Your blog has turned stale. You’re running out of topics to write about. No one is “liking” your Instagram photos, or pinning your content on Pinterest.
So what can be done? The answer: unplug, and turn to connecting with offline marketing.
Here are a few ways to coordinate offline and online marketing endeavors.
- Hashtag annual events Annual events provide the superb opportunity to connect people in a personal and social venue, online. Use a hashtag at an annual event that attendees can use when they post to their Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook from the party, an action that is sure to already happen! Coachella and hashtags go together like chicken and waffles. Not only is the festival itself hashtagged, but brands participating in the festival get in on the fun every year. This year’s annual hippie-event brought McDonalds, Lacoste, Chevrolet, and many more brands together under multiple pop up shops. But the official clothing sponsor of Coachella, H&M, stole the show. The popular brand used the venue to show off upcoming releases, promote their partnership with Kiss for a Cause, and announce their highly anticipated collaboration with fashion icon Alexander Wang, all through Instagram and appropriately hashtagged #HMLovesMusic. Be creative yet simple when hashtagging events, and make sure you use that baby everywhere for maximum brand exposure!
- Connect online and traditional marketing There’s no reason to look at online and traditional marketing efforts as two different beasts. Instead, use the two to support each other through one cohesive message. HGTV’s “Love Home” campaign did just that. The brand ran TV ads asking viewers to upload images of themselves to Twitter and Instagram with the tags #lovehome or #HGTV. Over 40,000 submissions were received by HGTV and some lucky fans even had their photos included on TV ads and on the company blog. By connecting the online and the offline world through user generated content, a brand can make their followers feel as though they are an essential part to the system, as opposed to just the end user.
- Advertise social channels on location Brands that exist as brick and mortar stores can use its physical space to promote their presence online. For example, a restaurant might want to include their Instagram account in menus or on napkins to encourage eaters to share pictures of their food. (Since, let’s face it, those food selfies are already going to happen.) A clothing store could use the often-unused real estate on bags to include social media handles. If customers leave the location with some reminder of the brand’s online presence, they will be much more likely to visit the page.
- Promote specials that are only redeemable in store or over the phone What is the one reason why fans follow your brand on social media? Special offers! Leverage social media and grow a following by sharing special offers online that can only be redeemed in store or over the phone. If the promotion is enticing enough, it’s likely that fans will share the offer on their social networks, and you will then reach an even bigger audience. Food brands are the ideal group that can excel with this idea. Use Facebook or Twitter to run an online contest where players have a chance to win a free meal or week’s supply of the brand. When people win things online, they tend to share it with others, making this offline-online marketing connection one, with a chance to go viral!
- Sponsor a community event Bringing people together by sponsoring a community event fosters positivity and endears fans to a brand. Public events can also be an opportunity to develop a following online by including social media handles and hashtags on signage at the event and on any swag items. Conversely, the event can be promoted from social media and used to grow a following by having fans share the event and updating details in the time leading up to it. Don’t forget to take pictures to be posted online after the event! Audiences love sharing pictures of themselves, providing another opportunity to bridge the gap between offline and online marketing.
Don’t solely concentrate on offline marketing, or online marketing efforts. Use the two to support each other, and audiences, fanatics, and future customers will more likely see and interact with the brand’s message.
In what other ways can brands bridge the gap between online and offline marketing? Share your thoughts below.