Indirect Marketing: Pros, Cons, & 3 successful examples

Indirect Marketing

Indirect marketing aims to establish trust with potential customers before making a direct sales pitch. The goal is to increase brand awareness and cultivate a relationship with potential customers, ultimately leading to conversions.

Types of indirect marketing

To maximize brand awareness, an effective indirect marketing strategy utilizes multiple channels, including platforms such as YouTube, billboards, and Instagram ads. Consider incorporating the following forms of indirect marketing into your business plan:

Content marketing

Content marketing involves creating valuable content that aims to inform or entertain your target audience rather than directly selling to them. Examples of content marketing include blogging, podcasts, videos, free tools, online games, quizzes, and live events. By offering free content that informs or entertains your audience, you can attract the attention of individuals interested in your industry and capture their email addresses for future marketing efforts. Search engine optimization can be utilized to ensure your content reaches the right people.

SEO (Search engine optimization)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results when potential customers search for your services. SEO is divided into two categories: on-page and off-page. On-page SEO involves making your website easy for search engines to understand and ensuring your website’s content is relevant to the queries people search for when researching your product or market. Off-page SEO involves acquiring backlinks from other reputable websites in your industry, which helps to boost your search rankings. In addition, by utilizing SEO effectively, your content can reach a wider audience of interested individuals, potentially generating a consistent stream of leads each month. As a result, SEO is a crucial component of any digital marketing strategy.


If your business receives press coverage, the most effective way to leverage it, in the long run, is by using it as social proof on your advertisements and web pages. Social proof involves showcasing press coverage or notable clients to demonstrate your credibility and impressiveness. As trust is a critical factor in customer decision-making, having coverage from reputable sources, such as the New York Times or a news publication in your industry, provides an opportunity to borrow their credibility. Furthermore, by featuring credible PR, you can continue to benefit from the coverage long after it happens.

Social media

Growing a social media following can be a highly effective form of indirect marketing as it keeps your business top of mind for those who follow you, and it’s free. The key to building a strong social media following is to consistently add value to your audience through useful content that they find worth sharing. By doing so, your following will naturally increase, and maintaining consistency shows your audience that you are professional and reliable. In addition, this approach can help your business grow brand recognition and foster loyalty among your audience.


One of the most effective ways for potential customers to hear about your business is through word-of-mouth referrals from trusted friends. To generate such referrals, it’s crucial to exceed your customers’ expectations and provide them with unexpected value. By doing so, you can create a memorable experience that customers are likely to share with their networks. For instance, Zappos, a shoe-selling company, has become a billion-dollar brand by integrating surprise and delight into their customer relationships. By adopting a similar approach, your business can also generate positive word-of-mouth and grow your customer base.

Indirect marketing: advantages and disadvantages


Advantages of Indirect Marketing

Indirect marketing often takes the form of online content and other media, allowing businesses to produce a significant amount of content without the risk of irritating potential customers. This creates an opportunity to build lasting relationships with your customer base, making them more likely to remain loyal to your brand. A blog, for instance, can be an effective form of indirect marketing as long as it consistently provides high-quality and relevant content that resonates with your audience. Over time, this approach can foster a relationship between your customers and your brand, resulting in a more consistent and long-term sales stream.

Disadvantages of Indirect Marketing

Indirect marketing campaigns often require time to build momentum and generate results. Therefore, during these initial periods, it’s crucial to consistently put in the effort to keep building your campaign. For instance, publishing a blog once a month won’t immediately yield profits, so patience is necessary when it comes to indirect marketing. However, once the campaign gains momentum, the results will continue to come in steadily over time, making it a worthwhile investment for your business.

Direct marketing: advantages and disadvantages


Advantages of Direct Marketing

Direct marketing campaigns aim to generate immediate results from the campaign. The goal is to encourage potential customers to make a purchase right away by presenting targeted content at the right time and in the right place. This method has the potential to produce quick results. Additionally, direct marketing campaigns can be repeated and can even complement indirect marketing campaigns.

Disadvantages of Direct Marketing

One major drawback of this marketing approach is that most of your intended audience has become accustomed to the traditional forms of advertising and sales tactics. As a result, if you’re not careful with the frequency and placement of your advertisements, you may end up repelling potential customers instead of attracting them. Therefore, it’s essential not to be too aggressive when using direct marketing methods to promote your product or service.

3 successful examples of indirect marketing

Are you looking for examples of successful companies that have used indirect marketing successfully? These are three examples to inspire you.

1. Ahrefs – Blog

SEO-driven content marketing is Ahrefs’ main marketing method. It can be summarized in one sentence:

Ahrefs create and maintain high-quality, search-focused content on topics that have business potential, search traffic potential, and ranking potential.

It can be broken down as follows:

  1.   They conduct research on topics that customers search for on Google.
  2.   They filter them by assessing their business potential. This will allow them to see how easy it will be for their product to pitch while they address these keywords.
  3.   Prioritizing is done by examining their true potential to determine if it is feasible for them to rank among the top three using our resources.
  4.   These topics are the focus of our content creation.
  5.   If they aren’t up-to-date or don’t rank, they update them or rewrite them.

This strategy ensures that customers find Ahrefs every time they search for solutions to their problems via Google.

Their strategy is straightforward. There are no fancy tactics or the latest trends. This deliberate simplicity is what drives their eight-figure annual revenue (ARR).

2. Slidebean – YouTube

Slidebean allows startups and small businesses to create pitch decks. It has more than 400,000 subscribers on YouTube. However, its videos don’t focus on pitch decks or design. Instead, they are about startups, marketing, and business.

This is intentional. It started with topics that were related to its product. They soon realized that these topics were too narrowly focused. So, they decided to expand the marketing funnel to include more topics.

They discovered a YouTube formula and decided to use it for other types of content. One of these was the idea of exploring failed businesses. WeWork was the first, and it was a bridge between a startup-oriented company and a well-known brand. They called this series “Startup Forensics”.

At this stage, they were limited in the number of tech startups they could explore, so they opened up that area to “Company Forensics” to expand their horizons.

Slidebean was able to reach as many people as possible via YouTube, making it a top-of-mind brand. In 2022, Slidebean achieved $ 1.5 million in revenue and had 3,000 customers.

3. Wendy’s – Twitter

Wendy’s is a fast-food restaurant chain. However, it is not possible to tell by its tweets.

Wendy’s has revolutionized the way brands use social media to communicate with customers and clients. Instead of posting dull, bureaucratic tweets, it did a 180deg and shared memes, roasting other companies, and posted in a lighthearted tone. It rarely calls for people to go to Wendy’s.

This indirect marketing strategy works. In fact, keeps its brand top-of-mind in a competitive fast-food market.

Its tweets not only get attention on the network but also spread virally to other channels. Memes and Animation parodies are just a few of the YouTube videos that have been shared.

Wendy’s has overtaken Burger King since 2012 to become the #3 U.S. fast food chain.


In conclusion, both indirect and direct marketing approaches have their advantages and drawbacks. Indirect marketing strives to build trust and relationships with potential customers before making a direct sales pitch. Direct sales pitches, on the other hand, focus on closing deals directly. Effective indirect marketing strategies involve content marketing, SEO, PR, social media and referrals.

While these campaigns may take time to gain traction, they can create lasting relationships which in turn generate a steady and long-term sales flow. On the other hand, direct marketing campaigns aim to produce immediate results by presenting targeted content at precisely the right time and place. However, if not executed properly, direct marketing may appear too aggressive and repel potential customers. Therefore, businesses must carefully weigh both approaches in order to find a balance that works best for their particular objectives and target audience.

Outreach Bee has the expertise and the resources to take care of many aspects of your indirect marketing. Our team searches and finds the best guest posting opportunities for you. Reach us today to discuss an SEO plan for your business and take care of the whole process.

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