It’s easy to think that digital marketing is the only way to market and advertise your business in this age of the internet.
And while it is important to have an online presence, offline marketing techniques also have a huge role to play when you’re trying to reach more customers.
This list offers a quick round-up of some great off-line ways to increase visibility of your business to get you thinking. Some of these you might know already but might not have used for a while and others might be new ideas, but importantly all of them work.
These offline marketing techniques can be easily implemented and some can be integrated with your digital marketing to make sure you cover as many touch points as possible for your customers. And offline marketing is especially valuable to use if your business is local. Driving awareness of your nearby business can result in customers making impulse purchase decisions and can give your business a real competitive edge
1. Think Business Cards
Basic, I know but always make sure that you (and anyone who works for you) always have up to date, great quality business cards handy. Obliviously they're great to use when you meet someone new but think bigger than that. Don’t just share them when you first meet someone new. Look out for opportunities to post or display your card when you are out and about. When you see a public notice board, pin up a business card. In your local library you can place business cards in books related to your business. You can also leave a pile in local community centres.
Make sure to go back and visit the places you left them, to replace them if they have been removed or to prevent them looking tatty. When you see a contest asking for business cards in shops and make sure to drop yours in. Encourage your staff team to spot unusual (but appropriate) opportunities to display business cards (and/or posters). Run a competition and offer a prize to help get your team’s creative juices flowing. Not only will this help spread visibility about your business, but it also helps your team to feel involved in marketing the business.
2. Flyers and Leaflets
Flyers and leaflets are really an extension of the suggestions above for using business cards. In addition to posting them on local notice boards, look at using promotion staff to get your flyers into the hands of potential customers. This approach is great to increase awareness and can drive traffic when they contain a discount or incentive to sample the product or service.
Door-to-door distribution is also another great way to use flyers. While we all hate getting junk mail through our letter box, if the message is relevant to the reader then it’s not viewed as been junk. If you want to increase sales of a particular items or service, then remember to make the reader aware of what benefits they can expect to enjoy. And double check for typos and then double check again! They are so easy to miss but can really ruin your efforts.
3. Invest in Great Branded Merchandise
Take a look at getting useful or novelty items branded to promote your business. Even if your budget only stretches as far as getting some pens branded for now, then do that. Everyone needs and uses pens and they are always well received.
There is a huge range of branded promotional items available. You can really let your imagination run riot with ideas for clever tools or goods that are linked with your business area. If the items are useful, or funny, then people will use them. If they use them then they and others will see your branding, a lot.
And don't be tempted to cut corners and save a few bob by getting cheap looking items. This really is false economy because if the items let the user down then subconsciously (or not so subconsciously) your brand gets associated with shoddy quality.
4. Wear your brand
If members of the public see you and/or your team in the course of them carrying out their work, then how about making sure that they are displaying your brand. If wearing a full uniform isn’t appropriate for your business then look at using printed tee-shirts or name tags. These are really effective ways to promote a limited time special offer or to introduce a special offer. They can be easily changed and tailored to communicate a specific brand message.
5. Use your Assets as Billboards
How is your signage looking? Is it tried and weather beaten or fresh and clean looking? Have you updated your logo or business contact information and never gotten round to replacing your signage? If your budget doesn’t stretch to replacing the signage at the moment, then look at using a PVC banner as a temporary signage.
Refreshing the signage on your premises can really draw the attention of frequent passing traffic to your business. When you refresh your building signage then it stands out and gets noticed by people who might pass your door twice a day without even noticing you. We all go about our business every day without paying attention to so much of what is around us so do what you can to attract attention. If you have the space and budget then you could look at using a building curtain that will really get you noticed!
What about your business vehicles? Are you using them to their full branding potential? Door magnets can be easily applied and removed and a set of 2 for the doors costs as little as €50. A partial or full branded wrap can really make a huge impact and they cost from €200.
6. Donate gift certificates or products as prizes
Most businesses are frequently approached by fundraisers looking for prizes and/or donations and if you were to give them all what they were looking for you’d need some fundraising of your own to pay the rent. But look at donating a well-designed gift voucher as a marketing opportunity rather than as a drain on revenue.
Not only will the winner get to see and use the voucher, the prizes are announced to a room full of people in attendance. If the size of the event is small, well then that can work out as being an expensive form of advertising. To improve the rate of return on the cost make sure that as a prize donation that your business is listed in the event promotional material and press releases.
So give them a go and let us know what worked best for you!
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