Most companies pay attention to online marketing strategies but overlook some of the offline strategies that are tried and true. Even though you don't want to ignore one for the other, it is a good idea to add some offline marketing to the mix.
Offline marketing is on the rise. Twenty percent of companies state they want to increase their offline marketing shortly. Marketing budgets depend upon the industry and size of a business. Very small companies may have a shoestring budget for marketing endeavors, while big companies spend millions per year.
No matter the size of your budget, these offline marketing strategies help increase your lead generation and upsell to more customers.
1. Put Your Brand in Consumers' Hands
No matter what type of business you're in, it's smart to get out in your local community and talk to both like-minded business owners and consumers. You can find these people at local networking events, trade shows and local fairs. It's a good idea to contact your local chamber of commerce for meetings and organizations.
However, it does you little good to meet someone if you don't leave a lasting impression. Have business cards with you at all times and hand them out to people you meet along the way. Make sure the card is memorable and appropriately reflects your business. Try to do an exchange so that you can follow up with your new contacts later. This is a cheap but tried and true promotional technique.
2. Get on TV
Television is one of the top spending places for offline marketing budgets, with global companies spending about 40 percent of their budgets for offline advertising on television alone. If you plan to invest in some television advertising, make sure you fully understand the audience for the market you plan to place ads in and whether they match your own target audience.
If your budget is tight, then you might just assume you can't afford to advertise on television, but you can still market on TV in a couple of ways. First, contact your local cable networks to see if they have advertising slots for small businesses. Sometimes you can get an ad at an unusual hour to target just your local community. You also could pitch some ideas to be a guest on a local morning show.
3. License Top Brands
Is your product not selling the way you'd like because it isn't well known or consumers don't yet trust you? One way to build that trust is to team up with a well-known brand that already has the community's trust. Teaming up and licensing that brand to put on your product allows you to increase the popularity of items that aren't selling as well.
This type of partnership creates a winning situation for both you and the brand you license because they benefit from increased exposure and profits, but you gain instant exposure. Finding a brand to team up with is the hardest part of the equation. The best way to locate a brand to license is by networking and reaching out to the brands you admire most and would like a relationship with.
4. Give Back to the World
One offline marketing strategy you might not think of involves volunteering your time and resources to your local community. However, you should pick a cause you're truly passionate about to support because if you're just trying to gain promotion, people will see right through it. However, if you want to support the community that supports your business, then people will see that, too, and respond accordingly.
What do you care about and how are your company values reflected? If you run a children's clothing store, then sponsor a local little league team. If your company cares about conservation, spend your time volunteering with a local wildlife rescue organization. Whatever you feel your purpose is, there is a way you can give back and get your brand out in the community in a positive way.
5. Become a Speaker
According to a survey, one of the top ways to get new leads is speaking. Not only will you meet people and gain new fans, but you'll establish yourself as an authority in your area and lend credibility to your brand.
Take the time to seek out places to speak that attract your target audience. The topics you speak about should relate back to what you do as a business. While you want to give speeches that add value, you also want to keep some trade secrets close to your vest so people will seek you out for more info.
6. Invest in Print Ads
An article about offline marketing strategies wouldn't be complete without mentioning print advertising. This is still a viable medium for many small businesses, with about $24 billion a year spent on print ads in the United States alone.
The key to increasing your sales through print ads is figuring out who reads each publication. If your target audience is the general public, such as if you sell a home service, then you might want to seek out a local newspaper. On the other hand, if you cater to a niche market, a specific industry magazine might be the better choice.
Offline Marketing Strategies
There are a few offline marketing strategies to get you started. Be aware of the world around you and stay open to dropping your brand name whenever possible. If you meet someone new, tell them what you do and give them a business card. If you attend a trade show, meet the influencers at the event and exchange contact information. If someone invites you for an interview for their publication, jump at the chance.
Any little thing you can do to get your brand out there can have a big impact later. Every happy new customer is likely to tell family and friends about you, which can increase your reach even more. Offline marketing is more of an attitude than a specific method.
About the Author: Lexie Lu is a web designer and writer. Her work is featured on CreativeBloq, Envato, Marketo and JUSTCreative. She manages her own design blog, Design Roast, and loves connecting with people on Twitter @lexieludesigner.