By Pratik Dholakiya

In today’s age of digital marketing, offline marketing activities may seem outdated and old fashioned. But despite them being around for decades offline marketing activities like billboards and flyers still bring in great ROI.

Startups cannot afford to ignore any revenue generating channel let alone ones that have been tried and tested and found out to be true workhorses for all marketers.

Offline marketing channels include everything that helps get the word out about your product and business. Visiting cards, brochures, office stationery and even the branding methods you use in trade fairs all can be counted as effective means of offline marketing.

The human element is very high in offline marketing channels so you need to make sure that your campaign has a human face and speaks to your target market’s aspirations, needs and happiness.

Here are a few ways in which you can carry out offline marketing initiatives effectively.

1. Take Print Marketing Seriously

Print marketing can make or mar your offline marketing initiatives.

Flyers, pamphlets, brochures, coupons, catalogs and label stickers all serve as printed marketing material.

Ensure that you get them printed on quality paper and use beautiful and appropriate color schemes. The first thing that your print marketing needs to achieve is interest and curiosity, and both need to be accomplished by the appearance of the piece of paper that you have put in your potential customer’s hands.

Great designing tactics include ensuring users derive some value out of the marketing material as well. Informative infographics, discount codes, latest product information, match schedules of important sporting events, menus or location-specific useful info prevent users from trashing promotional material.

Investing time, planning and research in creating effective print marketing material will help you get maximum returns and build brand identity while not blowing up your marketing budget.

2. Maximize Outdoor Promotions

Outdoor promotions give you an opportunity to put yourself in front of your customers’ eyes and get noticed.

Where outdoor promotions are concerned, you need to get a lot of things right. Humor, beauty, insight and originality of your promotional material will determine how well it attains the ends it set out achieving.

You can make use of a variety of outdoor advertising methods. Transport network including buses, trams, trains, taxis and the subway/tube all offer opportunities for advertising. Hoardings at airports, railway and bus stations have a captive audience who may even enjoy them as a welcome distraction. If your target market includes professionals and daily commuters, then advertising on public transport is ideal.

The most important factor that needs to be taken into consideration when designing outdoor ads is the length of time the audience will be viewing it. A roadside billboard needs to convey its message in a matter of few seconds to speeding motorists. Other than a powerful image and a meaningful caption billboards find it difficult to accommodate more. Successful campaigns manage to bring out the personality of the brand in full force despite the limitations billboard advertising presents.

Advertisements in public spaces like railway stations, shopping malls and airports are studied for longer. You can add in contact and location information, and also promote offers and other special events. Posters in shopping malls encourage an audience already in a shopping mode to consider a visit to your store.

Exhaustive knowledge and awareness about your target market are essential to drive successful outdoor campaigns.

3. Newsletters Always Do Their Job

Newsletters have been relied upon by a large number of small businesses and startups to drive market growth and performance. If you send informative, interesting, original and useful information at regular intervals to a set of users who really want it, then you have a good marketing strategy in place.

Giving away useful information is the way to win over customer loyalty, and this holds true in digital marketing as well. When subscribers appreciate and enjoy your newsletters, you have laid the foundations for building on the relationship.

If you are in event planning business, your newsletters can have helpful info on party planning tips, kids party games and cooking tips, or you can dole out shopping tips for theme-related party décor items. A subscriber who loves your newsletters will not be against doing business with you because you already enjoy a positive brand image.

Evolve and implement a great content strategy that allows you to meet and exceed your subscriber’s expectations each time.

4. Be a Part of Trade Shows and Networking Events

Offline marketing initiatives pay back handsomely if you do it in the right manner. Networking is very important to growing a startup. You need to go out and get to know others in your niche and related businesses. Also, keep in mind that you are the face of your startup and all initial startup marketing activities involve the entrepreneur speaking about himself and his dream (his business).

Attend networking events, conferences and trade shows. Never give up an opportunity to be a part of industry events and talks. Contribute actively to seminars and debates, and ensure that you get conversations flowing. These are valuable opportunities to get noticed by people that matter.

Also, networking events are not solely for meeting B2C or B2B customers. Though getting the word out about your product or service is the main aim, there is no telling where you may run into a potential investor who can fast track your startup’s growth.

Be in the thick of things and always make it a point to have an interesting story to tell. Though easier said than done, with continued practice, putting yourself out there will not be difficult.

Do Not Forget About Your Online Presence

Offline marketing activities need to be supported by online outreach efforts. A fast-loading, slick, informative and attractive website is essential to build and maintain online footfall.

WordPress sites are easy to set up and has umpteen customization options that even an amateur will be able to understand. Choose your WordPress hosting provider carefully to ensure quick loading and best user experience.

Conclusion

Offline marketing activities are highly important for new startups that are trying to establish their presence. Combining them with smart digital marketing tactics will help you build brand image and identity. Also, the results obtained from sustained, quality and sincere brand building initiatives continue to generate returns and bring in revenue for a long time to come.

Author information

Pratik DholakiyaPratik DholakiyaPratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder and VP of Marketing of E2M, a digital marketing agency and MoveoApps, a mobile apps development company. Pratik has contributed on sites like SEW, SEJ, KISSmetrics, Entrepreneur and FastCompany to name a few. He’s passionate about fitness, entrepreneurship, startups, and all things digital marketing. Hit him up on Twitter @DholakiyaPratik for a quick chat on any of these topics.LinkedIn

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