A flash mob in Time Square (image)
If you read our blog on a regular basis, you know we love digital marketing. We think it’s one of the best ways to take your business to the next level. Online marketing can be harnessed by the smallest company to turn things into a multi-million dollar business. It is truly powerful, and accessible to even the smallest budgets. However, it’s easy to forget there’s a real world out there beyond the computer screen. As customers, we are still reading magazines, watching TV programmes, and attending events.
As a growing company, you can’t afford to ignore this real world activity. While digital marketing is a great place to start, you can also capitalise on the traditional, offline techniques. It’s particularly effective for local businesses, who are trying to make their presence felt in a certain area. In this post, we’ll introduce you to some long-lost offline tricks that still provide a good return on investment. Without further ado, let’s jump into our first point.
Without doubt, networking is the single most important thing you can do for your business. Meeting new people is a phenomenal way to open new doors, and find new opportunities. The business world is flush with connections, and it thrives on relationships. All it takes is one meeting to change your entire business outlook. With that in mind, start attending networking events in your local area. Introduce yourself to influential tastemakers and industry experts. Offer your help, and start building that all-important relationship. Networking is often intimidating for some, but start small, and ease your way in.
2. Flyers and posters
Flyers and poster might seem like out-dated methods of promotion. However, they still have a useful function, if you ask us. First of all, they’re great for brand recognition, and building a presence for your company. Experts say that customers need to see your branding at least seven times before they’ll consider buying from you. Flyers and posters help you build that brand recognition in your local area. The key here is distributing material in the correct place. For instance, if you’re a personal trainer, place your flyers in a gym.
3. Magazine adverts
Ask some marketers, and they’ll tell you that traditional advertising is dead. Well, don’t believe them. Sure, magazine circulations are in decline, but that is good news for you as a business. Why? Well, first of all, advertising space is now cheaper than ever. And secondly, guess who is still reading magazines? That’s right, the most passionate, obsessed customers of all. It’s even easier to hit your niche audience, because they’re all still reading magazines. If you sell snowboarding equipment, snowboarding mags still draw the most affluent and passionate snowboarders. Just the type of people you want to market to.
4. TV adverts
TV adverts are a tricky business. As a business, you’ve got to get the timing just right. Launching a TV advert will instantly get your product and business in front of millions. However, you better make sure your company can handle the subsequent interest. We tend to advise companies to take out TV ads when they’re just about to boost to the next level. It’s a form of mass marketing that only the strongest companies will get away with. When your company is ready, a TV advert will help take things to the next step.
5. Guerilla marketing
Guerilla marketing is one of the most interesting and exciting aspects of promotion. If you’ve never heard of it before, take a look at some of these case studies. Essentially, it’s all about disrupting the environment around you and making people take notice. A common example is a flash mob, where the whole world stops to see what’s going on. It could also be the clever use of stickers or posters. Whatever it takes to get people’s attention out on the street is going to work wonders for your brand.
Everyone loves a good event, and it’s the perfect way to put your company on the map. An industry event gives you the chance to invite all the most important tastemakers in your niche. Use the guestlist as an excuse to invite high-profile media journalists and others in your industry. Use the opportunity to launch a new product, or celebrate a business milestone. If you’re not comfortable hosting a big event, see Promotion1 for information on event marketing. An event gives you the perfect networking opportunity, and a chance to increase your brand recognition.
7. Business cards
Again, business cards might seem outdated in a world of LinkedIn and Twitter. Yet, they are still essential. If you follow our advice, you should be thinking about boosting your networking skills. That means carrying a set of business cards wherever you go. You never know who will open that next door for you. Most people like to keep a stack of business cards in their desk in case they need a service. If you hand out enough business cards, trust us, your phone will ring soon enough.
You’ve probably noticed that all major events are sponsored by a corporate company. Whether it’s a sports game or a music festival, they all partner with a bigger company. It’s a chance for the business to get their name in front of thousands, and associate with a particular lifestyle. There’s a reason why Red Bull sponsor almost all the adventure sports on the planet! You probably haven’t got the kind of cash lying around that Red Bull do, but you can sponsor local events. If there’s a small music festival in your area, approach them about a partnership.
9. Speaking and conferences
We’ve already touched upon networking events. However, why not give yourself the upper hand? By actively securing a speaking engagement, you can position yourself as an expert from day one. It gives you the power and puts the ball in your court. Make a list of the upcoming events, and apply for a place on a panel. It’s your chance to set yourself up as an expert in your field, and elevate the perception of your business.