As an Internet professional, you know getting a business online is no longer considered "a plan for the future". It is an absolute must NOW.
Industry professionals, however, have become obsessed with their online marketing efforts. And for good reason, there is so much to do: UX, CRO, SEO, PPC, email marketing, link building, blogging, the list goes on and on. However, I believe we've been hypnotized by the glare of the computer screen and completely forgotten about the outside world.
Everyone that comes to your site aren't users, or visitors, but people. They all have jobs and families, just like you, and come from all walks of life. They go to the grocery store, watch ballgames and take vacations. They are out there in the real world doing real things. Why not capture them?
Below are five ways you can use offline marketing tactics to enhance your online marketing goals.
1. Business Cards
DUH! Yeah, I know it seems pretty obvious, yet you'd be surprised how many times I've had a conversation with someone and asked for their card and they don't have one. Instead, they end up writing their information on a napkin and it ends up in the garbage. Trust me folks, the business card isn't just a good idea but critical to one's offline marketing and networking.
If you are handing out your business card, chances are they are a very qualified lead. Make sure your card has all the appropriate contact information on there including: URL, email and maybe even how to reach you on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Mailers are a great way to get your foot in the door with a potential client. Think of something creative or useful along with a clever icebreaker and send it to the appropriate people.
For example, you could send a bunch of rubber ducks to a company with a note that says "When you're ready to get all your ducks in a row, give us a call!"
Using today's technology this method is still very powerful, because we are able to accurately target prospects and our "leads" are much more fresh, accurate and cost effective.
3. Promotional Products
Another obvious choice when it comes to marketing in the real world is promotional products. There are endless possibilities on how you can use them and can come personalized with your company logo and online information.
Some key things to consider when using promotional products to advertise your online business:
Make sure your URL is large and visible
For the best possible leads, it's always smart to choose a product that compliments what your business does
To draw a lot of impressions, apparel items like t-shirts and hats are best because they are worn out in public
Useful items are typically kept longer, with the average lifespan of a promotional product being 5.8 months
4. QR Codes
QR codes are a clever way to get people directly to a specific page on your site. QR codes are special pictograms that can be scanned like a barcode, using a smartphone app, and after the picture is taken, users are directed to the page of your liking.
These square images are very recognizable and peak people's interests because they aren't positive where they will end up. QR codes can go on pretty much anything from a poster to a billboard.
5. Meet Ups/Events
I know that going to a big event may seem like a scary proposition for some of you, but don't be scared. Meet ups and events are a great way to make connections, get new people to your visit your site and create organic buzz around your brand. Find local events that have to do with your niche and make an effort to put yourself out there.
Meet up groups are a great way to share ideas, create new ideas and hear success stories with "like-minded" individuals. These groups can be great way in marketing ones business ventures and learn or teach others better and more effective ways to grow their businesses.
You never know, the next person you may hand your business card to could be your next partner or biggest client!
Matt Powers is an in-house Internet Marketer with Blue Soda Promo, an ecommerce promotional marketing company. He also writes on SEO and Internet Marketing on his blog. Want to connect? Send him a Tweet @MatthewLPowers