More than half of the world’s population now has access to the internet, and the number of people using the internet will only increase as the years pass. As more and more people utilize this channel for communication and for business, it is not surprising therefore that ‘online marketing’ has become the digital world’s favorite buzzword. It is normal these days for businesses to have a dedicated team to manage their online marketing campaigns to promote their brand—from social media campaigns to email marketing to search engine optimization.
Online marketing is an undeniably cost-effective way to reach an unlimited number of prospective buyers or clients. But whether one likes it or not, there’s still a segment of the population that your team cannot and will not be able to reach via videos or blogs posted online no matter how well-crafted those are. These potential buyers or customers may be your kindly grandmother who never got the hang of using the internet or the hard-at-work businessman who doesn’t have the time even to check his email or folks who live in areas where the internet is seldom—if ever—used. Whatever the reason, offline marketing strategies can be used to augment your online marketing campaign and make it more effective. Here is a list of a few offline strategies you can use along with their online counterparts for a more effective and robust marketing campaign.
- Good old-fashioned print advertisement. While a large segment of the population prefers to browse the internet to keep themselves up to date with current events, many people still opt to get their news and entertainment from newspapers or magazines. Some people even prefer to support their community newspapers for sentimental or financial reasons. It’s a mistake to assume that print is dead and disregard this traditional method when it comes to marketing campaigns. A well-placed advertisement in your local newspaper or a colourful yet informative flyer tucked between the pages of a magazine has the potential to reach more customers when implemented together with online marketing tactics. You can also opt for brochures or newsletters sent via postal service if you have the budget for such methods.
- Word-of-mouth marketing. If there’s one economical way to invite visitors to your website, it’s promotion via word of mouth. If you are a member of a local organisation or a special interest group, this should come easy as you already have an audience. Join local associations for networking if you have not done so already. There’s nothing like an animated, polite, and tactful conversation to introduce your brand to potential customers. Have your business card ready (with your website printed on it) during social gatherings would be helpful as well.
- Get out of your comfort zone and reach your target audience through speaking engagements. Public speaking is a fantastic way to share an idea and showcase yourself or your brand to an audience that’s already primed to listen. But these speaking engagements can be notoriously hard to find and being invited as a speaker can be difficult if you’re just starting out. This is where your local association or organisation will come in handy. Start where you are and take it from there. If you can afford it, say ‘yes’ to unpaid yet relevant speaking engagements. If you’re a terrific speaker, it won’t be long before more opportunities come knocking on your door.
- Attend relevant trade exhibitions and conferences. Trade shows and conferences can be a great way to amplify your brand’s message and supplement your team’s online campaign. Attending these events give you the chance to make friends, establish networks, and showcase your products and services to potential clients and buyers. You can also hand out your business card or if it is allowed by the organisers, distribute flyers to other attendees.
- Sponsor an event to reach your target market. Whether it’s a community fair, a parade, a sports event, or a concert, sponsoring an event is a surefire way to foster goodwill within your community and introduce your business to your target audience. You can promote your brand during these events with the help of strategically positioned signages and banners or by having your company’s name and logo included in program materials or event advertisements. You can also distribute promotional products, such as lanyards, pens, keyrings, and more during the event itself.
- Employ guerilla marketing to supplement your online marketing campaign. Guerilla marketing is an unorthodox yet extremely creative way to promote your brand. The goal of these cleverly placed, unique, and sometimes fun ads is to promote the brand by getting you to stop to take a second look. These ads are frequently deployed in subways, public transportation, parks, supermarkets, or any other public space. Guerilla marketing can be a clever offline marketing strategy that you can use in tandem with your online marketing campaign.