Online marketing gets a lot of attention in the modern business world, but it’s important not to discount the power of traditional offline marketing methods. Instead of having two disjointed marketing campaigns – one for traditional and one for digital – brands are integrating both digital and offline marketing campaigns. Let’s explore some ideas for traditional offline marketing techniques that work.
Below are five offline marketing strategies that can still benefit your business even in the digital age.
1. Print Marketing
“Old-fashioned” print marketing such as newspaper ads and catalog mailings are effective ways to reach your target market. Giving customers a physical reminder of your business links your online presence to the real world. Be sure to include both online and offline contact information so customers can get in touch with you in the way that’s most convenient for them.
2. Custom Signs and Banners
You should spend just as much time trying to be visible offline as you do on the Internet. Custom signs and banners for your physical business location are eye-catching ways to remind customers you’re there and to entice them to come and check out what’s new.
Banners are often used to alert potential customers of special sales at businesses, or can be used for marketing at local events or sponsorships. A popular offline marketing strategy is sponsoring a local youth sports team. These are often affordable sponsorships, and depending on where it’s placed, can provide high visibility for your business.
Eye catching signs that match your business unique selling proposition can provide additional touch points for the customers to hear your message. Strategically placed around your physical business, or brought out for special occasions, can drive incremental foot traffic for your small business.
3. Conferences and Trade Shows
Being visible on a personal business can take your business to customer relationship to a high level faster than other non-personal methods. Attending conferences gives you the opportunity to meet and network with potential partners in your industry. Setting up a booth at a trade show connects you with a fresh group of consumers who are interested in your products and services. Use these events as opportunities to hand out business cards, brochures and flyers printed with your company information.
It’s important to stand out from all other industry competitors and get creative with your booth display and how you interact with customers. I recently showcased a few inspiring trade show displays of some of the top tech companies at the top trade shows. What can you do differently to stand out from the crowd?
4. Free Giveaway Items
Giveaway items are a dime a dozen at tradeshow events, but they’re so common because they work. It’s almost impossible to measure direct ROI on these giveaway items, so see them more as a way to get your brand out there. If you can afford higher quality products such as Moleskine notebooks, quality sports water bottles, or other unique items, these can carry a longer shelf life than your standard t-shirts and pens.
Additionally, you can send free branded promotional products out with every order to increase brand visibility and build a positive relationship with customers. You might also consider offering free shipping or a free product when customers place an order over a certain amount to give them an incentive to continue shopping with you. Little surprises like these will differentiate you in the eyes of the customer and can increase your customer loyalty.
5. Hosting Special Events
Setting up in-store events such as grand openings and anniversary sales brings back loyal customers and attracts curious passers-by. Your event doesn’t have to be big to be successful. Even something simple like a pre-Christmas “party” with music, a Santa and special deals can be effective to draw people in. As long as the event is relevant to your business and fun for customers, it will be memorable for everyone who attends.
As a bonus idea for merging online and offline tactics, consider inviting Elite Yelpers from Yelp to exclusive openings or parties. Not only will the pampering you provide these elite reviewers to see your company in a favorable light, but they carry a degree of online clout that can give you a boost in your online visibility as well.
Balancing online marketing with tried and true offline techniques keeps your business visible to local audiences and helps establish credibility. Work these and other “old-school” methods into your advertising strategy to grow your customer base and stay ahead of the competition.