Advertising is no walk in the park.
In fact, according to Advertiser Perceptions, the top advertising challenges for marketers is reaching potential customers in a meaningful manner, accurately tracking objectives, and getting the attention of their target market.
And here at ClickFunnels, we’re no strangers to those woes.
We’re constantly testing, iterating, and even failing. But we always try to fail forward; to learn from our mistakes 🙂
Cumulatively over the years, that’s resulted in net growth.
To help you get better results from your marketing and advertising efforts, we put together this list of 11 creative advertising ideas. Hopefully, this will help you grow your business faster… and maybe with a few less fumbles.
1. Dream 100
Anyone can go to Facebook or Pinterest or Twitter and create a Business Page and ad account. Anyone also can then dump the entirety of their budget into those advertisements and cross their fingers.
But how do you know that you’re targeting the right people? How do you know if your message is compelling? How do you know if your offer will convert?
That is, how do you know those things without failing first?
Well, the Dream 100 is a process that we recommend to every business — it works in every industry and for every niche.
The Dream 100 process is quite simple: you just find the places where your target market already congregates online. List out 5-10 different answers to each of these questions…
- What blogs do they read?
- What YouTube channels do they watch?
- What influencers do they follow?
- What podcasts do they listen to?
- What forums do they participate in?
Answer those questions and you’ll now have a list of places where your target market hangs out. All you have to do now is get your message in front of those audiences…
You can either pay for that traffic — display ads, retargeting, custom audiences, etc — or work for that traffic — guest blogging, being on a podcast, PR, etc.
That solves the “getting in front of the right people” problem. But you can also use this Dream 100 process to create a compelling message and a high-converting offer… without all of the trial and error.
Take the Dream 100 list you created and analyze the things that those blogs, influencers, YouTube channels, podcasts, and websites are offering their audiences — and how they’re offering it.
Chances are, something similar will work for your business!
(We call this process funnel hacking)
Russell Brunson explains this process in detail in his New York Times Bestseller, Traffic Secrets — you can get a free copy over here.
It would be dishonest of us to talk about creative advertising ideas without mentioning webinars — because the truth is, webinars have brought us more leads and sales that any other marketing method.
It’s super powerful.
The sales funnel we use starts with a sales page that gets people signed up for the webinar — this is where the lead-gen piece happens because we’re snagging their email address.
(For ad targeting, we use the Dream 100 method — see point #1)
In this case, the visitor is taken straight to the recorded webinar video if they opt-in. At the end of that video, we make them an extremely compelling offer…
You could also include a confirmation page here if your webinar is going to be held live or even “indoctrination pages” during the time in-between time.
Here’s what the entire sales funnel looks like.
For us, this process has been more effective than any other advertising strategy.
But you’re probably wondering about what you should say in the webinar and how you make people a compelling offer at the end…
Well, the answer to that question is more complex than the scope of this article allows. Fortunately, we’ve created what we call “the perfect webinar script” and you can get it for free over here — it’ll walk you through the critical details.
3. Quiz Sales Funnel
Quiz funnels are something we’ve seen work well for a lot of online businesses.
The idea is that you attract people with some sort of free quiz as lead-gen and then that ultimately leads into one of your offers.
Warby Parker — the ecommerce company that sells glasses — is a great example of this. On Warby Parker’s homepage, you can opt to take a quiz to find frames that will fit your face.
The quiz consists of 8 simple questions…
… and ends with an email opt-in.
That’s how Warby Parker generates leads with their quiz. Even if the person doesn’t buy, they now have their email address and can market to them in the future.
After entering my email address, the page loads with this screen…
And finally, the “results” of the quiz are literally just Warby Parker glasses that match my preferences.
They also email these results…
Of course, the Warby Parker example might not be pertinent to your business.
Find examples of quiz funnels in your niche and then try to mimic the ones you like best. This is a great way to generate leads and make sales — and the more appealing your quiz is to your target market, the better!
You’re not in the business of giving away stuff for free — naturally, you want to get paid for your products and services.
Still, hosting a giveaway can be an effective way to generate leads and funnel people toward your products and services.
Here’s an example from a gaming company…
And another example from a cookware brand…
The key with running giveaways is to make sure that the things you’re giving away will only attract your target market — people who will also likely be interested in your products and services down the road.
Otherwise, it’s possible that you’ll end up generating the wrong leads.
Once you’ve crafted a compelling giveaway offer, you’ll want to get that promo in front of as many people as possible — work with influencers, run ads, talk about it in guest blogs or on podcasts, etc.
(You can use the Dream 100 process for your giveaway promo)
You’ll also want to create a follow-up email sequence to guide all of those shiny new leads toward buying your products or services (maybe for a discount?) once the giveaway ends.
5. Referral Program
Word-of-mouth is still revered by most advertisers and business owners as the single most powerful form of marketing.
And for good reason.
Just take a look at some of these stats…
- 72% of people get news from friends and family, making word of mouth the most popular channel for sharing. (Pew Research Center)
- 61% have recommended a local business to someone they know by word of mouth (BrightLocal)
- Marketers rated the quality of a word of mouth lead to be 4.28 on the 5 point scale. (Referral Rock)
It’d be nice if you could get current followers and customers to share your brand with their friends, wouldn’t it?
That’s the goal of a referral program.
Dropbox does this…
PayPal does it…
Figure out what you can offer your customers that would compel them to share your business with their friends — A discount? A free product? A month without payment?
Then use one of these tools to create and launch your referral program…
What’s great about having a referral program is that once it’s set up and automated, it’ll just run itself, always encouraging your customers to tell their friends about what you’ve got going.
Obviously, social media advertising is a great way to generate leads and make sales.
But that’s not what we’re talking about here.
(If you want to learn how to run effective Facebook ad campaigns, check out our guide over here)
Here, we’re talking about using your personal Facebook profile to build a following, promote your business, and even make sales.
Now, for some businesses, this strategy might be too small-minded to even consider — you can only have 5,000 friends, after all.
But if you own a coaching, consulting, or freelancing business — something where one sale amounts to thousands of dollars… then this strategy can be very effective.
In fact, I know multiple coaches and consultants who’ve used their personal Facebook profiles to drive tens of thousands of dollars.
One example comes from Kyree Oliver, a Facebook marketer and business consultant. In between free value-heavy posts, content like this drives revenue for his coaching business…
People get curious, they want what he’s offering, they reach out, and they convert.
Here’s an example of one of his non-salesy posts…
In terms of how often you should post free value for your followers and how often you should pitch them one of your services, you might consider following Michael Hyatt’s 20-to-1 Rule, which states that you should share 20 pieces of free value to every one pitch or ask.
I also spoke with Jeffrey Hunter, a marketer and entrepreneur with 17,000 followers on Facebook and over 100,000 on Tik Tok.
He also owns a VA staffing agency.
Here’s an example of what a typical Jeffrey Hunter post looks like…
His content is inspirational, opinionated, and entertaining. When I asked him how he turns all of this engagement into revenue for his business, he showed me this post…
… and explained how content like this — stuff that is talking about his business but isn’t directly pitching his followers on anything — often results in a lot of DMs and new leads.
Kyree Oliver has said the same thing about his content.
Which makes sense — people like to buy from people, after all.
So what’s the lesson?
If you’re a coach, consculant, or freelancer, don’t neglect your personal profile on Facebook. If you post consistently and balance free value with sales pitches, you’ll build brand awareness and make some high-ticket sales along the way.
7. Tripwire Sales Funnel
The gold standard of advertising is something called “Direct Response Advertising”.
Leadgenera defines this as,
“Direct response advertising is a type of marketing designed to get an instant response by encouraging people to take a specific action. The goal is to generate leads quickly. Comparatively, traditional marketing aims to raise brand awareness and promote your brand image in the long term.”
In other words, direct response advertising is when you try to get an immediate conversion from the prospect — with just one sales letter, for instance, you get them to buy your product… even though they’ve never heard of you before.
If you can do that, you’ll never go hungry.
And that’s what we built our tripwire sales funnel for — it’s designed to cold traffic (people who’ve never heard of your business) into paying customers.
Well, it all starts with a no-brainer offer that your target market won’t be able to resist — something that is so valuable and so [seemingly] under-priced that they just have to buy it.
(We love to give away free books to start our Tripwire Funnels)
That’s the goal of the first page.
They want what you’re offering, so they give you their shipping and payment information and click through to finish their purchase. Since the purchase is a great deal, there’s much less friction here.
Then the new customer is taken to the most important page of all — the OTO (One Time Offer) page.
This page consists of a one-click upsell that is just a little bit bigger of an ask than the initial offer. Since the prospect already entered their payment and shipping information — since they’re already in buying mode — this page gets a very high conversion rate.
Here’s an example…
And then, whether the customer adds this upsell to their order or not, they’re taken to your “Thank You” page.
The Tripwire Funnel increases average order value and, because of how low-friction the first offer is (it can even be free), turns more cold traffic into customers than any other funnel we know of.
Want to give it a try?
Get your free Tripwire Sales Funnel over here.
8. Affiliate Marketing
Wouldn’t it be nice if experts and influencers in your niche — the people who your target market already follow — would promote your products and services?
There are ways to accomplish that, of course.
You can pay people to mention your brand on their podcast, you can run advertisements to influencer’s audiences on social media, you can even sponsor a site to get some display ads.
But another option is affiliate marketing.
That is, you can pay those influencers and experts in your niche a commission for every single customer they send your way.
We do this at ClickFunnels in fact, paying up to 40% recurring commission to our affiliates!
Because it’s a win for us and a win for them!
(This isn’t quite the same thing, but we have a guide over here that’ll show you how to build an MLM business)
We call it our affiliate army. 🙂
And it’s super effective!
If you go to YouTube and type in “ClickFunnels Review”, you get quite a few results from people who are ClickFunnels’ affiliates…
This is also true in Google.
When you surround your company with affiliates who want to market and sell your products or services because of how much they stand to make, that’s really effective for growth.
If you want to learn more about how to build an affiliate army, pick up your free copy of Traffic Secrets over here.
9. Micro Influencers
Who wouldn’t love to get their business mentioned by Joe Rogan or Pat Flynn or Tim Ferriss or Kim Kardashian??
We all would!
But the truth is that those people are out of reach for most of us.
(Maybe down the road when your business is big enough, that’ll be more feasible!)
For now, it’s a better use of your time and money to focus on micro influencers — these are influencers in your niche with 100,000 followers or less who are much more accessible and affordable.
If you build relationships with these people, many of them will mention your brand for free!
We recommend following the Dream 100 process mentioned at the beginning of this article to find your micro influencers.
Then you can follow the 90-day outreach process explained in Traffic Secrets (get your free copy here)… or you can just reach out and offer to pay those people for a mention.
One mention from one micro influencer might not make a big difference… but 20, 50, 100? That can totally change the game!
If you’re struggling to run advertising campaigns that get results, you’re not alone.
Advertising is a difficult game. But the good news is that, with practice, you can get better and better at advertising and more consistently get results.
We’ve shared 9 creative advertising ideas with you above — those are a great place to start!