If you run a small-to-medium business (SMB), then digital marketing is an attractive and potentially cost-friendly way to grow your customer base. However, it’s important to remember that offline marketing can be just as important. Your marketing strategy needs to include both in order to be as successful as possible. That way, your marketing can be balanced and attract the maximum number of customers. The fact is, offline marketing has been around ever since people started selling goods and services to each other. Most of these methods have been successful throughout history, so you can certainly make them work for you.
Regular Brand Engagement
For a prospect to interact with digital marketing content, they need to pull out their phone, computer, or device, and visit a website, social media feed or other internet channel. With offline marketing, you can have materials out in the open that consumers will see on a regular basis whether they actively go looking for it or not. This can help with the “rule of seven,” which posits that a customer goes through phases of interacting with your brand before they pay for a product. The process involves first hearing about your brand, then thinking about your brand when reminded, then actively looking for more information, then engaging with your brand in various ways, and then becoming a customer.
It’s during this customer life-cycle that your brand needs to be visible to them. If you don’t have the budget to blanket the market with your advertising, then personal gifts may be the way to go. Provide trinkets, such as mugs, pens, and other materials that will be a constant reminder of your brand to prospective customers. You will never be out of sight or out of mind, whereas you might be if you focused only on digital and a customer didn’t connect at the right times.
One of the things people love about owning an SMB is the opportunity to be a part of their local community. Face-to-face engagement is still valuable, and still something that people, consumers and business-owners alike, crave. Obviously in the times we currently live it’s more difficult to have in-person interactions, but things are changing for the better, and we will soon be back to our new normal.
Meeting face-to-face is the ultimate engagement with customers. It provides a personal connection, and you can build long-term relationships that will benefit you and your customers. For instance, setting up a booth with display pedestals at conferences, conventions, special events, and marketplaces will allow you to speak to prospects and let them get to know and trust you. Trust is a big part of choosing between brands, and there is no better way to convey it than with a personal interaction. Offline marketing can help draw people to you to discover your brand, and continue to interact with it. Make sure to have professional business cards produced so that you are always in prospects’ wallets and contact lists.
They are Investments That Keep Giving
With digital marketing, you can get benefits only for as long as you want to pay for them. Yes, with SEO your content will keep paying dividends over time, but it needs to be updated regularly to get as much benefit as possible. With offline marketing, your materials can be reused over and over again. Promotional materials such as signs, and even radio scripts, can be repurposed and provide you with benefits well past the time that you stop paying for them.
Some things you can order in bulk, such as pens and mugs, and have them on hand for years to come. Display signs can be put up and taken down at events for as long as they remain in good shape. Your initial investment will help you grow your brand well beyond what online investments can.
You Can Get Great ROI
You might be surprised to learn that offline materials can create great return on investment in comparison to many online marketing strategies. They tend to be more affordable, and there are simple ways to track their success. Online marketing can be tricky to track, and hard to target. For example, targeted mailing campaigns can be very profitable and successful. If your advertising asks for people to return coupons or other physical materials, then you have a built-in way to track how the mailer is contributing to the campaign.
Variety is the Spice of Life
One of the exciting aspects of offline marketing is that there is so much choice and variety for what you can do. You can choose different materials, different platforms, different media, and design anything exactly how you like. You can switch up fonts and colors, and tweak things depending on the medium you are using. Your logo can look one way for one campaign, and look slightly different for another. Or, your tagline can change depending on the season, or campaign.
You can print a wide range of items. Pretty much if it has a surface, you can put your marketing on it. There are the more common things, like pens and flyers, but you can have materials based on special events, such as mini baseball bats for baseball games, or holiday-themed items. There is no limit to what you can do. Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to experiment a little. Creativity can help you find success with offline marketing.
This isn’t to say that offline is “better” than online marketing. They complement each other. A solid online marketing strategy will enhance your offline efforts, and vice versa. Just placing your URL or social media tags on your offline materials can lead to more site visits and engagement. If you have something creative or fun, then it’s more likely that people will take photos of it and share it on their social media.If your materials have your online details, then it will be spread farther than if you’d just put it up on your social media channels. The sky is truly the limit, and balancing your online with your offline will help you reach your goals faster.
Guest Post Author
Ray Ko is the Senior Ecommerce Manager at ShopPOPDisplays. With years of experience in the retail space, Ray is an expert in formulating and implementing e-commerce strategies to increase revenue.