Digital marketing seems to have taken over the marketing landscape over the past decade or so. More people are online, so many businesses and corporations work to reach that wide audience. They plow their resources into things like search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click strategies, among other things. These techniques can absolutely have success, but they aren’t the only types of marketing that you should be doing.
You might not realize it, but offline marketing is just as relevant today, even in our digital world. The fact is, while it might seem like it, not everyone is online, and you could be losing those customers if you focus only on digital methods. There are several other benefits of expanding your marketing to include offline methods. Here is a quick guide to them.
This might surprise you, but over 100 million people purchase catalogs every year. If you spend a lot of time online, you might not realize it, but there is a huge chunk of the population that is willing to pay to shop using a catalog. That just shows that offline marketing is still relevant. Strangely enough, people do a lot of thinking and make a lot of decisions while driving. They aren’t surfing online during the commute. They are listening to the radio and seeing billboards along the highway. Also, don’t forget about the millions of people who watch TV every night.
Offline marketing should not be your entire marketing strategy, but it needs to work with digital marketing in a cohesive way to gain greater impact. Your offline marketing materials don’t have to specifically sell something to prospective customers, but they can be an invitation to visit your website or social media pages, where you can then try to convert them.
Syncing Your Offline and Online Marketing
As mentioned, the two methods need to work together to form a cohesive overall marketing strategy. This will help your customers by creating a seamless and integrated experience for them. For example, a local store can have an app that showcases all of its products. A customer can pull up the app, and see how products look on the app through the app’s filter features before making a purchase. This works very well for makeup and apparel brands, but it could work with anything. This is especially important in a post-Covid-19 world, where many stores will not immediately go back to allowing customers to try things on in-store.
There are also customers out there who are getting tired of everything being online. They want to have more human interactions and personal customer service. It may be that as Covid-19 becomes a thing of the past, and people start to leave their homes more and enjoy the company of others, this subsection of customers will grow. Many people have found that working from home has made them miss seeing other people, and the convenience of online shopping may not be as appealing.
To capture this demographic, you need to make your storefront appealing to customers. First, make sure that your branding is consistent between your offline and your online materials. You can make your storefront inviting by keeping it clean, and featuring your items in attractive display boxes or cases that truly showcase them. If your business is food-related, offer specials and samples to get people in the door.
More and more since Covid-19 struck, businesses are using an appointment model for their customers. This can be a great marketing option since it also adds a feeling of exclusivity to your brand.
You Can Use it Even if Your Business is Completely Online
The great thing about offline advertising is that you can use it for any kind of business, even if you operate completely online. Your market might be a large geographic area, but you can build a base with your local neighbors.
You have a natural connection with your community since you share a common city or area. You can set up billboards and signs in your community pointing people to your website. Your signs can highlight the fact that you are a local business. This will attract local customers because they want to work with a business they can trust. If they can connect your business to their community, then you will be more trustworthy and authentic than a faceless corporate entity.
Other than signage, some great techniques for pointing people to your website include flyers, door hangers, and local radio and television ads. Using technology like beacons and dynamic QR codes are effective ways to bring your customers online from offline touchpoints, enabling a multichannel marketing experience.
Your Brand Can Be Top of Mind At All Times
With digital marketing, once someone closes their laptop or puts down their phone, they are disconnected from any advertising or marketing they might have seen. However, what if, after seeing your banner ad on a website they were visiting or seeing your page at the top of the search engine rankings, they went and picked up a pen with your branding? Your brand would be front and center for them even after they have logged off.
Some People Thrive In Face-to-Face Situations
The fact is, not everyone is a computer whiz. You can set up all of the marketing and customer service techniques that technology makes possible. However, if a customer is not good with it, or it makes them uncomfortable, you may not be able to find the success you are looking for. It could be that your customer is naturally more comfortable with face-to-face sales and service. This means making true personal connections with your customers, and being a trustworthy source for service.
If that is your talent, then you should do whatever you can to make the most of it. Offline advertising is a great way to get people to your physical location. Craft your message to the local market, and create a network of potential customers of people you know, including your family and friends. Then you can let your charm and sales skills take over.
Online marketing often comes with a set of rules that you must follow, and advertising online often means following a template and adding your brand’s flavor to it. This includes SEO when you need to make sure that everything is created to correspond with what search engine algorithms are looking for. Not only that, but you have to rely on third-party tools for building your materials and providing analytics.
With offline marketing, you can do whatever you want. You may use any font, image size, or even shape of sign that you want to. You can write your own scripts for radio and television ads. Essentially, you can do whatever your creative talents will allow. This can be freeing for some marketers, who find that their talents are stunted with online marketing efforts.
It’s true that we live in a digital world. You can do almost anything online from the comfort of your own home. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for things that are old-school analog. That includes offline marketing. If done correctly, offline marketing will help you reach customers that you may miss with a strictly digital strategy. By creating a comprehensive marketing plan that includes both offline and online marketing, you can make sure to appeal to customers of all types.
About the 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.
Great post. I’ve been considering doing some offline marketing with business cards taking them to places to test out.
Elaina M says
Sounds good, sometimes you gotta step back to move forward, good luck with your endeavors.