Thursday, September 18, 2014

Don’t Isolate Your Online and Offline Marketing Strategies

Don’t Isolate Your Online and Offline Marketing Strategies
Don’t Isolate Your Online and Offline Marketing Strategies
Social media marketing has moved beyond the stage of “integral aspect” and is now the soul of many successful marketing campaigns. But people still watch television, go to stores and drive in traffic. They still check their mail and attend community events. Neglecting traditional marketing wholly in favor of online marketing means missing chances to integrate both channels in order to establish a pervasive presence.
Just as brick and mortar businesses can benefit from online marketing, e-commerce companies can benefit from physical advertising and networking events. But integrating your efforts means doing more than using both online and offline channels to market your business— it means treating them as components of a single omnichannel strategy rather than separate entities.
Don’t Assume Online and Offline Audiences Are Comprised of Different Demographics
The concept seems simple enough: a much larger percentage of people younger than 65 use the internet than people over 65; therefore it makes sense to use online advertising to appeal to young people and print to appeal to the mature population. Many advertisers operate on this principle without realizing that there is a broad overlap that broadens every day. A growing percentage of older adults use digital tools and hunt down services and products online. Younger populations may be active on social media, but they are inundated with ads and information that they have learned to ignore. And with an increasing number of tools for seamlessly connecting web and physical content, online and offline audiences are blending to make up a single market.
Never Exclude Web Info from Print Advertising
Brands with serious recognition can get away with putting nothing but their logo on an ad. Growing businesses, however, must provide audiences with the information they need to engage further. A phone number used to suffice, but nowadays, it’s the standard to put a landing page address on everything from billboards to car magnets. Including social media icons, specific calls to action, and strategic QR codes or other interactive features can make your printed advertisements great tools for leading customers to a wealth of online content.
Create Mystery with Print Advertising, Solve it with Online Info
Teaser campaigns are becoming more and more popular. In a cluttered world, simple printed ads with sparse information and a sense of mystery invite viewers to engage further. While brand recognition can be the make or break aspect of an ambiguous or minimalist ad—think True Blood teasers or Nike ads—striking the right balance of simple, eye-catching and informative can allow any business to create a successful teaser campaign. But make sure you have the online content to back up your printed ad. Don’t lure audiences into disappointment. They should be able to follow the URL on the ad to your website and find answers to their questions as well as a source of quality content related to your brand and industry.  
Offer Digital Rewards
One of the best ways to draw people to your website through a printed advertisement is to offer a digital reward for visiting your site. Whether it’s a free eBook, song, or digital coupon, these rewards incentivize audiences to find out more about your brand, products and services.
Businesses can also use local search platforms to offer in-store rewards that draw foot traffic: for example, check-in discounts on Yelp or Foursquare that can be redeemed in-store. These rewards could easily prompt customers to write glowing online reviews.
Give People a Chance to Check out Your Products in Person
Create a way for customers to experience your products and services before buying them online. Online shoppers are usually forced to rely reviews from people they’ve never met in order to decide if a product is worth the investment. But Warby Parker, a retailer of eyeglasses and sunglasses, has a “home try-on” program that allows customers to pick out five frames they like and try them out for five days for free so that they can choose the glasses that work best for them. Trunk shows, trade shows, fashion shows, free samples and product demonstrations are great tools for showing customers that your online products are of quality.
Keep Information Uniform
Your business’s online and offline marketing efforts are part of the same campaign. They represent the same brand. This means that information should be streamlined across social media, web pages, mobile pages, online ads, billboards, posters, direct mail, store signage, etc. Maintaining consistent, up-to-date content across dozens of channels can be challenging, but it’s essential to a seamless marketing campaign. Ultimately, your impact will be much more powerful if every last message relays the same tone of voice, keywords and standards of quality.

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