Whether you run a physical store or you have a strictly online business, you need to integrate online and offline marketing methods. Modern printing technology makes it easy to print scannable URLs on all branded items while you can use your social media channels to inform your online community about special events at your physical location. It is also possible to start a marketing campaign offline in a printed brochure and then complete it with an irresistible offer online. Here are some proven methods of connecting your online and offline efforts to engage a larger audience and achieve a higher conversion rate.
1. Give offline promotional items to social media fans
If you've built up a fan base on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn, you can reward them with a wide range of printed items. Your fans will love you for it. Use the opportunity offered by advanced digital printing to make personalized branded items for your audience. Print your brand name, URL and social media links on as many items as you can. This includes things like shirts, wristbands, writing pens, water bottles and bags. Then create a contest or direct your fans to your opt-in page and offer these items as a reward for giving you their name and email address.
2. Entice your offline audience with digital goodies
Brochures and other forms of print advertising still offer a major benefit while marketing any type of product or service. But you can complement this with an information product that resonates with your offline audience. Then provide a link to it in your print ad and company brochure. Examples of digital goodies you can offer your audience include a downloadable podcast, video, e-book or special report. Don't just tell your audience to visit and pick up the free gift, provide a list of benefits to entice them.
Create an impression of scarcity by telling them the gift will be giving to the first X number of visitors or to those who visit by a particular date. This will make them act promptly and provide you with their contact details for email marketing and follow up. If you are marketing to end users, you can offer a special discount coupon, e-book or downloadable audio or video recording. For B2B clients, you can provide a case study. Let your prospects see how your service and products have helped your clients to succeed with their businesses.
3. Create content for your marketing online with your users' photos
Include an invitation for your audience to share selfies in your direct mail campaign. These selfies show that so many people love and recommend your brand. They will also boost your brand's image online. This works perfectly well in an industry where the clients must send back printed documents in envelopes. A prominent example is what happens in the higher education industry. In this case, the institution can ask the students to post their selfies with a short comment on your fan page as they submit their documents. This strategy also works when you need to market an event. You can ask attendees to post their photo with a hashtag that contains the name of the event.
4. Create feedback channels for clients online
When you have multiple marketing channels offline and online, you need to track their performance at a relatively low cost. This will help you to know those that are producing conversions and high return on investment. The best way to do this is through online tracking tools that have analytics. Instead of battling with an offline monitoring system, ask your prospects to participate in events or activities online. You can ask them to take part in contests, surveys or promotional campaigns that you have set up online. For example, to track an ad in a print magazine or newspaper, you can tell everyone that reads it to respond by visiting your website URL or Facebook page. Then state that there's a reward for the first 50 people who respond before a set date.
5. Post all offline events online
When you set up a marketing event, a roadshow or you are giving back to your community, make sure you put the information on all your online marketing platforms. You should provide information about each event before, during and after it takes place.
- Before the event: Give all details about the date, time, venue and arrangement for accommodation for people traveling in from outside the city. Let all your fans on social media help you to promote the event to their friends online and offline.
- During the event: Provide some live updates via Twitter, upload lots of photos and some short videos for your audience to watch and post comments.
- After the event: Post the key highlights of the event. Provide a well-arranged photo gallery and provide the video recordings of the key speakers at the event.
This will enable you to create more trust and promote your products and services to a wider audience.
6. Allow your social media audience to help you make some offline marketing decisions
When you have hundreds or thousands of fans on social media, you have access to a powerful platform for testing and assessing marketing ideas. Instead of wasting time sending out print materials that will perform poorly, you can get a first-hand assessment from your social media fans. How? Ask them for their opinion.
For example, when you are trying to choose the most attractive graphic to use for your next print marketing campaign, you can ask your audience to help you choose. Simply post all the options you have in mind online and ask them to vote for the best image. You can also tell them to tell you why they like one image more than another. The results will astound you. To get fast responses, you can offer a little reward to those who participate. You will be amazed at the number of useful marketing ideas that can come out of this.
7. Leverage the results from your social media marketing for offline campaigns
When you've succeeded with your audience online, don't stop there. Use your online engagement to improve the success of your print marketing campaign. For example, you may have noticed that your fans love certain quotes, articles or images on your social media platforms. Most likely, if it is the same demographic you are targeting offline, your offline audience will love to read and see these articles and images. So you can print them and use them to market your brand and products to your offline audience. This will also create a consistent brand experience if they happen to see your printed marketing materials later on.
8. Use UTM codes for tracking your ads
For each ad, you publish, put in a UTM code that will allow you to know how many people are responding to it. UTM means urchin tracking module. It is a code snippet that you add to your landing page URL. This code allows apps like Google Analytics to provide reports containing the details about the campaign. You will be able to track the type of device used to access the URL, the source of the website request, the date and time the prospect visited your website and the name of the marketing campaign. To get higher conversion rates, you need to add a strong call-to-action on your print material. Then place a well-designed lead capture form on your landing page to capture the email address and name of all the visitors to the page.
9. Combine personalized URLs and QR codes
Another way to monitor your offline marketing campaign is to print QR codes on your branded materials. When a prospect scans the code with a mobile device, it will display a URL to your landing page. After clicking on the URL, the browser on the mobile device will open a page with a personalized URL. This method allows your website to capture vital information about the location of your prospect and the type of device used to access your website. This valuable details will enable you to know more about your target demographic and the kind of marketing information that resonates with them. Today it is possible to add these QR codes to any type of printed medium including t-shirts, caps, flyers, magazines, bumper stickers and window displays.
10. Promote special in-store deals on social media and your website
Many of the people who will see your website online or go to your Facebook page are also living in your city. In fact, with good local SEO practices, you can attract a ton of website visitors who are interested in visiting your physical store. That's why you should make use of your online marketing platforms to showcase the special events and promotions taking place at your physical location. Use your blog posts, social media updates, and online press releases to tell your online audience that you have something they would love to see at your store.
11. Use pen and paper to pick up new email subscriptions
Ask volunteers, customers and window shoppers to give you their email address. It will only cost you a pen and paper and some ink or toner. You can type up a simple tutorial or fact sheet that will be of interest to your new customers. At the base of the form add a small section where the prospects can provide their name, email address and any other useful information. Anyone that is interested can take 3 minutes to fill in the information and take the useful information away. Thereafter, you can spend a few minutes to type the prospects details using your mobile device or laptop. Let them know that providing their email address will allow them to be the first to know about special offers, new arrivals and any other valuable information that will allow them to save money.
Using both online and offline marketing channels to promote your business is not difficult at all. The strategies, ideas, and tips offered here will help you to blend your offline, print and digital marketing for optimum results. Take some time to discuss these ideas with other members of your sales and marketing team. As you plan to execute the next marketing or ad campaign, you should apply them to increase your brand awareness, attract hundreds of new leads and raise your conversion rate. Combining both online and offline marketing methods is one of the best ways to get a higher return on your marketing investment.
Tanya is a business writer, marketing expert, freelancer and a mother of two youngsters. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org