11 Marketing Pros Share Their Tips for Standing Out in an Ad-Heavy World

From promoted social media posts to TV commercials and everything in between, the world is saturated with advertisements. Now more than ever, businesses need to be strategic in the way they conduct their marketing and find a way to stand out from the crowd. Otherwise, they face the risk of being forgotten or going unseen by their target audience.

If you’re looking to truly stand out with your marketing, the leaders of Rolling Stone Culture Council offer a few tips for how to set yourself apart from your competitors and genuinely connect with your audience.

Cultivate an Authentic Perspective

Authenticity and storytelling are key. You’ll cultivate an authentic perspective by interacting with your customers and understanding the problems they face. That perspective should inform your marketing. If you’re starting with a low budget, build in the open. Talk about what you’re doing with friends, share on social, etc. People love to be a part of the come-up story. Zach Wigal, Gamers Outreach

Clearly Communicate Your Value

Deliver honest, clear communication of the value offered. Are you pushing your product or service to fatten shareholders’ pockets or are you truly offering an added value or experience for your end user? Of course, on-brand copy and imagery are icing on the cake. If your message is BS, it will be sniffed out in a microsecond and you’ll stand out in ways you wish you hadn’t. Matt Blackburn, ORDER



Don’t Pretend It’s Not Advertising

People know an ad when they see one, so just fully lean in and embrace what you’re doing. One of our clients just did a sponsored Instagram post and instead of trying to make it look “organic,” she just went all out and made it a cheesy ad. It was fun, hilarious and actually ended up getting a massive amount of engagement. It was a huge win for her and the brand. Cassie Petrey, Crowd Surf

Encourage Customers to ‘Advertise’ for You

We’re extremely limited in our advertising methods in cannabis but have found that wearables are one of the best ways to market in this space. We are committed to making our merchandise very high-quality and fashion-forward and people seem to really enjoy wearing it. From my perspective, having a customer advertise the brand out of love is pretty much the ultimate win. It’s an honor of the highest order. Jeff Radway, Skymint Brands

Demonstrate the Value Your Customers Will Get

If you want someone to take an action, you need to provide them with something of value. Regardless of the marketing channel, your efforts will be more impactful when you start focusing more on the value that one will get from engaging with your ad or content. To break through, marketing must be authentic and consumer-centric. Salim Holder, 4thAveMarket.com

Add a Human Element

People are exhausted by ads selling them something when they are scrolling through their accounts. People want to feel connected to brands and so adding a human element to the marketing goes a long way. Remembering your own personal ethos and how you would like to be introduced to new things is a good perspective to have. Take the tone of the first-person narrative in describing a product or service. Danny Fuentes, Lethal Amounts

Create Spaces for Connection, Gratitude and Empathy

One of the greatest hacks in marketing is to stop promoting content and start creating spaces for your audience to connect with each other. Showing gratitude to them in this way and listening to what their challenges are in life is the greatest form of empathy. The spaces you create will engender greater lasting loyalty and, ultimately, more referrals. Chris Schembra, 7:47

Develop Visuals Wisely

The images you associate with your brand are of the utmost importance. People are visual and as such create or acquire images that carry over to other cultures and regions. What may be a hit in Los Angeles or New York may not be so much of a hit elsewhere. Your images become an asset to your brand, so consider this when you create an image. Who is the audience? Some images work with all segments and others not. Michael Polk, Billboardology.com

Nurture Connectedness

As CEO of an immersive media and tech company for many years, I found it vital to create a culture of highly connected teams. Since the pandemic, we enjoy engaging with each other, clients and customers virtually. Whether it’s over Zoom or in a VRChat room, deploying a strategy to reach and communicate with your audience effectively is critical. Lynn Rosenthal, Periscape

The Rolling Stone Culture Council is an invitation-only community for Influencers, Innovators and Creatives. Do I qualify?

Lean Into What Makes You Unique

Figure out what makes your product or service unique and lean into it. You won’t be the perfect solution to all people, so embrace your differentiators and engage the customers you can genuinely help. Dan Giuliani, Volt Athletics

Deliver Truly Personalized Outreach

Sure, you have countless automated marketing tools that “personalize” your outreach, but so do all of your competitors. We’ve found that legit personalized outreach (handwritten notes, small gifts that tie back to previous conversations, singular merch mailings our clients will actually use, etc.) can have a monolithic impact on our relationships. Ricardo Baca, Grasslands: A Journalism-Minded Agency

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