Promoting your website offline is just as important as an online marketing campaign. There are still lot’s of potential customers who don’t know how to use the internet effectively. Some people get baffled just looking at the results page that the search engines return after searching for a product or service. Others are only casual users, and will navigate the web only by clicking on links that are available on screen, or by typing the address of a website directly into the address bar. In order to reach these customers, and many others, you must implement an offline promotional campaign. You’re URL or website address is obviously the key here. The more exposure your URL receives the more traffic you will send to your website. So what can you do to get your website address out into the offline world?
A good place to start is to look at what can be changed within your own organization to promote your new website address. Company documentation should be the first thing you add your URL to, after your website of course. Letter headed paper, compliments slips, business cards, invoices, etc should all bare your URL. Even print it on your envelopes. Only the addressee usually sees the content of a letter, but how many people see the actual envelope?
How many vans, lorries and cars do you see everyday with phone numbers and company names plastered all over them. Your website address can be added to any part of your vehicle with a sticker, this exposes your URL to thousands of people everyday who are driving to work, going to the shops or even walking the dog. Make sure that you have this done professionally though. If it looks badly designed, it will probably reflect badly on your company.
Newspapers and Magazines
These are a very good source of advertising because so many people use them. It can be quite expensive to run full page color adverts in the national papers and glossy magazines, but you can start small. As a first step, you could try running a small advert in the classified section of your local papers. As your traffic and your business grow, you can move on to the larger national papers. Also, it would be worth finding out what sort of cost is involved in advertising in publications that gear more towards your specific product or service. This way you have more of a chance of reaching your target audience.
This type of advertising can be very effective. The national radio stations reach out to millions of people all over the country, but can be quite expensive. You can start by checking the local radio stations. They can offer good value for money advertising. Remember though, the price you pay will depend upon the time of day and how often your advertisement is aired.
Probably one of the most expensive forms of advertising due to its massive audience, especially on prime time T.V. Usually only the big businesses with massive advertising budgets use television, but there is an alternative. Advertising on local cable television channels can bring in a lot of business. It is relatively well priced and because it’s on TV can give the impression that your company is bigger and more successful than it actually is.
Placing your website address on items such as pens, pencils, badges, mouse mats, cups and t-shirts etc can be a very effective advertising tool. These products are usually given away for free, but the returns can be well worth the initial outlay. It’s worth targeting specific markets that will use your product. It’s a waste of resources when you give a hundred branded t-shirts to a naturalist colony. Try giving a pack of pens to a local business that might use your product or services, or some mouse mats to a local college. You never know who will see your brand.
Word of Mouth
This can work both positively and negatively. The only way to get positive word of mouth advertising is to provide an exceptional product or service. Don’t lie and cheat your way through as this will come back to haunt you. Be professional, courteous and honest, and the rest will look after itself. If a person likes what you do they will tell six others. If a person is disappointed with what you do, they will tell twenty others.
So there you have it. Just a few ideas related to offline promotion. If your whole marketing campaign is purely online, you could be missing out on a massive portion of your customer base. Get your name out there in the real world and start to reap the benefits. The effort is well worth it.
Martin Bradley is the Creative Director at Bullbreed Design Studio. He has worked within the design industry for over 7 years and has worked for some very prestigious clients such as; British Aerospace, T-Mobile, Orange, Vodafone, and Aston Martin. http://www.bullbreed.com