While smartphones and screens of various sizes permeate our lives, it can actually be detrimental to think that all of your business marketing needs to be digital. By relying entirely on social media and online search results, you’re limiting a huge potential to reach your consumers.
Your company will need to invest in online marketing, however, every small business can benefit from strong offline promotions in order to grab the attention of potential customers.
What is Offline Promotion?
Offline promotion is a huge area of marketing that showcases your company in the tangible real world, as opposed to on the Internet. Offline marketing can include everything from flyers to business cards, and even more creative means such as hosting a local event.
The purpose of using offline promotion is to help build trust with your brand. There is still some apprehension in the market from purchasing from an online-only store that isn’t one of the giant e-commerce retailers.
By having a real-world presence, you can build rapport with your clients and help to spread the word about your brand. These offline methods can be executed easily and cost-effectively.
1. Flyers and Coupons
Ok, so you have a small business and a computer with a design program that can make professional flyers, coupons, and handouts, what’s next?
This first thing you want to keep in mind before you start handing out flyers or coupons, is who will be your target audience. This will narrow down the message on the flyer and narrow down the areas you will distribute your flyer.
If your company offers home remodeling service, then targeting 10,000 cars at the local university dorms may not be a wise application of time and money. You want to make sure that your flyers end up in the hands of strong potential clients otherwise you may as well place the flyers in the trash for them.
If you know where your target audience is located, then you need to choose how to get the flyers to them. If there is a point of congregation, then you can either hang them in community areas or you can hand it to people directly. If your potential clientele is spread out, then you may have to hire some canvassers to deliver flyers door-to-door.
Every business small or large can benefit from personal contacts. You can either join various clubs and organizations, attend local and international events. If these aren’t a good fit, then you may even consider hosting an event yourself.
The goal of these events is to get to know people and see if there is a way that a mutual benefit can be achieved with each others’ network. This benefit can come in a variety of forms; maybe a new contact has access to a distribution channel, and with a quick introduction, can cut down on some of your logistics.
It’s also possible that even if your products or services are different, you may have the same target audience, and can help integrate your current network together.
3. Cross Promotions
After networking, you find that you can benefit from some cross-promotion. Cross-promotion involves two or more companies that cooperate by promoting each-others product or service. If you’re a guitar teacher then you may utilize cross-promotion with a local music store, whereby promoting each other, you enter a win-win situation.
By finding a company with a related product or service, then come up with creative ways to promote each other’s business, at a fraction of the cost of direct marketing.
4. Vendor Trade Shows
Vendor trade shows offer a low-cost solution to spread brand awareness and even make direct sales. With only a booth and a smile, you have a cheap solution to target marketing.
Trade shows bring in a highly targeted market that will be interested in your product because they’ve already traveled to a specific location knowing what the trade show or expo will be focused on. If the event is a week-long affair or only an afternoon, you know that thousands of people attending are inside your target demographic.
If your product is new to the market, then you have an even better chance at converting sales. This is because the audience attending the event is looking to learn about new products, brands, and solutions.
If you’re personable this also gives you a chance to put a face to your company. In the modern era where there is always a screen between people, just seeing that there is a real human behind a product can do wonders for your brand.
Just remember to make your booth presentable. You want to make sure that your brand is properly displayed, and you may benefit by attracting prospective clients with a sign that stands out.
5. Trade Publications
Whether your small business is dealing in repopulating hamsters in the American Northwest or weaving wicker baskets, there is a trade publication for every industry.
By using print advertising, you are targeting readers who have a direct interest in what they’re reading. If your product is an unbreakable fishing line, then a perfect place to advertise it would be in a fishing magazine.
These publications are always looking to showcase new products or services, and love to print interesting stories about the people guiding the industry.
This can also be a cost-effective measure to get your brand out there due to the decline in demand for print media. If the publication comes out quarterly, then shortly before the release of the next issue, you may be able to negotiate a better price than what they list in the press kit.
6. Educational Workshops
One way to market offline is to host or speak at a workshop that has educational value for potential customers. This gives you an opportunity to show how your products and services can solve potential problems that your client will face.
Hosting or speaking at an educational workshop can benefit you in multiple ways. As a speaker, you automatically build the impression that you’re an industry expert that can be relied upon. This allows you to effectively promote your brand and builds trust with the audience that you’re someone they can recommend.
You can also take advantage of the event by recording the seminar and using snippets of it on your website, in both video and written format.
7. Branded Merchandise
While of course, you want to have your company’s brand on the product and packaging, by branded merchandising, we mean swag.
Swag is the little gifts that can be handed out at trade shows, charity events, conferences, or can be used as little gifts included with the purchase of your product. Swag is just branded merchandise that is cheap and easy to distribute, such as key chains, mousepads, phone cases, mugs, pens, and pencils, or anything that can be mass-produced with your logo.
About the Author
Lara Douglas is a young woman who loves interior designing and home decor. She is passionate about new trends and fashion forward home décor ideas. She regularly posts at Neon Signs Depot.