In this digital age, it’s no surprise that the marketing efforts of many businesses are focused online. But whatever happened to offline marketing? Does it even still exist? Indeed it does. Proven offline marketing tactics still exist — and should be part of your marketing toolbox. Go outside the realm of digital marketing tactics with these five tips for promoting your business offline.
1. Dole out business cards
Business cards can help you lure in prospects and network with other businesses and individuals. Not only are business cards pretty cheap to make, but they’re also super-easy to give out. Meet a potential investor? Hand them a business card. Potential customers? Give them a business card.
If you already have business cards printed and ready to go, great! If you’ve never created a business card in your life, now’s the time to do it.
When making a business card, try to be as creative as possible while also keeping things professional. Include things like your name, business logo, email address and phone number. Be sure to also include your business’s value proposition to showcase the value you promise to deliver to your customers. If you want to spice up your business cards, consider incorporating a design that will make your card (and business) stand out.
In short, business cards are an inexpensive and versatile offline marketing tactic with tons of potential.
2. Network with your community
It’s hard not to be physically at your business every day. After all, your business is your baby. But if you want to promote your company offline, you have to be willing to step out of your business every once in a while. One reason to step outside of your business (don’t worry — it’s only for a few hours) is to network with others at events in your community.
Networking with your community is a surefire way to meet new people, get the word out about your offerings and show the face behind your company. To take your business offline, consider going to community gatherings such as showcases and festivals.
In addition to showing off your stuff at community events, you can also attend trade shows. Trade shows can give your brand more exposure — as well as give you an opportunity to pass out those handy-dandy business cards I mentioned earlier.
3. Create handouts, brochures and flyers
If you’re eager to draw customers’ attention offline, consider creating or hiring someone to create handouts, brochures and flyers for your business. Print marketing is an excellent way to promote your business, especially if they’re well-designed and eye-catching materials.
You can pass out print materials at your storefront, trade shows, community events and festivals. If you really want to take things up a notch, consider including some coupons in your printed materials. Coupons are another way of getting potential customers through your door.
You can also send your print materials via direct mail to your current and potential customers. Direct mail is an inexpensive way to target markets and bring people into your business. One 2017 study showed that consumers open somewhere between 80 percent and 90 percent of direct mail. Consider using direct mail to send things like coupons and business announcements, such as events or new products.
4. Cross-promote with other businesses
Another way to expose your business offline is by running cross-promotions with other businesses. Maybe you met someone while you were networking at one of those trade shows I mentioned. Or maybe you have a friend who also owns a small business. Either wat, cross-promotions are a good way to work with other businesses and showcase your offerings.
If you want to cross-promote, first you need to find a business that may be able to offer services and products that are complementary to yours. For example, a coffee shop and a bakery might work together to cross-promote their products. The bakery would sell the coffee shop’s coffee at their location, and — you guessed it — the coffee shop would sell the bakery’s pastries at their shop.
Cross-promotion allows businesses to band together and gives you another opportunity to promote your business outside of the web.
5. Increase word-of-mouth marketing
If you want to promote your business offline, you need to give people something to talk about. And to do that, you have to increase word-of-mouth marketing, a powerful marketing tool that occurs when a customer promotes or recommends your product or service to someone else.
Word-of-mouth marketing can give your brand’s reputation a boost and help you gain more brand ambassadors. Start with these strategies (that is, if you’re not doing them already):
- Go above and beyond for customers (goodwill goes a long way!)
- Create a rewards program
- Humanize your business
- Share and promote positive reviews
- Encourage consumers to share posts about your business
Now go out and add some offline marketing strategies into your plan to get people talking.