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5 Weird Methods Well-Known Brands are Using to Drive Traffic (That You Can Do Too)

by Sherice Jacob

When it comes to getting visitors to your website, more is always better. But getting traffic that’s engaged, interested and active? That’s another story.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the more uncommon ways businesses and organizations have used to not only drive traffic to their websites, but traffic that converts.

1. Turn Something Ordinary into Something Meaningful

CAPTCHAs.

Those ubiquitous spam-fighting devices full of letters and numbers that we enter to prove we’re human. We see them everywhere online yet seldom give a second thought to them.

A civil rights group came up with a clever solution – using them to remind people that we are, indeed, human. Not only did these CAPTCHAs spread to over 700 million people, but they also encouraged and reminded people to take action to help protect the rights of others around the world.

How to Make It Yours:

Now, while you may not have the technical prowess to harness a CAPTCHA to promote your brand, it does make you think: What other commonplace things do people interact with online on seemingly a daily basis? What might they take for granted? How could you leverage that space in a way that’s unobtrusive and genuinely interesting or engaging?

2. Use a Personality Quiz to Get People Engaged

Lots of brands use quizzes to varying levels of success. But what if you could leverage a quiz to promote your brand in a way that doesn’t feel sales-y? Let’s face it, not many people are going to take a quiz called “Which XYZ Brand Salad Dressing Are You?” The reason is that it’s not worded in a way that’s relevant or interesting to them.

If you were to rephrase the quiz something like, “What Does Your Salad Dressing Choice Reveal about You?”, you may get a far greater number of participants and social media shares. Here’s an example:

weekender

Sounds intriguing, right? Where should I travel based on the things I find interesting? Were it not for the small logo in the lower corner, you might never realize that this is a brand-promoted quiz. And while it does indeed tell you where you should go, it also recommends local Hilton hotels you can stay at as well. Not forcing the brand on you, but making it pair perfectly with the result – kind of like your favorite salad dressing!

How to Make it Yours:

Nearly any product or service can be turned into a personality quiz of some sort. People, especially those on social media, seem to have an inherent curiosity as to the inner workings of their minds – and what those choices might reveal about them or their friends. Brainstorm and see ideas you and your team can come up with and then use an online branding tool like QZZR to craft the quiz.

3. Crowdsourcing Content

Crowdsourcing has made new ideas possible – from board games to the Pebble Smartwatch and everything in between. But did you know that you can crowdsource content too? Snack food maker Frito-Lay did this with their “Do Us a Flavor” content – with users suggesting wild and tasty flavors ranging from southern gravy and biscuits (mmm!) to cappuccino (what?!).

lays

Lays used crowdsourcing to come up with new and exciting ideas for potato chip flavors. Image Source: Forbes

Consumer awareness for Lays, as well as general buzz, public perception of the brand and even purchase intent have gone up across the board according to this article from Forbes. Some of the flavors, like cheesy garlic bread, resulted in an 8% increase in revenues. To put it simply: people are talking and voting – not just on social media, but with their wallets too.

How to Make It Yours

Of course, you may not have Frito-Lay’s advertising budget, but there’s no reason you can’t seek out your customers and solicit suggestions for future products, or let customers “build” their ideal product on your site while asking their friends and family to vote on it. More votes and shares means more traffic – traffic that’s engaged, interested and curious enough to want to learn more.

4. Take a Stand While Focusing on Competitor’s Weak Points

This next suggestion is not for everyone, but if you’re committed to your mission or business goals – it may be worth taking a serious look at. Well-known oil and gas brand Shell has consistently used its tagline “Let’s Go” in both online, print and television ads.

Environmental protection organization Greenpeace seized on this idea to have its followers create their own faux-brand advertisements for Shell, mocking their drilling in the Arctic or the dangers of oil spills:

birds

Image Source: Huffington Post

How to Make It Yours

Obviously using the company logo or design could open up the floodgates to legal woes – so we’re not advocating using their ad as a springboard. Even memes are a gray area legal-wise. Satire and parody works may fall under “fair use” but even this is an area to treat with caution on. You can still take a stand on areas of controversy – especially if your biggest competitor has their weak points.

Just look at Pepsi versus Coca-Cola, or McDonalds versus Burger King to see examples of these kinds of ads in action. To this day, they’ve generated heated debates on preferences, secret sauce, hidden formulas and much more, driving traffic and sales to prove who loves which brand more (and is willing to prove it).

5. Create Snackable Content

Snackable content is any kind of specialized content made to grab and hold attention for a very short time – like this part of an infographic from Visual.ly:

snack

Infographics like these are great for creating visually stunning tidbits of content that are easy to read, follow and understand. In just seconds, you can take what would ordinarily be viewed as a large, cumbersome, confusing topic (like the economy, computer viruses or the number of chemicals in the clothes you wear) and break it down into meaningful chunks for easier understanding.

How to Make It Yours

There are plenty of online tools, like Visual.ly and Piktochart to help you create stylish infographics like these without the skill set of a dedicated graphic designer. All you need to collect are the facts, and break them down into terms and ideas that anyone can understand and learn from. When you do this, the resulting shares on social media (particularly visual sharing sites like Pinterest) can bring you targeted traffic long after the graphic has gone live.

As you can see, there’s no shortage of ways to get targeted, relevant and interesting traffic to your site. When you look for ways to give people precisely what they want in a way that doesn’t try to push or pitch them, you’ll be amazed at how many new users will flock to your site to see what you’re all about! Good luck!

*featured image source

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Sherice Jacob

Sherice Jacob helps website owners improve conversion rates with custom design, copywriting and website reviews.  Get your free conversion checklist and web copy tune-up by visiting iElectrify.com.

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  1. Rahul Agarwal says:
    August 29, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Yet another post with examples that prove how important user engagement is, be it in any industry and for any type of content.

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