Offline marketing isn’t what it used to be.
Over the last few years, people have been finding more ways to avoid advertising.
That’s true not only of the web – where millions use ad blockers daily as a matter of course – but also offline. For example, it’s never been easier to speed through TV commercials using your trusty DVR.
With that in mind, supplementing your digital brand with offline marketing requires a deft touch.
If you follow conventional wisdom for offline marketing and advertising, you might have no effect at all on your digital numbers. Even if you manage to capture a bump in sales or brand awareness, it may be impossible to trace online results to your offline efforts.
Which offline marketing methods synergize best with your digital brand?
1. Live Networking Events
Live events are highly effective for B2B brands who have a concentration of potential buyers in their local area. When you sponsor such an event, you’ll raise brand awareness and inspire more people to seek out information online.
These events can have as little as five to 10 people or as many as hundreds. Make sure each participant receives an information packet that includes collateral, such as business cards, that will help them remember to follow up online.
Any time you run a live event, tie it back to your digital brand by giving participants access to a custom landing page. The landing page should motivate them to get started on a lasting brand relationship by becoming an email subscriber. You might also help them sign up for a subsequent event.
2. Live Training and Seminars
When you invest in a live training event, you’re creating goodwill among your target audience by becoming a central part of their efforts to improve their skills.
Remember that people who sign up for live training aren’t in it to hear about proprietary tools: They want actionable insights and skills they can use right away.
Of course, a good live event should leverage your credentials and insight in your industry. That can certainly include an invitation to explore your products.
Some attendees will be so enthusiastic about what you have to offer, they may wish to talk to sales pros right away. Be sure you have the headcount to serve them!
A quick “thank you” video on a custom landing page can be a great way to net the majority of attendees and get them on the path to long-term engagement. You can give participants the opportunity to join your mailing list both at event signup and conclusion.
3. Direct Mail
Direct mail was once the scourge of the offline marketing world. These days, most people worry more about spam email. Direct mail volume has steadily declined over the last several years, which means a creative and targeted mail campaign can get attention.
For direct mail to work as inbound marketing, you need to work from a fully vetted, opt-in list where people have agreed to hear from you. Luckily, there are techniques to achieve consent, with a world of options for businesses with brick and mortar locations.
To make the connection between direct mail and your digital brand clear, focus on getting customers to your website. A snazzy postcard with shortened link URL is your best bet.
4. Charitable Events
No matter where you live, your community is probably full of nonprofit organizations that are always looking for new ways to help. Of course, even the best nonprofit is limited by availability of volunteers and funds. A partnership with local businesses benefit everyone.
When you co-sponsor a charity such as a Relay for Life, you demonstrate your full commitment to your local area. This crystalizes your values and makes them “real” – an indispensable way to prove yourself to millennial consumers who want to buy from responsible brands.
With charitable events, you have the opportunity to provide banners, collateral, and “swag.” You can go one step further by rewarding event participants with discounts or giveaways.
One terrific way to make sure people log into your site after an event is to provide professional photographs of them at the event and require them to log in to redeem and download them.
5. Targeted Print Placements
Of all the offline marketing strategies, print has become the most fragmented.
Businesses that want traction in offline marketing can’t be satisfied with broad approaches like newspaper ads. Instead, it’s vital to micro target print placements that will reach your audience.
In most situations, that means specialized trade journals or market-leading business publications.
For example, it makes sense for enterprises targeting business leaders or affluent consumers to consider placements in Fortune or Forbes. Not only will they reach a certain type of potential clientele, but the prestige of these publications will reflect on their own content.
Industry-focused magazines may have limited circulation, but they balance it with a significant number of readers who might find your content valuable. And for B2C businesses, there are still many hobbyist magazines with circulation in the millions.
Print collateral can have all the creative complexity that you expect from a good digital landing page. Naturally, an offer that drives online traffic and prominent placement of a custom URL does the lion’s share of the work connecting print to your digital campaigns.
When It Comes to Offline Marketing, Go Big or Go Home
Offline marketing has evolved. B2B firms in particular should emphasize offline tactics that reward a high-touch, high-investment approach. This serves as a memorable preview of the level of care and attention people can expect as they get to know your brand.
“Spray and pray” modes of marketing like newspaper ads, most TV spots, billboards, and flyers are much less effective than they once were. It’s nearly impossible for them to make the strong impression necessary to link up meaningfully to your digital footprint.
The five techniques above are different: They offer clear value from the start and connect to your sales funnel in a manageable way. Plus, they allow you to shape how your brand is perceived, sharpening your ability to craft your digital narratives.
Offline still has plenty of hidden opportunities. To get the most ROI from all of your marketing, always design your campaigns so your online and offline messaging reinforce one another.