Many individuals, including business owners, believe that offline marketing is obsolete and online marketing is the only way to go. Offline marketing, also known as offline advertising, is what businesses use to promote their products, services, and brand to potential customers physically. As much as we like to think that most of the world is connected to the internet, there is a large chunk of the population who still isn’t.
Studies show that 73 percent of the population is on the internet. That leaves 27 percent who aren’t. This is why a plethora of businesses both large and small continue to rely on offline marketing. This isn’t to say that they don’t use the internet to spread the word about their business. There are plenty of offline marketing strategies for online businesses, and here are seven of them to get you started.
1. Guerrilla Marketing
This is considered by certain individuals as one of the best offline marketing strategies because it can catch people off guard. Guerrilla marketing is where you forget the conventional types of offline marketing and be creative with how you advertise. You can leave your business cards on public bulletin boards, donate bookmarks with your brand to local libraries, and place sticky notes in fast food restaurants or coffee shops just to name a few. Each of these items can contain a link to your website. None of these actions is considered littering, though; littering is discarding waste products carelessly and in the wrong places. Speaking of which, make sure your guerrilla marketing is legal. Don’t go so far as to do graffiti with your business name on it.
2. Vehicles and Billboards
These two ways are mentioned together because they both involve people being able to see your advertisement on the road. Billboards are one of many classic advertising signs that passer by can see often. What’s great about billboards is that you can determine which available areas are more likely to be seen by your target audience often. For example, if your target audience consists of people between the ages of 18 and 35, you can advertise on a billboard near a road that leads to a local college.
Unlike billboards, however, advertising on trucks and other vehicles allows people from all sorts of areas to see your business website address. Trucks can travel to more heavily populated areas and cars can drive around town. This way may not allow you to pinpoint your target audience too well, but you can still reach a large variety of people at once. If these two methods are too expensive for your taste, then there’s always another type of advertising sign that works: printed banners.
3. Banners for your Local Events
Setting up contests, competitions, and other events on behalf of your business in your local community is a great way to attract potential customers. They can be generally fun happenings, like a fair or a concert. It could also be a meet that features activities that relate to your products and services. For example, your business may focus on selling paint. You can promote classes on painting. In the middle of your event, you can place a printed banner that contains your business info.
Printed banners can come in multiple sizes to fit your business needs. In the case of a local event, creating a large banner that stands in front of or in the middle of your event may very well catch some eyes. You can also set it up at a table where you are directly promoting your business.
4. Networking and Relationships
Networking is considered to be one of the oldest and best offline marketing strategies. The way this tactic is used is that you physically talk to people about your business. A handshake could go a long way, as it may earn you a lifelong consumer. You can attract people by speaking in a public place or utilizing some of that guerrilla marketing mentioned earlier. Sit in a common area people go and fold sheets of paper into origami. They can contain your contact information for your business. Some people may become curious and ask what you are doing. You can then get into conversations and give away your little works of art.
Building relationships can go hand-in-hand with your networking. Certain online and offline marketing strategies may require you to keep in touch with your customers both online and offline. This is no exception. If you wish to obtain a long-term relationship with a potential customer, then you must see them as more than a customer. Your connection with your consumers can be both professional and neighbourly.
5. Cold Calling
You may think that this is the worst form of offline advertising, but it surprisingly works. In order for it to work, however, you must aim for the correct audience. Only call individuals in specific areas that match your target demographic. Cold calling may not work if you blindly call anyone who lives in your town. Businesses both large and small practice cold calling, so why shouldn’t you?
6. Direct Mail
Direct mail, for certain businesses, can be the epicentre of online and offline marketing strategies. The reason for this is because mail can be seen by multiple people in a home, increasing the chances that a potential customer may see it. As a result, the more people there are, the higher the possibility you will encounter someone who also uses the internet in that house. This is important, as the mail you send to these people must also contain your web address. Like cold calling, though, you must aim for the homes of your target audience.
Local television is still very popular, especially for non-internet users. The channels may be limited, so a watcher may only remain on one favourite channel. This is where commercials come in. One may not think that commercials are under the category of online and offline marketing strategies since it’s airing on television. Through this form of advertising, however, you can encourage viewers not only to give you a call or visit your store but also visit your website. Not all watchers of local television are avoiders of internet use.
Each of these offline promotion strategies has worked for businesses everywhere. What’s important is how you plan and utilize certain tools to your advantage. If you are a small business owner, then try the more affordable types of advertising. When your business starts to grow, then you can attempt the bolder forms of marketing. Maybe you just want to have fun with advertising and try your hand at guerrilla marketing. Whatever form of advertising you choose, don’t forget that offline does not mean outdated.