Why You Shouldn’t Forget About Your Offline Presence
Even though digital advertising is an integral part of any marketing plan, you shouldn’t forget your offline presence as it can be a powerful opportunity to reach potential customers. A robust promotional strategy includes both online and offline efforts. A well-rounded approach gives you more chances of getting in front of your target audience.
According to Statista, ad spending in the United States is around $200 billion a year, with about half of that going to digital advertising. However, 50% still goes to offline advertising, so neglecting other mediums doesn’t make sense for most businesses.
Promoting your business offline can also benefit you in the online stratosphere. It’s tough to achieve name recognition with so much competition, so the more times and locations a potential customer encounters your brand, the better. Here are some things you can do to beef up your offline advertising and get the word out about your brand.
1. Try Radio Ads
Taking out a radio time slot can help you reach a wide range of potential customers in your town. Seek out radio shows your target audience is most likely to listen to. If you’re trying to reach the younger generation, a pop station is a fitting choice, or you can choose a time slot for a talk show on a topic of interest to your typical buyer. If you sell a home repair item, a Saturday morning home repair show would be an excellent pick.
Just because you’re advertising on the radio doesn’t mean you can’t reinforce the efforts online, too. Target the same group on social media by choosing people who listen to a particular station or radio show. Keep in mind that non-peak hours may be cheaper for those on a budget, but you’ll also reach fewer listeners.
2. Host an Open House
One sure way to get people into your brick-and-mortar store is by hosting an event. You don’t have to be a real estate agent to host an open house, for example. Invite people to come and try a new product or sample some treats made just for the event. Embrace offline advertising such as placing banners outside your storefront, advertising in newspapers and sending out invitations to those on your mailing list.
Integrate online advertising with your offline efforts by putting the event on Facebook and inviting people to attend. A few well-placed ads can serve as a reminder of the upcoming occasion. You can host an open house or event for any reason — you don’t have to wait for a grand opening or significant accomplishment.
3. Set Up a Booth
People are much more likely to remember you if you have a face-to-face interaction with them. Set up a booth at local art fairs and school events. Hand out materials or free promotional items and answer any questions the public has about your business. When they see the service or product you offer up-close, they’re much more likely to remember you specifically.
Merge with your online efforts by posting a reminder on your website and social media pages. Inform people you’ll be at the event and tell them to stop by and see you for a free item. Or, ask booth visitors to snap a photo and post on social media with a specific hashtag.
4. Show Your Product in Use
If you sell a physical product or local service, then take photos and videos of the product in use by your real customers or even your staff. Highlight the many advantages of your product and the features included. In a world where digital marketing is still at least equally important as offline marketing, you can use your offline material with your online promotions as well. Ideally, your images will work for print advertising, emails, social media and postcards sent to your mailing list.
5. Hang Flyers Everywhere
People still pay attention to flyers, and you can find dozens of places locally to advertise for free. You can also roll up flyers and place them in newspaper boxes in most cities or hand them out to passersby. One way to integrate your handouts with your online marketing campaign is by adding a hashtag to the bottom of them that people can use to find and connect with your brand.
Alternatively, you can add your website address to the posters for those who enjoy digital platforms. Just be sure to list a phone number as well — not everyone is enthusiastic about using the Web to get information.
6. Remember Networking for the Win
If you haven’t spent time networking with other business owners in your area, you may be missing out on some of the best offline marketing imaginable. They can help you with ideas for spreading the word about your business, and you can team up with them for local advertising efforts. Brands that complement one another can tell their customers about the other, increasing buyers for you both.
You may even encounter a few online influencers who will work alongside you to get the word out. Host a local event together and work to announce it everywhere.
Offline and Online Efforts Work Together
While offline advertising is still effective, so is online marketing. In an ideal world, you’d split your budget equally between the two. Look for opportunities to cross-promote so you’re reaching the same consumers multiple times until they trust you enough to buy from you. Start within your local area and expand your horizons as your business and your budget grow.
Lexie is a web designer and UX strategist. She loves taking her goldendoodle on long runs and checking out local flea markets. Visit her blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.