Just because your business is online doesn’t mean that all of your marketing has to be. The statistics for Internet use are impressive, for instance, in the United States 78 percent of the population is online and 73 percent of the population gets on Facebook at least once a month. But that still leaves 70 million Americans who aren’t reached through online marketing. And even though 92 percent of Americans are aware of Twitter, only 8 percent actually use it.
You shouldn’t stop marketing online by any means, especially if your business is solely online. But you can start marketing offline in some strategic ways to reach those people who don’t log in to Facebook on a daily basis. Keep reading for some of the best ideas and tips for marketing offline:
Create business cards with coupon codes on them
Allow your customers to redeem a coupon code and then pass your business card along to another friend. Set a limit on the number of times the code can be used. Your code can be either a QR code or a number that they enter when they make a purchase. Better yet, use both options so that you appeal to as many people as possible. Also, make sure that your business cards always include your website URL and social media information.
Print posters with QR codes
The most annoying aspect of posters in the past was that if someone read your poster and was interested in the information, they had to wait until they were around a computer to look you up. QR codes, though, now allow those passersby to scan your poster and visit your website immediately, making posters a much more valuable marketing tool for online businesses, especially when you desire to target a local audience. Just make sure that your posters direct people to a promotion page where they’ll get some free services or a discount. Set up posters in windows of local stores (if permission is given), on poster boards, or at events. If you’re doing social media marketing, go to a local marketing convention and share your ideas. Pass out your posters or flyers in the streets or even take them with you for door-to-door canvassing.
Mail out postcards to a target mailing list
Postcard printing campaigns have one of the highest ROI (Return on Investment) when compared to other print marketing media, that is, if done right. To get the most out of your money, you need to send postcards to a targeted list of addresses, either a list you’ve built yourself or one that you purchase. Then make sure that your postcards include only the minimal amount of information needed to get your message across. A simple headline with maybe an extra brief explanation, a call to action, and your website information should be all that you need. Follow the same simplicity with your design and keep graphics and colors to a minimal.
Partner with a local retailer in your area
Make sure their business is complimentary to yours for the best benefits, since you will be more likely to target the right audience. Leave flyers or business cards in their office and offer to exchange on-page ads. For example, if you offer website design services, connect with your local small business attorney or accountant. If you offer home-networking or computer repair services, talk to realtors or builders or even your local computer supply store.
Join a club that promotes networking
Your local Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start, since they and fellow members can suggest other valuable small business clubs and events. Provide discounts to members, or even free services if you are just starting out, to build up your list of customers and expertise.
The marketing possibilities for an online business aren’t limited to the Web. With some creativity and ingenuity, you can expand your business through offline marketing and reach those prospective customers you may otherwise never encounter.
Written by Tara Hornor
Tara Hornor has a degree in English and has found her niche writing about marketing, advertising, branding, graphic design, and desktop publishing. She writes for PrintPlace.com, a company that offers color printing for business cards, catalogs for direct mail, posters, brochures, promotional postcards, and more printed marketing media. In addition to her writing career, Tara also enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. You can connect with Tara on Twitter, Google+ and within the comments of Tara’s Firmology posts.