In the modern era, there is often a lot of focus on online marketing. It is easy to see how online marketing can greatly enhance your reach, and it is true that a huge percentage of people are finding new businesses online. However, there’s still a place for offline marketing. As well as using it to fit into your omnichannel marketing efforts, you can also still meet people and build awareness of your business. In this article, we will discuss a few effective offline marketing tactics for small businesses:
1. Make Friends with Local Media
The local media can still have a huge pull, and if you aren’t trying to make friends with them you could be losing out on thousands of potential customers. Local media outlets include radio stations, television, and newspapers. These are not outdated mediums, and in many parts of the world, there are millions of people consuming their media in this way every single day.
Using press releases and making a point of talking to those who work in local media can build interest and buzz around your business, especially if you have something to promote like a product launch, an event, or even just a sale.
A lot of different activities can fall under the “networking” bracket. Networking can include attending specific business events such as business breakfasts or evening networking events. These have long been a way for people to mix, but don’t expect them to just be an open forum for you to just announce your business. Instead, they are a good opportunity to chat, meet new people, and offer value.
You may not go to one networking event and land a huge new contract, but there is a good chance that you will attend regular events and start to build a reputation, so when someone needs services that you provide, they are more likely to think of your small business.
3. Hand Out Business Cards
Once you understand business card etiquette, you will know where, and how, to hand out your business cards. Exchanging business cards is still a really effective way for people to do business and to understand how their services and products might benefit one another.
You shouldn’t be throwing your business cards out there at everyone you see, just because you want to try and gain some new business. Instead, make sure you are sharing with people who are potentially interested, and to who you can offer value. Hard selling is rarely effective in this day and age, so try to use your business card exchange to build a relationship.
4. Create Branded Merchandise
Have you noticed that big brands like to get their name and logo out there everywhere? There are so many opportunities to do this with branded merchandise, and it is a way to let people know that you exist.
The chances are, you probably have a pen somewhere at home or a promotional item of clothing that you have been given. This is all a part of a company’s branding, and it can be an efficient way to try and spread your name.
Some clever examples include USB flash drives with your branding, as these often come in useful. To encourage people to use them, you could even run a competition, and store winning “tickets” on some of the drives.
You can also stick to some of the more classic useful items like pens, cardholders, and even clothing like T-shirts.
5. Run Cross-Promotions
Think about how you can run cross-promotions that might be mutually beneficial. This sort of marketing tactic is very common, and you probably see it all the time without really thinking about it. For example, you might find coupons for discounted event entry when you buy a certain product.
These promotions tend to work very well for a couple of different reasons. They provide added value for the company you partner with as well as for the consumer. If someone is offering discounted tickets or a free meal when you buy their particular brand of products then people are more likely to buy their product than an alternative.
It may involve giving away some freebies or providing a discount, but it can be a good way to spread the word.
6. Grab Speaking Opportunities
This might be intimidating for some people. Not everyone relishes the idea of having to speak in public, but it is a good way to get yourself out there and try to build awareness of your brand.
There are often business events looking for speakers, and you may even have the opportunity to go into other businesses and give a speech to their employees and relevant teams.
Some people are naturally cut out for speaking and are very keen to chat with people, especially about their business. This isn’t the case for everyone. However, there are plenty of ways that you can learn about public speaking and get more used to it. In certain industries, this can be a very effective way to not just show people that your business exists, but also to prove that you are an expert and professional.
Offline marketing strategies aren’t going anywhere. Billboards are still used and cross-promotions still play a part in teaching us about businesses, so there are plenty of opportunities to focus on in the physical, offline world, rather than the online world, where there are, of course, plenty of opportunities, too.