A good business isn't afraid to take risks. Introducing new products and entering foreign markets are both bold moves, but they have the potential to bring incredible returns.

As such, online businesses shouldn't be afraid to try new approaches to content marketing. Doing so prevents your methods from getting stale and repetitive.

Trying new things goes beyond finding unused pictures and writing about different topics. Adding elements that differ from conventional marketing tactics can help your business stand out from the competition, increasing brand awareness and garnering more online payments. Here are a few unconventional elements you can add to your content in order to switch things up: 

Emojis are a great way of targeting a young, mobile-adept audience. One simple picture – a winking face, an airplane, a stack of cash – can convey an entire message, alerting readers to a person's mood, location or other aspect of their life.

It can be difficult to use emojis correctly in marketing, but getting the technique right increases customer engagement and helps a business appear in line with the times. Use them sparingly but thoughtfully. Too many emojis jumbles a message and opens it up to misinterpretation. As Hootsuite accurately pointed out, Chevrolet's press release announcing the 2016 Cruze model that was written entirely in emojis was a perfect example of this. Reading the message without a translator left one utterly confused, and even using the translator provided by Chevrolet may be asking too much of the reader.

Additionally, emoji marketing should take on a lighthearted tone. Think of emoji use as a conversation with friends. You wouldn't use the same language at both happy hour and a board meeting.

Traditional advertising has become a contentious issue in the Internet age. Intrusive pop-ups and videos set to auto-play encourage users to adopt ad-blocking software. This makes it more difficult for businesses to get their advertisements in front of consumers, but companies shouldn't give up hope.

According to a study from ad tech organization Unruly, although 93 percent of millennials are considering using ad blockers in the near future and 80 percent choose to mute video ads, millennials are also 112 percent more likely to share interesting ads than any other age group.

This makes millennials a high-risk, high-reward demographic, according to Unruly's co-CEO Sarah Wood. Marketing to them correctly can make your ad more effective than originally imagined, but getting things wrong makes them more likely to use an ad blocker and stop interacting with your business. The research showed that when an ad feels inauthentic, 74 percent of millennials lose trust in the company.

The key is to create ads that fall in line with millennial topics and browsing habits. Unruly found that millennials are 23 percent more likely to enjoy an ad if it relates to something that interests them. In contrast, they don't like it when ads overwhelm their experience on the Internet, and many are tired of seeing the same ads repeat. 

"This presents a great opportunity for the advertisers who take the time to create content that cuts through to engage and inspire Millennials," Wood said in an article.

Whether you pronounce it with a hard G or a soft one, there's no denying that GIFs are an effective method of conveying a message. The acronym stands for Graphics Interchange Format and describes a short, soundless animation that functions like a moving inline image. The animation repeats automatically and often consists of a seconds-long clip from a lengthier video. When used in groups, GIFs can convey a short narrative. They're also incredibly popular – as ClickZ explained, GIFs are now a part of Internet culture. Some may think using GIFs is akin to pandering, but businesses like Coca-Cola, Disney and Nintendo use them effectively. 

GIFs combine the best of multiple forms of content. Pairing them with text helps customers remember ideas. They're soundless, so businesses don't have to worry about shoppers hitting mute. GIFs are also a quick and inexpensive way to get consumers to stay on your page for a longer amount of time. They have a stronger emotional appeal than static images, and viewers often watch or rewatch them to pick up on every nuance or repeat the experience.

While you shouldn't rely too heavily on these individual ideas, mixing them in with your content refreshes your marketing and can help your business reach more customers.

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