Blog » Can You Market Without Your Customers Knowing You’re Doing It?

Can You Market Without Your Customers Knowing You’re Doing It?

It’s a simple fact of marketing that most customers are not a huge fan of it. Most people do not like ads being blatantly pushed in their face when they visit a website, or to feel like they’re being sold something in general. There is a barrier between your message and the audience as soon as they realize that it’s a marketing effort. However, there are ways of more covertly marketing to your audience so they can engage with your message without getting that guard up.

Lead with help

Content is a great way to market to your audience. Getting them to engage with relatively long-form content gives you the space to build the case for your products and services. However, what content is best for engaging them without them getting the distinct impression they’re being marketing to? Content that solves a problem or offers them information on a topic they’re specifically looking to learn more about. That content gives you the ability to display the knowledge behind the business, establishing your expertise. Then you can lead it towards a recommendation of the products or services that might solve the reader’s problem or otherwise assist them. You don’t want to make your marketing the key message of helpful content, but rather one of the more effective solutions.

Position yourself well

There are people who are looking for your products, services, and expertise. There are others who are specifically looking for the content that you might publish on your website (often because you’ve written it to exactly that purpose.) How do you make sure that you’re reaching these people with your marketing message? Search engine optimization services from teams like can help with just that. This is known as organic marketing. You’re not interrupting the would-be customer’s journey with ads that grab their attention away from what they were trying to do. You’re making sure that you reach the customers who are actually looking for what your website offers in the first place.

Focus on the customers that you already have

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing forces in both the traditional and online business worlds. That’s simply a fact. The single best way to help spread word-of-mouth is to ensure that you’re providing the products, service, and journey that your customers deserve. The better their overall experience, the more likely they are to share it organically. However, creating rewards and loyalty programs can help incentivize that world of mouth even further through things like direct referrals with the help of tools like systems still only work if you’re giving customers a reason to refer your business in the first place. It can’t be used to patch over subpar services or products.

Make the next step accessible

If a customer is engaging with your content, your search engine presence, or even ads that you have, then you need to make sure that the path between them and a point of conversion is as short and easy as possible. In the case of an e-commerce business, for instance, this might mean using landing pages that take them as close as they can get to add the item to their basket. Otherwise, conversion rate optimization services can help nudge your visitors closer to the point-of-sale, making it seem like the natural conclusion of their journey through the website. Calls-to-action are the most direct way to do it, but there are subtler approaches, too.

Taking the influencer route

Influencers have become a huge force in the modern marketing landscape. However, many tend to misunderstand how they work. Most people in an influencer’s audience understand that they are in a business relationship in which they are sponsored by or in some sort of agreement to promote a product or a brand. However, by using services like and working with influencers who are a natural fit for the business, you can get them to give authentic opinions on the brand, services, and products. It removes the barrier that direct marketing often erects. Aside from helping to establish a little more trust in the marketing message, it also helps you get access to a whole pre-built audience relevant to your offer.

Placing social and search ads

Advertising is, broadly, considered a form of interruptive marketing. It’s hard to ignore the marketing aspect of any kind of ads. However, by placing them in the right channels and targeting the right people, they can feel a lot more natural and well-suited to the individual looking at them. Social media advertising and search engine advertising (distinct from optimization) are two examples since the ads are formatted in a way to fit in with their surroundings all the better. To make this work, however, you have to make sure your ads are relevant to the people engaging with them as possible, usually through effective ad targeting. This usually means having to use cookies such as in retargeting efforts.

Finding your advocates

Word of mouth is usually spread through your market of customers in general. However, there are some customers and clients who will be more than happy to spread the good word. They will become brand fans and, with the right help, they can become brand advocates. Effectively, you incentivize and equip brand advocates with the know-how and materials to help market your business for you. This can be done through sponsorship programs, but some businesses manage to wrangle brand advocates at no extra cost to them. Essentially, if you discover that you have a very persistent fan, it’s a good idea to keep them engaged and to encourage them to share the good word of the brand as far and wide as possible.

It’s wise not to assume that you’re “tricking” your customer. They have to buy into it to some degree for marketing to be effective. However, by ensuring that it’s as non-invasive and non-interruptive as possible, you have a better chance of winning them over with it.

Increase your organic traffic

Paid ads on search engines and social media accounts are fine, there’s no doubt that they increase the volume of traffic to your website and improve conversion rates – that’s why you invest in them –at the same time, you shouldn’t neglect your organic search engine results since 80% of internet users prefer organic results and automatically skip over the paid ads. So what are some ways to increase organic traffic? SEO is your friend here. You need to optimize your on-page SEO with keywords, make it as user-friendly as possible, and make sure you have quality content that is relevant to searches.  

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