A BEGINNERS GUIDE ON INDIRECT MARKETING IN 2021

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In today’s competitive era, making a good presence in the market field isn’t an easy task for any business. The major challenge is when there are so many choices available in the market, how would you attract customers to buy your products and services through indirect marketing

It’s true that having great brand logos and websites are valuable factors when it comes to attracting customers, but they’re not sufficient. Nowadays, it takes a lot of effort from companies’ side to create a base of loyal customers, and that’s where marketing campaigns come into the scene. 

Now many of you must be thinking that running marketing campaigns is not a new concept for the companies as this has been in practice for years, then what’s the problem?

The thing with direct promotions is sometimes they can be quite irritating for many customers, and now it’s obvious as many modern customers are sick and tired of endless promotion ads.

Generally what most companies do is, first target an audience and start sending advertisements in numerous forms like television ads, podcast messages, PPC on the search engines, and email newsletters. Now even if they bombard their target audience with advertisements every day, a threshold point will surely come where the majority of customers start ignoring the commercial content that they see every day.

Now, what would companies do in this situation? Should they just give up on promoting and expect that their audience will automatically reach their websites one day? The answer is a big NO!

Marketing has always been and will continue to be an important necessity for business growth.

However, you don’t need to always do marketing in an obvious manner, such as displaying ads and cold calling. Marketing has another side too known as indirect marketing that can help you in reaching your audience, building healthy relationships, and subtly enhancing brand awareness

Indirect Marketing

Indirect marketing is a way through which companies can promote their products, services, and brands without directly communicating with the audience. Instead of pushing the audience to purchase their products and services by running advertisements, companies provide them with useful information with the expectation that the audience will gradually become interested in their brand as a result.

Unlike direct marketing that entirely focuses on how to increase conversion rate, Indirect marketing aims to enhance your brand awareness and create a presence among the audience.

For example, let’s suppose there is a web hosting company named ‘ABC’ that wants to raise interest regarding its services among the people, then instead of displaying ads containing hosting plan prices and its latest offers, ‘ABC’ might write a blog about web hosting. In that blog, ‘ABC’ makes available all the valuable information regarding web hosting such as what it means, how it works, its significance, and what things a person should look for while buying web hosting services.

This way, a company is not only putting useful information among its audience but also representing itself as a thought leader in that specific business. Besides, you can also refer to the audience of your brand to consider while choosing by talking about your product’s special features and how they are useful.

In indirect marketing, alongside providing immediate value to the target audience through educative and entertaining content, you subtly express how your company also has the potential to cater to their needs and can be beneficial. Gradually when the audience learns what your company is all about and the clients that you’ve already worked with, they will feel more comfortable with your brand name by the time of decision making in the buyer funnel. 

Remember, marketing campaigns, whether direct or indirect, always work to improve your company’s income and sales. Their journeys are indeed different, but the destination is the same. While direct marketing is straightforward and action-oriented, indirect marketing takes time to build a healthy relationship and make a presence among the audience, which ultimately affects sales positively as one of its outcomes.

Direct Marketing vs Indirect Marketing, What’s the difference?

As a marketer, you need to understand how Indirect marketing is different from direct marketing so that you can make your overall marketing strategy accordingly that can generate the best results for your company.

Direct marketing, as its name suggests, directly communicates the purpose of advertisement to its recipients. Companies run direct marketing with one major objective; generate leads and sales as much as possible. Now you might understand why we say direct marketing is action-oriented. 

Whether you want to gather your audience’s details such as mail accounts or encourage them to take a specific action, Direct marketing is the way that can help you in achieving them. You push your offers and brand-related information through different channels such as mailboxes, social media inboxes, display ads, televisions, etc. to the audience with the expectation that they will ultimately respond to them in a short period.

With direct marketing, you will be able to send your offers in different forms such as pop-ups, direct mail offers, and sales call from a service team round the clock without thinking about whether your audience is interested in receiving them or not while they are online.

Now, it comes to the main question of how Indirect marketing differs from Direct marketing?

Unlike direct marketing that entirely focuses on increasing sales, Indirect marketing talks more about building brand awareness and a loyal audience that will buy from you over time. 

With Indirect marketing, companies try to create a sense of familiarity over time with the audience. Instead of directly engaging with them, you put yourself in a position to be easily found by leads with the hope that they will gradually start engaging with you.

By using Indirectly marketing, you can create an attachment between your brand and the audience and convince them that they are interested in knowing more about your products and services.

Instead of sharing information regarding your products and services, you put useful wisdom and insights in front of your audience. This helps you in displaying your industry expertise and showing how you can be beneficial to your customers. 

Additionally, Indirect marketing helps you in targeting a higher number of people than direct marketing in a more cost-efficient way.

One disadvantage with indirect marketing that you can face is that it’s quite hard to analyze the performance of the indirect marketing campaigns that means you won’t be able to analyze which of your strategies are producing the greatest impact on your results.

One important thing to keep in mind is that the concept of nothing is perfect also applies to these two types of marketing; Indirect and Direct. They both have some strong points and weak points, and that’s why most marketing experts suggest that Indirect marketing and Direct marketing should go hand in hand to get the best results.

Types of Indirect marketing campaigns

Now when you understand what Indirect marketing means and how it’s different from Direct marketing, it’s time to look at the major types of indirect marketing campaigns that you can consider.

  1. Content marketing

When it comes to indirect marketing, the most common example that comes into mind is Content marketing. Content marketing is about creating and sharing useful, relevant, and regular content to draw and engage a clearly defined audience. To educate and entertain your target audience, you can put different kinds of content out there, such as articles, blogs, podcasts, videos, etc.

In content marketing, to get good results, one of the best ways is to understand what your audience is demanding so that you can create content based on those demands. 

2. SEO (search engine optimization)

Search engine optimization, a type of indirect marketing, is widely used by companies throughout the world. SEO is a method that helps companies in improving the ranking of their web pages or websites on the search engine result pages by using keywords and phrases. In SEO, you can observe how your competitors are performing and also can ensure that web pages containing your content are ranking for the keywords that your audience is looking for.

With the help of SEO, you can make your content appear higher on the webpage, which means more exposure, and with more exposure comes the growth of credibility of your company among the audience. 

3. PR

Public Relations, or generally known as PR, is another name that comes into the list of types of indirect marketing. When it comes to launching new businesses, PR as the marketing strategy is widely used by companies to spread information among the people. PR helps you in communicating with famous organizations so that they can give their perspective about your brand. There are numerous aspects of PR that you can take into practice in your indirect marketing, such as publishing information in local publications or conducting interviews with other people in your industry.

With the positive publications and influences, your brand won’t only have good exposure but also will benefit from higher credibility among the people. It also helps you in convincing your audience to trust your brand, for example, you can place social proofs (showing people how impressive and trustworthy your brand is by featuring press or notable clients) on your webpages.

4. Social media

Nowadays, people spend a major portion of their time on social media, and that’s the reason why most companies are putting so much effort to make a strong presence on social media platforms. Having a good number of followers on social media following can prove to be the most important form of indirect marketing for you because it will help you in notifying and updating your followers about your brand without spending a penny.

However, Building a good social media following isn’t an easy task as you need to add valuable content and be consistent in the effort. By sharing useful content for the audience, you can encourage them to follow you and your consistency will show them how professional and worth-worthy you are. Using social media platforms in indirect marketing is a great way to enhance brand recognition and loyalty among the audience.

Advantages of Indirect Marketing

As we’ve already mentioned that sometimes direct marketing ads whether through Email or SMS text can be frustrating for your targeted audience and here, indirect marketing offers you the best alternative to use. The main objective of running indirect marketing campaigns is to nurture relationships, increase brand authority, and generate brand awareness. Instead of sending out advertisements to people so that they buy your products, In Indirect marketing, you provide your audience with useful content so that they can know about your brand and engage with you.

The following are some of the advantages of using indirect marketing:

  • Beneficial to both the publishers and their audiences

By providing valuable content to the audience, you prove wrong the generally held belief that business is all self-serving, which ultimately helps you in building a good reputation for your brand and strengthening the presence of your brand among the audience.

  • Cost-effective

When it comes to expenditure, Indirect marketing is one of the best cost-effective ways to connect with the audience, especially if we compare it with direct marketing.’

  • Long term impact 

In Indirect marketing, you strategize for the long-term, which means the effort you put into your campaigns will be impactful for a very long period. For instance, you might record a podcast that someone listens to after so many years.

Are there any disadvantages also of running Indirect marketing campaigns?

As we’ve already mentioned that nothing is perfect, and this concept also applies to Indirect marketing. Apart from its advantages, there are certain disadvantages also of running Indirect marketing campaigns. 

The followings are some of the disadvantages of Indirect marketing:

  • Difficult to track performance

Indirect marketing, it’s really hard to track how your campaigns are performing as there’s no way to A/B test different keywords or to analyze which of your campaigns are directly impacting your bottom line. Unlike direct marketing, which’s easy to analyze as it focuses and targets specific customers, Indirect marketing connects you with a very wide audience.

  • Generally takes some time to show some impact.

If you’re among those who want instant results from your marketing campaigns, then Indirect marketing is not for you. While running indirect marketing campaigns, You’ll have to put constant efforts for some time before they start attracting customers for your brand. This can be quite frustrating, especially for small companies not to see immediate impacts on sales after putting in so much effort.

Wrapping it up

In this blog, we have seen how indirect marketing can help companies to promote their products, services, and brands without directly communicating with the audience.

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