To be truly successful in the marketing of your product and services, a proper mix between online and offline marketing vehicles is what small businesses need to achieve their goals. While many more people use the internet to do research before purchases, and learn more about vendors, services, and products, word of mouth advertising still reigns as the most tried and tested method for success.
The first step to creating a proper mix of online and offline marketing efforts involve creating a realistic budget for the entire marketing department. Which funds will be allocated to marketing and PR? Blurred lines between what is considered marketing and public relations allows companies to execute strategies that market services and relate directly to consumers. What percentage of the budget can be dedicated to each strategy?
Every marketing vehicle used to reach customers offline or away from the internet is considered offline marketing. This can be network marketing, advertisements, newspapers ads, billboards, radio, television, posters, direct mail, postcards, or any other medium used to notify customers of products, services or specials.
For local products and services, placing ads in magazines or newspapers that target your market within your city or niche can produce great results. Check out any marketing data associated with the periodical, including the geographic territory for readers and how often it is distributed. Smaller newspapers that only service a small section of a city or a specific population may have more competitive prices and longer run times than larger newspapers.
Companies with complementary products or services may also be willing to give you window space for a flyer or counter space for cards. You will never know unless you ask, and the worse thing anyone can say is no. Attending community events is also essential to put a face behind your product or service. People are more likely to refer new clients when they feel they know you better and can vouch for your professionalism and quality of work.
Introductory offers and limited free services can also build credibility, a client base for future services, and allow customers to "try before they buy."
Marketing online gives small businesses access to customers beyond their local area through blogging, online ads like Google Adwords, social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Triberr, etc) and classified ad services like craigslist, Thumbtack.com, or ebayclassifieds.com. Be prepared to invest time, money, or both for an online marketing campaign. Landing pages, ebooks, and article marketing are also highly effective for internet marketing.
Some business owners will immerse themselves in every vehicle available online, not realizing that every medium is not beneficial for them. For instance, travel agents can use sites like TripAdvisor to get ideas, see about placing ads, and engaging prospective clients. Business to business services might benefit more through forum marketing and answering questions and commenting on other business owners blogs.
Regardless of the online approach, it is important to do research prior to committing funds. Consult with knowledgeable colleagues about their experiences and get feedback. Read reviews and any books that offer facts and projections about your industry and applying internet marketing for maximum results. Content marketing like newsletters and updating clients via email help businesses stay in touch with clients, solicit information about what they need, and how services can be improved.
Do you have any tips for business owners and the effectiveness, success, or failure about your online or offline marketing efforts?
Listen. Engage. Write. Repeat.
ChrissyBiz Solutions provides clients with customized, results-driven internet marketing strategies. Our primary business writing duties include: article marketing, search engine optimized web copy, blog management, social media, press releases, and newsletters, designed to drive traffic to your website and influence buyers’ decisions when purchasing products and services.
Contact ChrissyBiz for a complimentary consultation today to discuss the impact that web marketing copy can have on your business.