Over the years, digital marketing has taken over businesses marketing strategies. While your website, social media pages, and more direct forms of digital communications like emailers are still essential, it's impossible to ignore how saturated the digital space has become - and how much more expensive.
To keep your business competitive, especially in your local community, it's time to start thinking outside the box and go back offline. Digital marketing has taken over so much of the marketing world that you'd be forgiven for forgetting about offline marketing altogether.
Before you write off offline marketing, remember that it can be a potent tool to connect with new customers and drive sales.
WAYS OFFLINE MARKETING CAN TAKE YOUR BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
You're not just competing with local businesses that offer a similar product or service in the crowded digital space. You're competing with the entirety of the World Wide Web - and some of those businesses may have larger budgets than yours or be from a totally different country (or even continent).
Offline marketing lets you connect directly with potential customers in your local community, building an authentic relationship that leads them through the sales funnel. Here are some reasons you should consider taking your marketing offline:
● Small and medium businesses usually aren't targeting an international audience, so your online marketing may be seen by people who can't even buy your product or service.
● A portion of your target audience may not spend much time online, so you're losing out on these customers by focusing only on digital marketing.
● Depending on the product or service your small business offers, your customers may want to "try before they buy." This might mean a free sample, demonstration, or seeing your product up close.
Ready to take your business offline? Here are 3 of our favourite offline marketing methods that are still highly effective in today's digital world.
1. Reach New Customers With EDDM
EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) is a popular bulk mailing service that makes it easier for you to reach new customers effectively. In the years before digital marketing, EDDM was sometimes referred to as "junk mail" because recipients would receive handfuls of unsolicited marketing materials every week.
But times have changed. Now that most small businesses have moved the bulk of their marketing online, potential customers are more likely to be inundated with spam emails, pop-up ads, banner ads, and social media ads than they are with EDDM.
To take advantage of EDDM, you must choose the carrier route and create an attention-grabbing postcard. Unlike other direct mail campaigns that can be pricey, EDDM is a low-cost avenue for small businesses looking to make an impact.
2. Form a Partnership with Another Local Business
Find another business in your community with an overlapping customer base and complementary services or products that isn't directly in competition with you.
This strategy can strengthen both businesses' brands, reach sales and marketing targets, and help both businesses become exposed to new audiences. Tactics like joint workshops, or perks like discounts and vouchers, can benefit both brands by being able to pool resources, reach a bigger audience, and remain independent.
Here are some examples of complementary services and products:
● Bakery and florist (think a Mother's Day or Valentine's Day campaign)
● Accountancy firm and law office
● Car wash and coffee shop (grab a coffee while you get your car washed)
● Make-up artist and photographer
Finding the right partnership is key to the success of your campaign, so take some time to think about what customers really need that both businesses can answer together.
3. Get into Guerilla Marketing
Small businesses usually don't have massive marketing budgets, but what you may lack in funds, you can make up for with ingenuity. By using unconventional methods to market your business, you can save on costs and make a memorable impact on your audience.
Here are some great examples of guerilla marketing strategies:
● Creating wall art, graffiti, or murals in your neighbourhood
● Sponsoring a local youth or semi-professional sports team
● Sticker-bombing in strategic locations where your audience is likely to see them
● Give away free samples
● Create a pop-up store in an unexpected location
● Work with an influencer or thought leader in your community
Some guerilla marketing tactics, like creating a graffiti wall or setting up a pop-up store, will require permission from your local government, so make sure to follow the proper protocols, or your business could end up being fined.
Offline marketing isn't always easy, mainly because businesses have become accustomed to thinking of everything digitally. But, if you're a business with a small marketing budget and great ideas, you can harness the power of offline marketing to create unforgettable experiences that will raise brand awareness, reach new audiences, and drive sales.