnered over 2K unique page views.
    • The podcast was reviewed by the American Marketing Association, "Searching for a New Podcast Model," AMA Boston, December 13, 2018.
    • The audio drama captured the attention of AdExchanger, which wrote a featured article, "Why SAP Launched A Branded Podcast To Bring High Tech To Life," on December 19, 2018.
    • The series was featured on Audio Drama Reviews, "The Digital Renaissance: Searching For Salaì," March 3, 2019.
    • The show was featured in RadioPublic’s 2018 Retrospective, highlighting the trends and standout shows that launched in the prior year.

    Ginger Shimp
    Ginger ShimpGlobal Content Lead, Sr. Marketing Director, SAP

    Sponsor Industry-Relevant Podcasts

    One unconventional digital marketing channel we've experimented with at Startup House is partnering with popular podcasters in our industry to sponsor episodes. By reaching our target audience in a more organic and engaging way, we've seen a significant increase in brand awareness and website traffic. Plus, it's a fun way to support content creators we admire while getting our name out there in a unique way.

    Alex Stasiak
    Alex StasiakCEO & Founder, Startup House