Approach anyone you can think of who might help you get the word out about your company and what you do. One way to reduce costs is to simply ask for how you can save money. Most newspapers, magazines and even radio and television stations are willing to work with small businesses and figure out a way to work within your budget.
Although online marketing has taken a strong hold over nearly every company’s marketing efforts, offline marketing still has its place.
Merging the two together so they complement one another can help enhance the impact of both online and offline marketing. About 40 percent of those doing a product search online do so because they’ve heard about the product offline. This shows that offline marketing still has a big impact, even when it comes to online sales.
However, measuring the effectiveness of an offline marketing campaign is not always easy. It is next to impossible to track how many of your site visitors land there because of offline efforts, even if you utilize landing pages.
Offline marketing can also be more costly than online marketing. It is important that you do everything in your power to keep offline marketing efforts from falling flat.
1. Local Teams
One way you can gain loyal customers in your local area is by sponsoring school and sports league teams in your town. This shows goodwill, and you will also receive a sponsorship acknowledgement.
For example, if you sponsor a little league team, they may have banners up at the ball park thanking sponsors. Each time parents attend these games, they will see your business name. You can get as creative as you want with your sponsorship. Some businesses buy the uniforms for the team and place their logo somewhere on the shirt.
Buying radio slots during prime time drive time can cost a bundle. However, you can advertise during off times and still reach customers without spending as much money. Do some research about your target audience to discover when they are most likely to listen to the radio.
Playing a radio ad just before rush hour will allow you to reach those drivers who head into work early, for example, but it will be more cost-effective. You can also contact talk show hosts and see if there is a possibility you could come on their show as a guest.
3. Television Advertising
You might think the cost of television advertising is out of reach for your small business. After all, you’ll probably need a professional video production company if you want your video to have an impact on the viewer.
Keep in mind, though, that once you pay to create the ad, you can play it time and time again on local stations and local cable channels – even utilizing it online in addition to your offline marketing efforts. You’ll reach viewers who might not listen to the radio or see your ads in other areas.
4. Become an Event Speaker
People enjoy buying items from companies they feel they know well and have a personal relationship with. This builds a level of trust in the product or service. One way you can gain the trust of decision makers is by attending events and speaking on a topic related to what you do.
Let’s say you are the manufacturer of a device that helps golfers with their backswing. You might attend a trade show for golf shop owners or golf course owners and give a talk on how they can improve their customer service or offer better beginner class options for their customers.
5. Host a Booth
Do you have a product that lends itself well to demonstration? Take the time to create a professional-looking booth and show people what your product can do for them.
You can get a lot of mileage out of the costs of banners, table covers and the overall setup for the booth, because you can go to trade shows, conferences and even local events such as festivals and fairs. Depending on your business, you may even be able to travel the country or the world, creating a buzz for your brand.
6. Send a Physical Card
It costs five times more to gain a new customer than to keep one you already have. Retaining current customers should be your number-one priority, because they have a proven track record of ordering from you.
One way to show your current customers that you value them as individuals is to send a recognition of their birthday or other special day without expecting anything in return. So, you might send a birthday card and have your top managers sign it. The CEO should write a short, personal note. Do not offer a discount if they order or ask for a sale.
7. Print Exposure
You may have heard that print is dead, but it isn’t done quite yet. While circulation may be down a bit, there are still plenty of people who read the newspaper every day or every week. Take the time to write up press releases for your local publications – as a bonus, you can also release these to online outlets.
Don’t overlook the free weekly papers in your area, because they are often hungry for material and may print an article-like print release as is. Follow-up with a quick phone call about two days after sending the press release.
Be When It Comes to Gaining Offline Exposure
The strategies vary widely as far as budget and time involved to implement, but each are effective offline marketing techniques. Start by choosing at least one of the items on this list and then build your offline marketing efforts from there. Over time, your brand will become one people readily recognize and flock to.
Lexie Lu is a contributing writer for Splendor Design and a freelance designer. She enjoys writing code and learning about new web platforms. She manages Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
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