Many companies direct their focus purely on their digital marketing efforts, but maximising both your online and offline approach to engaging with customers means you can expand your reach to an even larger audience. Advertising locally (or nationally) using offline marketing strategies means you can target the potential customers that might not have come into contact with you online yet.
As the largest UK-based online printer, we know our fair share about combining online and offline marketing to get the most out of our campaigns and we’d like to share this knowledge with you!
In this blog, you’ll find out everything you need to know about offline marketing, including advantages, campaign ideas and how to measure your campaign’s performance.
What is Offline Marketing?
Offline marketing refers to any promotion or advertising method that is published outside of the internet. Often seen as a more traditional way of marketing, offline marketing examples include print marketing, networking, and events.
Top 3 Offline Marketing Advantages
- It's Cheaper
Offline marketing, especially print campaigns, is usually a lot friendlier on your budget than digital marketing. You can order a lot of the materials you’ll need, such as flyers and brochures, in bulk to help keep costs low.
- It's Easier to Stand Out
Although we are seeing a resurgence in offline marketing, digital is still king – and is still highly competitive. Offline marketing is generally less competitive, giving you more scope to stand out from the crowd.
- It's a Creative Medium
One of the best things about offline marketing is that anything goes! As long as it’s not online, the world’s your oyster. There are any number of ways you can advertise your business offline; you just need to find an approach that suits your business.
10 Awesome Offline Marketing Campaign Ideas
- Business Cards
Business cards are a must for any business owner or marketeer. You never know when you’re going to make a connection, so having a few in your wallet (or, even better, your pocket business card holder) means you’re always prepared for any surprise networking experiences. Similarly, if you’re planning on attending networking events, you should never let a conversation end without asking for a business card and offering yours in return.
- Cold & Warm Calling
This classic sales practice is all but dead. Cold calling is when you call a prospect without prior contact so the person on the other end of the line isn’t expecting the call. More recently, a practice known as warm calling has become increasingly popular, due to better results and being a more pleasant way to get in touch with potential clients. This is where you contact someone after having previous contact with them, such as after an email or when you’ve met and spoken to them at an event.
- Direct Mail
Direct mail campaigns are notoriously effective; according to the DMA, 70-80% of consumers open their mail – even the direct marketing mail! Compared with an average open rate of just 18% of marketing emails in the UK, that’s a lot more eyes on your marketing if you choose to add direct mail to the mix. Fed up of the same old letters? Why not send a really fun piece of direct mail for a more memorable and creative approach!
- Trade Shows & Expos
Exhibiting at a trade show or exhibition is a fantastic way to market your brand because it offers you a chance to build actual relationships with potential customers – and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to stand out! Make sure you’ve got plenty of flyers and other print promotional materials ready to hand out so people can research more about your business after talking to you.
- Personalised Notes
A bit like sending an email – just WAY more personalised – drop potential clients a handwritten note to let them know it was nice to meet them and that you’ll be in touch shortly! This is a great in-between step if you’ve met someone at a networking event or trade show and wish to call them to discuss how your business could help them later.
Note cards are also a great tool for personalising customer orders. Pop one in their packaging saying thanks for placing an order with a discount to encourage repeat custom!
- Guerilla Marketing
Guerrilla marketing refers to any kind of unconventional marketing strategy and lends itself particularly well to offline marketing because there’s a lot more scope to get creative. You can leave items, like business cards or branded stickers, around in public places hoping people’s curiosity gets the better of them, add one of your products to a landmark or statue or even create a stunning graphic out of an everyday object on the street – there are no rules to how imaginative you can get.
Sponsoring an event means getting your logo on a range of merchandise used by the event-goers, like T-shirts – and a big shout out! Not only is this highly beneficial for boosting brand visibility, but it can also be a great way to get your team involved in local events, so they can also spark the conversation about your business with other event-goers.
If you want to introduce your business to new people, a logical way of doing this is finding a reason to invite them to come and visit you! Host an event at your store and send out invitations to everyone in your local area asking them to come along. A physical invitation feels a lot more personalised than a generic email, meaning people will be more likely to turn up!
- Free Samples
You know how good your business is, but sometimes proving how awesome you are to customers can be a little tricky. Handing out free samples lets customers get a taste of what they could be having, and if it’s as good as you believe it is, they won’t be able to resist coming back for the full package.
- Educational Talks & Workshop
It’s hard to trust a business you’ve never heard of, especially if the business sells expensive products or services that can’t be purchased on a whim. Taking part in educational talks at events and hosting workshops in your store are both fantastic ways of placing yourself as an expert in your field, which can help prospects feel a lot more trusting of you, therefore more likely to give your products a go!
How to Measure Offline Marketing
When it comes to online marketing, there are loads of analytical tools to help you track who’s coming into your website and from where. Although measuring to such a degree of accuracy is slightly more difficult for offline marketing, there are a couple of ways to see how successful your campaign has been.
- Unique URLS
Using a URL to a landing page that’s unique to your offline campaign is one way of measuring its success. The only way they’ll have found that page is through your promotion so that’s how you’ll know if it’s working or not! Be aware that some people might be going straight to your homepage or searching for you with a different search term, so your campaign could be driving traffic in other ways too.
- Discount Codes
Use a trackable code that customers can redeem online – the more people who use the code, the easier it will be to work out the return you’re getting on your investment. These work especially well for flyers and other forms of direct mail. Again, these will not 100% accurately measure your results as some people may not use the voucher code and instead make a purchase without.
As print specialists, there’s nothing we love more than a fun offline marketing campaign! Share your campaigns with us on Instagram and Twitter at @instantprintuk or #instantprintuk for a chance to be featured on our blogs and social media channels.