4 Offline Marketing Ideas for Your Fledgeling Business
If you start a business today, you will notice that traditional marketing methods have mostly given way to the power of digital marketing.
Right, going online may be faster and more accessible, and often less costly too, but that’s not to say that offline marketing is obsolete.
Depending on the target market you are trying to reach with your marketing campaign, you could miss out on significant business opportunities by not tapping into old-school methods of business promotion.
Here are four offline marketing ideas that you can use quickly and affordably to promote your start-up or fledgeling business.
For a fast introduction to you and your business, business cards can do it all.
They’re quick to design, cheap to print and easy to share. Put your contact information (including any social media handles) onto the credit card sized card, add your branding and hey presto – instant professional look!
Keep a stash of cards with you when you go out to meetings and networking events so that you can share your details with any useful contacts or potential clients you come across.
And if you’re worried about your cards ending up in the bin, think of ways to make your business card stand out from the crowd.
Why not go for a portrait format, or folded design?
Recycled paper or soft-touch lamination?
Stand-out colours and unusual branding?
“With a range of cardstock, papers, formats and finishes to choose from, your business card will warrant a second, third and fourth look long after it’s made its way into the hands of your contact,”
Make your content stand out by incorporating useful information that your target market will want to keep.
How about a coupon or code on the back of the card that can be redeemed online?
A hotline telephone number for free initial advice?
A list of free tips or benefits of your product/service?
Flyers and leaflets
Another almost forgotten but incredibly useful offline marketing ideas are strategically distributed flyers and leaflets keep your business front of mind in the local market.
If you have Microsoft Publisher or similar graphic design software on your PC, a bit of an eye for design and a decent printer, you might be able to produce your flyers from home.
Alternatively, there are many online printers available who can do a fast, professional and cost-effective job for you.
Once you have a batch of flyers or leaflets, put them up in high-visibility locations such as public noticeboards, libraries and business centres etc., and ask local businesses to keep a stash on the counter for their customers to take.
You can also distribute them via local letterbox delivery or even post them out to your mailing list.
The trick to getting the right response to a flyer or leaflet is to make it visually memorable and, crucially, to give people a reason why people should get in touch with you.
Your target customers are more likely to take notice of your flyer if it includes a perk such as a half-price offer, a special discount for the elderly, a free initial consultation or similar marketing strategy to increase enquiries.
PR and media pitches
Another vastly underrated marketing trick is to use the local or regional press to spread the word about your business.
While there are many advertising opportunities in print media, they can be expensive.
A more cost-effective way to approach local newspapers and magazines is via the editorial route, which is often free and can offer great exposure for your fledgeling business.
A press release starts with having something newsworthy to share.
Whether it’s a new business idea, celebrating a milestone achievement or receiving an award, the local press will be looking for relevant content to fill their editorial pages with, and your story may be just the ticket.
Make sure you write your press release in such a way that it focuses on news and why the public would be interested in reading about it.
It’s not supposed to be an advertorial that overtly promotes your business.
Some press releases may lead to an interview, or your ‘expert view’ being quoted, or your company is cited as a case study – it all counts as excellent business promotion for you.
If copywriting is one of your skills, you can use this to your business’ advantage.
Having your articles appear in print regularly will boost your credibility and, who knows, you may even get paid.
Target your content to the publications your customers are likely to read – this could be the local press, general magazines or specialist/trade publications.
Focus your content on solving a problem that your customers may have.
Are you an interior designer and could give tips on how to refresh home decor on a budget?
If you work in the food business, how about advising on healthy lunchbox choices, imaginative BBQ recipes or the latest cocktail trends?
If possible, tie your media pitch into current events or the time of year.
If you’re a garden designer, could you provide a free, monthly gardening column to their readers?
Or annual tax tips from a professional accountant?
Or regular exercise advice from a personal trainer?
You get the idea.
Work with the editors to ensure that your article topics are a good fit for the publication, and follow instructions and recommendations for style and tone of voice.
What other offline marketing ideas would you recommend in today’s business world?