Offline and online marketing strategies are complementary tools to help local small businesses reach a larger audience and generate more leads and sales. Offline marketing strategies such as print advertising, direct mail, and tradeshow participation can be complemented with online marketing strategies such as website design and development, search engine optimization, and social media marketing.
By combining these two types of marketing, local small businesses can achieve a better return on investment for their marketing efforts. Of course, you don’t have to use every strategy available; you should choose the method that will work best for your business.
Traditional: Print Advertising
Most small businesses can’t afford to run full-page ads in local papers and magazines. However, you can still get a lot out of print advertising by designing smaller, targeted advertisements and placing them strategically. Think about the demographics of your target customer and find local magazines, newspapers, and newsletters that your customers will read.
For example, if you’re an accountant, then advertising in a local business journal is a great idea. You can also use print advertising to promote special deals and discounts; for instance, try running one-day specials during slow news days.
Traditional: Direct Mail
Before designing a great direct mail campaign, you need to know your customer. Think about your prospect’s last purchase and target previous customers with similar buying habits. You should also make sure that you’re targeting people in the right geographic area; remember to include ZIP codes when designing mailing lists for this reason.
Targeting is also essential when choosing the right demographic for your direct mail campaign. For example, it doesn’t make sense to send a catalog with women’s clothing to retired men. You can also use postcards and letters with teaser copies about new products and special offers to encourage customers to visit your website or call you directly.
When attending tradeshows, you’ll have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with potential customers and hand out marketing materials that will help them remember your company. You could give away promotional pens, notepads, or t-shirts that include your logo and website address. Don’t forget brochures because they’re an excellent way to provide helpful information about your business and services.
For instance, if you offer metal roofing services for residential properties, you could create a brochure with information about the benefits of this kind of roofing material and include pictures. Then you can hand it out to prospective customers at tradeshows or send it to your mailing list.
Digital: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
There are a variety of ways that you can optimize your website for search engines, and the first step is to make sure your site includes relevant keywords in the title tag and meta description. This will help your page rank higher when people search for those terms; plus, it will be easier for customers to find your site when they search for your products and services.
Of course, this is just one part of on-page optimization, and you should also make sure that your site loads quickly on all devices. Another aspect of SEO is off-page optimization, which means building links to your site with other websites.
Digital: Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Online social networks are another great way to interact with your customers and develop brand awareness. Plus, you can use these sites to provide updates that encourage people to come back to your website or visit you in person. For instance, if you’re running a special promotion, let your customers know about it through social media.
SMM works well with other marketing strategies because you can use materials you create for print, tradeshows, or direct mail campaigns on social media. This increases your chances of being seen by a larger audience since you’re using multiple channels to promote your business.
Digital: Website Design and Development
Once people find your business online, you need to ensure that they have a positive experience when they continue browsing your website. You should always use high-quality images in blog posts, articles, and other content because visuals are more appealing to online readers. Plus, you should consider the layout of your site and make sure that it’s mobile-friendly.
By doing so, you’ll make sure that your customers can navigate your site with ease. Once you’ve gotten the basics down, you should also focus on interactivity because you should answer your customers’ questions or respond to the feedback they submit. You could even go one step further and allow people to leave reviews of your company or products on your website.
The Bottom Line
Small businesses need a comprehensive marketing plan to help them generate more leads and sales. With offline marketing strategies such as print advertising, direct mail, and tradeshow participation, businesses can reach a larger audience and generate more leads and sales.
Combining offline marketing strategies with online marketing strategies such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, and website development will help local small businesses get the most out of their efforts.