These days, everyone is talking about online marketing. It seems everybody is constantly trying to learn every method and angle possible to give themselves an edge in online marketing. And, for good reason, of course. If you’re running a business on the internet, there’s no doubt that you need to effectively use every online marketing method you can, to the best of your ability, in order to promote and market your business and maximize your profit potential. In this modern age, it truly is an online marketing world — but not exclusively.
People were effectively marketing their businesses before the internet came along. And, just as today online business owners are constantly trying to learn, adapt and figure out how to leverage each and every method they can for promoting their online business, so too did the business owners of that pre-internet world do the same with regards to offline techniques and methods. And, they were good at it. Offline marketing has been around for a lot longer than the internet has been in existence. And, in all that time, all of those offline marketers learned a thing or two — and there’s no reason you can’t learn from them.
Chances are, your competitors are most likely ignoring offline efforts at marketing their online business. Simply taking wise and reasoned advantage of offline techniques that still remain viable in today’s electronic age could very well give you a real, and simple to achieve, leg-up over your competition. So, it’s important not to ignore any such available avenues for promoting your business.
Speak to any politician: They all have websites these days. They all have Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. They all maintain e-mail lists. They all purchase internet advertising of various forms. They all leverage social media as much as they can. But, if you speak to them — if you speak to active and experienced campaign managers working for high-profile politicians — they will all tell you that while all of those things are a must in today’s world, you still can not neglect actually getting out there into the real world and connecting with people. Even though every successful politician incorporates all of these electronic methods for marketing and promoting themselves, they still get out there and knock on doors. They still send out flyers. They still print and distribute campaign literature. They still attend public rallies and meetings. They still shake hands and kiss babies. They still put in the real-world leg-work. They have to. If they don’t, their opponents will, and their opponents will win.
For these reasons it is very important that the business owner who is looking for the greatest amount of success with their online store or ecommerce website does not ignore offline marketing opportunities. An online business owner ignores offline marketing at the peril of their online business. The online store operator would be extremely well advised to dedicate some of the time they spend learning online marketing techniques to also learning offline marketing techniques and incorporating them heavily into their promotional efforts.
Are there any trade-shows or public functions comping up in your area that share a similar theme to the niche or specific market that your business occupies? Or, that are likely to be attended by people with a specific interest in the types of goods or services you trade in? If so, attend them yourself! Print up promotional materials to pass out at these events. Think about distributing free samples. Get out there and shake hands and actually talk to people. Investigate the possibility of running small ads in newspapers or targeted trade publications that relate to your market. Investigate the return potential of running direct mail campaigns. Think about radio or even TV advertising if your budget allows it.
The important thing is to not neglect any potential avenue — online or offline — that might effectively increase your promotional efforts. Too many online business owners today focus their promotional efforts too exclusively on online means. You might be ignoring a number of easy to implement, simple, cheap and very effective offline marketing opportunities to the detriment of your online business’s success.