How to Merge Your Online and Offline Marketing Strategies
By Bob Ruffolo
As many businesses will probably tell you, traditional marketing methods are just not paying off like they used to. Merchandising, promotions, direct mail and television ads are not nearly as effective as they were 10 or 20 years ago
as more and more businesses focus on inbound and online marketing.
But does this mean that you have to give up on your offline marketing strategies? Does this mean that you should just forget about running an offline marketing strategy all together?
Your offline marketing game plan is still very much important; the challenge here is that you’ll just have to change its purpose. While each business may have a slightly different take on how they are going to use its offline marketing strategy, we like to use it to help promote a businesses online visibility and presence.
Here are some ways in which you can try to integrate both your offline and online marketing campaigns with one another:
Use Television Ads to Support Your Online Efforts
Television ads are becoming less and less effective for selling, however, online advertisements are only becoming increasingly profitable. So here’s a solution: use your television advertisements to bring people online!
Let’s say you have a website that’s all about choosing the dog with the best trick. You can show a panel of five dogs, but then show one dog’s trick on the television. Add some sort of teaser or enticement at the end of the commercial and invite people to go online and vote for their favourite dog trick out of the five, and/or to preview the other dogs’ reactions to that one specific dog being chosen for the commercial.
To do this, be sure to do the following:
- Create a Twitter #hashtag so that people can talk about it online, and post that at the end of the TV commercial.
- Create a Facebook page dedicated to the advertisement and your company, and post this also at the end of the TV commercial.
- Include a link to the website.
- Think about creating blog articles for whatever content it is that you’re using.
Offline only gives people a short snippet of whatever you’re trying to sell; same with radio ads. However, once you get people online, if you have the resources available to promote and talk about your product, people will check it out and use it to help make a purchasing decision.
Next time you’re sitting down for a while in front of the TV, don’t fast forward through the commercials with your DVR. Instead, take the time to actually watch the commercials and try to figure out what they want from you. Is there a clear call-to-action? Do you know what they want from you, and where you’re supposed to go if you want whatever it is they’re offering?
When you really want to promote and sell something, make sure that you have a clear and effective call-to-action to an online source, like a landing page, your blog, or a social media site. You want your offline advertisement to entice them and leave them wanting more; your online marketing effort should allow them to then easily complete the task and fulfill the call to action.
For more on lead generation, be sure to check out our FREE eBook on "How to Generate Leads from Your Website."
Use Online Marketing to Promote Offline Events
Going to a trade show? Then by all means use your blog and social media sites to promote it. Offline methods, like sending out pamphlets or putting ads in the paper, are a good idea, but if people want more information, you should be leading them back to a catchy and informative blog post or social media site.
The whole idea is to offer people a whole lot more value with your online content, which is what most leads and customers expect from businesses now anyway. And of course, when using offline methods, add your Twitter handle, add a hashtag, include a Facebook page and give them a link to your blog or website for more information on each hand out or pamphlet.
Offline marketing still has a lot of value, but the purpose of it is evolving. People are going online now to get more information about your products or services, so if you really want to get the most out of your offline marketing efforts, make your offline marketing efforts lead back to your online marketing campaign.
To accomplish this, ensure you do the following:
- Use television ads to support your online marketing efforts.
- Create effective calls-to-action.
- Use online marketing to promote offline events.
Wondering where to begin?