5 Forgotten Offline Marketing Tactics
With the rise in popularity of online marketing, many proven offline methods are simply forgotten when marketing campaigns are planned. Of course, online marketing is hugely important in today’s Internet-connected world, but offline engagement with customers still has unique and distinct value that shouldn’t be forgotten.
If you want to give your business a real marketing boost this year, start looking outside the box. Here are five forgotten offline marketing tactics that don’t require a big marketing budget.
1. Engage in offline guerrilla marketing
Guerrilla marketing is a generic term for the use of unconventional marketing strategies, and because online marketing channels are so narrowly structured, offline is the best arena to flex your small business’s guerrilla marketing muscle. So, starting now, ignore what you know about marketing channels, and let your inner child out to play.
Offline guerrilla marketing ideas:
- Leave sticky notes in random places (bars, coffee shops).
- Use chalk to advertise promotions on a sidewalk.
- “Accidentally” leave a branded pen at the bank.
- Donate branded bookmarks to your local library.
- Use sticky notes to create temporary images on buildings, cars, etc.
2. Drop business cards
This is one offline guerrilla marketing strategy that I want to talk about specifically. It’s more of a necessity than an option. If you run a small business, you must have business cards and dole them out! Don’t just share them when you first meet someone new. Drop them everywhere.
Places to drop business cards:
- Leave a business card with your tip at a restaurant.
- See a public bulletin board? Put up a business card.
- Go to the library and place business cards in books related to your business.
- When you see a contest fish bowl asking for business cards, drop yours in. Always.
3. Take pictures/videos of everything
Because social media marketing takes place online, many business owners and marketers forget that social campaigns can be boosted by offline efforts. One way to do this is by taking photos of company events and daily activities, and then posting those online. Videos help too. If someone from your company speaks at an event, for example, record it and upload it to YouTube.
Real-life photos from the offline world show the personality of your company and increase online user engagement. Facebook posts with photos, for example, receive 84% more clicks and twice as many Likes than text-only posts, according to Kissmetrics. And some of the most popular social networks (Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr) are image-based, making photos ever more important for online marketing.
4. Donate gift certificates or products as prizes
By offering your product or service as the prize for a local contest, you can build visibility for your business while showing your commitment to the community.
If your business provides computer repairs, for example, you could donate a gift certificate for a 2-hour repair to a local non-profit organization. The organization may announce your branded prize to a room full of sponsors. Your business could also be listed in various publications, such as the organization’s website, newsletter, or even a press release.
5. Speak at events
Professional events offer a great way to meet new people, share your ideas, and build brand awareness. They’re even more effective if you speak at them. Find a local event related to your industry, come up with an educational topic you can speak on, and volunteer. If you don’t yet have the level of clout required to speak at an event, attending events can be just as helpful.
Remember, you don’t have to adopt all of these offline marketing strategies. Just try one. Write a promotion on a couple sticky notes, and put them in your pocket for the day. Who knows what could happen.