Businesses owners and marketing professionals alike seem to enjoy the convenience and affordability of online marketing. For this reason, some may have made the mistake of ignoring offline tactics, thinking that digital strategies can do the job.
Nowadays, if you take a holistic approach to marketing that includes online and offline channels, you can expand the reach of your business and develop a competitive edge. Use the following offline strategies to get started.
1. Use Business Cards
In the past, exchanging business cards was part of almost every traditional business interaction. Although many modern business owners and sales reps have abandoned the practice, you can use it to promote your company.
First of all, make sure that your business card predominately displays your URL. This will compel people who want to contact you to do so by visiting your site. As a result, these people will learn more about your business and either convert or refer business to you.
You can create business cards online without needing any artistic skills. Most popular office supply stores and online printing services provide cloud-based design tools that help you create attractive designs and seamlessly submit them for printing.
2. Attend Events
When you attend industry and community events, you get a chance to meet influencers who can send business your way. This type of offline marketing can particularly help if you can provide lectures and seminars that have relevance to the needs of your target market.
Regardless of whether you set up a booth at a trade show or local festival, have plenty of business cards to give away. Also, having freebies printed with your business name and website can give people lingering reminders of their encounter with your brand.
After becoming familiar with how events operate and how they can benefit your business, consider either organizing or sponsoring your own event. This will get your brand a higher level of publicity and position it as a leader in your field.
3. Offer a Catalog
Although many businesses focus only on e-commerce, those that continue to publish and distribute a catalog often enjoy faster growth and more repeat business. Even if you refer your customers to your website to order, the catalog experience is alive and well.
Many news outlets, including Huffington Post, have explained the reasons for the continued success of catalogs. For the most part, they provide a visual experience that people can take with them everywhere. Some large brands acquire a large percentage of their new customers as a result of their catalog distribution.
Getting started with a catalog may seem difficult at first. However, when you realize that you already have most of the needed product photos and descriptions on your e-commerce site, all you need is access to one of the many online tools that can make assembly fast and easy.
4. Engage in Publicity Stunts
Already, you probably have begun understanding the importance of having a wholesome, holistic marketing plan. By combining online and offline tactics, you can engage larger audiences and dramatically boost the recognition and authority of your brand. Publicity stunts are one tactic that works in both areas.
Social networks give you fantastic platforms for launching contests and making announcements that turn heads. Remember how Amazon stunned the world by announcing its drone delivery service online?
In the offline world, you can engage in a variety of stunts and gorilla marketing activities that get the attention of pedestrians, motorists and local news outlets. You can even create hybrid campaigns that combine digital and traditional methods. Reebok did this by hand delivering sneakers to lucky Twitter users who tweeted to a special hashtag.
5. Become a Sponsor
Local charities and civic organizations need money. In exchange for paying a sponsorship fee, you can get your name and logo published in concert programs, school yearbooks and stadium fences. Of course, innumerable opportunities seem to exist for gaining recognition by supporting a worthy cause.
Naturally, what you sponsor may depend on the size and profitability of your business. For example, buying the naming rights to a major sports arena may require more money than you can get. However, you can sponsor local sports teams and youth leagues that can get your brand noticed by thousands of people for a surprisingly affordable fee.
Pay attention to local calendars that announce upcoming local events. Contact the organizers of those events to find out about available and ongoing sponsorship opportunities. Also, contact local radio stations to see if they have any community-oriented programs you could sponsor.
6. Use Your Car
If you have a car, you have a chance to market your business offline. Begin by getting a magnetic sign that attaches to the sides and rear of your car. If you like the idea or have more money to spend, consider buying a car wrap that converts your entire vehicle into a mobile billboard.
By using your car, you get to advertise in unusual places, such as in the parking lot of your competitor, especially if you happen to have legitimate business nearby. Similarly, you can turn roads and crowded parking lots, you expose your brand and your website URL to people you might never otherwise reach.
In conclusion, offline marketing tactics give you a chance to establish your authority and spread brand awareness. After trying the above tips, get creative: You will probably think of many other ways to use offline tactics to promote your e-commerce business.