Not all marketing has to be digital. What marketing strategies should you be using as well?
We spend a huge amount of time these days staring at a screen of some sort, be it a mobile phone or laptop. So digital marketing is the main default for businesses these days.
It’s easy to forget about some of the more traditional means of offline marketing which we are exposed to on a daily basis.
We’ve looked in great detail previously at how having a well-thought-out digital marketing strategy is essential. But what about your other marketing-related activities?
Building and nurturing relationships are often something which is easier done when there is a more personal interaction involved. It’s easy to hide behind digital marketing.
Let’s have a look at what marketing strategies you could be doing away from the screens…
Particularly popular with big brands, OOH, or out-of-home advertising, includes things like billboards, posters (for example the type you see at the train station in the frames), bus stops and telephone booth window graphics.
Now that we’re finally allowed out of the home more, lots of big brands are ramping up their OOH campaigns.
We’ve worked alongside some of our clients before in designing various items, for example, posters in the London Underground, and even graphics for hoardings around a location being built.
As footfall on our city streets increases, so will the efficiency of these more traditional methods of advertising.
It’s yet to be seen if the increase in working from home will reduce the footfall permanently at train stations and bus stops. The upside of that could be that this form of advertising becomes more affordable for smaller businesses.
Even with high numbers of employees continuing to work from home, most businesses will still have an office address, where they will regularly check the post or have items forwarded.
If you are a B2C business then even better! More people are spending larger amounts of time at home.
So direct mail still offers a great offline alternative.
It can have a high return on investment, and often needs to work alongside some form of digital marketing too. Perhaps the mail item references a website URL or social media account to follow.
There are potentially an endless array of solutions when it comes to direct mail. A well-written letter, a cleverly folding pop-up leaflet, branded merchandise, the list goes on. You have more scope for creativity when compared to the limited execution of paid digital ads.
Also, it’s much quicker to compile a list of business address details as this information is publicly available. Compared to email marketing where unsolicited email is a growing problem, and there are privacy and permission laws to navigate.
Over the past 12 months, a lot more virtual networking groups have sprung up. There are some pros to this – joining remotely saves time in travelling to and from the event, and everyone gets there 60 seconds of fame, depending on how the session is planned.
Apps like Zoom allow for breakout rooms too.
As we return to ‘normality’ in-person networking events will come back, and for me, you still can’t beat a face-to-face chat with someone.
Building your network is really important, it’s not just about who you meet, it’s about who they know too, in the hope that you might get a referral.
Well-designed business cards and leaflets are essential to hand out as you chat with prospects leads and connections.
Regularly attending the same events will allow you to quickly forge friendships and groups you like to spend time with. And that is more important than trying to sell to every person you meet.
What marketing strategies offer the same social and personal touch provided by networking?
Even though digital is the main way through which people read news and articles, there are still lots of trade-related and local press which get printed as well as distributed digitally.
Advertising in local publications, especially for B2C, can give you some great exposure. Whether it’s a paid ad or some editorial content, it’s a good way to get your name out there.
Most national publications also have websites and digital content, so you can also benefit from gaining a backlink to help your SEO efforts if your content is published.
If your offering and target audience are both quite niche, advertising in an industry-specific publication can get you in front of the right audience.
Trade shows and exhibitions
Trade shows are great in that you get to meet a lot of potential buyers in a relatively short amount of time.
It’s essential to have a great-looking stand, some sort of giveaways/branded merchandise and make it easy to be remembered.
Agency it’s possible to find a more local generic show to exhibit at or perhaps once more dedicated to a particular industry.
Guerrilla marketing is a more risky strategy in which a brand or company uses unconventional, creative and surprising means to get their name out there. It is a form of publicity.
The activity usually takes the form of something which needs to be seen, witnessed or experienced.
Of course, a guerrilla marketing campaign can be boosted by the word being spread online and the campaign going viral.
They often take place out in public on the street for maximum exposure.
What marketing strategies should you be using – conclusion
Your overall marketing plan needs to focus on getting the right message in front of the right people at the right time.
Be it digital or offline, you should be targeted with what you do. Trying to do everything to be in front of everyone will give you a poor return on investment.
Also bear in mind what the intended results of the campaign are. Is it to drive sales? Is it purely a brand-building exercise?
Ensure you have specific goals in mind for your campaign. Offline marketing exercises are a little bit trickier to numerate and track when compared to their digital counterparts. So it can work well when you run them in unison to maximise your performance monitoring.