In this fast paced, digital world, it’s easy to forget that marketing doesn’t always have to be done via the World Wide Web. It’s easy to forget that face-to-face contact was here first and will always trump digital promotion. It might be easy to forget, but it’s surely a crime. There’s no excuse for ignoring direct marketing – digital methods may very well be encroaching on the techniques of small businesses but they’re not the whole picture.
There are some fantastic off-line ways to promote a business. Most are fairly cheap, easy to establish and tend to be long term. They range from small ideas to statement moves like company vehicles and billboards. They’re all non-reliant on digital technology and they’re all extremely effective. Here are five of the best off-line promotion techniques that you can use to market your company.
If there’s one off-line promotion technique that’s tried and tested – it’s the humble business card. Lightweight, cost effective and extremely successful, the business card should be a company’s go-to method of marketing. If you don’t have a great business card, you’re bound to be losing out on clients and business opportunities. According to InfinityAds.com, it costs as little as 1% per individual card to produce a set of high quality business cards. Business cards allow you to be direct and personal with clients, without being inappropriate. A good design won’t go out of style or become outdated like a piece of software of a forum thread will. If you want high quality graphic design, direct marketing expert will recommend you to use Print My Pixel. It will give a good result. Furthermore, if you’re still concerned about the relationship between technology and customer – why not put a QR code on your cards? That way, customers have a physical reminder of your business and they can research its background and ethos online.
Newspapers & Magazines
Running small adverts in newspapers and magazines can be a great way to promote your company, says Freelance Folder expert Laura Spencer. Just think about how many people will be exposed to your ad on a daily basis – thousands of people will see the name of your company even if they don’t read the advertisement in full. They will know who you are and they will know what you do. If it so happens that they end up needing the services of a company just like yours, they could very well remember your name from the paper and research you online. Magazine advertisements tend to be more expensive than newspaper ads and they only cater to a certain subsection of society – depending on the type of magazine. They do, however, allow you to add color and personality for very little cost.
Another great off-line marketing technique involves the distribution of free promotional items. This is a guaranteed hit simply because everybody likes something for nothing. The experts at HoustonContemplative.com point out that there are very very few people who will refuse a free item if you offer them one in the street. After accepting a promotional item shoppers feel obliged to give some time to the individual who gave it to them, whereas an empty handed man or woman with a clipboard will get nothing but refusals to chat. It’s a cynical ploy but it does work. Keep promotional items small, functional and cheap to produce.
Why not prepare an information packet for small, specially targeted group of businesses or customers in your area? It’s a promotional technique that’s frequently used by small businesses and it has been proven to work. An awful lot of people allow their mail to build up over the course of a week – they do not discard or read it right away. This is great news for you because it means that your flyer or brochure will sit in their sights for much longer than expected.
When you meet someone new, make sure to mention your line of work. Don’t be pushy or irritating. Just casually drop in the fact that you run or own your own business. This should be enough to get the ball rolling and encourage a polite conversational partner to ask for more information about your company. This isn’t a direct promotional technique because it’s free, it’s informal and it can be worked on at any point – in or out of office. What you’re doing is widening your network. If you run a cleaning company and a new acquaintance knows somebody who’s looking for professional cleaning services – there’s no reason why that acquaintance won’t pass on your company details.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Don