Skip to main content

Getting Weird with Marketing

11 June 2021

Standing out on social media can be difficult. Marketers often stick to the same tried and tested techniques. If we were to ask you what some of the common marketing techniques are, we’re sure that flat lays, user-generated content and branded hashtags are most likely to spring to mind.

Generally, marketing goes through many stages before it is put out into the world, everything has to be approved. Due to the many stages of approval, marketing material can potentially become lifeless, repetitive and extremely predictable. Let’s face it, you can’t get lost if you stick to a map, which is why many marketers follow very similar patterns. On the other hand, you’ll also never discover anything new if you stick to this method.

It’s time marketing loosened up a little and to make the most of social media’s potential. Let’s build social media teams with funnier, faster productivity and the courage to be a little wild to keep up with the ethos of social media.

Weird = good

It may be completely out of your comfort zone but weird and wonderful marketing has the potential for better longevity and differentiation from other brands. Adopting a much more liberal approach to social media, believe it or not, can go a long way and give your brand a competitive advantage that’s unlikely to emerge by playing it safe.

A great example of quirky advertising is how Tide used the black/blue/white/gold dress phenomenon to promote their ColourGuard detergent on Twitter.

At the time, an image of a white and gold dress, which some also saw as blue and black, was circulating on social media. Tide showed how to seize a moment on social media and act fast in executing a not so conventional marketing strategy.

Another great brand to look towards is Skittles. It’s not new information that Skittles have built their brand on being different. Since 1994 they have been running their iconic campaign Taste The Rainbow and have continued to run over 40 television ads about half-man half-sheep hybrids and anthropomorphic pinatas among other weird and wonderful things.

It seems that Skittles have soon realised that if you make your marketing as weird as possible, people can do nothing but remember it. A principal that has embedded itself throughout their marketing strategy. 

With their Taste The Rainbow campaign running for nearly 30 years, it should be clear that there is great value in a social strategy that shocks and leaves people in awe. You may think an idea that’s risky or unspecific is a potential risk to your brand identity but the long term effects of the quirkiness are bound to increase your brand recall and customer loyalty.

Give your social media more agency

Now that you’re aware of the more unconventional ways to social media success, it’s time to put more faith in your social media managers. Not only are they more in tune with your audience than anyone but they spend every day talking to your customers to get a sense of how they think and feel.

A social media manager doesn’t just have one job, they have multifaceted jobs that are often under-appreciated. Give them much more creative freedom and watch your brand and marketing strategy blossom!

Brand voice vs social voice

You may be under the illusion that there is an unwritten marketing rule that states your brand voice should be consistent across all areas. This is your sign to break that rule.

Your social media voice can be mutually exclusive to your brand voice without changing how your customers feel about your brand or your products. Have you noticed that the most successful social media brands have been quietly breaking the rule for years? Now’s your opportunity to get involved too.

Differentiating your social media voice from your brand voice works when we understand that marketing is pretty much intrusive. The age-old myth that customers are dying for brand love, is sadly not the case. Believing that marketing is welcome in people’s everyday lives clouds our judgement and causes us to produce the usual content that has been through endless approval stages.

Ultimately, as marketers, we should be hyper-aware of how people use space, especially digital space and make sure that our work and voices fit into these environments to serve a purpose whilst people are going about their lives. Social is the place to experiment, so even if your brand isn’t known for unconventional marketing, take a chance and test it on your feeds.

Mild to wild

You may usually expect a mild social media post and even though it’s ok, it can come across as a little boring. One step up from this may be the posts that are a little more exciting to post. Finally, we have the truly wild posts that may scare you to death whilst you hit publish with your eyes closed.

Let’s be clear, not every piece of content you put out needs to be over the top. You should always aim for a mix of the three types of posts we’ve just highlighted. All brands could benefit from breaking the mould now and then.

You could even try a format you’ve never used before or create an Instagram story that makes you feel pretty uncomfortable. Remember you can always scale it back.

Let’s get weird

Now you’ve realised that being weird in marketing isn’t frowned upon, it’s time to apply this to your marketing strategy and stand out among the rest. 

If you enjoyed this blog, try our other blog How Buffer Works to Better Engage Your Instagram Audience.