For many businesses, internet marketing takes the driving seat when it comes to attracting eyeballs. While consumers do spend a big portion of their time surfing the web these days and using mobile these days, it doesn’t mean having an online presence is the only way to reach them. The reality is, you could have several thousand people who just aren’t searching for products/services on the internet. That’s why numerous brands have begun to consider and implement offline marketing strategies.
Even in the digital age, there are still consumer demographics that businesses can reach more easily via offline tactics than online campaigns, such as people 65 and older. Plus, some offline strategies can offer a higher ROI compared to marketing on the internet, especially if your company is incorporated locally. Moreover, face-to-face conversations, memorable experiences, and human connections all exist offline – all you have to do is make yourself available.
So, if you’re looking to branch out beyond internet marketing and start promoting your business offline as well, here are a few actionable offline marketing tips to consider.
1. Get in Touch with The Press
Despite what naysayers will tell you, print media is still alive and kicking. There are several individuals who still buy magazines and newspapers or at least read them at bus stops, local clinics, restaurants and guest houses that place these publications for their customers to pursue. What you can do is identify the popular newspapers and magazines in your locality and try developing a relationship with them.
In addition to buying ad space in these print media materials, you can gain exposure through many other avenues. For example, many journalists seek influencers/subject matter experts when they’re writing columns/stories. If they identify you as an authoritative resource based on the topic they’re putting together, there’s a good likelihood they will reach out to you for an interview or expert insight. Not only is that an opportunity to demonstrate your thought leadership, it’s also free press for your business.
2. Leverage Digital Signage
Digital signage is a hot offline marketing trend these days. In fact, research shows that digitals signs capture more attention than internet ads – 71 percent more if to be precise. If you have a brick-and-mortar shop, a conference room, a showroom or an office, digital signage could become the gateway to powerful connections between you and your target audience.
One of the best things about digital signage is that it empowers you to tailor content to your customer via images, videos, and keynotes. You could place them in the doorway to provide information for an event, use them during an event to list speech information, or use them on top of your brick and mortar store to reveal a particular range of products. With digital signage, you get a wealth of options.
Note: If you don’t have space offline, search for companies that do. Coffee shops, restaurant and other local businesses often put up digital signage that you can pay to list your brand on for a less costly fee than conventional corporate billboards. Another thing you can do (in addition to buying signage space) is ensure you get featured in a high-traffic area of your locality, preferably close to downtown).
3. Get Involved with Your Local Community
Taking part in the events arranged by your community is another smart way to get yourself noticed on a local scale. Start by donating to causes or sponsoring local sporting events if you have access to funding. Introduce your business by sponsoring a local football team and get your brand’s name on the back of their shirts. Arrange a fundraiser at your office and give out branded merchandise to those in attendance. Steps like these will humanize your brand.
Additionally, you could consider donating your corporate space or office to a session or event that aligns with the interests of your target market. That way, prospects will become associated with your company for a viable cause, as well as associate you with good times to come. If there’s something Instagrammable in your office like fancy wall art or something similar, put that in the main space. That’ll also help cement your company in the minds of any audiences.
4. Expand Your Network
Even the tiniest companies in the smallest neighborhoods will get ample chances to expand their network. What you need to do on your part is ensure that you’re always in touch with other business owners, regardless of where you are at this point in time. You never know when you’re going to come across an individual who can help you grow your brand in one way or another. Talk to your customers, suppliers, business partners, neighbors, gardener – the opportunity to expand your presence can pop up anywhere!
Of course, there are some obvious avenues that you should consider when you go out there to network. For instance, you can attend exhibitions in your locality that are relevant to your niche or even take a shot at a speaking engagement or two at a big conference if you are a leader within your industry. Appearances at exhibitions and conferences as a keynote speaker will also place you in an ideal position to cross-promote your brand with other companies who may be able to provide products and services that are complementary to your offerings.
Note: While networking with people, don’t forget to hand over your business cards. If you’re going to attend a conference, you won’t even have to distribute them personally. You can pin them to conference boards and leave them in areas where you would anticipate audiences who might be interested in knowing more about your company.
5. Create Attractive Packaging
One of the quickest and best ways to capture people’s attention is to put together attractive packaging for your items. With some creativity, any company can come up with a noteworthy design for their containers, boxes or packages in which they place their products. If your offering is lying on the shelf with similar products being provided by competing businesses, having beautiful product packaging can easily give your product a leg up.
Even if your items are already selling well, try to make your boxes or packages with with buyers leave your shops look beautiful and welcome. There’s a good chance that others will notice what those who’ve bought your item are carrying, notice the logo/tagline or your business on the package and make an inquiry about where it came from. Whether you have a big or small brand, getting your tagline and logo out in on the streets will attract potentially more audiences than just making it available online.
6. Try Physical Mail
There’s no doubt that a well-planned email marketing strategy can work wonders for your company. But that’s no reason to ignore snail mail. Many customers still prefer the old-fashioned physical mail. Also, sending physical mails also delivers a sincerer and personal experience, perhaps simply due to the fact that those getting this offline mail understand that it takes a business more than just a bit of time and effort to send snail mail.
Moreover, sending promotions, coupons and other marketing materials via mail also provides businesses with an ideal opportunity to deliver their promotional materials that could motivate individuals to head out and visit your business to see its offerings. Whether you have the budget to deliver snail mail on a frequent basis or not, physical mail is still one of the best opportunities a business has for traversing the offline/online barrier.
7. Share the Social Traction You Get with The Real World
UCG or user-generated content is a business’s most powerful arsenal for transparency. Customer testimonials, social media updates and reviews can deliver a powerful message about your authenticity. They can tell clients, prospects, and future customers that they’re in good hands. That others have found it a rewarding experience doing business with you. User-generated content often utilizes real-life examples and stories to bring brand to life. This is quite valuable for prospects who’re trying to decide which company should they consider purchasing from.
Sadly, most of this social proof stays on the web (on social media networks). But testimonials and other types of UCG displays on office walls, physical brochures or even a brick and mortar storefront can be viable for cementing user-generated content in physical locations. Additionally, you can ask your staff to show user-generated content to your visitors offline on their devices. This will help remind clients that they’re visiting a well-established business that’s safe to buy products from.
As can be seen from the strategies above, offline marketing is a diverse tactic for diverting people’s attention towards your business. The only downside to it is that it is challenging to track where conversions came from. Nevertheless, most entrepreneurs will acknowledge that getting potential clients to buy from their business is much more important than analyzing why exactly they decided to give business to them. Take the opportunity to generate more offline interactions and word-of-mouth advertising that goes a long way when it comes to having a positive impact on your bottom line.