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Website Promotion: Offline Strategies for Online Branding
Online businesses are allowed to use offline marketing strategies, the same way the “offline businesses” are allowed to use online strategies. Everyone can make use of both realities their audience exists in. Before you set off into the real world, make sure you have your brand in mind, and that your brand is consistent across all advertising channels you use.
This is a very straightforward marketing campaign. It is relatively cheap to conduct, and it can provide an excellent ROI, depending on the people involved in it. The first thing you need to bear in mind is the “script” that is the guidelines on what needs to be said and the way you will approach the people from your list.
Speaking of the list, make sure that all contacts are obtained in compliance with the laws applicable. Otherwise, the campaign could cause you a headache.
You need a friendly, well-trained staff, with excellent people skills who will be able to grab the attention of the person they are talking to with their voice and their words only. Be sure to mention the website and have them write it down and offer a promotion which will be a reason for them to visit it.
Direct mail is another traditional campaign. It is a bit more expensive to organize than cold calling. However, a great advantage of this type of advertising is the fact that people who receive the mail, have everything in writing. Again, come up with an attractive offer and a promotion in order to give people a reason to type the URL. As a lot of paper is wasted in this type of campaign, print on recycled paper.
Printed materials work as a strategy of their own, as well as an excellent prop to a number of different strategies. Printing flyers and business cards is a must. Promo materials like Flyers can be handed out in the streets, dropped into mailboxes and left on doorsteps. If you are in the business of selling products, you can enclose them with each purchase. Apart from these two, you can also print on T-shirts or any other objects you think your prospects would find interesting. They can either be symbolic of your brand or useful, such as pens, key rings, calendars, coasters etc.
Flood the city
According to the marketing rule of 7, a prospect needs to be exposed to your advertisement seven times in order to act on it. This is somewhat harder to achieve and control in the offline world. This is why you need to make sure you are wherever your prospects are. Use strategically placed billboards, digital signs, signposts, and vehicle wrappings to surround and corner your prospective customers. Regardless of what the last sentence sounds like, this strategy is in no way aggressive, however, it will maintain your constant presence.
Apart from sending your advertising material out among your audience, you can also step out and meet them. Set up promotional stands and use banner flags so they are easily spotted. You can also play music, so you alert people who cannot see you that there is something going out. Use this opportunity to give away samples, promotional materials, run contests, and conduct surveys. If there is an interesting activity you can include with this and makes sense with your brand, do it. Make sure everyone leaves with something which has your website written on it.
A Pop-up Shop
Pop-up shops are a fairly new promotional strategy, particularly useful for businesses which only operate online. Often people give up on making an online purchase as they are not sure whether a product would physically suit them. This is a temporary showroom where your prospects have a chance to meet you and get introduced to what you do and your products. You will give them a precise image of what they are buying the next time they go online.
Visit trade shows
Trade shows offer an opportunity for you to present your business to prospects interested in the niche you operate within. This is an excellent opportunity for B2B companies. What’s more, you’ll have an opportunity to get familiar with other businesses from the niche and build your network. Trade shows are known for providing exclusiveness and a variety of promotional prices, which can attract customers. This is a unique opportunity to present an online contest.
We have touched upon networking in the paragraph above. A business network is of great importance for regulating a certain market, getting informed, hiring, as well as advertising. You can have an agreement with complementary businesses to advertise each other’s services to the customers. For example, a person starting a business will turn to an accountant, who can give out a business card of a legal practitioner or a website developer etc.
Share your experience and your expertise
Make your success story heard. Even if you do not include all your products or services, you will still inspire people to go and have a look at your website. You can become an “offline” influencer. Use every opportunity you are given to speak. People may invite you to give talks and participate in workshops at trade shows or seminars. You can even organize your own events of the kind. The story is what matters, so you can also put it in writing and publish it in a business magazine.
Charity and fundraising
You can be involved with your community, or with the entire humanity in general, by fundraising and contributing to charity. This can be done in many ways. For example, announce that each visit to your website, puts aside a certain amount for a certain charity, you can do the same with each product you sell. Organize events, anything from sporting events to galas and parties and use them for fundraising. By doing this you can help your community, people in need, certain causes, research, start-ups etc.
The greatest principle of offline marketing is being present. Try to get your brand out to the public whichever way you can and give people a chance to get to know you. Once again, make sure your branding is consistent, and your printed content and promotions focused on the website.