How to Redefine Your Offline Marketing Strategy

There are many reasons why you might want to revamp your offline marketing strategy. Although online promotions are inexpensive and highly targeted, there is still a place for hard copy advertising. If your offline efforts aren’t bringing the results you’d like, it’s time to review what you’re doing.

The offline media advertising market still brings in an estimated $221 billion each year. The highest revenues come from television and radio spots, but there are ways to secure promotion on those mediums without spending a fortune.

The best marketing strategies combine both offline and online marketing, creating a seamless experience from one to the other. Consumers care most about consistency and authenticity. If you’ve neglected your offline efforts, now is a great time to re-strategize. Figure out ways to thrive even during an economic downturn and find creative ways of reaching new clients.

1. Hand Out Business Cards

Business cards may seem like something from the 1980s, but they are still effective as part of your offline marketing strategy at getting your name and contact information into the hands of potential leads.

Don’t just limit yourself to sharing them at trade shows, either. If you meet someone on an airplane, give them your business card. If you’re in your doctor’s office, ask if you can leave a few behind on a table. Give them to everyone you meet and tell them what you do. They cost just pennies, making them one of the least expensive forms of offline advertising.

2. Place Signs Outside Your Store

Flags announcing a sale or vinyl banners are a great way to drive passersby into your shop. During the recent COVID-19 outbreak, people were unsure of when or if businesses were open. A sign stating your new store hours is a welcome addition. You could also add a bright banner reading, “Yes, we’re open!”

If you have a special product or a special sale related to events in the world, place it where people driving by can see it and come into your store. Your regular customers will come back in and you may even gain a few new ones.

3. Give Talks

Whatever type of business you own, you are an expert on the topic. Look for opportunities to give speeches about what you do or some aspect of your business.

For example, if you run an HVAC company, you might talk to a local homeowner’s club about the importance of annual maintenance. Think about some of the most common questions your customers ask and how you might turn them into a speech. As a bonus, you can integrate this offline marketing strategy effort with online marketing. Record your session and upload it to YouTube or another video-heavy social media site.

As you establish authority on a subject, approach radio show hosts and television programs about being a guest expert. Being a guest is a great way to gain television and radio exposure without dropping a fortune on ads.

4. Make a List of Cheap Promos

Don’t wait for COVID-19 to rebound or another pandemic to strike. Seize the moment and prepare for the next economic downturn instead. Keep a list of creative offline ideas you see other businesses take part in. Invest in promotional giveaways while you have the extra cash, so you can hand them out even when you’re struggling.

Think about ways to drum up more business even when the economy is not thriving. Are there any essential needs your company might meet as part of your offline marketing strategy? How would you need to shift what you’re doing? Make a plan for the worst, and hope you never have to use it.

5. Find a Core Message

Know what your company stands for and create a strong mission statement. Everything you do, both online and off, should point back to your personality as a brand. Make sure consumers receive a consistent experience from you. If you have a return policy for your brick-and-mortar store, the same rules should apply to your online shop.

Think about how the outside world sees your business from every angle and through every advertising effort. When your brand is consistent, you build trust with your customers.

6. Make Cold Calls

The dreaded cold call makes even seasoned salespeople cringe. However, they can be effective at bringing in new leads, especially if you have an inside edge. Ask your employees and current customers to give you the names of those who might be interested in what you offer. Utilizing referrals allows you to name-drop and makes it more likely the person will hear your pitch.

While the success rate from cold calling might be relatively low compared to other methods, you can drum up enough new business to stay afloat when times are hard.

7. Send Out Mail

The good old flyer or postcard is a staple in advertising startups and small businesses for a reason. Printing up thousands is cheap, and you can deliver them yourself to save on postage. For example, if you own a local hair salon, you might print up flyers and put them in the newspaper boxes of people within a certain radius of your shop.

Try to personalize the effort as much as possible without spending too much money on market research. The more geared to the person the ad is, the more likely it is they’ll read it. Offer a coupon or special deal if they bring in the mailer.

8. Attend a Local Fair

Nearly every community has local art fairs or festivals. Find out what’s going on in your area and take out booth space. Utilize vinyl banners for the front of your booth and hand out incentives. Talk to people about what you do and the benefits you bring.

Speaking to potential customers one at a time falls into the realm of transactional marketing and getting one sale and one new client at a time. It can be effective because you build relationships with individuals. They become loyal fans and tell others why they love your brand.

Mix Things Up

The ideas listed above are a great start to your offline marketing efforts. Pay attention to what your competition does to bring in new clients. With a little effort and creativity, you can surpass even the larger companies offering what you do. Keep things interesting, keep trying new tactics and see what works best with the audience segments you want to reach.

Lexie is a UX designer and IoT enthusiast. She enjoys hiking her goldendoodle and creating new fudge recipes. Visit her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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