For many professional services firms, online marketing has become front and center over the last five years, Why? It can be easily measured and is often less expensive than traditional marketing.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of offline marketing techniques that can help build and support your firm’s brand. In fact, truly effective marketing strategies tend to take advantage of both online and offline initiatives to create a well-rounded, multi-faceted approach.
When done together as part of a complete marketing strategy, offline and online marketing techniques can even support and amplify the other’s efforts. So, let’s take a look at six of the most effective offline marketing strategies and how to integrate them into your current marketing strategy.
Face-to-face connections are still a valuable form of networking and can help drive traffic to your website when your new connections are inspired to learn more about you and your firm.
Being able to put a face to the name can help create a deeper sense of brand loyalty among your buyers, so don’t discount the importance of a good, old fashioned handshake. Make your own opportunities for in-person networking by joining local chapters of associations or organizations where your target audience is likely to be found. Over time, this networking can be augmented with attendance at national conferences for those same associations/organizations.
2) Speaking Engagements
In-person speaking engagements are a tremendous marketing opportunity for a number of reasons. First and foremost, a speaking engagement puts you in front of a highly targeted and interested audience that is already primed and ready to pay attention to what you have to say.
Speaking engagements are also a great way to build credibility and establish thought leadership within your firm. According to our surveyed Visible Experts, speaking engagements are the second most popular way that Visible Experts obtain leads.
However, finding and securing speaking engagement opportunities may be a challenge if you’re just starting out in your journey to thought leadership. Try starting small with local associations and don’t be afraid to say yes to unpaid opportunities. Chances are, even your earliest experiences will pay off in the long run.
3) Print Publications
While you won’t give you the same SEO benefits as an online link back to your website, print publications still have a valuable place in offline marketing. Obtaining relevant placements in industry magazines and journals will help increase your brand visibility and showcase your expertise. Include print opportunities as part of your blogger outreach strategy and keep an eye out for opportunities to appear in both an online and print version of a publication.
However, don’t seek out print publications just for the sake of it. Just as with your online publications, you need to be selective. Make sure the publications you choose are relevant to your target audience and a reputable source of information.
4) Cold Calls
Is cold calling dead? While not as commonly incorporated into the sales process as it one was, cold calls that have a personal touch can actually resonate with interested buyers. Phone calls are more personal than emails and demand an instant response – which can be both good and bad.
Just make sure you have a concrete reason for why you’re reaching out and be mindful of your phone call recipient’s time. Cold calls are also a great way to reach out to potential marketing partners about a collaboration opportunity, like hosting a webinar or producing content together. And, if during the cold call you can reference a valuable piece of thought leadership your firm has produced, the call has all the more chance of netting a result.
5) Print Advertising
Along the same lines as publishing an article in a print publication, running print advertisements is another method for getting in front of more potential customers.
However, it is significantly more difficult to track the return on investment for print advertising than it is for online ads and they can often be more expensive to run, so consider your options carefully.
Print advertisements are best positioned in highly targeted publications where you can guarantee members of your target audience will see your ad. If possible, include a URL or a QR code in the print advertisement to send visitors to the landing page, which will help you track these campaigns better.
6) Associations and Trade Shows
Consider attending trade shows where you can network with other industry leaders and prospective buyers. Trade shows can provide a great opportunity to put the most effective offline marketing strategies in practice. In addition to in-person networking, you can also pass out print materials and perhaps even get the opportunity to be a featured speaker.
Luckily, there’s no need to choose between offline and online marketing strategies. Offline marketing strategies don’t need to take the place of online marketing strategies or vice versa.
Instead, offline techniques can be used to supplement online marketing efforts to make your firm’s marketing strategy as a whole more robust. The combination of both approaches can bring your marketing full circle by increasing your firm’s visibility and bringing more attention to your online brand.