You’ve likely seen countless articles on online marketing and how it can grow and improve your business. It’s only one aspect of marketing and while online gets all the glamour, tried and true offline marketing methods can be as good or better than what you do online.
Offline marketing changed considerably over the last decade as traditional marketing methods give way to more modern methods. We’ll examine offline marketing techniques, what works and what doesn’t, and how it can help your business.
While the world focuses on online marketing, you can build and grow your business while beating the competition with a mix of online and offline marketing.
Get Brand Exposure with Billboards
When you drive down the road, you likely see the occasional billboard advertising for a local business. If you use an interstate, then you’ll see many of them, especially near exits.
Billboards have been around for decades and are one of the most profitable methods of offline marketing. You contact the billboard company and request advertising on one or multiple billboards.
You can either choose the ones you want or have the company do it for you. Keep in mind popular billboard locations may have a waiting list of businesses looking to use them.
You choose how long you want the billboard to run. It’s usually one month or longer, depending on the advertising. A generic ad can be up for months at a time, but ads pertaining to specific sales, etc. should only run for about a month.
The company can work with you to create the billboard. You can also create it yourself or, if you are part of a franchise, use preexisting ads.
There are two types of billboard static and electronic. With static billboards, your ad is the only one on it and stays up 24-7. Electronic billboards can have several ads one them that rotate. You’ll see these in larger cities and high traffic areas such as interstates.
Billboards are seen by thousands of people every day and your messaging hits them day after day on their way to work and back. It’s highly effective because it places your business and product at the front of their mind.
Offline Marketing with Newspaper, Television, and Radio Ads
If you have a physical location for your business, then you likely receive monthly or weekly visits from the area’s newspaper, television, and radio advertising representatives. It’s their job to convince businesses that they can get a good return on investment.
While offline advertising has had its share of bad press, it depends on your customer. If you cater or an older generation, then newspaper and magazine advertising can be a good choice. They hold on to traditions like the daily newspaper and read it cover to cover.
If you’re looking for a younger demographic, then radio and television ads can work for you. You’ll want to be careful because they can be expensive and run for only a short time. You’ll want to find a way to understand your return on investment.
If you suddenly have a jump in business following a radio ad campaign, then an adjustment in audience targeting or radio station startegy may be needed.
Direct Marketing to Target Audiences
If they have a home, then people have an address and receive mail. Many businesses use direct mail to solicit customers and notify them of deals. What’s great about direct mail is the ability to target your audience better than other forms of advertising.
You can send direct mail to a specific zip code, people of a specific age range, and more. Several companies sell direct mailing lists that target various demographics, so you know only people interested in your product see the ad.
It’s also inexpensive compared to many other offline advertising methods. You can work with the local postal service to get a handle on how direct mail works and who you can reach. Many times, direct mail is a single postcard stock advertisement designed with bright colors to catch the eye.
Host an Event or Seminar
The best way to earn the respect of a potential customer is to meet and talk to them face to face. Sadly, it’s difficult to do that these days. By hosting an educational event at your business, local Chamber of Commerce, or hotel conference area, you show off your expertise in a subject and know the people that attend are interested in the information.
Many times, the events are free to the public and require an RSVP. You can send out invitations by mail or through various advertising and marketing methods. Depending on the size, you can offer small refreshments such as water and fruit or make it a lavish affair with a full lunch.
Events often have a great return on investment because you’re talking to people already interested and you can answer questions to sign them up for services right there.
Sponsor Local Events
When you’re a business that serves a specific regional area, then sponsoring events, sports teams and local projects shows you care about the community. It also brings you respect to the people in the organizations who then shop at your store or use your service.
Sponsorships are usually tiered with the larger sponsors receiving more prominence in banners and other materials used at the event. It’s also not traditional advertising, but instead features your logo or your name with a positive message about the event.
Don’t Discount Offline Marketing
While online marketing is more prominent these days, small, mid-sized, and even national companies do offline marketing. The key is a successful mix of the two to create a complete marketing strategy. Try these offline marketing methods and see how successful they can make your business.
We’ve touched on a small part of the many methods you can use to market your business offline. For more information about offline and online marketing, please contact our professionals today.