Offline and online marketing - should you bother with both, either or none?
You know that as a business, you need some kind of consistent promotional activity that continues to place your business in the eye line of the consumer.
What happened with the advent of the internet was that everyone thought offline marketing – the leaflets, the posters, the exhibition stands, the business cards and so on – would all die a death.
You can be forgiven for thinking this. After all technology holds so much sway that you can be forgiven for thinking that there is no more room for offline marketing tools nor promotional campaigns.
And yet, leaflets are still printed and distributed, business cards are still designed and handed out. If you have an obsession with online marketing and feel that offline marketing activities have no place in your promotional plan, then you are missing out.
‘As well as’, not ‘either/or’
For too long, online and offline marketing has been divided into two camps – you chose one of the other and in this advanced technological age, many businesses chose only online. From spending thousands of pounds blogging and guest posts, websites and social media management, they forgot or deliberately cast aside printed, offline materials.
The truth is, it is not an ‘either/or’ decision; it is ‘as well as’ because online and offline marketing can dovetail to become a power promotional force for your business.
So forget search engine optimised (SEO) posts for a minute and let us dwell on 5 offline marketing tips that work in harmony, as opposed to against online marketing efforts…
#1 Business cards
Snigger all you like but if you don’t have a business card, how do you give people contact details when you talk to them? Do you talk to people?
You know that small snippet of a conversation you had last week? With a business card in the hand that person could have contacted you, and not your competitor.
And your business card can contain all kinds of important information – and some of it will be pointers to your online presence. From your email address to your website, to your Facebook page to your Twitter handle, there is a plethora of information you can give out. This is the perfect example of offline marketing dovetailing sweetly with online marketing.
#2 Mail shots
Forget the boring leaflets and pamphlets and start thinking outside the box.
Mailers are about getting attention and placing your business firmly in the sights of a potential customer. Offline marketing is not boring. You can make it as sassy and as outlandish as a) your imagination allows and b) your budget can stretch to.
So, print your website and your email all over rubber ducks and send them to customers, telling them that when the time is right to get their ducks in order to email you…
#3 Promotional products
Following on from rubber ducks is the need for companies to have promotional products to be able to place their business firmly before the eye balls of the right people.
Regardless of what you opt for – posters, printed mugs, coasters, fridge magnets, ducks – always ensure that:
- Your website address is prominent
- You include contact details to nurture leads
- You select a smart product that fits with your business
- Promotional products are visible – bags work a treat and who doesn’t love a t-shirt?
- Promotional items are useful and practical – apparently, useful items are used for 5.8 months compared to those that are not (these items usually end in the bin very quickly)
#4 QR codes
You will no doubt have seen Quick Response (QR) codes but may not have realised how simple and quick they are to set up and use.
With a huge slice of the population owning smart phone, scanning QR codes on posters and so on is simple and quick. They can be a great way to pique people’s interest and get them to click on through to your website or offer etc.
Sometimes, as scary as it seems, you need to meet people -and not just as the end of an email or a phone but in person.
Many people find this an unpleasant process, especially for sole traders who have no friends to hang out with and so can feel very uncertain as they enter a room full of strangers. However, you will find that making offline connections with people can provide a pleasant boost to your business.
As a printing company, Colour Graphics has worked with businesses of all sizes and across all sectors to dovetail their offline marketing and promotional tools with their online business. Firmly believing that online and offline marketing can and should work together, Colour Graphics offer a range of promotional materials and ideas.