[This article was written by Jessica Velasco.]
The digital age is upon us, and daily life reflects this fact. Internet users can do just about anything online—which is a fact not lost on business promoters.
In today’s world, a marketing campaign would be considered suicidal if it failed to address the possibilities offered by the Internet.
However, there is much more to a marketing campaign than being social media savvy and placing banner ads on relevant websites. Listed below are seven tried-and-true offline marketing techniques that should not be overlooked.
1. Donate to Community Events
Not only will donating to community events make you feel good, it is also a great marketing opportunity that attracts potential new customers.
By offering your service or product (such as a free 60-minute massage) as a prize in a local contest, you increase your business’s visibility and actively engage in your community.
Event organizers are also likely to include a shout-out to you in the event’s flier and the next newsletter.
2. Don’t Assume Print is Dead
- Target marketing: By placing an ad in a specialty magazine, you are better able to reach niche markets that could otherwise be hard to identify. For example, if you are a purveyor of fine wines, it would make sense to put ads in publications such as Wine Spectator or Wine Enthusiast.
- Credibility: Unlike online ads, there is no danger or irritation associated with perusing a printed ad. Internet browsers are wary of clicking ads because of the viruses that they can contain, and even putting the mouse over an ad can cause the ad to expand and disrupt the browsing experience. Magazine and newspaper ads hold neither of these negative effects, and they have the added bonus of the sense of legitimacy that a tactile print can lend.
- Consumer engagement: Websites (including their ads) can be skimmed in as little as fifteen seconds; on the other hand, readers are more likely to take their time with printed material. As such, consumers are likely to have more engagement with printed advertisements as opposed to when they are crammed in the margins of a website surrounded by other ads vying for attention.
- Tangibility: While Internet ads are transient things that only last as long as the consumer stays on the same page, magazine and newspaper ads are physical and can stick around for years.
This article on the website for Priority One Clearing (a magazine subscription broker) has even more reasons why print advertising is beneficial.
3. Do Not Overlook Trade Shows
Trade shows provide a rare opportunity to meet customers that have not only singled out your market, but have paid good money to do so.
To set yourself apart from the other booths at the show, use strong visuals to attract customer attention and get creative with your giveaways to entice people to stay.
4. Participate in Local Professional Events
Chances are, there is a professional network for your industry already established in your community. Get in touch with this network to find out the calendar of events and attend whenever possible.
If there is a call for presenters, sign yourself up! Speaking in front of a professional crowd is a surefire way to build brand awareness, make contacts, and bounce ideas off others in the industry.
If there is no network already in place, then you could be the instigator by starting a Meetup group (this article can help you get started).
Meetup is an online social networking tool with the goal of bringing people with similar interests together, face-to-face.
Start a Meetup group for your industry and/or offer to host the group’s events. Use the opportunity to make genuine connections and have giveaways to create goodwill towards your brand.
5. See Your Car for the Blank Canvas That It Is
Some people have mixed feelings about putting a vehicle wrap on their car, but this is an often-overlooked marketing technique that can be highly effective.
Vehicle wraps can encompass the entire car or just a small section. The initial installation cost may seem daunting, but once the wrap is on the car, it will start to pay for itself. Plus, it can last for years, reaching a large audience over time.
6. Whip Out Your Business Card at Every Opportunity
Opportunities to take advantage of your business card include…
- When you meet someone new. Your business card can be part of your introduction.
- At a community bulletin board. Don’t be shy about putting your card up too.
- At lunch. Many restaurants and other businesses have fish bowl contests that require a business card to enter. Never fail to drop your card in.
7. Guerrilla Marketing Can be Fun and Effective
Guerrilla marketing involves using non-traditional techniques to get your brand name out there. It usually relies on techniques that are shocking, unique, outrageous and buzz-inducing.
This marketing tactic is perfect for small businesses who want to reach a larger audience because it doesn’t cost a lot of money. A lot of craziness can be accomplished with a small budget!
Take the time to learn about this unique approach to marketing; it could be just the cost-effective offline marketing idea you’ve been waiting for.
The Internet is a great tool and provides all kinds of new opportunities for marketing, but do not overlook the techniques that came before and proved useful for generations of business owners. Good marketing campaigns will blend online and offline tactics, so experiment with both to find what works best for you and your customer base.
About the Author:
Jessica works for a small marketing firm. She helps businesses with both their online and offline branding efforts.
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