Online marketing is one of the best ways for small businesses to succeed and grow. As technology continues to advance, so too will online marketing tactics, but online marketing isn’t the only way to get new customers. Offline marketing can be an effective way to grow your business too. There are may different ways of marketing your business offline. Here’s a run-down of the most popular methods of offline advertising.
If you have a brick and mortar store or location for your business, physical signs are a great way to catch customer attention.
Running a sale? Launching a new product? Offering an introductory offer? Put it on a sign or chalkboard outside of your store to catch attention and bring customers in!
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most natural, and consequently one of the most compelling methods of promotion. Word-of-mouth advertising is a result of a fantastic customer experience. When a business goes above and beyond what is expected, its customers talk. These customers serve as potential ambassadors or evangelists for your company, as their recommendation can make or break a new customer’s decision to purchase your product or service over another option. In fact, 65 percent of new business comes from new referrals.
No matter what your business’s size or budget, you can get the benefits of customer referrals through simple, smart ways of promoting word-of-mouth marketing.
Free promotional items are a good way to reach customers. Items like sunglasses, frisbees, hats, drink koozies, pens, and temporary tattoos are popular with younger generations. If you’re looking to get more customers between the ages of 20 and 40 and have a decent budget, these types of free promotional items might work for you!
Newspapers are the traditional print media, and newspaper advertisements have been around for hundreds of years. Small and new businesses accustomed to online advertising may be confused as to how offline advertising works.
Most newspapers, from large national papers to local city ones, use rate cards which will tell you exactly how much an advertisement would cost. Advertisements are measured by widths (across) and inches (deep). Newspaper ads are typically quoted in unit costs. A unit is a box one column wide and one inch deep, and is also known as a “column inch.” The total cost of an advertisement is calculated by multiplying the size of the advertisement (in column inches) by the average circulation of the newspaper and the cost per thousand people “reading the ad”.
Circulation of paper. Don’t get this number quoted by the newspaper itself, as it could easily be exaggerated. Request audited circulation numbers from The Alliance of Audited Media.
Cost per thousand. Remember, the more people reading the paper, the higher this cost will be. On average, for a full-page advertisement, the newspaper advertising cost ranges from $80 to $130 per thousand. $100 is a good rule of thumb to go by. Newspaper ads can be pricey but many papers offer introductory rates for new advertisers.
Are newspaper advertisements for you? That depends entirely on what industry you’re in and, most importantly, on your target audience. If your audience is a bit older, say middle-aged or seniors, you may benefit from newspaper advertisements. Print newspapers are most commonly read by those over 35 years of age. If you choose to try out newspaper ads, make sure that you’re tracking your marketing efforts by printing a specific landing page or tracked telephone number so you can tell which leads are coming from the newspaper ad.
Another way to advertise your business offline is to sponsor an event, team, or group. Often part of a sponsorship includes getting your business’s name and logo in a program or on a t-shirt. For a little bit of money you can sponsor a local baseball team and get your plumbing, floral, or tutoring company in front of tons of people!
Remember the days when flyers on bulletin boards were the best way to get your information out? Although it’s much less significant, flyers still have a place in the world today. Businesses that are in a college town or an area that gets a lot of foot traffic may benefit from flyers placed in common areas like community bulletin boards, signposts, or other common areas.
When using flyers or postcards, include relevant business information directing people to your website and social media pages so that interested people can learn more about your business. Tracking marketing with flyers or postcards is easy to do if you have a tracked phone line through a company like ThriveHive. With a tracked line, you can place a unique phone number on a flyer and see how many calls come into that specific line.
A great way to grow your business is to promote it at physical events. Whether you’re going to a local community event or a national trade show, having a physical presence is undoubtedly a good way to get your business in front of potential customers.
If you have a locally oriented business, getting involved in community events like industry networking events, niche groups, or referral groups like BNI. Another option is to use a tool like meetup.com where you can meet like-minded individuals in person.
While video is the leader in story media, radio is not dead. Radio advertisements have consistently proven to be one of the most effective advertising techniques. Indeed, about 77% of adults tune into radio, and the average listener spends almost two hours daily listening to AM/FM radio (typically during their commute). Radio is also useful for international companies who may have target audiences in areas with low rates of Internet penetration. In such places, such as rural areas, radio tends to be extremely popular.
Radio advertisements could be good for you if you’re trying to advertise to a local population. With over 11,000 commercial radio stations in the United States alone, you can target your advertising very effectively. Radio ads are also beneficial because you can reach people at very convenient times. Most people tune in to radio at popular shopping times, such as driving to work, lunchtime, and driving home. This makes radio ads particularly useful to retail and restaurant businesses. Keep in mind that radio advertisement is best for simple messaging. If you have a complex message or if the benefits of your company are not easy to describe quickly and succinctly, radio may not be the best medium for you.