There are several ways that you can promote your website offline. The first step is ensuring your business is visible in the real world. This means making sure that your business has an address and a phone number, as well as having a website which is easy to find online.
The second step is to ensure that you have some direct marketing material available for people to take away with them. You can do this by providing brochures or flyers, but other options include postcards, business cards and even t-shirts.
Once you have created your promotional material, it is essential to make sure that people see it by putting it where they are likely to look – such as on the wall in cafes or restaurants or in public places like train stations or bus stops. This will help ensure that people who might have overlooked your business find out about it instead.
Unlike inefficient, ineffective and financially prohibitive, offline marketing is an excellent way to drive new website traffic. The tips below are popular and inexpensive ways to boost your online profile by connecting with people in the real world.
Break into new markets without breaking the bank…
Place adverts in newspapers and magazines.
People still like the feel of leafing through a paper magazine. In response to the rise of online advertising, many print publications have expanded their range of advertising packages and considerably lowered their costs. Taking out advertising space in niche magazines relevant to your business is worthwhile. The chances are that you will stand out more on these pages than on a Google search and are set up to reach an audience potentially interested in your services.
You can also advertise by placing posters in public places such as college campuses or libraries. While this may seem outdated, it is still very effective if your target audience frequents these places often.
The most important thing to remember when placing adverts is that they must be relevant to your target audience’s interests and needs. If they don’t see themselves reflected in your ads, they won’t be interested in what you’re offering them (and they’ll probably ignore them).
Use branded merchandise
With the advent of the internet and social media, it has become easier to market your business. You can easily create an online presence with a website and social media accounts, and to stand out from the crowd, you must create a brand for your business.
An excellent way to achieve this is by creating branded merchandise. This can be a range of items such as pens, mugs or even t-shirts with your logo or slogan. The best thing about branded merchandise is that it is cheap and easy to produce. You do not need to hire designers or pay for expensive advertising campaigns; you only need images and text printed onto the product.
When people see your company logo or slogan, they associate it with your brand – even if they have never heard of it. If they like what they see, they may visit your website or social media page to learn more about it.
Branded merchandise can also be used as giveaways at trade shows or conferences. Suppose people already positively associate with your brand because of the branded merchandise they received in their goody bags at the event. In that case, they are likely to visit your website afterwards.
The logic of SEO assumes that your customers are going to come to you. While this is true, there is no harm in proactively seeking out customers through traditional direct marketing. Business directories such as Kompass and Yell.com are great ways to source phone and email details of potential clients. Spending a couple of hours a week calling, emailing and faxing people about your projects will not cost you much and is a valuable means of keeping in touch with your target market.
Direct mail has always been an effective way to reach many people in one go. It is also an excellent way of targeting specific audiences, so if your business sells products or services to doctors, lawyers or accountants, then sending direct mail to their offices rather than sending them through the post makes sense.
Direct mail can be targeted at individuals or groups by using different addresses for each group you wish to contact. For example, if you wanted to send a letter about your new website design service, it would be better to use specific addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org rather than just email@example.com.
Referrals from customers
It is crucial to get your business name out there, but it is also essential that you do not overdo it. As mentioned above, if you have nothing positive to say about your company or service, then don’t say anything.
There are many ways to get the word out about your business through customer referrals. All online businesses should know the importance of hosting client testimonials on their websites. The same principles apply to offline marketing. Once you have found a niche market publication relevant to your target audience, try to persuade your clients to write into these magazines – telling readers how impressed they are with you. Most magazines have a ‘letters to the editor’ page, a valuable forum for subtle but effective client testimonials.
Word-of-mouth advertising campaigns are another way of getting people talking about your business. If someone knows someone who has used your services and was happy with them, they will most likely recommend them to others too!
Try handing out flyers at local events or vouchers in exchange for contact details (this will give you an idea of how many people came back after receiving their vouchers).
Search engine optimisation is by far the most cost-effective and efficient means for you to drive traffic to your website and accumulate a long-term client base, but it must be stressed that these methods take time. While offline marketing methods are traditionally less flexible and cost more than online methods, they offer the tantalising possibility of quick returns and the chance to build personal relationships with customers, which is often elusive online.