Before the internet existed, marketing was a whole different ball game. Some of the strategies that were once a necessity for all businesses have since become useless – for example, nobody wants to pay for phone book advertising now that everyone is using Google to search for business. Whilst online marketing has killed off several forms of marketing, there are still some offline strategies that are useful to this day. Here are just seven offline marketing strategies that could be worth trying to help boost business.
Host marketing events
Event marketing is still hugely popular and effective. Whilst the web has tried to simulate this with webinars and live videos, nothing can replace the sensory experience of a physical event.
Sales conferences are a common form of marketing event. These involve promoting your brand to a focused crowd of people. When hosting the ultimate conference, it’s worth finding an exciting venue and making the event interactive so that people can ask questions and possibly test your product for themselves.
You could also try attending a trade show. These are events in which multiple businesses gather to exhibit their products and services. Such events are usually centred around a niche and so are great for attracting your key consumers. The downside is that you are competing against other businesses for attention, so you may want to try and make your booth stand out by using branded signage such as pull up banners and flags. You can also draw people to your booth by offering one-off promotions or hosting competitions.
Other events to try could include launch parties, seminars, workshops and clubs. You could even sponsor someone else’s event in exchange for being able to display signage of your brand at the event. Because events can be a lot of work to put together, you may want to consider hiring some help from an event marketing company – they may be able to arrange catering, branding and all other aspects for you.
Attend other people’s events
You can also attend conferences, trade shows, seminars and other events as a guest. Such events can be great networking opportunities, allowing you to form relationships with other business owners who may be potential customers or who may be able to spread word of your business.
Even non-business events can be a chance for networking – you never know who you’re going to meet at a wedding or a party. You don’t have to treat every social event like a business opportunity, but you should be prepared to make the switch from leisure to business mode if the situation arises.
Join local business groups
It’s also worth seeing if there are any business groups in your area that you could become a member of. Such groups are ideal for networking and often allow you to become involved in community projects, helping to raise your personal profile.
Business groups are also great for finding out news about events as well as getting advice from others. You can search for business groups in your area online.
Distribute business cards
Business cards are still a reliable way to quickly exchange contact details. It costs very little to print off a stack of business cards. These can be carried around with you whenever you go out just in case you meet someone who could be interested in your business.
On top of giving out business cards at events and on social occasions, you can also leave them strategically in places. Waiting rooms of hairdressers, dental surgeries and solicitor firms are great places to leave business cards as people are likely to be sat here bored and are more likely to pick up your card out of curiosity. You can also display your card on public noticeboards (although flyers can sometimes be more noticeable and better suited for this purpose).
Use physical mail
Many people have ditched physical mail in exchange for email – it’s faster, cheaper and eco-friendlier. Whilst email is the sensible option most of the time, old-fashioned snail mail can still have its advantages on the odd occasion. Given that fewer people now use it, it’s a less competitive market.
Most businesses post flyers through people’s doors, but these can sometimes end up straight in the trash. Try to consider creative forms of leaflet that people are more likely to engage with. You can also attach vouchers as an incentive to get involved in your business – by giving people a discount they may be more inclined to use your service.
Choosing the right places to target is important and you should do your research to find areas in which your key consumer is most likely to be based. If you’re a business-to-business company, you’ll want to post your mail through the doors of shops and offices rather than homes. If you offer a luxury service, you may want to post to addresses in wealthy areas.
Get featured in your local paper
You can also attempt to get featured in your local newspaper. The easiest way to do this is to pay to create an ad – many local newspapers dedicate space for advertisements. Another option is to approach a journalist and get your company featured as a story. This option is best suited to when you have a good story – perhaps you’ve just opened your business or are celebrating your 5th anniversary with a party. You can use a PR company to help you find a suitable angle.
Get featured on your local radio.
Newspapers aren’t the only form of local media that you can try to get featured in. Your local radio may also be able to promote you. You could create your own radio advert – this can be expensive but effective at spreading brand awareness. You may even be able to set up a radio interview – this could require finding an angle just like landing a newspaper story and may require hiring a PR company.