This is a guest post by James Elliot.
It seems everyone’s obsessed with online marketing, from the growth of search engine marketing and Google controlling the majority of searches in the US to social media marketing with Facebook and Twitter being the hottest topics at the moment.
Photo Credit: Chris Heller on Flickr
Despite the growth of the Internet, it is important to realize that only 78.1% of users in the US have access to the Internet that leaves 21.9% of users whom you cannot reach online. For that 21.9%, here are some offline marketing methods to consider to reach everyone in your overall marketing strategy.
Print advertising is a common way to reach people through newspapers and magazines. With proper research, it is possible to target the exact audience you are looking for.
The best part is that the research can be easy for most businesses – just walk into your local bookstore and peruse the newsstand for the newspapers and magazines that your target demographic would be most likely to purchase. Then you can get more information about them by requesting a media kit which should clue you in on the publication’s number of subscribers and advertisement pricing.
Another perk of print advertising? If you have an ad in a well-known, established publication, you are likely to see a lot of financial return due to the audience’s trust in the publication and the businesses listed within it.
Direct mail is another method of offline marketing. The nice part is that while you can send out the same postcard, letter, or catalog to everyone on your database, some direct mail services also let you target different messages in your direct mail campaign based on the information in your database.
If you’ve ordered pizza from Dominoes lately, for example, you might have noticed that your next mailing references your last order. Once, I had a late delivery and in the next mailing, I received a discount as a “We’re sorry for messing up your order” to apply to my next one.
One advantage of direct mail vs. email marketing – no spam filters. Assuming that your target customer doesn’t get a ton of junk mail each day, they’ll likely be more receptive to taking a look at your message as opposed to it auto-filtering to their spam folder.
Where ever you go, make sure you always have business cards handy to give out. Try using business cards like those offered at Printmeit.com to give to anyone whom might be interested in your products or services. These may be potential partners, customers, or even future employees of your company. Business cards are a great, cost effective way to make sure that you capitalize on every possible business opportunity no matter where you are.
Want to deliver even more information than what you can fit on a business card? Then try creating some brochures for your business. Especially if you are targeting a local customer base, brochures can come in handy when you are at a local event or when you are meeting with a local business partner. You can look for other businesses (like grocery stores or restaurants) that have a table or bulletin board that highlights local businesses and ask if you can add your business cards and/or brochures to the collection in hopes that your target customer will be looking through the information.
Have you ever attended a free seminar or paid conference? Events are perfect form of offline network marketing that can increase your business’ revenue, regardless of whether you are going as an attendee, speaker, or exhibitor. These are just some of the benefits.
- As an attendee, you get to network with other attendees and learn more about your potential customer base.
- As a speaker, you can demonstrate your expertise in your industry and potentially walk away with tons of leads by soliciting your audiences’ business cards at the end of a presentation.
- As an exhibitor, you’ll be able to show off your products and services to people who are looking for new solutions for their own business or personal life.
Have you tried offline marketing to spread the word about your business? What other strategies have you tried or tips would you give?