Author: Tom Cottrill | Date Posted: Mar 29, 2022
Your brand and marketing campaigns run across numerous platforms, both online and offline, and ensuring consistency and integration will help create brand awareness of consumers who use a large variety of platforms. Obviously, your first step—as with all marketing efforts—is to solidify who your target audience is and then determine where your target audience is. Once you’ve done this, you can start developing the right campaigns for both online and offline marketing efforts. First, you must know why it’s important to integrate online and offline marketing, and then we will give you the steps to get integration started.
First, it’s important to have marketing going to numerous places, not just for customers who are active online. While a vast majority of individuals are active online in some capacity, especially when it comes to using search engines to find answers to their questions or products or services, you should be getting in front of your target audience in other places as well. This way, you’re creating much more brand awareness because they’re seeing your brand in many different places, and you’re also making sure you’re getting in front of your target audience at the right time in their buyer journey since different channels will reach them differently at varying times in the journey.
Some businesses and marketers will tell you that offline marketing is outdated and ineffective, but that is actually not the case. The real offline situation is that it has changed and adapted to the digital world. So, while digital marketing is the main way to advertise and market, it is not the only way. It has driven offline marketing to become more trackable, better designed, and more tailored to your specific audience, and digital marketing has allowed offline marketing to be more effective by tying all of it together into one big marketing campaign.
87% of consumers begin their search process for purchases online, especially with larger purchases, but 73% of them finalize purchases in-person. This means that you’ll need offline materials that support your online materials and match your branding. It helps build trust and consistency, both of which are important qualities for your clients to see in you.
Using offline marketing to sync with your online marketing can actually be pretty simple, fun, and a great experience for your customers and potential customers. You can do this in a variety of ways, but here are five ideas to get you started.
Online contests and giveaways are a great way to build social media presence and even collect email addresses for your email marketing campaigns. To incorporate these giveaways with offline marketing, try creating some print marketing materials with your contest details (whether they need to go to your landing page or a social media page), the rules for entering the contest (enter an email address, like your Facebook page and comment on the pinned post, etc), and give them an easy way to get to those pages like a QR code they can just snap a photo of and go right there or a direct URL. By handing these out at networking meetings, mixers, tradeshows, conventions, or other in-person events like this, you can both increase brand recognition and drive more traffic to your digital marketing platforms.
Much like the example of using a giveaway as a driving factor to get offline users online, you can offer a discount available to everybody who picks up your business card, attends an offline event, is in an offline networking group, or any other offline experience you may have. When they pick up this card, they can go right to your social media or website and either like the page (at an event, they typically make you follow the page right in front of them to ensure you’re actually following them before getting the discount code), or send them to a landing page that is specific to that event where they will enter their email address for your database and receive a discount code there.
Make sure your online and offline marketing materials both closely follow your brand, values, mission, and target the right audience. This way when someone picks up your brochure at an event and heads over to your website, they have instant recognition of who you are, what you do, and it will stick in their brain. If your website looks totally different from the brochures you’re handing out, you’re starting the relationship with them with confusion and mistrust, and they will be less likely to do business with you because they really aren’t sure who you are as a company. Plus, when marketing it’s important to get in front of people in a variety of ways, and if your brand isn’t consistent across all channels, they will never realize when they happen upon your Facebook ad that you are the company with whom they spoke 2 months prior at a home and garden show. It will never register, and therefore, you are starting from scratch when you should have already had some groundwork built.
It’s not uncommon for companies to use a TV ad or event to build up their online presence. This can include asking guests at an event to check in on Facebook when they arrive—maybe in exchange for a drink ticket at a mixer or some other fun incentive—or asking them to Tweet with your company’s hashtag in answer to a question you ask during a speaking event. Obviously, you will also be using your website and social media to promote your offline events and sell tickets to events where people will be showing up in person. This allows you to reach a larger audience and people who are showing up in a variety of places, not just ones who attend your weekly networking meeting.
When someone comes to your website and is interested in your product or service, often companies put them into an email funnel and keep them in an online structure. However, when you collect a very interested party’s data in your contact form, building trust is easier when you take that information and turn it into a phone call. Hearing a voice through the phone is a deeper connection than seeing words in an email, it creates more urgency with the customer, and it solidifies your brand as being trustworthy (you’re not an online scammer) and reliable (they know if they ever have a problem, there will be a person on the other end of the phone). Keep your brand alive after the call with a follow-up mailer or small gift to their home if you have their address to stay in front of them in an offline way driven from their online interest.
These are just some ideas of ways to sync online and offline marketing campaigns, but the most important thing is consistency in your brand and to get creative in a way that best suits your specific target audience. What works for your target audience may vary depending on where you are finding them and what kind of marketing materials they most gravitate towards, but try some different things and see what works best for you!
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