In any industry it's important to be fresh to stand out and be found by your target audience. We've put this blog post together to help inspire small businesses with some lesser-used marketing tactics that might help them to be succesful.

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At SearchUp we don’t like to keep churning out the same, tried and tested methods to achieve success. Google Ads, Meta Ads etc. are great, but layering in alternatives can unlock new potential and take clients account to the next level

That’s important, because in the fiercely competitive world of small business, standing out can feel like an uphill battle. Traditional marketing channels—search engine ads, social media promotions, and display ads—are effective but crowded. To truly make a mark, it’s time to explore some more unusual paid media marketing strategies that can give your small business the edge it needs.

1. Podcast Sponsorships and Ads

Podcasts have exploded in popularity, providing a unique opportunity for targeted advertising. By sponsoring a podcast that aligns with your brand’s values and target audience, you can tap into a dedicated listener base. Unlike traditional ads, podcast sponsorships feel more personal and can foster a deeper connection with potential customers.

Tips for Success:

  • Choose podcasts that align closely with your niche.
  • Opt for mid-roll ads, as they tend to perform better due to higher engagement rates.
  • Consider a host-read ad for a more authentic endorsement.

2. Influencer Takeovers

While influencer marketing is not new, the concept of an influencer takeover adds an innovative twist. Allowing an influencer to “take over” your social media accounts for a day can create buzz and engage their followers, introducing your brand to a broader audience in a natural and engaging way.

Tips for Success:

  • Select influencers whose followers match your target market.
  • Clearly outline the goals and expectations of the takeover.
  • Promote the takeover in advance to build anticipation.

3. Programmatic Audio Ads

Audio streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, and even lesser-known platforms offer programmatic audio ads that target users based on their listening habits, demographics, and location. This type of advertising can be highly effective, especially for businesses with a strong auditory component or those looking to tap into a more relaxed, attentive audience.

Tips for Success:

  • Craft a compelling audio ad script that grabs attention within the first few seconds.
  • Utilize data to target specific listener demographics.
  • Consider offering a promotion or discount code to track ad effectiveness.

4. Interactive Video Ads

Interactive video ads are a step beyond traditional video ads, offering viewers the chance to engage directly with the content. This can include clickable elements, shoppable videos, or choose-your-own-adventure style experiences. These ads not only capture attention but also drive higher engagement rates and can lead to increased conversions.

Tips for Success:

  • Keep the interactive elements intuitive and easy to use.
  • Ensure the video content is high-quality and visually appealing.
  • Test different interactive features to see what resonates best with your audience.

5. Geofencing and Location-Based Advertising

Geofencing allows you to create a virtual boundary around a specific location, sending targeted ads to users' mobile devices when they enter this area. This can be particularly effective for local businesses looking to attract nearby customers.

Tips for Success:

  • Define your geofence area strategically, focusing on locations where your target audience frequents.
  • Craft timely and relevant ads that prompt immediate action, such as limited-time offers.
  • Use analytics to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns and adjust as needed.

6. Reddit Ads

Reddit, often overlooked in paid media strategies, is a treasure trove of niche communities. Advertising on Reddit allows you to target specific subreddits where your potential customers are active. This can be a cost-effective way to reach highly engaged users.

Tips for Success:

  • Research subreddits thoroughly to understand the community rules and culture.
  • Create ads that blend in with the organic content, offering genuine value.
  • Engage with the community through comments to build credibility and trust.

7. Collaborative Giveaways

Partnering with complementary businesses for a giveaway can amplify your reach and attract new customers. Each partner promotes the giveaway to their audience, expanding your visibility without the high cost of traditional advertising.

Tips for Success:

  • Choose partners that share a similar target audience but aren’t direct competitors.
  • Clearly define the giveaway rules and how to enter.
  • Promote the giveaway across all participating partners’ channels for maximum exposure.

8. Virtual and Augmented Reality Ads

While still emerging, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) ads offer immersive experiences that can set your brand apart. These ads can be particularly impactful for product demonstrations, virtual tours, or interactive experiences that engage users in a novel way.

Tips for Success:

  • Focus on creating an engaging and seamless user experience.
  • Ensure the technology is accessible and user-friendly.
  • Use VR/AR to highlight unique features or benefits of your product or service.


Incorporating these less-common paid media strategies into your marketing mix can provide fresh opportunities for growth and engagement. By thinking outside the box and leveraging these innovative approaches, your small business can stand out in a crowded market, connect with your audience on a deeper level, and ultimately drive success.

Remember, the key to any successful marketing strategy is to continuously monitor performance, learn from the data, and be willing to adapt. Embrace these unconventional tactics, and watch your small business flourish.

For more ideas, or any support with your digital marketing, get in touch with us :-).

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