The Internet makes it easy to market your products and services online, so it’s easy to forget that traditional methods are still used offline because of their continued effectiveness. The best approach is to combine online and offline marketing to maximise the results for your business.
Offline marketing in a nutshell is any marketing you don’t do on a computer.
Offline marketing methods include:
- Taking out ads in print and on TV or radio
- Direct mail marketing campaigns
- Getting new customers through referrals and incentives
- Co-branding with other companies that share your market
- Cold calling
- Taking part in offline events
A lesson I learned at a tender age when managing a public house (A bar for my US readers) is you must go to where you customers are. On the Internet, marketers find out where their target market hangs out (Twitter, Facebook, online forums, niche groups, etc.) and draws the community in through their content and their helpfulness.
The same goes for offline marketing but instead it’s done in shopping centres, on the radio, at local events, in local networking groups, at the school gates, and deep within the local community.
Should You Use Offline Marketing?
Offline marketing works well together with online methods. For example, you may run an offline promotion in the local community to get people to your website or blog. You would then gather names and email addresses for your email marketing campaign, blending offline with online.
One thing you must consider is your budget. Online marketing can be done completely on a shoestring budget. Offline methods always cost a bit more in terms of money and resources.
The Pros and Cons of Offline Marketing
The biggest benefit of offline marketing is that it can be a much more personal approach, depending on the methods you use. There’s simply nothing you can do online that compares to meeting your prospects face to face. This personal touch is what many businesses lack today. In automating everything we forget the customer’s experience.
It also gives you a huge credibility boost. People are somewhat wary of businesses that only operate online. When you see them offline, people have a chance to see your products and services with their own eyes and not through a computer screen.
Offline marketing is really the foundation of online marketing. The same marketing basics apply. Unlike online techniques which can change with each Google algorithm update, these are proven methods that have been used effectively for decades.
As mentioned above, the major drawback is the cost in terms of money, time and resources. Offline marketing strategies are not feasible for many small local businesses due to the expense and their limited marketing budgets.
It’s also tougher to establish yourself as an expert offline. Online, you can do it quickly and easily through content marketing. This is where you provide valuable content to your target market that establishes your authority.
Finally, offline you can only reach a limited local audience. With the Internet, you’ve got a worldwide reach and you’re open for business 24 hours a day.
Why You Need to Learn Offline Marketing
Even if you focus your marketing efforts online, it’s a good idea to learn offline marketing since it involves the traditional techniques that form the basis of online marketing. Online marketing is essentially offline marketing plus technology.
It’s when you merge your offline marketing with your online marketing that you truly start to see how powerful it all becomes.
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