Way before the internet era, business owners were using powerful marketing tools to advertise their products and services, to gain new customers and to create a strong brand. Nevertheless, the concept of marketing went through a major change in the past decades, being adapted to the online environment. But while no one can deny the efficiency of online marketing, everyone should be aware of the fact that truly successful businesses are using a marketing mix consisting of both online and offline strategies. Networking, events, conferences, strategic partnerships, business cards, flyers and booklets printing, street and radio advertising – all of these are offline tools used to increase brand awareness in a subtle, yet efficient manner.
Is it important to market your business offline?
Offline marketing is an important part of the marketing mix because it helps you create a more personal relationship with customers and partners in a direct way. Regardless if your business model is B2C or B2B, using offline ways to market products and services is always a good idea. Find below 5 tested offline marketing ideas and the reasons why you should include it in your strategy ASAP!
1. Networking and word-of-mouth
You have no idea how many people would be willing to buy your product or use your services, but the reason why they don’t do so is that they didn’t hear about it yet. Networking is a great way to bring your business in the public eye without much of an effort from your side. You just have to make sure the right people are using what you are selling. This is how you trigger word-of-mouth and ensure others find out about your business.
Focus on people with wide audience like celebrities, influencers or radio and TV personalities. While participating in events, don’t miss any chance of talking with other participants, finding out details about their businesses and exchanging business cards. In other words, don’t be afraid to be proactive and curious for the love of networking.
2. Industry related events
Always know when will future events, exhibits, conferences or fairs will take place and make sure you will participate, if possible. Participating in events and conferences will allow you to find out the latest in your field and will give you the opportunity to interact with other entrepreneurs in your industry. Plus, if you want people to talk about you and your business more and more, don’t miss the opportunity to participate in conferences and events as a speaker.
Participating in exhibits and fairs is a good way to directly connect with new potential customers and to strengthen the relationship with existing ones. People who attend industry related exhibitions and fairs are directly interested in certain products and services and you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to introduce yours.
3. Strategic partnerships
Paid partnerships or barters – it doesn’t matter what you will choose, because the outcome of this offline marketing tool will definitely bring good things to your business. Find companies with the same target audience as you and initiate a partnership that will benefit both parties. Make no mistake, we are not talking about your competitors, but about companies selling complementary products or services.
Let’s assume you are selling maternity clothes. You can find someone who is selling baby clothes or products and initiate a partnership. They will advertise your products and vice versa or you can simply pay them to do so by giving them a percentage from the sales. If you’re selling beauty products like make-up or perfumes you can partner with a company selling jewelry. It works with services also. For example, if you have a cleaning company you can partner with companies selling cleaning products.
4. Personalized incentives
Personalized incentives, such as calendars, pens, mugs, T-shirts, planners, memory sticks and many others, are very popular nowadays. People love free stuff that it’s also useful. You just need to distribute it to the targeted audience and leave the rest on others. No extra expense, effort or time spent, because these products will “speak” for you when others see it or use it.
Make sure the visual element identifying your company is visible on the incentives. Also, it is very important to add some contact details such as phone number or e-mail and to mention your website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page. This is actually a great way of mixing offline and online marketing strategies: using the offline environment to bring people online, where they can find out more about your business.
5. Printed advertising
Probably one of the most important ways to market your business, printed advertising will never lose its efficiency. When creating leaflets, catalogues, flyers, booklets or any other prints, make sure the right message is reaching your audience and potential customers or partners. If you don’t have much knowledge in the field, hire a professional to design the materials and use a good company to print it. Keep in mind that prints are like a detailed business card for your company, so make sure the graphics are suitable, the text is catchy, and the final product is flawless in terms of printing, binding or cut.
Speaking about business cards, this is also a great way to market your business offline, probably one of the first ever used by entrepreneurs. Moreover, it is maybe the cheapest, most simple and efficient way to make your company known to the world. The info on the business card should not focus on the person, although the name and position held are, of course, mentioned. Instead, you should have a more marketing-oriented approach when designing the business cards for you and your employees. You can mention any relevant info regarding the product or service, a catchy phrase or you can choose an impressive design.