Thanks to the internet, getting the word out about your business is faster and easier than ever. With the push of a button, you could potentially reach hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of consumers.
Exclusively promoting your business online might sound like a great deal. But, neglecting offline marketing could cost you.
Not everyone in your target audience is online. And, some people who are online may skim past your online marketing efforts. Consider offline marketing in conjunction with digital promotion.
How To Promote Your Business Offline
I’ve talked about ways you can spice up your marketing strategy in the past. Now, I’m going to focus on ways to integrate offline promotional efforts into your strategy.
Offline promotion goes beyond product packaging, driving a vehicle with your business logo on it, and giving away branded merchandise.
If you’re looking for new ways to promote your small business offline, give the following a spin.
1. Join Your Local Chamber Of Commerce
A chamber of commerce gives business owners the opportunity to network, share ideas, promote their companies, and establish credibility. There are local, state, and national chambers of commerce you can opt to join.
Although you must register and pay dues, joining your local chamber of commerce can be a great way to promote your business offline.
You can talk with other chamber members about your company, opening the door to partnerships. In turn, a fellow member might recommend your business to its employees and customers.
Many chambers of commerce offer free promotion and marketing resources, both in print and online. Your chamber may print information about your business in their directories, newsletters, and magazines.
Chamber of commerce benefits can extend to the online sphere, too.
Your chamber might link to your business from their website, boosting recognition (and search engine optimization, too). And if your chamber of commerce is active on social media, they might give your small business a shoutout.
2. Attend Trade Shows
Trade shows present opportunities to promote your business in front of a large, yet focused, audience. When you participate in trade shows, you can gain brand exposure, acquire new leads, and position your company for partnerships.
You can attend local trade shows or take a business trip out of state. Before you attend, make sure you know your ideal customer profile (ICP). Sign up for trade shows that fit your ICP. Otherwise, you’ll be promoting your company to the wrong audience.
If you want to participate in trade shows, prepare beforehand. Although you can attend trade shows and network in the crowd, I’d recommend reserving a booth. That way, you can get your logo and name out there on a larger scale.
When you sign up for a trade show booth, create an eye-catching display. Some things you need include business cards, marketing materials, table covers, signage, lights, and branded clothing.
Consider factors like electricity, booth location, internet access, and booth size when signing up for a trade show.
Here’s another tip: simplicity is key. When my payroll and accounting software company, Patriot Software, attends trade shows, we create easy-to-read signs. Don’t try to cram too much information onto your signs.
3. Send Out Direct Mail
Consumers open somewhere between 80% and 90% of direct mail. For those of you who track your email marketing campaign metrics, an 80% open rate is huge. On average, consumers only open 20-30% of emails.
Promoting your business through snail mail can do more than encourage people to hear what you have to say—it can also motivate them to take action. Six percent more consumers said they’d take action after receiving direct mail than email.
Why is direct mail still effective when everything is online? Beats me. But if I had to make an educated guess, I’d say it’s due to a variety of reasons, such as:
- Recipients don’t need to worry about exposing their computers to viruses when opening mail
- Direct mail doesn’t go into spam folders
- Direct mail might stay on a consumer’s radar (e.g., on their refrigerator)
- Recipients may receive significantly less direct mail than emails
- Some recipients prefer physical mail over digital mail (similar to the book vs. e-book debate)
When you send direct mail, don’t neglect your business’s digital presence. Promote your business’s social media pages and company website on your physical mail materials.
So, what kind of things should you send in the mail? You could send coupons, announce new products or services, welcome people to the neighborhood, or mail greeting or thank-you cards.
4. Create And Distribute Business Cards
Twenty-seven million business cards print daily. Even in the digital age, business owners and employees alike recognize the significance of having business cards.
If you haven’t already, consider creating business cards. Business cards can be great tools for promoting your business. Not to mention, they’re compact, making them easy to carry around and distribute.
Optimize your business card by including sufficient personal and business information. Add your name and your business’s name, phone number, and logo. And, you can integrate your business’s digital outlets by including your website, email address, and social media sites.