The advent of the internet has radically changed marketing, for the better. It made it easier, faster, and cheaper. But that doesn’t mean offline marketing has become a thing of the past.
Many small businesses that are just starting out avoid offline marketing channels and solely focus on social media, often to their peril.
Not everyone is on their tablets and smartphones all the time. Here are some effective online marketing ideas that can help you reach more members of your target audience.
Direct Mail Campaigns
Direct mail has a brand recall of 75%. Many consumers think direct mail is much more personal than email, they trust it more. Even though direct mail is more expensive than email, it can be well worth it if you craft a compelling offer.
You can use direct mail to re-engage past clients, customers, leads, and prospects. Throw in a coupon, and chances are the envelope won’t end up in a trash can.
According to Printroom, direct mail campaigns are a great way to boost your online business. You can use variable printing with direct mail. You can design personalized landing pages and create personalized URLs that you would include in the letters.
Then, with cross-marketing tools like Mindfire and EasyPurl, you can monitor the performance of your direct mail. Once the client goes to the landing page, you can use metrics from Google Analytics to analyze the behavior of your direct mail audience on your website, just as you would with your online campaigns.
By using variable printing, you can tailor each letter according to the customers’ previous purchases or their general interests. You can also send your customers birthday cards with a discount or small gift certificate, just to show them how much you care.
You can use email for that as well, true, but it wouldn’t have the charm of a well-designed envelope that includes the customer’s name printed in full color.
Events are great for marketing as there are many dimensions to them. You can market your company by attending events and trade shows, or you can organize a promo event of your own.
You don’t necessarily have to sell something at an event for it to be a marketing success. Event management company Kevin Rowe shared a story about how they worked with Vodafone Ireland Foundation to organize a unique fundraiser and team building event.
The theme of the event was a “Night at the Oskars.” Vodafone staff members filmed short versions of 7 different movies over a period of 7 weeks with the help of professional coaches.
On the night of the event, they screened their movies to the attendees. At the event, the Vodafone Foundation Ireland managed to raise €50,000 for the national child protection charity in Ireland.
It’s a fantastic example of fundraising, team building, and event marketing—all in one. Such types of event marketing are great for building brand awareness in your local community.
You don’t have to spend money on a front-page newspaper ad to get coverage. You can connect with local journalists and writers in your area by acting as your own PR manager. Local newspapers are always looking for a good story.
Think of it as developing an offline content strategy. Share a story that is newsworthy, relevant, and offers value to the readers. It can revolve around:
- Introducing a new kind of service or job to the community
- Your history with the community
- Something unique about your business
- Projects you are working on that will benefit the community
- Offering advice to your community as an expert in your industry
An authentic story is worth more than paid advertising. On top of that, it’s free publicity. You need to make an effort to create a good story, but that goes for your site’s blog as well. Have you come up with an idea for a unique marketing event? Share it with the press!
There are two types of stories you can go with—a press release and a media pitch. The first one just captures who, what, where, and why. It’s more of a news piece.
It’s still not an advertisement, so it has to be something the public would be interested in reading. Press releases are usually related to current events. For instance, if you run an accounting firm, you can offer the best tax strategies to readers during tax time.
A media pitch involves a specific idea or story, it’s more personal. For instance, you can pitch a story about how your company started in your garage, but now it has a proper office and 5 employees.
Even though the information age has given businesses many opportunities to expand, there are still many old-school strategies with a proven track record that are great for your business.
You can never go wrong with showing the customer how much your care, bringing back to the community, and engaging users with good, old-fashioned storytelling.