We live in an increasingly web dependent world. It’s no wonder, then, that most marketing and branding advice focuses on the different things you can do to make sure the all important internet knows about you (and likes you). Today you’re more likely to find a plethora of articles and posts about engaging an audience via Facebook than face to face…and that’s a problem.
It’s a problem because, well, while we are growing more dependent on the web and social media every day, we aren’t totally web based yet. Offline marketing is still a vitally important part of marketing and branding your business.
Yep, even if your business is almost entirely web based.
The simple fact is that there are a lot of different things that you can do to market your business offline.
Traditional Media Advertising
This is where you buy advertising space in print media (newspapers, magazines, newsletters) and make commercials to be broadcast during on-air media programs (radio, television). It’s a great way to let people know about your business who might not have already heard about it–it’s getting increasingly difficult to accidentally stumble upon a business online these days–but you run the risk of shelling out major dollars for very little reward. It’s best to go slowly with these campaigns. In other words, start with local stations and then move up to regional and then national audiences.
The All Important Flier
Fliers (also called brochures) are a fantastic way to very quickly let people know about your business. You can hand them out yourself, to one person at a time or you can place stacks of them in other local businesses. Fliers are especially great things to hand out at networking and other live events. Not so long ago, fliers were incredibly expensive to produce (even if you had your own color printer). Today, thanks to online brochure printing services, you can have hundreds of fliers printed up for very reasonable rates and at very rapid speeds.
You could also put address labels and stamps on those aforementioned brochures and mail them to people in your community. Direct mail is a fantastic way to introduce potential customers to your brand, your products and your projects. Fliers and brochures aren’t the only things you can send through the mail (though that’s what most businesses do). You can also send out actual letters. Many businesses print up postcards with coupons and/or discount codes that offer special deals to recipients as an incentive to pay those businesses a visit.
If you do decide to send direct mail, it is important to know that it will be better received if it includes some sort of freebie like a refrigerator magnet, a small calendar, a small notepad, that sort of thing. People love free stuff.
Guerilla marketing is probably the most fun and adventurous way to market your business. Guerilla marketing is where you leave hints about your company in surprising places (and often in surprising ways). Leaving pens with your logo and contact information at the bank, library and grocery store is a great example of guerilla marketing. Sometimes people will put their business cards in random library books. Others will put up branded stickers at bus stops. Still others will print up T-shirts and simply wander around while wearing them. There are lots of great ways to use guerilla marketing for your company.
Remember: we haven’t gone totally virtual yet. In fact, believe it or not, there are even still people out there who prefer to only use the Internet when they absolutely have no other choice. You don’t want to leave a very important portion of your audience in the dark! Use these offline marketing methods to help your company reach the widest audience possible.
Sara is a freelance writer who most often writes about business and health. Originally from Missouri, she now resides on the west coast. Through her entrepreneurial spirit she is able to make a living off of her love of righting. In her spare time, she enjoys maintaining a healthy lifestyle through swimming and practicing yoga.