Sometimes the best way to promote your business is to promote it offline. Sure, social media and digital marketing can do wonders for attracting new customers. Still, nothing beats a well-planned marketing strategy that includes an online presence, traditional advertising efforts, and local outreach.
Here are some ideas on how to promote your business more actively than just posting content on social media:
Use meetups to set up temporary pop-up shops in different locales throughout the year where you can teach people about your product or service. When people attend these events, they’ll be exposed to what you have available before deciding whether or not they want it.
More and more items are available for customization and branding. You can place your company logo on anything from baseball hats to t-shirts. It’s even possible to have the ever-popular Converse sneakers or workboots branded like those made by anthembranding.com. Whatever wearable goods you choose, branded apparel allows you to create gifts people will like and wear – plus, it’s a great way of giving branded uniforms to your staff to wear on the job.
Don’t overlook the power of a well-designed print piece. You can put your logo on anything from pens and bookmarks to coffee mugs and business cards. A well-designed, high-quality printed piece can bring in a lot of new customers.
Sponsor local events
One of the best ways to gain visibility is by sponsoring local events. Consider helping fund or promote an event related to your niche, like a community art show or a 5k race sponsored by a fitness brand. You can get huge exposure by sponsoring an event involving people who are likely to buy your product or service.
Consider offering gift cards as part of your marketing strategy. Gift cards are popular among consumers because they can be used for almost anything, and their potential profitability is limited only by consumers’ interest in purchasing them again (or not).
Take pictures of your product in action
Whether it’s a picture of your product on a desk with an important client or an employee using your software at a nearby desk, putting together images that show how your customers are using what you sell can be great for marketing. It can also show potential customers that you’re committed to providing products and services that are used in real-life settings by real people.
Pay to play
You have to pay for space and time if you want to be a part of an event, but don’t feel like you have to go it alone. Bring along other businesses that offer related products or services that may be helpful to your target audience. Before the event, devise a plan to cross-promote each other’s businesses. For example, you can promote your partner’s business on your website and social media. Or you can offer a discount for those who purchase from both of you on the same day.
Some people shy away from networking events, but it’s important to attend these gatherings if you want to build relationships with other business owners in your community. Use these gatherings as an opportunity to introduce yourself to people who may be part of your target audience or may influence them. You never know where a professional relationship may lead.
Encourage word-of-mouth marketing
This is one of the most powerful types of marketing. Encourage people in your market to spread the word about what you do and how good it is by offering discounts on products and services. If you’re in the service industry, ask for referrals for your business via social media sites like Yelp and then provide a reward for referred people.
Host a public event in your community
Catering to local customers is excellent for word of mouth, and events like block parties, 5K runs, or family-friendly gatherings are great for building brand awareness. The key is to plan an event people will want to attend and spread the word, as well as offer incentives to come. This can include offering discounts or coupons at the event and providing entertainment such as live music or live demonstrations of something you do well. You can also give attendees a chance to win prizes.
Sponsor a local club
You can find many ways to sponsor a local club. Consider supporting kids’ sporting teams or after-school programs. You can also look for opportunities to help a local organization with funds, services, or promotional items. This can help you gain visibility in your community and with potential customers.
If you’re focusing on local customers, why not advertise in print, TV, radio, billboards, and yellow pages? Local businesses have been using these formats for decades to let people know what they’re offering and how well their products or services work. Banner ads on your website and social media sites are also a great way to promote what you do and where you do it.
This article discussed the importance of building brand awareness and reinforced the notion that marketing should not be limited to social media. There are many conventional, digital-free ways to spread the word about what you do and where you do it, so take some time to put together a plan of action and combine your offline efforts with your online ones for the best results.