How to use offline marketing strategies to grow your online business
Growing your online business doesn’t mean doubling down on online marketing and excluding everything else. In fact, you’ll need to leverage offline marketing techniques and strategies to scale your business successfully for years to come.
How? There are many smart offline marketing strategies you can use to grow your online business starting today.
8 offline marketing strategies
Let’s break down those offline marketing strategies one by one.
Create promotional products
Firstly, you can create promotional products depending on your industry or niche. For example, say that you design T-shirts or other clothing, then sell them to your customers worldwide. It’s not a bad idea to create promotional products themed around holidays, special sales, or important events.
Something as simple as sticking your company logo at the bottom or corner of shirt graphics can do a lot to spread the word about your brand. Whenever someone wears your T-shirt, they’re also passively advertising for you.
Remember that branding your products in a promotional way can backfire if you aren’t careful. Any promotional materials need to be tastefully implemented into your products to prevent people from turning away from your brand.
Side note: consider putting your branding on invoice templates and other official documents you send out to customers. If someone other than your customer spies an invoice, they may ask where it came from and be directed to your website as a result. Brand everything that you can for easy offline marketing.
Host and attend seminars
You can also host or attend seminars. Depending on your online business’s industry, there may be one or several seminars in your area each year. Seminars are popular for industries like manufacturing, software development, customer service, product design, etc.
Attending these seminars means you have the opportunity to advertise your brand to others in your industry or, potentially, people likely to buy from your brand if you own a B2B business. If you host a seminar, you can decide who comes, send out invitations, and make sure promotional materials for your brand are everywhere in the event space.
Attend networking events
Similarly, attend important networking events for others in your industry. For example, if you own a digital marketing agency, going to a marketing networking event will help you connect with business owners who may need your services.
On top of that, many of the best networking events include tutorials, strategy panels, and other useful meetings you can attend to grow your skills and learn new tricks for offline promotion. Networking events are part and parcel of big businesses, but they are especially important for new startups who may not have the connections of more established enterprises.
Print business cards
There’s a reason people still use business cards in this day and age despite lots of business being online: marketing. When you hand someone a business card, you make your brand stick out more in their mind and memory. This is doubly true if your business card is well-designed and comes with a great graphic/logo.
Business cards can be:
- Handed out to people in person, including people you meet at restaurants or coffee shops
- Included in packages you send your customers
- Placed on tables or desks where appropriate
Business cards are great means of offline promotion for your online business. However, as with creating promotional products, make sure not to overdo it. Order a few hundred business cards to start and see how often you use them before ordering more.
Posters and flyers
Instead of business cards, you can take advantage of the more traditional offline marketing techniques and create posters and flyers.
Once created, posters and flyers can be put up in coffee shops, on bulletin boards, and even on telephone poles depending on what your business creates or sells. It may also be wise to put up posters and flyers for specific sales or deals running on your web store for a limited time only.
Posters and flyers need to be well-designed and attractive to the eye. They should include the details of your business, like its brick-and-mortar address (if you have a retail store) and its website address. Adding your contact information may also be a good idea.
If you don’t have much of an artistic hand, you can use online poster templates to create beautiful marketing flyers for your brand.
Seasonal gift cards
Speaking of limited time, making and giving out seasonal gift cards to your past and current customers is a great idea. You can order these physical gift cards from card manufacturers, then hand them out by the dozen.
They don’t have to be for much of a discount – for example, maybe you just offer $5 off a seasonal or holiday purchase to people who use the gift cards. The important thing is that these cards cement your brand in the mind of consumers and give new visitors a reason to check out your online store.
Seasonal gift cards are phenomenal ways to earn consumer goodwill and advertise promotional or seasonal sales.
Just like you should attend seminars or networking events, you should attend trade shows (provided your business is in an industry with trade shows, that is).
- Offer networking opportunities between you and others in your industry
- Let you showcase the products you make to consumers in person
- Allow you to receive feedback from people who see your products. This may allow you to further refine your product development or marketing processes in the long term.
Trade shows are great for small business owners, especially those who do most of their business online or don’t have retail storefronts. If that’s the case for you, a trade show could be your only opportunity to sell to people face-to-face.
Publish a book
Last but not least, consider publishing a book! You can publish a book both in print and online (ideally). The sales don’t really matter. By publishing a book, you can increase brand awareness and potentially convince your target audience that you know your business’s topics in detail.
You can publish a book about:
- Your industry
- Your business startup journey
- Tips about running a business in your industry
- Anything else that’s relevant to your niche
Once published, your book can be advertised on your social media page, through flyers you post on telephone poles, and elsewhere. Publishing any book is a major boon to your business “street cred” and may even lead people to your online store if they like what’s contained on its pages!
There you have it; a handful of useful offline marketing strategies you can try to promote your online business ASAP. For the best results, use all of these marketing strategies in tandem with each other. The more marketing channels you leverage, the more ways people have to become aware of your brand and visit your store to make a purchase. Good luck!
Those thanks go a long way. Download our guide to writing “thank you” emails to your students or customers here.