505 Marketing Ideas

(Last Updated On: June 3, 2010)

I’m working on marketing strategies for my clients. I thought writing down 500 marketing ideas, thoughts, tools and concepts would help to stretch my mind and push the limits. Some ideas are standards. Others, if I’ve done this right, will lead to  incredible profitable ideas. Not every idea is for every business, but I hope the list will stretch your mind, too.

  1. If you don’t have a Web site you are not in business.
  2. Create a Facebook fan page.
  3. Create targeted Facebook ads.
  4. Create an AdWords campaign.
  5. Create very targeted adgroups for your AdWords campaigns.
  6. Ask current customers for referrals.
  7. Start a newsletter.
  8. Create a social media calendar.
  9. Create a marketing calendar.
  10. Advertise in your industry trade magazines.
  11. Regularly send quality public relations releases to trade magazines.
  12. Attend local networking events.
  13. Start a networking event.
  14. Train sales people on how to find referrals for your networking partners.
  15. Start a rewards program for networking partners.
  16. Start a rewards program for good customers.
  17. Register your business with Foursquare.
  18. Reward your Foursquare mayors and frequent customers.
  19. Write an e-book.
  20. Start a podcast.
  21. Create videos about how to use your product or service.
  22. Create videos related to new or unique ways to use your product.
  23. Create a marketing journal to track what works and what does not.
  24. Create videos specifically for Facebook fans.
  25. Search engine optimize (SEO) your Web site.
  26. Use call outs in your Web site.
  27. Make sure your Web site is easy to navigate.
  28. Start a blog.
  29. Open a Twitter account.
  30. Open a LinkedIn account.
  31. Look for target companies on LinkedIn.
  32. Review your competitors on LinkedIn.
  33. Create a direct mail campaign.
  34. Create custom landing pages for all your marketing efforts.
  35. Create a company mascot.
  36. Use a Web camera and offer specials whenever your mascot is displayed.
  37. Use Social Mention to monitor the conversation about your brand.
  38. Optimize a Web page specifically for Yahoo search.
  39. Optimize a Web page specifically for Bing search.
  40. Write a white paper about your industry.
  41. Leave pens with your logo and information on them in strategic locations.
  42. Learn to golf and invite others to join you.
  43. Invite someone to lunch regularly.
  44. Offer your services to charity.
  45. Sponsor a charity event.
  46. Write a book and sell it on Amazon.
  47. Review books in your industry on Amazon.
  48. Retweet (share information on Twitter) people who you are interested in knowing better.
  49. Use A/B split testing for your online campaigns.
  50. Learn to write better headlines for all your advertising.
  51. Offer coupons.
  52. Offer your service on Craigslist.
  53. Leave helpful comments on industry blogs.
  54. Open and use a rss reader like http://www.feedly.comfeedly.com
  55. Subscribe to RSS feeds and organize the feeds related to industry and interest.
  56. Create lists on Twitter of people in your target market.
  57. Make sure your front Web page title tag says what you do, not who you are.
  58. E-mail relevant articles to clients and prospects. (Do not send jokes.)
  59. Make your newsletter about your customers and not just about your company.
  60. Read Purple Cow by Seth Godin.
  61. Make sure your Web site has a site map.
  62. Open a Google Webmaster tools account.
  63. Use Google Wave to collaborate in real time.
  64. Submit your information to Google local.
  65. Use spyfu.com to keep track of your competitors’ Internet ad activities.
  66. Offer a referral fee for new business.
  67. Partner with related companies.
  68. Have your logo professionally redesigned.
  69. Create a FAQ page for your Web site.
  70. Add a Like button to your blog and Web site.
  71. Add a Tweetmeme button to your blog and Web site.
  72. Add social media locations in your e-mail signature.
  73. Know what your bounce rate is and think about how you can improve it.
  74. Create a fun game for your Web site.
  75. Create a mobile advertising campaign.
  76. Place a company sign on your car.
  77. Test ad headlines with Google AdWords.
  78. Place successful Google AdWords ads in newspapers and magazines.
  79. Send thank you cards after every job.
  80. Start a Flickr page to share behind-the-scenes and event photographs.
  81. Ask your clients for a video testimonial and display the passionate ones.
  82. Start thinking about your customers’ return on investment (ROI).
  83. Return all phone calls the same day.
  84. Consider hiring a live answering service. (It’s not that expensive.)
  85. Create new and unique business cards.
  86. Try  TV advertising through Google.
  87. Advertise on Yelp.
  88. Trade something of value for your Web site visitors’ e-mail addresses.
  89. Call all of your current customers and introduce a new product.
  90. Write an article to publish on sites like ezinearticles.com.
  91. Ask to be a guest blogger.
  92. Interview top people in your industry and share their ideas with your clients.
  93. Create a poll on for your Web site.
  94. Use PollDaddy on Twitter to ask questions of your followers.
  95. Ask how your product or service could be better on Formspring.me.
  96. Host a carnival for the families of your clients.
  97. Hold a photo contest.
  98. Use link shorteners with analytics to test headlines and ideas.
  99. Create an affiliate program.
  100. Don’t show people what the product or service is, demonstrate why they need it.
  101. Create supporting Web sites that link to yours.
  102. Create Web site descriptions that entice people to click on your search listing.
  103. Do you know your organic search click-through-rate?
  104. Make sure you fill in all your Alt tags so Google images can find your photographs.
  105. Submit your Web sites to relevant directories.
  106. Ask visitors if information you provide is helpful.
  107. Use Facebook analytics and demographics to see who your marketing is attracting.
  108. Use YouTube’s insight tools to find out when people lose interest in your videos.
  109. Use insights for Search to see what people are looking for in the search engines.
  110. Use Google keyword tool to find new and better keywords.
  111. Ask your best customers for a referral.
  112. Make it easy for people to give you referrals.
  113. Make it easy to do business with your company.
  114. Don’t send spam.
  115. Make sure your contact information is on every page of your Web site.
  116. Understand your brand. (It’s reputation, not your logo.)
  117. Update photographs of every employee for social media and public relations.
  118. Develop relationships with local reporters.
  119. If you want someone’s attention, write about them.
  120. Treat everyone like a VIP (Very Important Person).
  121. Champion other people in your industry.
  122. Use Google Alerts to keep track of trends.
  123. Use Google Alerts to keep track of people writing about you and thank them.
  124. Include hot topics in the title of your blog posts.
  125. Never stop thinking about finding new link bait ideas (topics that attract links to your site).
  126. Ask your lowest-ranking employees how to improve products and marketing.
  127. Include translation options to widen your market.
  128. Create a privacy policy for your customers.
  129. Update your Web site shopping cart for a better experience.
  130. Use Feedburner to track and manage your blog subscribers.
  131. Remember, design does matter.
  132. Don’t let the dangerous, business-killing words, “It’s good enough” hurt your company.
  133. Develop an incredible and true company story.
  134. Protect yourself from spam comments. They will hurt your Google rankings.
  135. Increase your Web sites speed. It’s better for visitors and Google SEO.
  136. Apologize first.
  137. Describe your target customer in once sentence.
  138. Join a BNI group. (I was in one for fourteen years).
  139. Create  biography sheets for all your employees.
  140. Create a direct mail marketing plan.
  141. Post your new blog posts on Twitter.
  142. Speak to groups and organizations.
  143. Buy mail and e-mail list from reputable companies. (Be careful.)
  144. Don’t purchase e-mail lists.
  145. Make it easy for representatives to up sell.
  146. Give holiday gifts.
  147. Send thank you cards on Thanksgiving.
  148. Send birthday cards to your clients.
  149. Take time to knock on the doors of businesses around you; you might be surprised.
  150. Change, refresh or upgrade your corporate look every three to five years.
  151. Develop a specialized niche and become the expert.
  152. Cold call.
  153. Create a cold-call script.
  154. Never forget a call to action in your marketing material.
  155. Join clubs.
  156. Write original content. Duplicate content is ignored by the search engines.
  157. Refer the professional people your company hires.
  158. Analyze what is working for your competition.
  159. Use compete.com to compare Web site traffic.
  160. Use SEOmoz tools to track links.
  161. Read Mashable and Techcrunch to keep up on emerging technology.
  162. Hire teens to pass out fliers.
  163. Sponsor a local sports team.
  164. Join a professional organization.
  165. Get a vanity phone number.
  166. Make your e-mail address simple.
  167. Don’t use Web-based e-mail as your company e-mail.
  168. Sign up for Help A Reporter Out (HARO).
  169. Teach your networking partners how to refer you.
  170. Become the expert: Teach at a local college or university.
  171. Develop ways to stand out in a crowd.
  172. Increase your fees.
  173. Network with other sales people at trade shows.
  174. Cross-promote with other businesses.
  175. Develop a co-op advertising group.
  176. Offer a guarantee.
  177. Sit in a room for an hour and list marketing ideas for your business.
  178. Post your business cards on public bulletin boards.
  179. Create a lens at Squidoo.com.
  180. Create a company 365 photography project usingTumblr.
  181. Use Website.grader.com to see how Google views your Web site.
  182. Create an exclusive online club for your best clients.
  183. Offer free Webinars.
  184. Use the WordPress plug-in Sociable to support sharing of your content.
  185. Introduce yourself to you seat mates on an airplane.
  186. Don’t forget traditional newspaper classified ads.
  187. Barter with start-ups (but be smart about it).
  188. Create a welcome kit for new clients.
  189. Create a memory hook.
  190. Reward non-sales employees for referrals resulting in closed business.
  191. Make it easy to embed your stuff on other Web site. Scribd.com is a solution.
  192. Use your voice mail as a marketing tool.
  193. Answer questions on Yahoo answers.
  194. Use an e-mail service like Constant Contact, iContact, Mail Chimp or Vertical Response.
  195. Support top colleges in your industry or client industries.
  196. Attend local meet-ups.
  197. Organize a Tweet-up (meeting of twitter users).
  198. Organize a Barcamp.
  199. Start a LinkedIn group.
  200. Start a Facebook group.
  201. Answer questions on LinkedIn answers.
  202. Create fun T-shirts related to your product.
  203. Contribute to forums.
  204. Create a free social media platform for your target market.
  205. Use e-mail auto responders with friendly messages.
  206. Offer an e-mail option to your blog RSS feed.
  207. Always have a your biography and a recent photograph on your desktop.
  208. Create a page where media and clients can access your logo.
  209. Offer free consultations.
  210. Offer expensive consultations.
  211. Tell your family it is OK to send you referrals.
  212. Listen to dissatisfied customers.
  213. Ask clients why they hired you.
  214. Avoid heavy Flash on your Web site. It’s bad for search engine optimization.
  215. Remember SEO is great but search engines don’t buy your products or service.
  216. Claim your sites on Technorati.com.
  217. Place meta tags on all your Web site pages.
  218. Create unique meta tags for each page.
  219. Offer multiple pricing levels of your service.
  220. Offer a free trial.
  221. Create a custom name tag for networking.
  222. Submit your company’s products or service for awards.
  223. Paint your building a unique color.
  224. Post ads on Backpage.com.
  225. Make e-mail request contact forms short and easy to use.
  226. Call in to radio shows. Become their expert.
  227. Create an iPhone and iPad application for your company.
  228. Create an Android application for your company.
  229. Use text messaging advertising.
  230. Create a presentation and share it using Slideshare.net.
  231. Don’t use intro splash pages on your Web site.
  232. Share your location using an Internet map service such as MapquestGoogle maps, or Bing maps
  233. Share your information on Delicious.com.
  234. Create a shared calendar using Google Calendar.
  235. Create an easily accessable v-card for prospects and clients.
  236. Create a Flickr group for customers to share photos.
  237. Give away micro drives with your information on it.
  238. Sell the experience.
  239. Don’t use white envelopes. (Instead, pick a fun color).
  240. Be a mentor.
  241. Take a successful business person to lunch and ask questions.
  242. Use telephone call tracking to analyze what advertising works.
  243. Post special offers on your receipts or invoices.
  244. Use QR codes to help people to find more information using their smart phone.
  245. Create a downloadable PDF with helpful information.
  246. Engage in at least one marketing activity every day.
  247. Every time you see a great visual marketing idea, take a photograph of it.
  248. Look for new markets.
  249. Publicize every milestone.
  250. Share good books with your clients.

Business and Marketing ideas continued


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