5 Alternatives to Social Media Marketing

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Cassie Wilson
Cassie Wilson



If you’re in the marketing industry, you know just how popular social media marketing is — especially considering there are 4.8 billion users worldwide.

marketer finds social media alternatives

But you know that saying about not putting all your eggs in one basket?

The same goes for marketing. You need to market your business through other channels, not just social media.

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Here are 5 alternatives to social media marketing that you should consider for your business.

Social Media Marketing Challenges

Although internet users tend to flock to social media platforms, focusing all of your marketing efforts and budget on social media campaigns isn’t the best idea. And it could present a few challenges.

For example, if there are negative comments on your social media posts, bad reviews will spread quickly, leaving you with a potentially bad reputation and fewer customers than you expected.

And let’s not forget about security. Security breaches and hacking are major concerns. While it’s true that security breaches and hacking don’t happen all of the time, they happen enough that marketers should consider the “what if” of social media.

Sure, social media is excellent for getting your brand in front of customers, and you should include it in your marketing campaign. But you won’t reach all your customers at different stages throughout the buyer journey.

That’s why you need alternatives to social media marketing. A good, effective marketing campaign meets customers where they are — and sometimes, that’s off social media platforms.

Press Releases and Public Relations

If social media wasn’t risky enough, the Pew Research Center found that US adults, especially the older generation, are less likely to trust the information they find on social media.

In fact, for people between the ages of 30 and 49, only 36% of them find social media trustworthy.

But, the Pew Research Center also found that nearly 71% of American adults have some confidence in local news outlets.

This is important because it means creating a public relations strategy is a viable alternative to social media marketing.

Think of your public relations, or PR, person as your company’s brand manager. Your PR helps foster trust with the community, promotes a positive brand image, and sends press releases to relevant media outlets. Press releases are bits of positive information a company sends to local news outlets and other media channels to generate community interest.

To create a PR strategy, you’ll need to do some market research, outline your goals for PR, and select the right public relations tactics. Meaning, do you send your press releases just to the local news? Or do you include other outlets, like paid media?

Having a strong PR strategy in your marketing campaign can help get your brand in front of the local community. For more information on creating a solid PR strategy, check out our guide, How to Do PR.


Your SEO strategy will always be an essential part of your marketing strategy — so don’t neglect it in favor of social media.

SEO is challenging, especially considering the consistent updates to Google’s algorithm and its preference for EEAT content. But SEO is necessary, and it helps new customers find your website organically on the search engine results page. Ideally, you’ll want your website to rank at the top of the search results.

A good SEO strategy focuses on things like:

  • Creating valuable content with users’ search intent in mind
  • Targeting various keywords, including high and low-volume key
  • Developing page authority
  • Creating a link-building strategy

Although SEO is challenging to master, it’s an excellent alternative to social media marketing. Consider adding SEO to your marketing strategy to increase organic traffic.

Paid Advertising

If you want to ensure your company is in front of search engine users but are not sure your SEO strategy is working (or you haven’t given it enough time to work), think about paid advertising.

Paid advertising is a form of search engine marketing where an advertiser pays a publisher (think Google or Facebook) for the number of clicks on their ads. Unlike SEO, where a page has to rank in the SERPs, paid advertisements appear at the top of search engine results with a “sponsors ad” message.

Although the advertisement is marked as an ad, it places your business higher in the search results. And that’s a good thing. For example, if your website ranks on the fourth page of Google, chances are you’ll see very few visitors to your webpage. But, with your PPC ad showing at the top of the first page or results, there’s a greater chance a user will click the ad and visit your page simply because it is now more visible to the user.

Don’t think of PPC as a quick fix to SEO, though — it’s not. There are plenty of reasons why you need to implement an SEO strategy alongside your paid advertising strategy. Paid advertising is just another alternative to social media marketing to consider adding to your marketing stack.

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Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing isn’t as complicated as it sounds and is a highly effective alternative to social media marketing.

Word-of-mouth marketing is about creating enough buzz about your business to get people talking face-to-face or online.

Remember the PR strategy? That plays a role in word of mouth. When your business has exciting news to share or a new product feature, a press release is a great way to get people talking about it.

But word-of-mouth marketing doesn’t just rely on public relations to get people talking. There are various marketing tactics to get people to share about your business, both in-person and virtually, including:

  • Buzz marketing
  • Blogging
  • Viral marketing
  • Referral marketing
  • Emotional marketing

The important thing to remember about mouth-to-mouth marketing is that it’s often organic and relies on your audience’s opinions. You’ll need to create a strategy that helps keep your business in your audience’s mind. And keep in mind you can’t always control what others say about your company.

However, there are ways you can influence your audience to think and talk about your brand. To make this alternative to social media work for you and to learn how to keep your audience buzzing about your company, check out our guide, Word of Mouth Marketing: What It Is and How to Make It Work.


Marketing your brand doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor. In fact, partnering with other brands is a great way to get your company in front of the eyes of a new audience and increase brand awareness. This partnership between brands is called co-marketing.

Don’t confuse co-marketing with co-branding, though. Co-branding means that two companies team up to create a new product. Think: Nike and Apple coming together to create the Apple Watch.

Co-marketing, on the other hand, is when two or more brands with similar audiences partner to market their products or services simultaneously. An excellent example of this is a sponsored conference or event where ebooks of various companies are the lead magnet. In such instances, multiple companies share a single landing page pointing customers to the co-sponsored event and their ebooks.

If you plan to use co-marketing as an alternative marketing strategy, be sure to choose a partner with a similar audience and who has similar goals for the project– that way, you can maximize your marketing efforts.

Use our guides and our free Ultimate Kit of Content Marketing Templates to create your own effective marketing strategy to get your brand seen and loved by your audience.

Grow With Alternatives to Social Media Marketing

There are plenty of viable alternatives to social media marketing that you can implement to ensure your brand has a comprehensive marketing strategy. The key to diversifying your marketing approach is not to emphasize one marketing channel over the others too much.

Editor's note: This article was originally published in June 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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