Have you got a fabulous business or business idea? Something that people need, with unique benefits and a great list of meaningful features? Great! You need to get out there and spread the word about your great products or services to the right people to build and grow your customer base.
Although internet marketing is a popular method used these days for small business promotion, it is good practice to add variety to your marketing efforts. Utilising offline marketing strategies is one way that you can accomplish this. Online marketing relies on prospective customers having access to the Internet. However, there are many ways to reach customers offline.
Offline and online marketing strategies are most effective when used in collaboration with one another. Your website is generally the hub of your marketing efforts where customers can learn more about your business whenever they want. Your offline efforts can highlight special offers, new products or services and draw potential customers back to your website for more information.
Develop strategies that support your marketing goals. Know who your target market is and devise a set of strategies to attract and retain them. What are your unique benefits and how are you going to communicate to potential customers so they can clearly see the value in your service?
12 budget friendly offline marketing strategies
Here are 12 budget friendly offline marketing strategies that you can add to your marketing plan to bring in new leads and customers for your business. Some of these might be helpful for your business, and others won’t. It depends on your business and on what you’re prepared to do promote it.
Informative cards or flyers
Rather than a simple sales focused flyer, create free, informative cards or flyers to engage new customers. Think about relevant, useful content that your target market will value such as informative infographics, top tips or how to … Make sure it practical for reading, keeping, and saving. Add discount coupon to help ensure people hang on and follow up on receiving the flyer. Coupons also give you a way to track and monitor the success of your marketing effort.
TIP – It is important to regularly monitor and review your marketing activities to determine whether they are achieving the desired outcome.
Turn your car into a mobile billboard. From a simple back window vinyl sticker to a full car wrap, you will be advertising your business wherever you go.
Create a press release for a new product, promotion or business milestone and send it around to local papers and print magazines.
Community groups, local events and organisations value sponsorship because it offers them support and build awareness of your business within a community. It is a great way of broadening your competitive edge by improving your brand image and credibility by supporting events that your target market finds attractive. Sponsorship does not necessarily require money. It can involve the provision of services, goods, administrative support or marketing assistance in exchange for an agreed-upon amount of exposure.
Another great way to build brand awareness, foster brand loyalty and get your message out there is by having a sale or special offer. Consider offering a discount to a specific target market. This make customers feel privileged, while boosting leads and sales. As well as encouraging these individuals to make purchases with you, it is also likely to attract word of mouth promotion amongst people they know.
Offer your product or service as the prize for a community group, local event or organisation. Events or organisations where your clients or prospects go to learn, grow and socialise are excellent opportunities to promote your business.
If your aim is to increase traffic to your website, your advertisement can instruct customers to print their coupons from your website. If they want a discount, they have to make a stop online.
TIP – Make sure your offline and online marketing match and you are consistent with your branding and key messages.
The concept behind a customer loyalty program is simple: repeat customers are rewarded and businesses increase sales. You could use a point system such as buy nine, get one free as you might find in coffee shops with a simple loyalty card requiring a physical stamp after their purchase and visitors their tenth drink free. You can use this as a model and tailor the specifics to your business. If you run a service-based business, it may make sense to offer a discount on future orders to customers who spend above a certain amount. For example, award a 10 percent-off coupon for every $100 customers spend in a single order.
Get out of the office and network. There are many local business groups you could join or start your own. Networking is great to bring in more business as well as get business support from like minded people and experts. Look for businesses that don’t compete with you but offers complementary services or products. Networking events will increase your visibility as well as provide the opportunity to start and build new relationships with other business owners by sharing ideas, asking questions, discussing business and learning from other business owners.
Participate in trade shows and workshops to enhance your business network. These can provide a great opportunity to put the most effective offline marketing strategies in practice. In addition to in-person networking, you can also pass out print materials and perhaps even get the opportunity to be a featured speaker. Whether you participate by having a stand, are involved as a speaker or if you are just visiting, you are likely get something valuable out of it.
TIP – Have a clear goal in mind so that you can focus on getting results from your marketing activity.
Stationery acts as an ambassador for your business since it reaches the hands of both existing and prospective clients. Your stationery design is incomplete if it does not represent your business. You want to leave an impression of a well organised and professional business by making sure you have considered the essential stationery items that your business needs. This may include: business cards, letterhead, with compliments slips, CD labels, invoices and quotes, writing and note pads, price lists, application forms, packaging, referral pads, stickers and envelopes.
In this age of social media and our ability to connect digitally, make sure you still have business cards. Anyone who receives one will have a reminder of your business. If you turn up to a networking event or a meeting with a client or potential investor, you will regret not having something to leave behind as reminder of you and your business.
Give existing customers a quick call occasionally to find out how they are. Keeping in touch with your customers is about maintaining relationships. Customers are most likely to keep buying from you if you have a strong relationship.
Sending your existing customers thank you, Christmas and birthday cards is a lovely way to encourage them to advocate your brand. A well designed, well thought out personalised greeting can show customers that you care and that they mean something to your brand.
Advertising will help make people aware of your product or service. Effective advertising will make them buy. Print advertisements is another method for getting in front of more potential customers. These are best positioned in highly targeted publications where you can guarantee members of your target audience will see your ad.
Depending on your budget you can design and distribute postcards or flyers. Take it a step further with catalogs or design a beautiful newsletter that contains interesting information along with some promotional pieces.
If possible, include a URL or a QR code in the print advertisement to send visitors to the landing page, which will help you track these campaigns better.
A speaking engagement puts you in front of a highly targeted and interested audience that is already primed and ready to pay attention to what you have to say. An opportunity to be a guest speaker at a live event is a great chance to promote your business from the stage. Make sure you offer lots of value before selling.
Free workshops are a chance to share your knowledge and at the same time give people a taste of what it could be like to work with you. The aim is to provide value in a short 30 to 60 minute session and include an offer that people can’t resist or get at any other time.
If you haven’t been putting much effort into your offline marketing tactics, then it’s time that you give your business a boost. Shake the dust from your marketing plan and go and get your name out in the world.