Are you looking to grow your business?

Of course you are. Every business owner wants more visitors, more subscribers, more signups and more qualified leads. The challenge is how to accomplish those things fast and without breaking the bank.

Thankfully the secret to getting more traction for your brand isn’t spending every last penny you earn on advertising. It’s about being creative and thinking outside the box. This will produce far better results than any pricy marketing campaign ever could.

The even better news is that we’ve already done some of the brainstorming for you. Here are 10 uncommon but highly effective marketing strategies that will help you grow your business like never before.

Begin with an exclusive beta.

People naturally crave what they can’t have. It’s human nature. You can play on this when launching your new startup by using a beta to open your business up to a certain amount of new users. If this sounds familiar, you may have seen it used by such well-known brands as PayPal and Slack. Using beta is effective because it creates a sense of exclusivity which gets people interested in learning more.

Create a referral program.

If you want to reach more people quickly, tapping into your existing customers is a great place to start. Referral marketing is a pretty simple concept; however, it’s not used nearly enough. And since 92% of the population says they trust personal recommendations above any other type of marketing, it’s a strategy well worth exploring. The best part is, you don’t have to develop a program like this from scratch. In fact, there are platforms like Ambassador that will handle all the details for you.

Attend trade shows.

With so much emphasis placed on online marketing these days, it’s easy to forget the importance of offline promotion. But if you’re not participating in these in-person events, such as industry or niche-related trade shows, you are missing out on tremendous opportunity to market your brand. After all, the attendees of these events are your ideal customers.

Give away stickers.

Many of today’s most successful companies began spreading the word by giving away free stickers and strategically placing them where people would see them. The owner of the popular community site Reddit invested just $500 in stickers which he passed out to strangers and placed in visible locations throughout the country. That simple tactic is what gave Reddit the recognition it needed to become a household name.

Host a contest.

People love free things, and they love to feel like winners. This is why contests can be such a successful marketing strategy. And it’s a tactic that has worked for some of the most profitable ventures in the world. You’ve heard of YouTube, but did you know that a good deal of the site’s early growth was due to a contest? Thankfully there are tools available, like Facebook, which make running contests simple.

Connect with other brands.

If you’re current audience is very small, you may be able to expand your reach by connecting and collaborating with another company that’s bigger than yours. Ideally, you want to match up with a brand whose products or services align with or complement yours. This way you can cross promote each other for the ultimate benefit of your target audience.

Give away free T-shirts.

It might seem simple, but giving away free t-shirts is a powerful and highly effective way to increase brand awareness. Use a company like Untamed, LLC to order shirts with your logo or branded message on them and then hand them out to customers and prospects. Over time, these shirts will begin to establish identification with your brand that others will start recognizing.

Offer free gifts with purchases.

Sometimes sweetening the pot can be enough to get more people to buy your product. Providing a free gift with every order can convince those on-the-fencers to pull the trigger and make a purchase. All you have to do is determine how much you can afford to lose in exchange for a new sale. For instance, let’s say your free gift is worth $10. As long as the price of your items is high enough, the tactic will pay off.

Create an explainer video.

Want to generate more traffic while also encouraging people to buy your product or service? Consider making a humorous explainer video. This tactic has worked for countless new startups and can produce the same results for you. The trick is to be unusual or clever. This will increase the likelihood of your video going viral.

Pass out bumper stickers.

Another great offline tool for increasing brand awareness and generating buzz about your company is to invest in bumper stickers with a clever or intriguing message. In order to pull this one off, you’ll need to be strategic and include a strong, compelling call to action in your messages. The goal is to get people to want to visit your site to learn more.

Growing a startup takes more than just grit and determination. It also takes a certain degree of creativity, particularly when it comes to marketing. The tips above should provide you with a few good ideas for how you can start spreading the word about your startup without breaking the bank. Give them a try and let us know what you think!