One of the major problems of present-day branding is the fact that the significance of offline marketing strategies often gets downplayed. Sure, making a website, composing an email list and starting to work on your SEO are all incredibly cost-effective and gives an astounding ROI with so little invested, however, can one afford to completely neglect traditional marketing techniques?
Of course not! About 41 percent of small business owners don’t believe they need a website in the first place and, wrong as they may be, not all of them are unsuccessful at what they do. So, if they have no website whatsoever, does this mean that they invest $0 in marketing or that their brands are completely unrepresented locally? Actually, what they most commonly do is apply various offline marketing strategies.
Needless to say, this too is quite inefficient. So, where does the answer lie? It’s quite simple, you try to get the best of both worlds. What you try to do is attempt to start an offline marketing strategy in order to aid your digital marketing attempts. Here are several ways for you to do so.
When it comes to offline marketing, networking is probably the first thing that comes to mind. While it is unrealistic for you to meet face-to-face with all of your customers, networking is still an incredibly efficient form of B2B engagement. Seminars, conventions and industry-related events can be used to expand your network of contact.
Still, in order to succeed at this, you need to focus on two things. First, you need to successfully identify events that attract your target demographic and second, you need to improve your people skills. The latter can be done through various courses or by independent research. Reading Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” might be a good place to start.
The rule of seven
According to the rule of seven, in order for an interested party to become a paying customer, they need to encounter your brand on at least seven different occasions (hence the name). While achieving this in a real world might be a tad harder than in the digital environment, it is definitely achievable. One of the ways to do so is by investing in premium promotion stands and similar display systems like sign holders and floor sign pods.
Another incredibly effective method of B2B engagement is the traditional business card system. In order to have this item promote your online brand all you have to do is come up with business cards that display your email and your domain name in your contacts. In fact, this is a thought that should be applied to all your promotional products. Why not have your website’s URL on a promotional t-shirt or customized umbrella. For this to work, however, you might want to come up with a logo that looks great both on the website and the promotional material you decide to print out.
Finally, while a lot of people dispute the success rate of telemarketing as a standalone method when paired with a strong online brand, it can give a surprisingly high ROI. Ask yourself one question: “Why do people dread telemarketing calls so much?” The answer is quite simple, they require a lot of time and engagement effort for your average customer. So, what if the next call your potential customer received simply pointed them towards your website or e-store, encouraging them to take the initiative on their own terms?
Needless to say, it isn’t hard to assume that a marketing strategy structured in this way might be much more effective. After all, it is a habit of a financially responsible individual to re-purpose an old strategy in order to increase the gains made from it.
At the end of the day, there are many other methods you could try out that are known to be effective, yet don’t yield the immediate response that you will be able to measure. For instance, you can try to train your employees in order to make every one of them into a brand ambassador. While it is inevitable that this will earn you some sincere word of mouth (WOM) recommendations, the ROI gained from this technique is almost impossible to track. For this reason alone, the above-listed methods should probably be your go-to offline strategies for improving an online reputation.