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What Is Sideways Advertising?

Sideways advertising is something you’re probably already familiar with and don’t even realize it. One of the oldest and most reliable forms of sideways advertising, which can basically be defined as anything other than traditional marketing for which you pay, are employees, partners and clients, even past customers, who pass on valuable information about your brand. In other words, grass-roots word-of-mouth by people who carry your company’s message. Another tried-and-true form of sideways advertising is philanthropic endeavors and community involvement, which is as simple as sponsoring an event that shares the values of you and your business. Doing something good can benefit the world and your bottom line. A new addition to the world of sideways advertising is online social networking. Websites like Facebook and Twitter, oft-mentioned in these pages, can help build your business’s image and overall branding. And cross-polinating between traditional marketing approaches and social networking is a great way to maximize both. About to launch a new traditional ad campaign? Tweet about it!

Twitter Nation

In case you hadn’t noticed, Twitter is inescapable. Everyone from college students to “power moms,” who are described by Greta Weiner of the Internet marketing company GWDC LLC as “moms who are very busy, but want to keep up with what their kids are doing and keep up with the latest information,” are all atwitter. If your business is not already twittering, you should start. It’s a great way to stay in touch with existing clients and customers and an even better way to attract new ones. posted a great article yesterday on how to build your personal brand on Twitter. Twitter itself is an expanding business that, according to, is expected to grow three-fold by next year. Impressive numbers, to be sure. A post on the official Twitter blog yesterday, however, dismissed traditional web banner advertising: “The idea of taking money to run traditional banner ads on has always been low on our list of interesting ways to generate revenue.” Instead, the social media upstart is exploring ideas like “account authentication, management tools, and discovery mechanisms” that facilitate “connections between businesses and individuals in meaningful and relevant ways.” If you’re scratching your head and wondering what the savvy brains who came up with the pithy communication concept that has taken over the nation are talking about, they’re happy to tell you that they’ll “keep you posted” on the matter. Cute.