You may think you need a lot of money to advertise your company, especially using online services, but not so! While we would all like to have the advertising budget of a big multinational, how often does that happen? Besides, sometimes a little imagination will serve you better than a bucket of money.

More Than Just Image Advertising

First of all, remember this: all those big companies advertising in Hong King are mostly doing image or brand advertising. This is what we call “scattershot” advertising, sent out in all directions to remind people that the brand exists, in hopes that one of the ads will catch someone’s eye just when they need a cool, refreshing drink or a new outfit for their next date. It does have a positive effect, but it is not something that most small to mid-sized businesses can either afford or count on. This is especially true in a big, vibrant city like Hong Kong, where there are so many other advertisements and distractions. If you function at a small to mid-sized level, you are better off honing your HK SEO, whether you hire an SEO services company, train your in-house staff or decide to take care of it yourself.

Imaginative Marketing

There are many cost-effective ways to advertise your company but what they have in common is leveraging peoples interest to amplify what you do. There are all kinds of inventive methods you can use to pull in new customers for your business. Basically, it all boils down to drawing attention to yourself—which is what advertising is for anyway, right?

Here are five interesting ways to draw prospective customers to your business using your online presence. And remember—this is only the tip of the iceberg!

1. Do a quiz

Forget silly quizzes like “Which Twilight character are you most like?” or “Which Dragonball-Z character do you identify with?” No, this one has to actually have something to do with your business, something that prospective buyers are already interested in that heightens their interest in what you have to offer. Simply ask people to prove they know a topic related to your product or service, and provide more information no matter what their score. If they really know the subject well, maybe you can hire them! And the results of the quiz can be valuable to gather information on what people know about your topic. Any misunderstandings you find would make great subjects for new articles.

2. Make a charitable donation with each sale

This is a huge way to up your business’s income. Even if the donation is small, buyers will feel impressed that you are making the donation (especially if you do so in their name), and will be more likely to spend more money with you. Just pick a worthy charity, and ask the charity to mention you on their website and social media. Seriously, this works wonders. McDonald’s hamburger restaurants support the Ronald McDonald House, a charity that allows parents to live near their sick children when they are being treated out-of-town. While McDonald’s does contribute its own funds.  In the USA most of the money comes from donations of change by customers at McDonald’s drive-through windows.

3. Sponsor a local sporting event or even a team

In Japan, large businesses often sponsor professional baseball teams. This is why there is a team called the Nippon Ham Fighters, who are sponsored by a company called Nippon Ham. In a theatrical example, the Bad News Bears from the movie of the same name, a Little League team, was sponsored by a business called Chico’s Bail Bonds. You can do something similar. Have your web designer create a big website for the event or team, and have it marked as sponsored by you all over the site. Sites like this often get lots of publicity from local media, especially if you make a serious effort to tell all the local newspapers and blogs. Think of the Standard Chartered Rat Race to know how it works here. Consider contributing to the Matilda Sedan Chair race, or perhaps Helping Hand.  If you can connect the charity with the subject of your business even better.

4. Find historical examples of products similar to yours

Create a series of then-and-now images, and post them to social media. Motorola did this well, years ago, by showing a Motorola cell phone next to a battered World War II military radio, with the headline, “Grandpa fought in the war.” This will work better if you make or sell specific items in a brick-and-mortar store, but if you are inventive, you can also use it to sell a digital product. You might compare a thick old phone book to your sleek online directory service that anyone can access on their phone, for example. Finding artists who can work up a good looking meme, poster or infographic is key here. The results need to grab the eye so that they will get shared on FB, Pinterest and via WhatsApp to peoples’ friends.

5. Go to a site like 

Find a joke that relates to your business, product or customer group. People love humorous marketing! Once this is done, do more than just post it on your site: go to Fiverr or a similar hiring site, then look in the Spokespersons & Testimonials section to find someone who will record videos. Have them record the joke into a video, then post the video to social media like Twitter or Facebook. Be sure to leave your own URL with the video, so prospective buyers know where to go to purchase your products or services.  If you have a little higher budget then get an HK video company to record it against a well-known back-drop to increase the local flavour.

Getting Beyond SEO Services

While we love SEO, there are many other ways to use your online resources for marketing—and yes, some of them can be very surprising! Even if you have already come up with one or all of the above methods on your own, keep thinking. Everything that human beings have ever created started as an idea, and a great way to form new ideas is to learn as much about your online resources (and everything else you can) and then let ideas from one source or field cross-fertilize with others, to produce new ideas. Supposedly, the fast food manager who invented the first drive-thru window got the idea from a drive-thru bank—and the rest is multibillion-dollar history. What can you adapt from other methods of marketing, or just completely invent, that will put you ahead of the game and pull in new customers and clients? Better put on that thinking cap!


Floyd Largent is a freelance writer/editor with 25+ years of experience. Since he became a full-time freelancer in 2005, he has written literally thousands of SEO articles for a variety of clients, as well as hundreds of productivity and business articles, and has ghostwritten eight books on subjects as varied as marketing, productivity, and veganism. Educated as an anthropologist and historian, he worked as an archaeologist and technical writer for 15 years before beginning to write full-time. He believes a good writer can write on any subject, and has also written games, a play, several novels, dozens of short stories, close to 100 history and archaeology articles published in U.S. magazines, a dozen scholarly papers, more than 100 cultural resources reports, hundreds of pieces of web-copy, as well as numerous technical specifications and white papers; and he has edited more than a hundred fiction and non-fiction book manuscripts. He can be contacted directly at [email protected].

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