Advocates of online marketing argue that website promotion, consisting mainly of search engine optimization, link-building, inclusion in online directories, banner ads, and advertising in ezines, is the best way to promote your business. However, despite the increasing prevalence of online technologies in our lives, we still spend most of our time offline.
The average person spends hours offline, reading newspapers and magazines, listening to the radio, watching television, and talking with friends, neighbors, and family. If you ignore offline marketing, you are thus ignoring valuable opportunities to grow your business.
There are several ways to create an offline marketing campaign and harness the potential of offline advertising.
To generate more business in your local market, take out advertisements in local and specialty magazines. It can be an inexpensive approach, particularly when compared with the costs, you’ll incur if you opt for a solo ad in a popular ezine.
Find a fellow local enterprise related to your product or service and offer them a discount to provide your offering to their customers.
Handing out flyers for your product or service that provide recipients with a special offer is also cheap and effective. Ask shop owners if you can leave your business cards or postcards in their establishment, ideally positioning them on the counter or in waiting areas.
Let your local newspapers and community magazines know that you provide a unique product or service that can benefit members of the community, helping them save time, learn, be more effective in their daily lives, and so on. Publicizing your business and what it offers could earn you the interest of these publications as well as an interview with a local (or possibly national) reporter with your product or service as a featured item. This will generate buzz about your business, and people will be eager to seek you out. It will plant your company and products in people’s minds.
If you can make your product or service particularly unique, targeting it to a niche market or showing it provides a unique benefit, this can make your offering even more newsworthy. If your offering is unusual in some way, local reporters will be more motivated to interview you and write a longer, more detailed piece on your business for their readers.
It is well worth your time to create a well-crafted press release to send to local media outlets. You may wish to offer your product to a journalist for free in exchange for a published review. Of course, getting someone well-known in your area (or beyond) to endorse your product is a great way to win customers.
The information above is just some of the ways you can market your business offline, but they clearly illustrate the massive potential of an offline campaign. I’m sure you can think of many more ways to shine the spotlight on your business.