Online marketing is a good choice for businesses, since the results are easily measurable and the digital format is less expensive than traditional marketing. Nonetheless, offline marketing is more effective when reaching targeted demographics and delivering specific messages. As a result, businesses are prudent to acknowledge both online and offline advertising as part of their campaigns.
Seven effective offline marketing strategies that are relevant to most business niches are:
Speaking engagements provide a fantastic way for business representatives to promote their brand and showcase their expertise, in front of an interested and targeted audience. Anyone attending the speaking engagement ahead of time knows what the topic is, so they are likely to be a willing listener. Along with referrals and recommendations, speaking engagements are a popular way to obtain leads.
For finding speaking opportunities, partner with local associations and don't worry about pay initially. Eventually, as your brand and recognition both rise, you can be compensated for your speaking. To start out though, realize that the publicity and engagement alone are well worth the time and effort of leading a speaking engagement.
Offline networking remains a very strong way to nurture a marketing strategy and drive leads to your website or business. While savvy marketing can certainly engage, there's something special about associating a face with the brand. You can join local chapters of associations or trade organizations to help establish connections, with the face-to-face networking helping to augment attendance at speaking engagements.
When networking in person, just make sure to show interest in the other party as well. Seeming as if you only want to communicate to boost your brand can come across as disingenuous. Show mutual interest in the other party's own pursuits and knowledge. In addition to being a lead, their expertise may render them a useful collaborator in the future.
Anyone who brushes aside print advertising as a thing of the past ignores its effective impact on memory. Studies show that brain recall for print advertising is superior to that of digital media. A TrueImpact study finds that brain recall is 70 percent higher for a direct mail piece than a digital ad. Print advertising also can emphasize a product’s texture, scent, and feel.
As a result, print advertising remains an effective offline marketing strategy. Especially since print magazine subscribers tend to be passionate about what they're subscribing to, print advertising also provides specific targeting and placement that's beneficial for any campaign. On a local level, it's also easier to reach an audience compared to digital outlets.
The majority of industries have trade shows, exhibitions or expos that provide companies an opportunity to showcase their latest services and products by mingling with customers, partners and leads. These events provide an excellent way to market offline, enabling in-person networking and also accommodating a platform for speaking engagements.
For maximizing opportunities at a trade show, make sure to plan. Create any materials or booklets you will provide, in addition to freebies like pins or pencils to pass out. Work hard to make your booth visually appealing so interested people will be more likely to stop. You can even host a game, like tiddlywinks, to entice people to come over. Provide a special just for trade show attendees, like handing out 20 percent off coupons for your product or service.
Out-of-home (OOH) advertising, such as signs or billboards, remain a strong platform for businesses seeking to raise brand awareness. In fact, an average of $5.97 in product sales is made for every dollar spent on OOH advertising. One big reason why is that OOH advertising appeals to the audience that’s not very active on digital platforms. For those who are active on digital platforms, the OOH presence can provide an additional boost.
It also helps that many people see OOH ads when they are in a prime position to purchase something. For example, they may see a billboard driving home and put it in their minds to look more into that product when they arrive home. If they constantly see the same billboard to and from work, it's very likely their interest will pique eventually to the point of exploring the product or service in further detail.
Sponsorships can elevate a business's presence positively, showing support for a cause or event to a group that also supports it. Whether you're sponsoring a networking session, event or little league sports team, the sponsorship provides visibility as well as an increase in face-to-face interaction. Another sponsorship idea is to donate your office space for a day or two to an event or session relevant to your audience, helping bring in new leads in an organic way.
Guerilla marketing is essentially the practice of placing your brand's logo on a variety of physical items, such as pens and post-it notes, so its presence pops up frequently among a target audience. Even better, an item with humorous or clever branding has the potential to go viral. The cost of producing pens in bulk with your logo is small compared to the positive impact it can have on bringing in new clients.
These seven offline marketing strategies are strongly worth considering for any business, to go alongside an online marketing campaign or as a standalone approach. Brand awareness and an increase in leads are very likely with any of the strategies above.
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