Online and Offline Marketing;
Everything You Need to Know
As an entrepreneur, whether working online or offline, promoting your business should be an important part of your job. But, what is the way to go? And, in this digital area, should you still be using offline marketing? Or should all focus be on online marketing? We say, why not combine the two. Every day, more professionals discover the benefits of combining online and offline marketing. Resulting in taking advantage of all the possibilities and capturing the maximum number of customers for a product or service or visitors to a website – drastically increasing our chances of success.
In this article we will share everything you need to know about online and offline marketing. We will give you tips how to take advantage of what each of them offer us and how you can use it for your (small) business. And yes, also for a website or blog. Just keep in mind that both have the same objective: to make our business known and increase the number of visitors to a website or blog or on the other hand increase the sales of a product or brand.
Offline marketing: physical products
Let’s go step by step and first define what offline marketing is. It can be described as the use of traditional tools to make oneself known and relate face to face. You can think about printed materials like flyers, brochures and even promotional products. Later on in this article we will explain a bit more about some of these offline marketing tools. An online printing services that can help you get different tools ready. These products are especially useful for small business that can’t afford or prefer not to invest in large marketing campaigns (online).
Digital is new and exciting and it seems that everyone is online 24/7. But of course this is not the case. Consumers live in the offline world and therefore do not only come into contact with online channels. We must not forget that traditional methods still offer many advantages, this include tools that have been used for many years.
The advantages of offline marketing
If we talk about the advantages of offline marketing we can highlight several things. On one side there are advantages to face to face communication, on the other hand you have the advantage of ordering the tools online. When speaking about the ordering of offline marketing tools, first thing that comes to mind is that offline tools normally have a low cost. Furthermore they are easy to personalize and can be ordered online without leaving a workplace and at the moment that is most convenient for you.
While using the offline materials, you have contact with people, are able to look them in the face and to shake hands, smiling and clearing their doubts on the spot. It is one of the most credible ways this time to attract customers. The good thing about doing offline marketing is that, if we bring our products with us, people will be able to see it, touch it and, above all, understand it better. This is something that we cannot achieve with online marketing. If you are promoting for example a new travel gadget, you can show it to people who can try it and directly see the advantage of the product. Also, as a business we can see the effect the product has on people, simply by looking him in the face if he is interested or not.
Offline marketing tools like flyers
There are different offline marketing tools that can be really effective for small businesses and even websites or blogs to promote their name. Let’s take a closer look at some powerful tools you can use. Flyers and leaflets for example are perfect to reach a large group of people. They are not only useful to communicate an event like a store opening or a party, also if you have a sale on your website or would like to use a catching tool to communicate a message, flyers are a good choice. You can hand them out in person at meetings where your target group comes or have them delivered door-to-door in a specific region.
Business cards are also still an effective tool. You can use them to give your contact details to people you meet in person and can be of interest to your business, whether as a potential buyer or visitor for your website, or for a collaboration. Don’t forget to make an attractive design and clearly mention all your contact details. These offline tools, and more, are easy to personalize at an online printer. And we are not only talking about using your own design, you can also choose all the options of the finishes of the product; size, paper quality, paper finish and quantity are just some examples of the chooses you can decide on. With a relatively low investment you can reach a wide group of people or target your ideal client.
Online marketing in digital times
As we have done before with offline marketing, let’s first define what online marketing is in order to understand it better. Digital marketing embraces all the advertising strategies that are carried out on the Internet. This can be for example a website, accounts on social networks, participate on forums, and write a blog. In these digital times online marketing is used more and more, next to or instead of the more traditional methods. The advantage of online marketing is that all types of companies can access them regardless of their size.
And if you are a blogger, your business is already online. All we need is an internet connection and you can start working on online marketing. As for the possibility to have direct communication with (potential) clients, an email can work perfect. A big plus of using online marketing to promote your business or website is that we can say goodbye to selling only in our local region or getting visitors from close by. Thanks to working online we have the option of being able to send our message through the entire world. You can easily access the statistics so you will get results in much less time, improving decision making. And of course, online lets us be ‘open’ 24 hours a day, something that with in a physical business cannot be achieved.
Are there downsides to online and offline marketing?
It can seem that online and offline marketing both only have advantages, but of course this is not the case, like nothing is flawless. Online marketing can be a short-lived tool. It exists online and when your advertising campaign for example is over, it is normally nowhere to be found again. Also, if someone misses an announcement, they will probably not see it again. There are also still a group of people who don’t like all things digital and prefer to have something physical in their hands.
Just as online marketing, offline marketing also has its downsides. You can hand out your tools to a lot of people, but you have no guarantees they will see your company name. Flyers can be thrown directly in the trash for example. And if you have an online business, it can be difficult to get people to make the move from an offline tool to an online medium. So it’s important to use the strength of both tools and see how they can reinforce each other.
How to combine offline and online marketing
So the question is ´Can we combine these two marketing techniques?` Although some people find it somewhat confusing, it can certainly be done. Blended marketing is the answer. This method lets you use the best points of each channel to retain the maximum number of customers or visitors to a website and drastically increase the chances of growth and success of the organization.
The easiest way of blended marketing is using the traditional media to communicate the online tools a business is using. Yes, it seems very simple and easy to do, but we must take into account the design process. Let´s not forget that for offline tools to be seen and remembered, they have to be eye-catching. The design has to make the user wants to find out more about a certain product or service to go online and find it out. In this example the offline marketing can be seen as a lead for the online channel. Another example of combining online and offline marketing is to use online tools such as Google Adwords and Facebook to find out more about the type of customers or visitors of the website. With this information offline promotions can be adapted to certain types of groups, for example discounts that are communicated offline and are only valid for a specific target group.
In conclusion, no matter what type of business you run, online and offline marketing should both be used and combined to obtain the best results for your company.
Do you have experience combining online and offline? We would love to hear your experience in the comments.