Online marketing success has become extremely crucial. There’s no denying that. Along with a strong and inquisitive social media presence, your brand or product needs to have a strong and loyal community. There should constantly be a buzz going on around it. Contests, Hashtags, Trends, Ecommerce sales, et al … let me assume you’ve got it all covered. For a moment, let me even assume you are doing content creation and marketing right. Your blog has enough traffic, your page has plenty of likes, and you have a mine of followers who swear by your online presence. But do you want to stop at that? How about a little extra push?
In a topic rarely thought of as fruitful, I will discuss today how to use some offline marketing tactics to drive online success. These ideas would especially come handy to small and medium businesses who do not always have a huge advertising budget or a global brand identity to piggybank on.
Good ol’ Networking
Reach out to your friend from school, reach out to that banker next-door, reach out to a bunch of kids in your neighborhood – basically reach out to everyone and anyone who is ready to listen to you. Talk about your business, its social media presence, what plans you have in store for it, etc. Ask them to connect with you online. If you have a blog, ask people to share it. Coax them into spreading the word on it. That is what close ones are for.
A more professional and business-like approach of doing this is attending webinars, seminars, conferences, and local networking events if they concern your domain. Meet like minded people. LinkedIn is a great place to connect with fellow professionals.
Merchandise and Memorabilia
Holding an online contest? Send out a couple of T-shirts as goodies. Have your online presence printed on it. Encourage employees to wear company T-shirts as frequently as possible. Helps you establish as a brand.
Holiday gifts to business associates with your online presence imprinted on them would surprisingly do you a world of good.
Last, but not the least, flyers and pamphlets which are to be used for offline marketing can also double up as online traffic driving tools. A quick URL or Twitter handle name on them can add a huge boost in online traffic, considering the number of exclusively offline people that are going to be reached through these means.
Sponsor local events such as trade association meetings, professional seminars, etc. Your brand visibility goes up manifold during such events. Having your handles and URLs plastered everywhere during such events will show a definite surge in online traffic.
In addition to this, tie-ups with local manufacturers and retailers to create and sell everyday products such as mousepads, keychains, etc. with your brand’s social handles on them, create an aura around your brand that is trendy and hip. This really is a larger extension of the merchandise tactic to funnel online traffic. Not keeping the branding limited to physical products, give abstract and visual merchandising a try too.
A valid case study could be Nestle’s tie-up with Google to name its next Android OS Kitkat. The tie-up was not necessarily aimed at driving Kitkat’s sales up. It just worked as a branding tactic for Google as well as Nestle. Since the two brands belong to diametrically opposite domains, they had many fans crossing over to the other side to connect with the other brand, helping them grow and strengthen their online communities respectively. Basically, Kitkat’s social media accounts gained a sizable chunk of Google fans and Google’s social accounts gained a sizable chunk of Kitkat fans. Or in marketing parlance, win-win!
Driving offline customers towards online channels is a great idea for two reasons; i.) There are many who do not use the Internet as widely as another section. Thus, the potential to reach out to them and convert them as fresh fans online is immense. ii.) Customers who witness your brand’s presence online as well as offline at the same time, tend to create a positive vibe about your brand in their minds.