Running an online business may have you feeling as if you need to be in front of the computer all the time, but the truth is there are several unique ways you can market your brand offline, too. In fact, driving brand awareness offline is vital to your success online, so be sure to pick a few of your favorite tips and start implementing them today.
In the digital day and age, many people believe that business cards are no longer relevant. That is not at all the case. In fact, business cards are one of the best ways to give people who might be interested in what you have to offer your contact information quickly. You can also leave them at gas stations, libraries, and other places where your target audience might visit.
Flyers can be put on windshields, passed out door to door, hung up in public places that allow for such advertisement, and more. Be sure that your flyer is easy to read, that it includes the name of your business and your logo, and that it clearly details the type of products and/or services you sell. If you’d like, you could make a tearaway bottom that includes your URL.
Buy an Ad
Do your local churches have bulletins? What about a local independently-published magazine or small-town newspaper? Often, you can purchase ads in these publications at a fairly low price, and that alone could put your brand in front of thousands or even tens of thousands of people.
Sponsor a Kids’ Sports Team
Most communities have little league, girls’ softball, and other events, and if this is the case where you live, consider sponsoring one of these teams. Sponsoring technically involves helping the team pay for its gear (to an extent), but the best part is your company’s name will be front and center on the team’s uniform. It’s a great way to reach out to parents in your community, especially.
Write a Printed Article
Contact local magazines and newspapers to find out if you can write a guest piece based on your industry. Better yet, have a sample of your writing ready to go so the publishers can see your style. Not only does this give you an opportunity to make a name for yourself and your company, but it shows you are trustworthy and intelligent, as well.
Make a Window Sticker
If you want to turn heads and drive interest everywhere you go, contact a local printing company to make you a window sticker for your car based on your logo. Be sure to include your company’s URL, a telephone number, or another means of contact, and if you have a catchy slogan, use it.
Send Handwritten Thank You Notes
Granted, this one is easier to pull off when your company is still small, but it truly means a lot to your buyers. Imagine sending a personally-signed thank you card to everyone who purchases from your store – and then imagine these people sharing their cards on Facebook.
Take Advantage of Free Press
Many newspapers will allow locals to submit their photos along with their professional achievements for free publishing, so be sure to take advantage of this. Send in not only a nice photograph (preferably from the shoulders up), but also a list of the courses you’ve taken, certifications you’ve received, and businesses you’ve started.
Hand Out Free Merchandise
There are many, many ways to do this, but it all starts with pens and pencils printed with your URL and company name. Keep some everywhere and hand them out when someone needs them (and someone always does). Contact local middle and high schools to see if you can donate some there, and don’t hesitate to take them into convenience stores or other locations where people often “borrow” pens, but never return them.
Donate to Good Causes
Want to help your community and your company at the same time? Donate gift certificates, products, or services (whichever is most fitting) to silent auctions, charitable events, and other non-profit fundraisers. These are often advertised for weeks, and the advertisements typically list all the sponsors, too.
Cold calling is the dreaded marketing tactic that no one really wants to use, but because you’re trying to generate website traffic rather than asking people to buy something outright, it could very well work for you. For a successful cold call, start off by saying you aren’t selling anything – you’re merely providing the name of a company and website that offers XYZ if the person on the other end of the phone ever needs it. Believe it or not, people can be quite receptive to this.
This is only a drop in the bucket when it comes to all the different ways you can use offline marketing to boost your online business’s traffic, conversions, and sales. Some of these tips require a little generosity on your part, but if you consider it carefully and plan ahead, you can view it as an investment – and a tax deduction, too.