This is a guest post written by Ian, a creative print specialist at Handy Labels.
Whether you’re a small company or a multi-million dollar corporation, you still need to promote your products. While it’s true that larger companies may have an advantage given their extensive marketing budgets, many small companies overlook one important aspect when planning their campaigns:
The importance of offline marketing.
If your plan focuses on using social media, blog posts and guest articles to market your company or products, you’re potentially missing out on a large portion of your audience from the start.
Not everyone is hooked (yet) on their phones and social media platforms. Actually, some of the most important people in your target market may not even be that proficient with such technology.
At Handy Labels, our experience lies in supporting businesses boost their online marketing campaigns using offline strategies, such as printed labels and business stickers. We work with hundreds of companies, of all sizes, that understand the importance of using both online and offline advertising mediums. This is what we’ve learned.
#1: Locating targeted opportunities
While the online world has some benefits when it comes to finding a target audience, many forget that offline advertising mediums are generally also well-targeted – particularly for localised targeting. For instance, you can promote your product in the local newspaper or hand out flyers outside specific locations such as universities and office blocks. Your target audience is right in front of you and well placed to provide immediate feedback.
#2: Start word of mouth
People tend to react better to offline materials when it comes through word of mouth. For instance, if you are at a social gathering and find a brochure with products you like, you can easily share this with a friend or acquaintance. They will share their opinion and then someone else may join – your brochure or flyer can start a discussion and the main topic is your company. This can be difficult to achieve online unless you have experience creating viral marketing campaigns.
#3: Use networking to your benefit
Communication is very important so you should join clubs and participate in conferences where you know prominent business leaders and influencers will be present. Get to know people in person and hand them printed materials with your business and products. Busy people won’t be browsing through social media too often so it’s important they’ll have something to remember you by.
Conferences are also a great place to connect with potential customers and business partners. So, if you have the possibility to be a speaker, don’t ignore it. It may open new doors and create significant opportunities for your business.
#4: Direct mail still works
Even though we live in the era of email and online marketing, people still like getting magazines and brochures in the post. According to the DMA (Direct Marketing Association), about 79% of customers act on direct mail while only 45% act on emails. So if your printed materials are compelling enough, they may produce better results than your online ones.
Direct mail can certainly be highly effective as part of your sales strategy. Unsolicited emails are easy to ignore. But sending personalised direct mail can improve your response rates and help you engage positively with your target audience.
#5: Work with coupons, flyers, and handouts
Coupons, flyers and handouts are very cost-effective and can produce astonishing results when implemented correctly. The trick is finding places where your target audience congregates.
Yes, a lot of people won’t accept a flyer or handout – and most people won’t respond to your emails. The difference is that people often remember your physical presence and a personal touch can go a long way to boost your brand awareness.
They’re great if you want to inform people about your product, service and any deals you’re offering. But you need to spend time designing attractive material and making sure your message captures attention.
Ultimately with current technological innovations it’s easy to forget about offline marketing as a small business.
But recent studies show that successful marketing campaigns incorporate both online and offline marketing to great effect. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring them completely.
Ian is a creative print specialist writing for us from Handy Labels, one of the UK’s largest label and sticker printers. Handy Labels are a small UK-based team that first established in 2007, and have served over 42,000 customers since.