6 Offline Marketing Strategies to Promote Your Online Business
There are several reasons why an online business must promote itself through offline marketing platforms. Firstly, offline advertising is not nearly as cluttered as online ad campaigns. As a result, customers are
Fliers are a cheap and effective way to let your customers know about your business. One of the most common ways to distribute fliers is to visit your local mall or park that is visited by hundreds of potential customers. You may also make use of services like Fiverr to hire a local school or college student ready to distribute these fliers for you. The problem here is that only a fraction of your prospects save your flier until they get home to access your website. So while this helps with brand awareness, it may not always bring an uptick in conversions.
#2. Direct Mail Advertising
Direct mail provides all the advantages of fliers, but with better conversions. Unlike fliers that are handed out to people at public places, businesses can get into the living room of their prospective customers with the help of direct mail. There are two benefits to using direct mail over fliers.
- Firstly, customers are less likely to throw away advertisements they receive in the mail box as compared to one that is handed to them at a public place.
- Secondly, because these advertisements are viewed from a living room, interested customers can instantly log on to your website and as a result, the conversion rates with direct mail are vastly higher than what you can expect with fliers.
#3. Local Fairs and Conventions
Ecommerce has come a long way in influencing how people buy products. But no matter how much eCommerce as a retail category has grown, the reality is that people still like to touch and feel the products before they make a purchasing decision. Local fairs and conventions are a great offline marketing platform to showcase your wares in front of a physical customer base.
These gatherings also provide a networking platform for online business owners to find partners who can help them with logistics, supply chain and marketing. Lastly, local events also provide a platform for online businesses to build a mailing list database. By offering free samples to customers in return for providing their email address, business owners can grow an email list which is extremely vital for repeat purchases.
#4. Cold Calls
Cold calls are an effective medium to acquire new customers in the B2B space. There are two reasons why this strategy will not work with businesses that are direct to consumer. Firstly, B2C businesses rely on volume to be profitable. It may be nearly impossible to call thousands of consumers in the hope of converting a fraction of them into customers.
More importantly though, cold calls made directly to consumers are highly regulated and depending on your jurisdiction may also be illegal. The values of transactions are significantly higher in B2B and this makes cold calls attractive. While this is also regulated, it is not nearly as bad as it is with B2C. Know your local laws to make sure that you are not violating any regulations by calling your prospective customers for an appointment.
#5. Local Newspapers
Advertising in your local newspapers may not be a good investment if you are a very niche product or service provider. However this offline marketing strategy can work wonders if your business deals in an industry that all consumers need. Also, because of the number of advertising messages that a reader is exposed to, print advertising is known to cause ad-blindness among readers.
For high conversions, it is recommended that you identify a strategy that can help you be seen among the clutter. For instance, buying a quarter page ad spot once a week in your local paper may not be nearly as effective as buying a full page slot once a month.
While your advertising expenses may be quite similar in both these cases, your consumers are more likely to notice your ads when it has taken over an entire page. Also, similar to direct mail, newspaper ads reach the consumer when they are in their living room. This has a direct bearing on the conversion rate for your ads.
#6. Offline Partnerships
If you are an online business that deals with offline products or services, offline partnerships offer an opportunity to build brand awareness for your business. Yelp is a great example of this strategy. As a business that reviews local service providers, Yelp encourages highly rated providers to share their Yelp star rating with their customers through stickers. Visitors to these local businesses are then exposed to the Yelp ratings and are very likely to check the website out the next time they are looking for a service provider.
You may also engage in cross-selling partnerships. Businesses that complement your product or service could see a benefit in such a partnership. For example, if you sell smartphone cases online, you may partner with offline businesses that repair mobile phones. With such a partnership, you may advertise the repair store to your customers in exchange for them promoting your online business to their customers.
There are dozens of similar strategies that online businesses can explore to be seen among offline customers. However, it should be noted that offline marketing strategies cannot be measured with the level of analytics that online marketing campaigns offer. That is why it’s important to partner with an agency that can perform the tracking for you. This way, you can make sure that the ROI on your campaigns are sustained at optimal levels.
Vic Anandan is a management consultant specializing in technology benchmarking and certifications. He has over 15 years of experience in the industry and has travelled to over 18 countries so far."Read Full Bio