The noise surrounding online marketing is deafening. You can’t visit a business blog these days without finding an article highlighting “6 magical online marketing techniques”. In all the noise, we’re all forgetting about one key place: the real world. The internet has opened the world up on a global scale. Any small business can now reach the furthest corners of the earth.
However, that isn’t always ideal. With marketing on such a global scale, it can be hard to build a strong community. A much better plan is to start small and local. If you’re a new, small business of course you should engage in online marketing. But, you should also get into your local area and re-engage some long-lost offline marketing. The real world still exists out there! Remember, if your product or service works locally, it will work on a big scale. Start small and work up.
Recently, it seems that every event we go to, we hear the same thing from new acquaintances. “Oh, you can find me on Twitter and LinkedIn”. The reality is that by the time we get to the office the next day, we’ve completely forgotten. An online presence is no substitute for a unique business card that we can take with us. Many businesses still keep a pin board of business cards. When they need a service, they look there first. Get your name out among local communities.
A lot of businesses neglect leaflets entirely. We think of them as annoying pieces of spam that come through our letter box. In the wrong context, leaflets can be useless and irritating. However, target the right audience and leaflets are valuable marketing assets. Leaflet distribution in targeted areas can work wonders. Remember, marketing is all about getting your name out there. Target the right people, catch attention and offer a service. Do each of these things and no-one will find your leaflet annoying.
Speaking at events
Speaking at events is a great way to position yourself as an expert. Your business will flourish when you are perceived as a skilled professional. Speaking at events is the easiest way to do this. Your peers will respect and admire you. They’ll recommend you to others. Your community will see that you command this respect and trust you even more. You’ll make important networking inroads and elevate your business to professional heights. You may even change public opinion which is a true skill in business.
Turn offline into online
Offline and online marketing are not two separate things. Use them to complement each other. Take relevant photos in the real world and post them online. Show how your product or service affects people in real life. Show success stories and case studies. Use guerilla marketing offline but use social media to track it and promote it. There are countless ideas here, only you know which will work best for your business.
The internet and online marketing has become the new default technique. However, don’t forget about the virtues of real-world, local, offline marketing.