Creating an offline marketing strategy is often neglected by small businesses, because online marketing is cheaper, more convenient, and increasing in importance for generating sales. Online purchases are on an upward trend each year, so it makes sense to allocate more resources to online marketing.
However, offline marketing is still effective! Because fewer businesses are utilizing offline strategies, you can gain an advantage over those competitors by implementing offline tactics.
Once a popular method of marketing, flyers are a low cost method of getting your name out there and attracting new clients who may not have found you otherwise. Handing them out and sticking them on telephone poles is time-consuming, so consider hiring someone to handle that task for you.
Aside from telephone poles, flyers can be placed on the windshields of cars in a parking lot, bulletin boards in libraries, and local newspapers. Before you stick your flyers everywhere, check the local laws to make sure you’re not breaking one.
Another relatively low cost tactic for offline marketing is fence signs. They are great for generating leads. In order to use fence signs effectively, you must have a high quality sign made (e.g. Alupanel signage from SiteSmart) and position it in a strategic location.
What is considered a good location depends on your target audience. If you’re targeting middle aged businessmen, a sign positioned near a place they frequent is a good location. To someone aiming for elementary school teachers, that particular location might be a waste of money.
You can buy a list of people who meet a certain demographic for your target market and then send them mail marketing your product or service. Those who are interested will either visit your website or call you. Don’t feel deterred by the fact some people refer to it as “junk mail.” When the right person glances at the ad, he/she will be compelled to check out your business. That is assuming you utilized efficient copywriting techniques in your direct mail to capture the person’s attention.
Integrating Online and Offline Marketing is a Killer Strategy
The strength of online marketing is you have many options that don’t require money, such as Pinterest marketing, Twitter marketing, and SEO (search engine optimization). As all business owners know, however, you can only go so far without a greater investment. You only have so much time to give, so investing money becomes beneficial. Rather than using your entire marketing budget online, you should dedicate a portion to offline marketing.
One of the benefits of offline marketing is it’s harder to ignore in some cases. For example, if a person is driving and sees a sign advertising your business, he would have read it before he realized it. In contrast, when someone is using the Internet, he can use an adblocker to block banner ads and easily tune out other marketing messages sent his way.
Integrating online and offline marketing is more powerful than focusing your energy on one or the other. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Offline marketing may cost a little more money, but it’s still affordable. When done right, the ROI will make up for the initial investment.
About the author:
Sarah Smith is a small business owner, and is currently learning about marketing and internet use. Aside from working on her own business, she likes to use social media, and read travel books.