8 Offline Marketing Ideas That Work
With so much business to be done online, it’s very easy to forget about more traditional marketing methods. It’s important not to let this part of your sales strategy slide, though, if you want to maximise your opportunities.
Try our offline marketing tips if you need ideas for spreading the word away from the digital spotlight.
Flyers with a difference
The need to stand out becomes ever greater when it comes to offline marketing. Who says a flyer needs to be a uniform shape or style?
If you’re an IT training company, why not something that looks like a computer monitor and keyboard? If you manufacture a product, ‘package’ your marketing materials in the same way.
This is an area where a good graphic design service will really come into its own – give your designer the freedom to be creative and you’ll enjoy some great results.
What are people saying about you?
Never under-estimate the power of the written word. Recommendations are a powerful marketing tool – people prefer to use products and services that have a good track record – and they work especially well on printed materials.
Be proactive. Don’t just hope satisfied customers will say nice things about you – ask them for a written testimonial that you can include in your brochures or leaflets, and then make sure their comments are prominently displayed.
Be part of the community
Sponsoring a local sports team is a great way to get exposure. Having your logo on their shirts means your brand will be seen wherever they play, and as a sponsor you might also get special prominence for adverts in match-day programmes or on banners around their ground.
If your target audience is parents with young children, junior sports teams are often in need of support when it comes to kit and equipment, and this kind of partnership can result in some nice exposure in your local media too.
Network, network, network
There are face-to-face opportunities to spread the word about your company even in the smallest towns, and making personal connections with other business owners could prove the most valuable move you ever make.
Find one or two groups that work for you and make sure you play an active part – don’t assume that simply being a member will lead to a new and limitless stream of referrals. You need to show up and show an interest in others if you want them to respond in kind.
Don’t forget to make sure your business card is up to scratch and always have plenty on hand to give out when asked.
Make the most of special occasions
If you’re not sending out specially-designed Christmas cards from your business, you’re missing a trick. Even better, a good wall or desk calendar will put your name in front of them for the whole of the coming year so work with your graphic designer on an attractive, quality product that will end up in use rather than consigned to the rubbish bin.
Think about other holidays and events during the year – are there any that are relevant to your product or service? A hotel or restaurant could send a Valentine’s Day card, for example.
Eyes on the prize
Offer prizes in as many competitions as you can, from charity raffles to school fairs. Don’t worry if you don’t have a suitable product or service – you can always provide a voucher for a third-party outlet instead. The value doesn’t have to be excessive, and you’ll gain positive associations with the name of your business or organisation.
Go back to school
Run a design challenge in conjunction with a local school or community group. It could be for your new advertising campaign, your company Christmas card, packaging for a new product – whatever is relevant for your business. Incorporate the winning idea into your marketing and involve those who took part in the ‘official’ design process.
Win an award
Industry awards are great – we all like our successes and talents to be recognised by our peers.
But for marketing purposes, we’re thinking about business awards – the kind run by local media. They generally have plenty of different categories, from Employer of the Year to Best Website and Most Environmentally Friendly, so you’re bound to find at least one you can go for.
Shortlisted entries and finalists will get great exposure – and, of course, if you win you can shout it to the rooftops.
For most businesses, the best sales strategies are a blend of both digital and offline marketing activities. These are a few of our tried-and-trusted favourites, but we’d love to hear what works best for you, too.